Do employers care about which nursing school the applicant attended? It is easy to debate this question, and the many related factors. First, many employers now want a Registered Nurse with a Baccalaureate versus Associates degree. But, other various factors should be considered when choosing the right trek:
- Quality: It is vital that the program be accredited. There are websites that specifically outlined which programs are accredited. A level of accreditation equates to a level of quality. The instructors and the curriculum that are accredited are usually better equipped to prepare students for the NCLEX examination.
Before choosing a school, it is an equally good idea to assess the pass/fail scores for students taking the NCLEX. A high success rate with the NCLEX suggests that the students are better prepared-the instructors have an understanding the core measures of clinical nursing. The students are trained to think critically.
- The school’s reputation: When choosing a program, it is equally important to evaluate the school’s ranking and reputation. Some programs’ students typically do better on NCLEX examinations; some students appear to be more prepared on a qualitative level. Some colleges and/or universities have formidable reviews on placing their students in gracious practice settings. Similarly, some institutions are connected to a medical center which facilitates clinical placement. Collectively, these factors deserve consideration when choosing the institution that best suits you, the student.
- The links: Another factor to consider is the school's links to healthcare centers, advanced technology, and/or health sciences centers. If a school is “linked” to clinical centers, this can foster more unique practicum rotations in an area of interest.
- The clinical experiences: This is somewhat analogous to “The Links” idea, but clinical experiences, and relationships with preceptors and/or instructors are a great way to establish a career.
- One’s personal goals: It is important for you, the prospective student, to assess how the unique program’s education will align with your personal goals.
- Credit transfer: The program should enable the transfer of education credits so that further educational paths can be pursued if that option presents itself.
- Financial assistance: Cost is a consideration when furthering education. So, the school of choice should network with government sources to promote financial assistance.
- The faculty: Evaluating the success and fortitude of the school’s faculty is another important consideration. This can be/is quite important when pursing a mentor of sorts.
These are only several factors to consider, ultimately, the choice is individualized. It is important to outline one’s individual career goals, and then intertwine these goals and aspirations with the missions of the school. The meshwork between what the student plans to achieve and what the school offers has to be cohesive.
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER WHEN DECIDING THE "RIGHT" SCHOOL?
Let us know in the comments below.