Choosing a School

  1. I've seen lots of request for suggestions about which school to choose and what do you need to get it done. So I thought I"d give some suggestions.

    1. DO YOU HOMEWORK!! FIrst start by getting as much information about each of the programs out there. Get brochures, look at input from online sources such as and BUt you got to do you're own looking. Others can't do it for you, we are all looking for different things.

    2. Review you Needs. Do you need structured, or freeflowing, are you looking for cheap verses lots of help. Do you have a place to practice the nursing skills.

    3. What kind of support system do you have?

    4. What are your goals. i.e. ADN by 2004 or the such

    5. Put all this in writing in a way you can understand it. I used a sheet of paer with the pros and cons of each school listed. (for the ADN it was easy, when I did it Regents/Excelsior) was the only game in town.

    ONce you've done this, you do the same thing that every high school senior does and start weeding out the schools.

    Once you've decided, then go for it. Get started, don't put it off. The longer you wait the longer it will take to get the program done.

    Now the bad side of things.

    Be prepared to take flack from nurses around you who don't understand. SOme people think that the only way is the way they did it.

    Be prepared to frustrated. NOt enough hours to study, YOu might fail a test, any number of things can get you down. THis is were haveing the support group pays off. My wife was going to PA school the same time I was fnishing. We were able to support and help each other.
  2. Visit CraigB-RN profile page

    About CraigB-RN, RN

    Joined: Apr '01; Posts: 1,241; Likes: 835


  3. by   renerian
    Nice post Craig.

  4. by   mona b RN

    It sounds like you enjoyed your experience with Excelsior. Were you an lpn when you started the program?

    mona b
  5. by   CraigB-RN
    I was a 20 year Air Force Medic and Civilian Paramedic.

    I did enjoy my experience. I could have done without the stress of the CPNE. For the year I was enrolled I was working as a Tech at Johns Hopkins in the Surgical ICU. A large number of my co workers were instcutors for Hopkins School of Nursing so I made sure I took advantage of that.
  6. by   Tim-GNP

    You may also want to remind your readers to be sure that their proposed institution of study is accredited by one of the 6 regional accrediting bodies. There are a lot of schools out there that are very good & ACCREDITED- there are others that nothing more than diploma mills.

    Caveat emptor!!

    There are a lot of great schools [fully accredited] that offer their entire curriculum on-line. It truly is the wave of the future!!
  7. by   CraigB-RN
    All nursing schools should be NLN accredited or you can't sit for the NCLEX ( the nursing license exam).
  8. by   Mkue
    Very good advice Craig and Tim.

    I've been researching different programs for over a year now, it does take time and one doesn't want to decide overnight.

    It truly is the "wave of the future"- Tim-GNP

    Last edit by mkue on Feb 17, '03
  9. by   renerian
    Good point Tim.

  10. by   imenid37
    All nursing schools should be NLN accredited or you can't sit for the NCLEX ( the nursing license exam). (sorry i didn't do the quote right and can't seem to edit it)

    is that something new? not to insult or anger anyone but, i think maybe it is not so. i graduated from what is now the community college of baltimore county in 1987. it was not nln accredited at that time. i took nclex and did pass it. in fact, we got a score back in the olden days, i got a letter from the state of md that i was one of the top scores for the summer 1987 nclex test takers. our program had one of the highest pass rates for nclex in the state at that time.

    i am looking into this info for grad programs. i would like to know more about ccne accreditation. how widely recognized is this? does it have the same standing as nln?

    there are programs granting basic nursing degrees that are not nln accredited now and i do believe those grads sit for nclex. in my area, bloomsburg university( boasts a 95% pass rate for nclex. they withrew voluntarily from nln accreditation in 1995 (see, but are still graduating nurses. i think that nln accreditation implies a level of quality, but i don't think it's the be-all, end all authority. i know my program and yes, it's ancient history, did not agree w/ the premise that the bsn should be the basic degree for all registered nurses to practice. at the time, in the 1980's, this was a very hot issue.

    it's hard w/ distance programs, and i am trying to find this out myself, what are good programs and what are valid accreditations. ccne seems to be a reputable organization it is recognized by the us dept. of education, but i still want more info., so if you know about ccne or you know anything about the u of wyoming ms in nursing education, plmk. i am wondering if a program w/ nln accreditation would not want to hire me if i had graduated from a ccne accredited school. i think some schools are accredited by both incidentally.
    Last edit by imenid37 on Feb 18, '03
  11. by   CraigB-RN
    As long as the state is still recognizing the course you should be OK. It is still a state based system. You should check on the school requirments of the state your planning to be licensed in.
  12. by   CraigB-RN
    Hm I should re-read my posts before I hit the submit key. It's not the school or the the NCLEX people who say whether you can take the test or not. It's the state you are getting licensed in. NNLAC is the nationaly recognized accrediting body. If your doing distance ED, I'd stick to an NLNAC accredited program. This will make you life easier once you finish and work on getting your license. Contact the State BOard of Nursing in the state you plan to be licensed in and see what their requirments are.

    My initial statement is what I get for forgetting that this isn't a local board.
  13. by   Tim-GNP
    If the program gives a BSN or higher- it does not need NLN accreditation, it could be CCNE accredited- NLN doesn't have the market 'cornered' anymore.

    Accreditation for schools of nursing is similar to certification for RN's, it's nice, looks good on a resume, but is quite unnecessary- You must gradaute from a program APPROVED BY the STATE BOARD OF NURSING in the state you wish to be licensed in.

    Many LPN and RN programs have existed for years without NLN accreditation, but their graduates remain eligible to sit for state boards.

    Regional accreditation has to do with your desire to go on for more advanced degrees. It also separates the true academic programs from the diploma mills.

    Confusing.... isn't it???
  14. by   renerian
    Good point everyone. I had to list that issue when I applied to be licensed in another state as well.