Choosing a nursing school is among the most important decisions you will make in your life. Here are some aspects that in retrospect I think are very important to review before you finalize your decision on a nursing school.
- How much time do you have in your schedule? Are you going to have to attend night classes around work? (Like me are you a mother that has to make arrangements around baseball games and piles of laundry?) This is such an important factor to remember because the homework in nursing school is very extensive and requires a lot of time with one’s nose in a book. Make sure the curriculum is flexible enough to meet your needs.
- How are your finances? There are many different nursing schools that vary greatly in price just like any college or University. Check with your local community college, many offer an excellent education in nursing without the price of a State University or private school. There are different ways to fund your tuition if unable to pay. Check with the institution of your choice regarding student loans, government grants, financial aid and scholarship opportunity.
- Make sure the nursing school you choose is accredited!! The National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission and The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education are the two national organizations for general nursing. Are you going to be able to sit for the NCLEX (the nursing board exam) after completion of this program?
- What is the schools pass rate on the state nursing board exam (NCLEX)? This is a must check!!! Why would you want to spend 1-4 years in school and the pass rate of the former graduates is 70% ? The nursing school you choose can provide you with the NCLEX pass rate. Please check this before enrolling. You can spend four years in nursing school but if you do not pass the NCLEX you will NOT be a nurse!!
- What type of attendance requirements do they have? For example where I went to nursing school if we were more than 15 minutes late we were counted absent for the entire day. You were only allowed to miss three days every 6 months. A good friend of mine was in a different program where they were much more flexible with attendance.
- Where do they hold their clinical training (hands on training in the field)? Are you in a large city with multiple hospitals? Are you in a small town and the nearest training hospital is one hour away? What are their clinical requirements? Can you meet the physical expectations of lifting and transferring patients and tolerate being on your feet all day?
Hopefully these 7 pointers will make your nursing school search a little easier, they really helped me in my choice. Good luck!!