If you live in the South Florida area, you know nursing program options are plentiful. So selecting the right one needs to be a well thought-out decision that takes a considerable amount of planning and research. Contrary to popular belief, all nursing programs are not the same. So you don’t want to randomly choose just any type of nursing program offered.
If you’re looking to work alongside one of the best certified nurses in the healthcare industry, then you’ll need to enroll in one of the best nursing programs. In order to do that, you need to do your due diligence in selecting the right nursing program, and that starts with looking for one of the best schools.
How to Look For a Good Nursing School
Just because a college or university is large in student numbers doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best school for you. As an aspiring nurse, you want to make sure that you’re looking at the nursing program within an educational institution. There needs to be a healthy balance in how both the program and the institution will benefit your college career.
Here are some of the things to look for when deciding if a nursing program will be the right fit for you:
- Is the school accredited?
This should be at the top of your checklist. You can filter a great number of options just by separating the accredited institutions from the non-accredited ones. As much as you’re paying for your education, you want to make sure that you’re getting the best available. The first way to determine this is to select from accredited institutions only. This isn’t to say that the non-accredited schools aren’t any good. It’s just that with an accredited university, you are guaranteed to have a curriculum that has been scrutinized and approved by academic scholars who are currently teaching, or have taught in an accredited institution. You can take comfort in knowing that every class you take in your nursing program has gone through an extensive process of validation.
To find out if the school you’re interested in is accredited, use this United States Department of Education search application here.
- Where is the school located?
Depending on where you live in South Florida, you might want to consider if the location of your nursing program is convenient for you. As a college student, time is extremely important. Thirty minutes of commute time can also be looked at as 30 minutes of study time, and those 30 minutes can make the difference between an A or a B+. Looking at it from a long-term perspective, you could have a 4.0 GPA or a 3.9 GPA—both are impressive, but doesn’t a 4.0 look better on a resume?
- What are the college’s core values?
This is one of those key points that most prospective college students don’t look at until after they’ve enrolled into an educational institution of their choice. Earning a college degree is a commitment. Whether you’ve enrolled in a certificate program, going for a 2-year associates, a 4-year bachelors, or pursuing a master’s degree, the school that you put on your resume is an extension of who you are academically. Don’t just look at the school’s academic curriculum. Take notice of what the institution stands for, what their mission statement is, and how it applies to you as an aspiring nurse.
- Does the nursing program offer clinical hours?
It is imperative to get hands-on experience throughout your nursing program. Nurses provide patient and family centered care in a holistic manner that addresses physical, emotional, cultural, and psychosocial needs. As a nursing student, you will acquire clinical experience in many specialty areas during multiple clinical rotations. These hands-on experiences will help enhance your ability to provide holistic care to your patients, thus preparing you for a successful nursing career.
- Does the school offer opportunities to fund your tuition?
There’s no doubt about it. College is expensive. So whatever you can do to cut down on the cost of tuition is going to benefit you financially. Most students take out a federal loan that allows them to repay it after they’ve graduated. In order to reduce your loan amount, check to see if any of these colleges offer additional options for financial aid like grants and scholarships. While most schools may have this option, it’s recommended that you look for an educational institution that offers specific scholarships tailored to your choice of study.
- What is the success rate of nursing graduates?
All nursing students are required to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) upon successful completion of their nursing program in order to become licensed RNs. If the success rate for that school’s NCLEX is decent, you definitely want to consider that institution. Chances are if that school is accredited, the success rate is already sufficient as that is part of the accreditation process!
- Do YOU like the school?
Of course, all of these things aforementioned do not mean anything if you don’t like the school. Don’t consider just what other people may think about the institution. This is a place where you’re going to spend a considerable amount of time, so it’s important that you actually like it. Otherwise, you won’t have an enjoyable college experience, and what’s more, it can affect your attitude, thus having a negative impact on your grades and GPA.
- What does the curriculum look like?
Another important factor to consider is the actual nursing curriculum. Examine the type of classes that you’re going to be taking. While nursing programs will have core courses for you to take, depending on whether you’re enrolled in an associates, bachelors, or master’s program, you’ll have a set number of elective credit hours to complete. Look over these options wisely as this will help determine exactly what field in the nursing industry you’ll want to work.
View all of the nursing programs that FNU has to offer here.
- Where do you plan to work?
The nursing profession has plenty of industry options for you to practice in. Deciding geographically where you want to work might also weigh in heavily on which college you want to attend. If you plan to work as a nurse in the South Florida region, then you should seriously consider an accredited institution nearby.
FNU: Helping You Make the Right Decision
Florida National University (FNU) meets the criteria for one of the best nursing programs in the South Florida area. Let us guide you in making the right decision, and consider FNU. Take a tour of our campus, and contact our admissions office today.