School selection

  1. I'm applying to 3 schools and I hav e no idea how to pick if I'm accepted at all 3.

    One is local with an 82 or 85% nclex rate about 20 min from me
    The other is 10 miles away and out of state with a 92% nclex pass rate
    The other is 70 mi one way but has a 100% pass rate

    One other factor here is that we have 4 kids that I am primarily responsible for shuttling around. One has swim practice at 4:30 everyday BUT I am open to stopping that to allow me to finish school if its necessary

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    About Austincb

    Joined: May '12; Posts: 94; Likes: 16


  3. by   Jolie
    Just my opinion as a working mom:

    70 miles is too far to commute for any purpose. Not for work. Not for school. I know too many people who have fallen asleep at the wheel and suffered serious accidents as a result of lengthy commutes. Depending upon where you live, weather may also be a factor. You need to be close enough to school to participate freely in group work, preparation for clinicals, etc., so this one would be immediately off my list.

    As for the other two, how do they compare cost wise and quality wise? NCLEX passing rates can be deceiving if the school "weeds out" students by means of HESI exams every semester or year, or requires students to pass an exit HESI before being allowed to graduate. Make sure your choice of school does not hold your degree and NCLEX eligibility hostage over an exit HESI exam. If you don't know what this means, research it. It is a big issue for some nursing students.

    What will your cost at each school be? How do you plan to pay for your education? I would seriously consider the option that will leave you with the least amount of debt upon graduation. Starting out your career with tens of thousands of dollars in loans to pay off is daunting, and should be avoided or minimized to the extent possible.

    Finally, you can go to a top notch school and get a lousy education, and you can go to a so-so school and get a stellar education. The quality and outcome of your college education is largely up to you. That doesn't mean that you should knowingly choose
    a second-rate program, but nor do you have to go to Harvard to be well educated and well prepared for your profession. Ask to spend a few days at both programs. Attend some lectures. Meet students. Ask them about their likes and dislikes. Students love to talk about their programs and will give you honest feedback. Research the hospitals and agencies that the programs utilize for clinical. Ask the staff nurses there what they think of the nursing programs you are considering. They may be able to give a good comparison of both programs, if both programs use some of the same clinical sites.

    Good luck to you!
  4. by   UVA Grad Nursing
    NCLEX passrate is one data point to measure the effectiveness of a program. I would also recommend that you also ask about the retention/attrition of the programs. How many of the students who start the program will graduate on time?

    I've been a consultant/evaluator of nursing programs. One program I visited has a high NCLEX passrate (95%+), but they graduated less than 40% of the students who started in the program. They weeded out the weaker ones.

    I would also recommend applying to all three, and then see which one or ones offer you space. Then see the choice that you have. Most schools of nursing have many more applicants than they have spaces, so I encourage applicants to wait to see the results of their applications before worrying too much of what the next year will look like.
  5. by   Exhaustipated
    Did you ever watch the show Gilmore Girls back when it was on the air? The teenage girl character Rory was faced when a difficult decision when she was accepted to a couple different colleges. She solved her dilemma by making pro/con lists. I think they may be helpful for you, too. Sit down and list out the advantages and disadvantages for each school. Evaluate NCLEX pass rate, student retention, distance, class scheduling, reputation, tuition & program costs, and anything else you can come up with that you think should factor into your decision. Once you do that, maybe your choice will be clear!