No name nursing school OR one with minimal clinical time

  1. I have the opportunity to attend a "no name" school that is relatively new, or to attend a well known university that has minimal clinical time- which would you choose? I will have the GI Bill to pay, so I am not overly concerned with the cost. Both programs are accelerated, and should take about 15 months from start to finish.

    I am going for my second bachelors degree. I have about 8 short years of medical experience, including time in the military and a Level I. My last Bachelors involved a lot of online classes and I did well in all of them. I believe a lot can be learned from clinicals, but not sure what the norm is. The "good" program will offer about 24 hours a week.
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    About SBSN

    Joined: Aug '10; Posts: 146; Likes: 17


  3. by   nurseprnRN
    Twenty-four hours of clinical a week is pretty good, depending on how many weeks that is, of course. Can't tell from your post whether that's the newer school or the well-known university. Every accredited school has to have a minimum number of clinical hours. Few find time in their curricula to exceed that.
  4. by   SBSN

    BLAH! Apparently I lost half my post...... The new school seems to have more clinical time, and mostly on campus classes. The "good" school has 24 hours a week (for clinical courses), and all courses are online.
  5. by   nurseprnRN
    Check for accreditation and whether the state BoN (all states) will allow grads of new school to take NCLEX. All things taken as equal I believe that educational preparation for such a collegial profession is best obtained in an in-person atmosphere. I see little to admire in online nursing programs I've seen.
  6. by   SBSN
    I could not agree more, which is why I am leaning towards the new program. It is accredited and I would be able to sit for the NCLEX. In other states where the school is located, they have been successful in NCLEX pass rates.

    In my opinion, the only advantage of the "good" school is it's University affiliation.

    I just wish I knew what HR was looking for in a candidate, is an RN from one school equal to that of another school?
  7. by   nurseprnRN
    What do you mean, in the other states where the school is located? Is this one of those for-profit schools that plops down "campuses" all over the place?

    I'm sorry I wasn't clear about the accreditation thing. There are schools that will be accredited and approved by individual states where they're located, but many other states will not allow those grads to take NCLEX, or if the grads have passed NCLEX in their original states, will not allow them to obtain a license by reciprocity. Check carefully.

    In answer to your question about HR, it varies. If you think you will never, ever, ever move away from where you are, call up a few of the state's biggest nursing employers and ask their HR folks. They'll tell you.
  8. by   SBSN
    Love your honesty, I prefer a "non sugar coat".

    Yes, it is a for profit school that is plopping campuses up everywhere. I tried to gently say it when referring to the cost =) I know their are people who will argue up and down for days that a license speaks for itself, but Im not certain that I agree.

    I am in TX, but there is a huge possibility that we will move to VA or Cali a year or so after I graduate. I know TX and VA are compact states, but I don't think CA is. So I will definitely look into national accreditation again. This school has not branched to VA, not sure about CA.

    I know to look for accreditation, but hadn't thought outside the box enough to look into other states.
  9. by   schnookimz
    24 hours in clinical each week???? That's a ton! My school had 10-12!!
  10. by   SBSN
    You two alone have made me feel so much better! I guess 24 hours is a ton in comparison to the 10-12 hours at other school, I think max I have heard before is 16 hours a week. So I guess that the "extra" clinical time will supplement the lack of hands on time throughout the week. I hate when I second guess myself!

    *** I had just forgotten what the norm was in clinical hours.
    Last edit by SBSN on Aug 21, '13
  11. by   nurseprnRN
    Quote from stef84
    You two alone have made me feel so much better! I guess 24 hours is a ton in comparison to the 10-12 hours at other school, I think max I have heard before is 16 hours a week. So I guess that the "extra" clinical time will supplement the lack of hands on time throughout the week. I hate when I second guess myself!
    Maybe, maybe not. I'd spend more time at the university and talk in person to the people there, in admissions and in the nursing school.

    California is famous for not allowing for-profit school grads to be licensed there.

    That tears it. Go to the real school.
  12. by   nurseprnRN
    ** From Nursing Program Accreditation Resources

    CCNE American Association of Colleges of Nursing | CCNE Accreditation
    American Association of Colleges of Nursing | CCNE Accreditation

