What to Look for in Nursing Program in South Florida

Female doctor in front of laptop With all of the different requirements, waiting lists, and limited admissions for most nursing schools, prospective students who aspire to pursue a career in the nursing industry, might be struggling to get admitted into an institution. While getting accepted into the nursing school of your choice needs to be top priority, it is also wise to determine whether or not it is a good fit for you.

One of the things that most students seek in a good college program is a quality education and affordable tuition. For nursing students in particular—they typically want to find a school that reflects a high passing rate of the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). In addition to a quality education, affordable tuition, and a high NCLEX passing percentage, there are a few other things that prospective nursing students might want to look for in a nursing program. Let’s explore what some of these things are.

The NCLEX and Passing It

Much like how an attorney must take the Bar Examination in order to practice law and doctors need to obtain a medical license, nurses must pass the NCLEX in order to practice in their profession. The NCLEX is a standard exam that every state board nursing program uses to determine whether or not a student is qualified to start practicing entry-level nursing.

In order to be eligible for this exam, you must first earn a Bachelor of Science(NOT NECESSARY A BSN) degree in Nursing. This is why it’s so important to choose the best nursing program available. It is in your best interest to invest in a type of nursing program that is designed to prepare you for the NCLEX. The first step in ensuring this is by choosing an accredited institution. 

Make Sure the Program is Offered from an Accredited Institution

Enrolling in an accredited institution guarantees your future employer that you made the wise investment of getting a quality education. It also will provide you with the assurance that every course within that curriculum has been strategically composed to prepare you for the NCELX. This means that with every nursing course you pass, you will be one step closer toward your career in nursing.

Florida National University (FNU) is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) that award associates, bachelors, and masters degrees. To earn and maintain accreditation, an educational institution like FNU must adhere to the Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement guidelines listed in the SACSCOC website.

Being an accredited institution means that each course that the school offers is designed to meet the high standards of a committee board that has been chosen throughout various accredited institutions in the South Florida area. So earning a Nursing degree from an accredited school that has a designed to prepare you for the NCELX is a good start to seeking the right institution. However, you’ll also want to make sure that your education will provide first-hand experience. 

Look for a Program that Offers Clinical Hours

Taking well-informed courses has a lot to do with becoming a good RN, but there’s nothing quite like experience to get you comfortable with your profession, especially in the health care industry. Find out if the school you are interested in offers clinical hours. Clinical hours are like an internship opportunity that allows students to personally work in the healthcare environment. This experience prepares students to become familiar with different types of healthcare settings.

Clinical rotations are an important part of nursing school and contribute to a major part of your education. This experience offers students the opportunity to observe the daily duties and responsibilities a RN has.

Here are some helpful suggestions in determining if the nursing program’s clinical rotations are the right fit for you:

  • Ask your program director where clinical rotations are held. Location is important. You want to make sure that you will be able to easily commute to these locations.
  • Ask about the type of healthcare facilities the university uses for the clinical rotations. The healthcare field is a broad industry. The more diverse these facilities are, the more range of experience you’ll potentially have.
  • Ask if these facilities provide plenty of learning opportunities. Oftentimes, some of the healthcare clinical availabilities are limited to a specific duty. Depending on your area of interest, this may work, but students who may be interested in a broader range of learning opportunities should do their due diligence and ask these type of questions.
  • Ask if all of the facilities are the same size. The healthcare industry ranges from massive facilities like hospitals to fairly smaller care units like rehabilitation units, nursing homes, and privately owned practices. Again, this may make a difference regarding the scope of your learning experience. 

Find out What Type of Financial Aid the College Offers

In addition to federal loans and pell grants, most institutions will offer other grants and scholarships. Some of these financial awards are based on what type of academic program you’re enrolled in. FNU offers students the opportunity to apply for financial assistance. To find out what some of these programs are and if you qualify, visit the schools financial webpage here. FNU also awards tuition incentives to government employees, offering them a 15% discount on their associates and bachelors programs, as well as to United States Armed Forces veterans. Read more about these opportunities here. 

Is the Nursing Program Offered Online?

These days, prospective nursing students may prefer to earn their college degree online. This can often be the decision-maker for most students. FNU understands that with non-traditional students, personal responsibilities can take top priority over academic demands. Having the convenience of studying from home can alleviate some of this conflict, allowing you to be able to take care of life’s responsibilities while earning your college degree in the comfort of your own home. That is why we have designed our academic curriculum so FNU students can earn their BSN Advanced Track (RN to BSN) 100% online.

FNU: The Best School in South Florida for Nursing Programs

What kind of nursing program are you looking for? FNU not only offers a BSN and MSN, but also a RN to MSN and a medical associate’s degree. View all of our academic programs here. If you need help determining your medical career goals, contact one of FNU’s guidance counselors to get the direction you need today!

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