July 16, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Some students are 100% sure that they want to pursue a career in nursing, whereas others students are less sure about their choice of career and may need some guidance to make the right choice. Whichever category you come under, once you’ve made the choice, the next big hurdle is choosing the right nursing school. Choosing a school takes much more effort than just picking the school that’s nearest to home. It takes knowing your goals and deciding on your priorities. It takes research and commitment. Most importantly it takes accepting that some things come with consequences regardless of what decisions you make.
Here are some questions that may help you when you start considering your options for nursing school. While this is not a guaranteed map to success, if you do take the time to consider all of these things and act on them, you will know that you have put in your best effort.
1 – Should you choose a school that’s nearest to home?
Ideally, the proximity of the school to home should not factor into your decision unless you have some compelling reasons why you need to be close to home. Other than that, don’t use distance as a reason to either reject or shortlist a school. Criteria such as the courses on offer, the fees and the school’s reputation are far more important to take into consideration. Sure you may not like living far away from your family, but it is only going to be for a few years and sometimes you have to be prepared to give up something before you can achieve your dreams.
2 – Is the school accredited?
The first thing you need to look into is whether or not the school is accredited. Don’t make the mistake of enrolling in an unaccredited school as most reputed employers will hesitate to hire nurses who have graduated from such schools unless you have some worthy experience. However, you will find it difficult to get any decent experience as nobody will want to hire you in the first place.
3 – What is the school’s reputation?
In addition to accreditation it is important to also check the school’s reputation particularly with regards to their students getting jobs immediately after graduating. Some nursing schools have a better reputation than others and those are the schools you want to shortlist. You don’t want to waste all those years in a school that has a dismal employment record. After all, your ultimate aim of joining nursing school is to be able to snag a job immediately afterwards. Be aware though that these schools will also be more difficult to get into and often put students on a year-long wait list. Is it worth waiting a year to get into a program with a better reputation if you’ve been put on the shortlist or would you rather join any school and wait a year to get a job after graduating? Different people have different priorities and only you can make that call depending on your unique circumstances and your goals.