    NLNAC NLNAC Accredited Nursing Programs

    Accreditation–it’s a term that you have likely heard in the past, but do you know what it really means? If not, you’re not alone. Many people are unsure about what it means when a program or school is accredited, the different kinds of accreditation that exist, and how this elusive term affects your education and career. Here are some important things that you should understand about accreditation as you prepare to start your nursing education.
    What Is Accreditation?
    When you enroll in a degree program, you want to be confident that everything you are taught meets professional standards.; You want to know that the curriculum will prepare you to enter the healthcare industry with the most current skills and knowledge in that field.. This is where accreditation comes in. Accreditation is a process by which educational programs are evaluated by an outside body that determines if professional standards are being met. These organizations help ensure that the education you receive conforms to certain requirements,, allowing you to proceed knowing that the time and dedication that you put into your studies are a wise investment.
    Accreditation is given at two important levels: institution and program. It is important to understand both, as each is important to your education plan.
    University Regional vs. National Accreditation
    Colleges and universities can earn 1 of 2 types of accreditation: regional or national.
    In the United States there are 6 regional accrediting agencies:

    • Middle State Association of Colleges and Schools (Commission on Higher Education)
    • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (Commission on Technical and Career Institutions and Commission on Institutions of Higher Education)
    • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (The Higher Learning Commission)
    • Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges
    • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (Commission on Colleges)
    • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges and Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities)

    These accrediting bodies certify that schools in their region meet very specific standards of higher learning.
    National accrediting agencies focus not on areas of the country, but rather associations of schools with common themes. These agencies tend to accredit post-secondary technical, career, and vocational programs. There are 52 of national agencies in the United States. Some examples are:

    • Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)
    • Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT)
    • Council on Occupational Education (COE)

    What does this difference mean to you as a student? The biggest issue is the ability to transfer credits between different schools. points out that schools that are nationally accredited typically accept credit from both regionally and nationally accredited schools, but the opposite does not hold true; most regionally accredited schools do not accept transferred credits from nationally accredited schools. So if you began your higher education coursework at a nationally accredited school and then want to transfer to a regionally accredited school, your coursework at the nationally accredited school many not transfer.
    This issue isn’t just limited to transferring credits; it can also have an effect on your ability to continue your education in advanced programs, which in turn can impact your ability to progress in your career. Many institutions of higher learning require you to have an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution in order to apply to their graduate programs.
    Nursing Education Program Accrediting Bodies
    The Department of Education sanctions two national organizations that accredit nursing education programs. The first is the National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC). As detailed on the organization’s website, the NLNAC is responsible for the specialized accreditation of a wide variety of nursing education programs, including clinical doctorate, master’s, bachelor’s, associate, diploma, and practical programs.
    The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) also accredits nursing schools, but only those that solely offer master’s and bachelor’s nursing degrees. Similar to the accreditation process of the NLNAC, the CCNE offers a nongovernmental peer review process that operates in accordance with nationally recognized standards, according to the CCNE website. The organization’s mission statement outlines its intention to accomplish several purposes, including:

    • Holding nursing programs accountable to the community of interest,
    • Evaluating the success of a nursing program in achieving its own goals and meeting its expected outcomes,
    • Evaluating the extent to which a nursing program meets the standards for accreditation,
    • Implementing changes that can continue to improve nursing programs, and
    • Informing the public of the value that accreditation has, so that institutes that have such status are recognized for their merits.

    Beyond the NLNAC and the CNNE national accrediting bodies, there are also other accrediting bodies for specific, advanced practice nursing fields. For instance, the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME) is responsible for accrediting midwifery education programs.

    Why an Accredited Program is Important
    If you will be seeking financial aid to pursue your nursing education, choosing an accredited program is vital. In many cases, you cannot qualify for federal and state financial aid, tuition reimbursement programs offered by employers, nor scholarship and grants unless the program is accredited by the NLNAC or the CCNE. Similar to the regional vs. national accreditation issue, you may face an admissions issue to a graduate nursing program if you earned your nursing degree in a non-accredited program.
    Both the NLNAC and the CNNE list accredited nursing programs on their websites.
    Your Future
    There are many resources that you can utilize when trying to learn more about schools and where their accreditation positions them in relation to your career path. All universities and colleges have their accreditation information listed on their websites, and there are also countless resources available online to learn more about accreditation and how it affects your education. In the end, the more information and knowledge you possess as you make the decision about where you want to pursue your nursing education, the more confidently you can make a decision that will in turn help you to shape your career.

    National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc., “About NLNAC,” About NLNAC (accessed November 3, 2011)
    American Association of Colleges of Nursing, “Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education,” Mission, Values, & History. American Association of Colleges of Nursing | Mission, Values, & History (accessed November 2, 2011).
    American College of Nurse-Midwives, “Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME).”Accreditation (accessed November 3, 2011)., “Regional Accreditation vs. National Accreditation,” Issues to Consider. Regional Accreditation vs. National Accreditation (accessed November 3, 2011).
  13. by   SBSN
    Thanks so much, I will look over this and educate myself! I TRULY appreciate your help!
  14. by   hiddencatRN
    I would not pick the for-profit school. 24 hours a week sounds like a lot to me.