7 Factors for Choosing a Nursing Program

Nursing is an in-demand career that provides job stability. According to the US Department of Labor, there will be an increased need of over 439,000 nurses. With the media salary of $68,450, now is a great time to start this career. However, before you chose a nursing school or decide to pursue a career in nursing, there are several things you must consider. Read on for tips and advice.

Cost

Many nursing schools will offer you financial aid. Scholarships and grant money are always helpful and should be welcomed. However, taking out large amounts of loans will be burdensome upon graduation. Consider the costs of attending various nursing programs. Which ones are the best fit for you financially? Remember that time is money and that a shorter program will get you earning money sooner, so make sure to factor in all of the variables.

Location

Before applying to nursing schools, ask yourself where you would like to live. For instance, if you know you can’t afford a high cost of living area like Boston, then you probably shouldn’t apply to schools in that area. Community colleges often have a long wait, so a local private school would be a good choice, or an online program from a nationally accredited program would be the fastest way to get your degree and you wouldn’t have to move!

Student Life

Research each school’s program. This will involve spending time reading websites and maybe sending emails concerning questions you have. Then, narrow your search down to those schools that offer the best quality of student life. For instance, you may want to attend a small program in which you’ll have more one-on-one time with professors, or you may choose a school that has many supportive healthcare organizations that allow you to network.

Job Requirements

Before you apply to nursing schools, take a moment to consider if your personality and skills are suited to nursing. Do you work well under pressure? Are you compassionate toward others? Are you willing to do shift work that may require you to be flexible in terms of work hours? These are often the qualities and requirements for good nurses.

Ranking

Some nursing school hopefuls apply to the top nursing schools in the country. This isn’t necessarily a bad idea. However, think about the area in which you’d like to specialize. A high ranking school may not necessarily offer the coursework you need. Rather than focus on ranking, apply to schools that will allow you to extensively study in your specialty area.

Online Programs

Many schools now offer online nursing programs. Such programs require you to complete much of your coursework online. However, as with any nursing program, you will be required to complete your clinical work in a healthcare setting. Contact an online program via email or phone for more info on specific programs. Check the 3 listings at the top of the page for schools that will get you started right away!

Campus Visits

You can get a narrow view of student life based on internet searches. However, if you want a clearer picture of what it will be like to attend each school, you must visit the campuses. Though this may get expensive, especially if you’re applying to programs far away, make it a goal to visit as many schools as you can.

Nursing school can be challenging, and it requires a big commitment. Before applying to nursing programs, carefully evaluate the pros and cons of each school. If you decide that nursing is your calling, apply to nursing programs and prepare for a rewarding career.

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