Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Important Points To Consider When Choosing Nursing Schools

By Lena Stephenson

Nursing is a rewarding career which promises new graduates a fair deal of occupational satisfaction, security, and opportunities. The path to becoming a nurse begins with selecting a school where one will receive the necessary training for this profession. When it comes to comparing nursing schools and identifying the best one, prospective students in Perth Amboy, NJ should keep this information in mind.

Nursing programs vary in length and in the range of skills taught. There are certificate, diploma, and degree programs available which are taught in select colleges, universities, and vocational schools. Generally those who have earned a BSN or bachelor's of science degree have more employment opportunities, as they can begin practice as a registered nurse once they have taken and passed the licensing exam.

It takes about one year to become a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) or practical nurse (LPN). Graduates must sit a licensing exam, and upon passing it, they can seek employment in clinics and hospitals. An ADN or associate's degree program involves more classroom time and the study of nursing from a more specialized perspective. It takes 2-3 years to complete.

The bachelor's of science program consists of 4 full years of study which provide students with strong leadership, critical thinking, and communication skills and an in-depth knowledge of medical technology, disease, and treatment. Besides entering the workforce as a registered nurse, graduates of this program are also eligible to study for a graduate degree such as an MSN or doctorate.

The chosen school must not only offer the level of training one wishes to pursue, but for students who are interested in specializing in a specific type of nursing, it should also provide a focus in this area. Most schools provide pupils with a broad curriculum which covers all areas of the profession, but there are some which offer specialization. Some students may also want to find out which settings the clinical rotations will take place in.

It's also necessary to give some consideration to where the campus is located if this is a concern, it should be relatively accessible by either private or public transportation from where one lives. Furthermore, the school needs to be accredited by either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission, or both. These organizations periodically review the school's policies, finances, programs, and staff to ensure high standards.

The financial aid offered by the school or made available through it is another aspect that will be of importance to those who plan on applying for assistance in the form of loans, grants, or bursaries. It can also be helpful to find out if the school requires nursing program applicants to write a pre-admission test to assess their suitability for a career in healthcare, and if so, how one can best prepare for it.

It can also be helpful to do some research and look up the NCLEX (national licensing exam)pass rates of graduates from the school one is considering since this can say a lot about the quality of its instruction. Checking pass rates from the past five to ten years is advisable. Performance on this exam is essential, as one most successfully pass it in order to become licensed to practice nursing in the state.

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