What to look for in nursing schools?

Nursing Students Pre-Nursing


I've been researching schools lately, and want to know what the most important things are in choosing a school. So far, I have the following list:

1) What type of degree/license the school offers (e.g. RN, BSN, MSN, etc.).

2) accreditation

3) for-profit or non-profit

4) If classes are online or in class.

5) Looking at a sample of the curriculum to see which classes you'd be taking.

6) NCLEX passing rates

..and that's all that I have. Anything else? I'm looking into Accelerated BSN and MSN schools.

Thanks for any information! :)

Check if they're approved by your state and accredited. You want to go to a legitimate program, right?

Specializes in Forensic Psych.

I'd find out where the clincals are typically held. I've heard horror stories of places that do peds rotations in daycares and every other rotation in nursing homes.

Nursing homes are all well and good; but a good mix acute and LTC seems much better.

I'd also find out what they're graduation rate. A 100% NCLEX pass rate isn't all that amazing if you only have a 30% chance of graduating to actually sit for the NCLEX.

Look to see what the attrition rate is -- how many people admitted graduate on time?

I've been an outside evaluator at other schools of nursing. Some maintain a high NCLEX pass-rate because they fail out up to 50% of those admitted (to get rid of the weaker students who would pull the NCLEX rates down). One school I visited plans on eliminating the lowest 1/4 in the first 6 months, and another 1/4 at the end of the first year.

In addition, you will likely find the on-time graduation rates much lower at online schools (usually under 30%). This means that 70% of those admitted (and taking out large loans) will not complete the program to get the higher salary to pay off those large loans.

I echo Steph's comment about clinicals. Another major university in my region will routinely assign students to clinicals that are 70 miles away.

Those are all awesome suggestions! Thanks so much for your replies everyone! :)

Specializes in Med/Surg.

If the school is accredited and certified.

Natali L. Patterson, MSN, RN

If the school is accredited and certified.

Natali L. Patterson, MSN, RN

What do you mean by certified? (In other words, what kind of certification should I be looking for?) I'm only aware of accreditation.

Your state's BON website provides the certification types. Also, try to talk to current nursing students or people who recently graduated from the schools you are looking at. Hearing about their experiences helps.

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