Does the college you attend matter?

  1. I am so happy I found this website. I'm looking to change careers to become a nurse, hoping to start school again in the Spring of 2009. Right now I'm in the process of contacting nursing schools in my area to get a feel for the programs, financial aid, that sort of thing.

    My biggest question right now is--does it matter what type of school you attend? No matter what school, I'll be taking the same licensing boards, right? I have four options for school. One is a college run by a major hospital, one is a a private school affiliated with another major hospital. There is also a state school that offers BSN degrees. My other choice is an excellent community college. Just looking at price, the community college wins hands down. It's a well recognized school, very well respected in my state.

    Should I be leaning towards one school or another for marketability after graduation?
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    About Aurora77, BSN, RN

    Joined: Aug '08; Posts: 888; Likes: 2,260
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in Med Surg


  3. by   llg
    As long as the school has a good reputation, it usually doesn't matter. Check with people in your local area to ascertain the reputation of the particular schools in question.

    I would also check on your state Board of Nursing website. Many list the NCLEX pass rates for the schools within your state. The national average is approximately 85%. If a school's numbers are significantly below that, I would hesitate to go there. Also ask the school to tell you how many people enter the program and either quit the program or flunk out. Some schools maintain an artificially high NCLEX pass rate by flunking "at risk" students out. I would hesitate to enter that type of program, too. The atmosphere of a school is not very pleasant if a high percentage of the students are going to be pressured to quit or flunk out.

    Finally look at your long-term career goals and the type of financial aid available. Sometimes, a more expensive school will offer greater financial aid -- making it cheaper in the long run. If you will want to pursue a BSN and/or graduate school eventually, sometimes it is worth the extra expense and effort of starting in a BSN program because it will get you where you want to be sooner in the long run.

    While the ADN at the Community College is probably going to be the cheapest route (and is the best choice for many people) -- you won't know if its the best choice for YOU until you look at your long-term goals and resources along with all of the things I mentioned above. Some people succeed doing their education in stages. Other people get off-track once they graduate and "never get around" to finishing that BSN because family committments, etc. get in the way.

    Look at all the options thoroughly and then make the choice that feels right for YOU.

    Good luck.
  4. by   nursegreen
    Absolutely!!!!!! I agree with the above poster. You want a school that is going to prepare you the best to take the nclex. Research each schools pass rate and how many people enter and actually finish the program. Also, ask what their grading standards are. Most programs in my local area require you to make a minimum of 80% (which is a C in nursing school) to remain in the program. Good Luck!!!!
  5. by   Zee_RN
    Just make sure it is an NLN accredited school. If you start with a two-year program, an NLN accredited school may be necessary for acceptance into some 4-year schools if you eventually want to get the 4-year bachelor's in nursing.

    Ask about state board passing rates. One of our local "big time" four-year nursing schools (big $$$) here has a 70% pass rate. The community college has a 95% pass rate.....
  6. by   woody62
    I agree with the others. If you go for the two year degree, please do make sure it is an NLN accrediated program. This is important, not only in transferring credits but some employer, such as the feds, require it. All programs are accrediated by their states but NLN is harder to get. I've heard professors blow off it's importance. They were all teaching at non-NLN programs.

    Good luck

  7. by   Faeriewand
    Great posts everyone! My fellow students were having this very conversation recently and one said that it really mattered what school you graduated from. In our area the CC has a very good reputation as well as the state college. The others did not so hospitals hired from the CC and State college first. This student said that the graduates from one private school (ADN) had a hard time finding jobs.
    And we are in CA-- she also said that no one wants to hire the 30 unit LVN -RN nurses.

    So I guess there really isn't that much of a nursing shortage here if all that is true.
  8. by   llg
    Quote from Faeriewand

    So I guess there really isn't that much of a nursing shortage here if all that is true.
    Oh ... there may be a shortage in the region. I don't know about your region in particular. But in some areas, the shortage is NOT in new grads, its in experienced nurses with specialty training.

    As nursing programs have expanded and new programs have been established, the job market in some areas is saturated with new grads. Hospitals can only hire a certain number at a time due to the resources needed to orient new grads. That causes new grads to have to compete for the available for the available new grad slots. However, that same hospital may have a shortage of experienced nurses in certain specialties -- jobs that new grads aren't ready to fill.
  9. by   Faeriewand
    Thanks for clearing all that up llg That really makes sense.