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Finding a nursing school

In choosing a good nursing school, a student should consider the school’s location, the nursing programs the school are offering, its accreditation, affordability of the tuition, if the school is providing hands-on experience to students for clinical practice, and the number of graduates who passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

One very important thing to consider in choosing a nursing school is its accreditation to both the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing and Education (CCNE) since students can really assure of the quality nursing education the school offers considering its official endorsement from these two accrediting bodies.

Those nursing schools accredited by either NLNAC or CCNE have really met the standards that these organizations have set for the nursing education.

The NLNAC accredits all types of nursing education programs while the CCNE ensures the quality of baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs.

Attending a school with accreditation allows students to participate in any program funded by the federal government and qualifies them to pursue graduate or high-degree studies. Graduates from accredited schools also have bigger chances of getting immediate employment as they are expected to have undergone quality and rigid nursing education.

Accreditation for the different nursing programs offered by a nursing school will be based on curriculum plan; course description; description of resources, facilities and clinical areas reflecting the academic program; qualifications of the deans, directors or the faculty members; and the different practices followed by the school in safeguarding the health and well-being of the students.

Once accredited, the accrediting body may request the nursing school to furnish data on enrollment figures per class and the ratio between students and teachers; number of enrollees per year for the past five (5) years; policies used in selecting students for graduation; number of graduates in a year for the past five (5) years; and the performance of students who took the state board examinations for the past five (5) years.

The nursing school is also required to submit the progress of its achievement in so far as the objective of its nursing education is concerned.

The accrediting body also conducts periodic on-site inspections to nursing schools and requires them to submit every two (2) years a copy of its audited fiscal report, including income and expenditures.

If the nursing school a student attended is not accredited, he or she may have received quality nursing education and is still eligible to take the NCLEX but he or she may not be qualified to pursue higher nursing education such as masteral degrees.

The ranking of schools is another gauge for a student to know what nursing school is the best.

The United States News online has ranked the University of Washington as the top nursing school in the United States followed by the University of California; University of Pennsylvania; University of Michigan; Case Western Reserve University in Ohio; the Oregon Health Sciences University; University of Illinois in Chicago; University of Maryland in Baltimore; University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill; the University of Arizona; University of Colorado; and the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

School rankings try to measure the quality of nursing education the school offers based on several factors, such as the average number of nursing students, the effectiveness rate of the school's clinical learning experience, the quality of the school’s academic programs with focus on academic preparation and student-to-faculty ratio; and student preparation and post-graduate employment for higher-degree programs.

In finding out school rankings, a student may ask about the criteria used in the ranking, who judges the criteria and if those involved in the evaluation are competent enough to know the quality of the school’s nursing programs.

Students who want to take up a nursing course in college must have completed their secondary education and must be able to meet the requirements of the nursing school they want to enroll in. These requirements may include a specific average grade in high school and standardized test scores. Some nursing schools use the admission test produced by the American College Testing (ACT) company to determine admission eligibility.

Finding a nursing school

Someone who may wish to take up a nursing career would surely be in a dilemma as to what nursing school he or she would choose and what particular nursing program he or she would pursue.

For those who are still trying to figure out what nursing school offers excellent nursing education and what nursing program to take, free information are widely available on the Internet.

In the United States, you can find information on nursing schools and the different nursing programs they are offering at our section NURSING SCHOOL SEARCH (PONER LINK A LA SECCIÓN http://thenursingschool.com/pages/nursing-schools-search.php)

The nursing programs offered by these nursing schools are available depending on the need of the students.

Among the types of nursing programs that lead to different nursing degrees include the two-year Associate Degree Nurse (ADN) which focuses on the practical application of nursing and the four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) course which includes a greater depth study on nursing.

Graduates of these programs should take the licensure examinations to become registered nurses.

There are also available masteral courses for registered nurses in such areas as nurse practitioner, nurse educator and nurse administrator, and master’s option for registered nurses.

In some countries, a two-year course on Licensed Practical Nursing is now made available to those who want to work directly in the United States provided they pass the necessary state board examination. This is in contrast with the BSN course that most colleges and universities in the country are offering wherein graduates are required to pass the licensure examination and render at least two years of clinical experience in a hospital before they are accepted to work abroad.

At any rate, what nursing school to choose and what nursing program to take are left upon the discretion of the students.