BEFORE CHOOSING A NURSING PROGRAM
Many youngsters are pursuing health-related degrees nowadays to join the healthcare workforce. They are motivated by an urge to help society by preventing diseases and strengthening people’s well-being. Among different health-related courses, nursing programs have become famous. It’s because, as studies have indicated, RNs are the most trusted professionals in the country. Naturally, many people are inspired by the sacrifices made by nurses in their struggles against COVID-19. Today, you can obtain a BSN or MSN degree to advance your nursing career and excel in this industry. Read this article to learn how to choose the best nursing program and make yourself a valuable member of the health sector.
Things to Consider Before Choosing a Nursing Program
It’s estimated that 150,000+ RNs join the workforce after graduating from nursing schools. However, the health sector expects a terrible shortage of healthcare practitioners. So, around 9 million additional nurses will be needed worldwide by 2030, as per 2022 estimates. You can fill these gaps by joining the nursing workforce after graduating from a decent nursing education program. Find different physical and online programs and compare them to determine the best.
In this short article, you shall find some essential tips for finding the best nursing school to advance your journey. So let’s get started.
1. The institute’s accreditation
Only choose nursing schools that have been accreditated by organizations, e.g., the ACEN or the CCNE. These organizations evaluate nursing schools by different factors and ensure students receive the proper education. So, learn the importance of accreditation in nursing education programs to choose only the ones that have passed the evaluation. Check out the accreditation process to know how stringent this procedure can be! Moreover, accreditated institutes offer these benefits:
- Get only high-quality education
- Students can get some decent aid options
- You can easily transfer your educational credits
- Accreditated BSN-prepared RNs can apply for an MSN degree in the future
- Graduating from non-accreditated schools can lead to obstacles in getting a license
2. NCLEX pass rates
To become a registered nurse, you must pass the NCL (National Council Licensure) examination or the NCLEX examination. Many schools have NCLEX pass rates beyond 90%, and some even boast of a 100% pass rate. A better pass rate means higher chances of finishing your BSN or MSN degree. However, a better pass rate often comes with a high tuition cost. So consider the pass rate a nursing program claims before choosing it.
3. Available aid options
If you compare different nursing programs, you’ll notice that they charge $10,000 to $13,000 on average for BSN degrees. Some may demand less for a decent education. However, accreditated institutions offer you loans, grants, and scholarships. So, they ensure money issues never stop you from getting an education. That’s why students should research which institutes can make scholarship funds available. Apply where aid is easily accessible.
4. The institute’s location
Location matters! Look for nursing education programs located close to home. Spend less on the commute and forgo boarding costs by attending classes nearby. However, you may choose a nursing school situated in another state. But it means relocating to the campus.
In many cases, out-of-state students are charged more than in-state ones. There’s always the online option to go with when it comes to your nursing studies. Online options are more accessible and cost-effective.
5. Flexible class schedules
Many full-time nurses pursue higher education to climb the ladder of career success. So, if you’re a full-time nurse, a flexible learning schedule can help you pursue this education easily. Now, you can ask some critical questions to ensure a certain nursing course is flexible. Just how many clinical hours are available? How much hands-on experience can you get with patients? So, all these questions can help you determine the nature of flexibility a particular nursing school provides.
6. The institute’s reputation
The nursing program’s reputation matters and this “reputation” is based on different elements associated with the alumni’s experience. For instance, some nursing institutes are known for helpful faculty members or decent job prospects. So, you should contact the alums to find their opinion on a certain nursing school. Read online reviews to learn how former or current students have rated an institute. You can gather some valuable insights about your future with a particular institution.
7. Available faculty members
Your teachers won’t just serve as your educators but also as your first-time mentors. You need some decently-educated and friendly-mannered faculty members to pass the NCLEX. So, you can conduct informal research on the faculty members or, if possible, schedule a meeting with them. Check their behavior and determine if these are the mentors you need to advance your education. If teachers are unwilling to meet you today, they might not respond as well as your course instructors.
8. Future job prospects
Nursing school students around the country can easily find a job placement just a few months after graduating. For example, a 2020 survey indicates that 94% of BSN grads get a job 4 to 6 months after finishing nursing school. However, this percentage can vary from school to school, and some nursing programs give students better job prospects. Determine if any fair internship opportunities are available at a nursing school. You can also find shadowing and internship options nearby while you study.
Nursing education programs help you join the healthcare workforce and become a part of this amazing industry. However, consider a few things before choosing these programs. For instance, you must check the institute’s accreditation to ensure your degree is valuable. Also, accreditation means you can avail the institute’s financial aid options. Don’t forget to consider factors such as the class size and the institute’s location. Look at the program’s NCLEX pass rates and read online reviews to determine if it’s worth your time. Moreover, ensure the faculty and the syllabus are according to your expectations. These simple tips will make you receive your nursing education now successfully.