In considering going into the nursing profession, there are a few priorities that are crucial to determining future success. When individuals look at all of the criteria it becomes clear which schools would be a better choice. The first criteria that many people face when going back to school is financial. Some of the factors that need to be considered about the school are for instance, how much will it cost per credit hour?
Cost per credit hour depends on the school, whether or not it is accredited, a community college, a private college or a four year university. The other criteria for determining which nursing school to attend, is of course where or not one can obtain financial aid. Financial aid is available for many that are in the working class. There are also federal loans that can be obtained with very low interest rates. It would be considered a wise step to visit the financial aid office of a college or university near ones home to find out about the availability of government funding.
The next criterion, which may or may not be important for some, is the vicinity of the nursing school. For many whom work and plan to attend school, the closer the school's location the easier the commute. In this society of multitasking, the closer that work, home and school are to one another the better. Also, gas is now a real concern. Driving fifty miles may not have been a deterrent to some a few years ago, but certainly with the cost of fuel now days; it has become a real deterrent to many. Along with the schools vicinity, one needs to look at whether or not the nursing school is accredited.
If someone is considering obtaining an Associates Degree in Nursing from a non accredited nursing school, then if they decide to go on to their Bachelors of Nursing, they will find that they can not continue. The reason for this is due to the following; an accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program, requires and accredited degreed Nursing Program from the two year Associate Degreed Nurse. What this assumes is that the two years Associate Degreed Nurse who graduated from a non accredited nursing school will not be able to transfer in their nursing courses to the four year university.
This may be a real stumbling block to those nurses who wish to go on for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. It is also important to know how the nursing school graduates perform on the NCLEX®, the National Licensation Examination for Registered Nurses. When there is only a forty or fifty percent passing rate on schools National Boards, this should raise a red flag for the prospective nursing student. There is no greater disappointment then failing the boards on the first time around.
Many hospitals will hire graduate nurses prior to their sitting for the national boards, on the premise that if they fail their national boards, one of two things will take place; 1.their job as graduate nurse with the hospital will be terminated, 2. they will be demoted to a lesser position with less money, 3. they will be demoted to a lesser position with less money and be offered a second chance with a specified time frame to sit for the national boards once more. None of the previous scenarios is an attractive option to any graduate nurse. Therefore the percentage of students that pass the boards at a particular school should also be included in the criteria for choosing a particular nursing school. However, do not judge the school too harshly on their rate of students who do or do not pass the national boards.
The reason for this is due to the fact that some schools require a high grade point average, such as a four point zero just to get into the nursing program. This requirement will of course skew the results of passing scores in favor of those with higher grade point rates. These criteria will of course preclude many from even entering the nursing program, since many students are not four point zero in academics. Generally speaking, an average of seventy percent and above passing rate on the national nursing boards is a good predictor of the nursing school. But, it is up to the individual as to how much time and effort is put into the program as to how much they get out of the program.
The nursing programs in general are very physically demanding, time consuming and mentally challenging. It is a very serious profession and there are those who find out that the field of nursing is not for them very early in the program. The best advice to those deciding on which nursing school to attend, is to use the above mentioned criteria only as a guide, because it will be up to the individual how well they do in the final analysis.