Deciding to get into nursing is a huge decision in your life and one that can shape your later life. But the decision doesn't end there. The kind of school and program you enrol in will substantially shape your life, and as such, it is crucial to make wise decisions from the start.
Choosing a credible nursing program is one step toward becoming a registered nurse. Since the program you select impacts your life, you need to select the best program for you. It can be overwhelming to make this decision, but it helps to take time until you are comfortable with your pick. Here are some tips to make this decision easier for you when applying for a nursing program.
What are your career goals?
Before researching for nursing programs, determine what your professional goals and interests are. Since there are many types of nursing specialties, nursing programs are very different. To figure out the kind of programs that suit you, determine what skills and knowledge you want to obtain in the medical field.
To find the best school with the best kind of education, look at the school rankings. The rankings can help you decide between schools and boost your job prospects. This is because prospective employers often look at a school's ranking and value candidates from high ranking schools.
The school you choose must be approved by the state's board of nursing. That said, you should go for a program that's accredited. It would help if you also verified that the program meets the quality standards laid out by the Department of Education. This is important if you want to get your license.
However, it would be best to keep in mind that programs and school accreditations are different. The school could be accredited, but you find that the program isn't. For nursing, you should only pick a program that is accredited.
A credible nursing program will guide you from day one until you complete the program. It's crucial to choose a school that offers assistance and career growth. The school needs to help you prepare for internships and job placement and also provide career services such as portfolio assistance, interview skills, etc., to better position them for acquiring a job.
Student nursing opportunities
Many nursing programs offer students a chance to participate in community activities. The students are allowed to volunteer in support services, family caregiving, immunization, health education, etc., which become great resume builders.
It's essential to consider the class size and the student to faculty ratio when choosing a nursing program. While large class sizes are okay with prerequisite courses, smaller classes are better for clinical rotations and nursing-specific courses. Also, you are likely to get better attention in small class sizes.
The school's location is important when you are choosing a program. If you are commuting, you will need to consider how far the school is from where you live. If you will be living on campus, consider the school neighborhood as it will affect your life through school.