What to consider when choosing a graduate nursing program

In order to become a registered nurse one must choose a nursing program that suits him or her. The program you choose can have an impact on the future of your career, so it is important to invest enough time in researching multiple programs.

Nursing program delivery

nursingThis can either be online or on-campus. On-campus delivery is the basic college experience where students live on campus or commute from home to attend classes. In a bid to make the programs affordable, students have switched to online programs. Online programs charge lower tuition fees and the students do not incur the costs the on-campus students do. In addition to these, online learning allows the students to view their tutors and complete syllabus at their own convenience. This makes it possible for students committed full-time or those with an intention of raising a family to do so easily. Although, online learning comes with its challenges such as students trying to keep up with other responsibilities and keeping up with the coursework.

In order to select the nursing program of your choice one should consider the following:

  1. Location

The learner must ask the following questions:

Availability of nursing homes near your area of residence?

How far can you commute to attend classes?

Do you prefer living on-campus or commute?

Do you need to relocate during school time?

Is the program offered online and is it an option for you?

The schools that interest the student the most should be considered first.

  1. The Program

The learner should consider the school that is well-known for the program the student is considering. If a learner is considering a program in biomedical engineering, but the institution is not known for research then it is not worth considering.

  1. Accreditation

nursingThe learner should select an institution that has been accredited by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Always remember there is a difference between accreditation by a national accrediting organization and approval by the state board. Accreditation means that the schools programs has been approved and reviewed by professionals in the field. This means that the education offered by these institutions meets a minimum quality level set by an expert panel. In the event that you require a financial aid to help with your education, you will be required to enroll in an accredited institution. Accredited institutions use standards that are nationally established for the education curriculum. Additionally, there are two types of accreditations:

  • Institutional accreditation: this means the whole institution is accredited.
  • Specialized or Professional accreditation: reviews the programs of the college.
  1. The Resources

Primarily, the resources are the funding and endowments and should be considered when selecting a nursing program. Institution with large endowments offer grants and scholarships to more students. Also the learner should consider the resources that the institution allocates to the department and program.  Moreover, the resources allocated to its facilities.

  1. The Cost of nursing program

When considering the cost, the learner should also consider the scholarships and grants being offered. The more the degree is advanced the more it costs. Other factors that determine the cost of the program is the length of the program, the number of units offered each semester, and other applicable charges by the institution. However, since nursing represents an ever-growing field many private and public organizations offer financial aid opportunities.

  1. Size of the Nursing School

The learner should be able to identify how they would like to be tutored if they need close attention and a more feel of personal space of a small school of nursing. Ask the following question: how many students of nursing are expected each semester?

  1. Class size

The learner should check the faculty ration. This is to make sure the instructor has time to help you with everything you need.

  1. Class schedules

With nursing being a hands-on practice time with patients the learner should select the class’s schedules that are convenient.

  1. NCLEX nursing exam pass rate

By checking this, it gives you an idea on how the institution is preparing its learners. The school passing rate should be encouraging to aspiring future nurses.