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 Tips For Choosing A Nursing Program

Studying to become a nurse is a wise choice According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nursing workforce is expected to increase by 6% by 2031, adding over 200,000 new jobs.

But when choosing where to pursue your nursing education, there are several aspects to consider. Your neighborhood community college would be the obvious choice. However, you should also look into options beyond that. Your priority should be to enroll in a program that helps you clear the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) exam. A minimum passing percentage of 80% is required to begin your career as a registered nurse.

That said, there are several factors you must consider when choosing a nursing program for yourself. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Consider distance education

In today’s day and age, you can easily earn a degree online. Online education allows you the flexibility to study from anywhere you want while juggling other responsibilities. You can opt for a hybrid learning model to balance academics and a part-time job.

You can also enroll in nursing programs in other states. For example, you can enroll in UTA online nursing programs and easily acquire a license to practice in Texas while being in another state. With an expected 16.75 increase in employment, Texas is among the best states for nurses, according to Nursing progress.org. It also has one of the state’s highest graduation and licensure rates and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  1. The program should be approved By The state board Of nursing

  The formal endorsement of the state board of nursing is one of the most crucial factors to consider when shortlisting a program. State approval ensures graduates can sit for the NCLEX in the state of their choice after completing the program. A state-approved nursing program’s faculty also guarantees quality coursework and that each graduate is prepared to care for patients as a licensed nurse.

  1. Look into accreditation

You should pick a nursing program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC). Recognize the distinction between state board of nursing approval and national accrediting agency accreditation. Financial aid, licensing, as well as your employment opportunities, and higher education opportunities are all affected by these accreditations.

If a nursing school has been accredited, the coursework has also been vetted and approved by subject-matter specialists. This indicates that the school does a good job of preparing you to become a part of the nursing workforce. 

  1. Check the NCLEX passing rate

You can quickly determine the overall curriculum’s success by looking at NCLEX passing statistics for any nursing school. Passing rates reflect the time and effort each student invests in their education. It also helps to determine the quality of the nursing program’s curriculum, clinical experience, and faculty’s commitment to helping students succeed on the NCLEX.

Colleges and universities with a high passing rate frequently display this information on their websites. So be sure to look up this information when browsing options. If these numbers are unavailable on the website, request historical data going back at least five years from the staff handling academic enrolment. Avoid selecting any school if the passing rate is low.

  1. Consider the degree type

Some nursing schools don’t offer bachelor’s degree programs and only associate degrees. Others provide both options. You can concentrate on finding nursing schools that offer the degree you want to pursue once you’ve decided what path you want to take.

An associate degree is a good choice if you are certain you want to become a registered nurse, but cannot commit to a four-year degree. But if you’re sure you want to advance your career, a BSN might be a wiser choice. If you already have an associate or BSN degree, you will have to earn a master’s degree (MSN) to work in more diverse and senior roles. Fortunately, there are also bridge programs that allow associate degree holders to fast-track to obtain a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

You can also look into nursing specializations. There are over a hundred specializations that allow you to work in specific environments or with a specific group of people.

  1. Look at the faculty

The faculty should ideally be experts in their fields, approachable, understanding, and knowledgeable. Every teacher ought to have experience in the subjects they are teaching. They must be prepared to put in the effort to guarantee that every student graduates with the necessary know-how to clear the NCLEX.

You can take a look at the faculty by visiting the website of the school you’re considering. Plan a visit to meet the faculty in person to better understand their personalities. Ideally, you will be able to sit in on a few classes and schedule office hours with important faculty members.

  1. Consider the cost

Depending on whether you pursue an associate or BSN degree, the cost of a nursing degree can range from $40,000 to more than $100,000. Generally speaking, public colleges and universities are less expensive than private colleges.

The type and length of the program you select will influence how much nursing school will cost you. Associate degrees tend to be cheaper, whereas full-length ad higher education degrees tend to be costly. But you can look into financial aid and scholarships to manage the cost. After narrowing down your options, arrange a time to speak with a financial advisor to learn more about your payment options.

Conclusion

Deciding what to study is a major milestone. There are many factors to consider, whether you’re just beginning your nursing career or considering returning to school for higher education. You can choose a program that successfully helps you launch your career considering factors like curriculum, cost, time commitment, and campus location. Be sure to choose the right program because your future depends on it. The tips mentioned above will help you make the right choice.

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