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Choosing a Nursing Program

Students   (161 Views | 2 Replies)

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Hello everyone! So I have been accepted into a couple of nursing programs and was hoping I could get some advice on how to choose between them. This is the information I've gathered:

School 1 has 675 clincial hours, mainly at one hospital, which has a level 1 trauma designation and a clincial capstone course in which you get to find a floor and work directly with one nurse (preceptor, I think?)  However, there is poor job availability for CNA work, so I do not know if I will be able to find a part time job as a CNA to get more clinical exposure outside of the program. 

School 2 has over 900 clinics hours, in several different hospitals (some over an hour away). It appears that the main difference in hours is that this school requires rotations in public health, as well as additional childbearing and family clinicals. There is no clinical capstone, but the nearby hospital has grants to hire nurse externs, resulting in an abundance of such positions. However, this program is a semester longer, and as a consequence, almost $8k more expensive in tuition (not counting books/supplies/fees/cost of living).

My biggest question is whether the difference in number of clincal hours is important, and whether my decision should be based off of this information I've gathered or not. If you have anything that would be good to consider in this decision, please say! 

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NICU Guy has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU.

1 Follower; 3,605 Posts; 32,804 Profile Views

Option 1. Unless you want to go into L&D or Public Health, what value are you getting out of spending an extra $8k plus an extra semester? Option 1 also has the Capstone. If your Capstone is in a hospital and department that you want to work in after graduation, you have a greater chance of being hired by being a Capstone student in that department. Many of the PCAs and Unit Secretaries in the hospital are nursing students. That is another way of getting exposure to the hospital setting and also provides an easier path to a nursing job after graduation. Our new RN hires are almost exclusively our PCAs, Capstone students, and Summer Externs. 

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Rose_Queen has 15 years experience as a BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in OR, education.

9 Followers; 4 Articles; 9,269 Posts; 107,750 Profile Views

I would also look at NCLEX pass rates- are they similar or vastly different? If different, take another look at the school with the higher rate because they may be preparing their students better. Remember, quantity doesn't necessarily equal quality.

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