There are many factors to consider when choosing a nursing school. Different factors are important to different prospective students, so you want to make sure you choose a nursing school that matches your career endeavors and personal needs. If you are on the verge of choosing a nursing school, rest assured that you can find the best college for you. But now’s the time to do your homework to avoid making some common selection mistakes.
Do you want to attend a specialized program and volunteer in a hospital while attending nursing school? Or do you want to start with a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or registered nurse (RN) degree and start looking for a job after your nursing program is complete? These are just a few of the many questions you need to ask yourself before forking out a hefty nursing school tuition.
Research nursing schools and create a list of pros and cons for each of your top choices. Here are some important considerations for choosing your nursing school:
- Nursing School Specialties
Choose your nursing program first, and then decide on a nursing school that matches your program.
- Location of the School
Search for nursing schools in a specific area to research which schools offer the programs and degrees of your nursing career interest.
- Size of the Nursing School
Some people want the close attention of a small nursing school, while other prefer the intellectual stimulation of a large institution.
- Class Size
Make sure to find out about student-to-faculty ratios for both classroom and clinical instruction. Small class sizes for clinical rotation and nursing courses is more important than for prerequisites.
- Nursing School Clinical Rotation
Does the school provide enough clinical rotation time? Are the clinical placements varied enough and do they provide hands-on experience? This information is best to get from current students. Before you start searching for colleges, take some time to really decide what type of nursing school will provide the best learning environment for you.
- NCLEX® Examination Pass-Rates
Ask the school for this data from the last 5 to10 years. The percentage of graduating students that pass the NCLEX examination is often a good indicator of how well the school prepares students.
This indicates that the school meets the standards of education set by a national accrediting organization. See the questions on nursing school accreditation for more information.
Prices vary dramatically between private schools and public schools, and between in-state and out-of-state residents. Remember that financial aid can also vary significantly between institutions. Read more about how to finance your nursing school education.