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How to Choose a Nursing School

Written by NS StaffJuly 21, 2011
Nursing Schools

Things like career goals, lifestyle, financial status, and geographic location are all aspects that need to be considered when choosing a nursing school. If you know you want to attend nursing school, but are unsure of what school to choose or why, here are some helpful pointers that can guide you:

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Schools to consider: 

Location
Where you choose to study is where you choose to live; if you want to stay at home, check out the schools in your area, if you are ok with relocating, you can explore a broader range of nursing school options.

Specialties
There are a variety of specialized nursing professions to choose from. It is wise to consider the types of programs offered by each school and how many of those correspond with your career goals and personal aspirations.

Accredation
It is important that the nursing school you choose is accredited by either the National League for Nursing Accredation Commission (NLNAC), or by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing and Education. Accredited schools have been proven to meet certain nursing school standards that many employers require of their employees. If your nursing school of choice is accredited by one, that is OK, but it is best to have dual accredation so that you have the widest range of employment options upon completion of your nursing degree.

Tuition and Financial Aid
The cost of attendance can be one of the defining factors for whether or not you choose to go to a nursing school. If the tuition is high, you'll want to be sure that there are options for Financial Aid, and it is wise to explore how to get the necessary aid and how much you are eligible for.

Class Schedules
Is the structure of class schedules convenient for you? If you have a job and are only available certain hours, or if you have family related time restrictions, it is good to make sure that they offer classes at times that you can attend.

Tests Required for Admission
Admission requirements need to be met in order to gain admittance to a nursing school. Check with the advising center to see what tests are required and when you can take them if you haven't already.

Clinical Rotation
Does your prospective school offer enough clinical rotation time? Are the placements varied enough? This is all information that you can find out by asking current students and faculty.

NCLEX Exam Pass-rates
The percentage of students at a nursing school that pass this exam provides a good barometer for how well the nursing programs prepare their students. Ask for this data from the last 5-10 years to get a good perspective.

Once you have acquired all the necessary information it should narrow your selection of nursing schools to one that is more manageable. Pursuing a nursing profession is an exciting next step, and choosing the right school is a key component.

See a list of schools/colleges offering nursing programs