How did you decide?

  1. I was previously pre-PA, and just recently switched to pre-nursing, and I will be applying to direct entry programs, so i am a little new to this. My question is, how did you decide which schools to apply to? Was it location? a specific specialty that the university offered? Length of the program? Rank of the school? The job placement percentage of new grads?

    I live in california, and I was going to apply to Western University of Health sciences, but I saw on some site that they were ranked really low in nursing. Does it even matter which program you get into as long as you pass your boards? Should I be picky about which program I apply to since my stats aren't that great (3.2 overall GPA, 1 yr experience as an EMT)? Any advice would be helpful
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    About phieud

    Joined: Sep '12; Posts: 60; Likes: 3


  3. by   hopefulnurse24
    I am currently in the application process, and I picked the schools I'm applying to based on a few different criteria..

    1. Location: Where the school was located was important to me. I preferred a school outside of Florida, as I wanted to go out of state for grad school/nursing school. I had no interest in the west coast, and preferred the east coast and the south (I am also applying to one school in the midwest). I also took the cost of the area into consideration more so than the school - there are loan repayment options available at a good amount of hospitals throughout the country, so school cost wasn't a huge concern for me, but the cost of living in places like Boston and NYC were major concerns to me. I am applying to 2 schools in these areas, but they are not among my top choices due to this reason.

    2. School AND hospital ranking: The majority of nursing schools have students take the same classes, for the most part... and I believe that you can get an excellent education regardless of where you attend school. However, I paid close attention to the ranking of the hospital, along with the ranking of the school, because having great clinical experiences are very important to me. So, I looked at the hospitals associated with the schools I was applying to, and used this as a gauge. This is especially important to me as I am looking to work in pediatric acute/critical care, so I wanted to gain experience in an excellent children's hospital. Will this guarantee a good clinical experience? Maybe not, but it helped me narrow down which schools to apply to.

    3. Specialty: Basically, not every program offers every specialty... so it is imperative to ensure that the schools you are interested in offer your hopeful specialty. Make sure you research this, and that you are also certain of your specialty... many programs will have you choose at application time.

    4. GRE Optional: Enough said.

    Hope this helps!
  4. by   the healer's art
    I also looked at similar things as hopefulnurse24.

    1. Location. I don't really want to live in the South or Midwest so I mostly looked at schools on both coasts. I also prefer big cities (because I want to work in the PICU) so a lot of my schools are in Boston or Chicago

    2. Prerequisites accepted. I did not want to spend more money on more prerequisites so I looked for schools that didn't require pharmacology or pathophysiology before matriculating. So basically schools that accepted the prerequisites I already have

    3. Clinical hours and NCLEX pass rates. Pretty obvious. I think it's really cool that UVA has over 1,000 clinical hours and it's a 1:1 ratio (instead of 8:1 or 10:1)

    4. Whether or not you get a BSN with the program. Some just give you an RN and an MSN but I'd prefer to have the BSN and MSN just in case something happens and I can't finish

    5. Speciality. I have a very specific speciality I want to go into so it would be nice to do it direct-entry, but I care about those other things more so I could also do my speciality post-masters and just do pediatrics direct-entry

    6. I wanted to have a few reach schools and some "safeties" (although it's so scary applying I don't think any school is really a safety)

    7. Reputation. As much as I hate to admit it...if I got into Yale or Johns Hopkins I would definitely go for the name alone even though it technically doesn't really matter where you go, I wouldn't mind having those schools on my resume.

    I also am applying to some ABSN programs too just in case I don't get into any direct-entry programs. I am kind of paranoid about that