Once you have decided upon nursing as a career, your next step is to choose a nursing program and school. There are lots of schools with established nurse training programs, but not all of them are going to be right for you and some have long waiting lists. First things first, there are several important questions you need to consider before drawing up a short list. So here are a few tips to get you started.
Where Do You Want To Study?
There are nursing schools all over the world, so depending on how far you want to travel, you shouldn’t have a problem finding one in a location to suit. Some people are happy to relocate to a different town or city specifically to attend a more prestigious school, but if you are a mature student with a family to take care of, moving away to go to school might not be practical, so check out which nursing schools are within easy reach of your home.
Full or Part-Time Study
It is possible to study for a nursing qualification on a full-time or part-time basis. Attending school full-time is the best option for many people because you will complete your program in the shortest possible time, but if you are only able to study part-time, look for a nursing program that offers part-time study options. Studying part-time is useful for students who have limited financial resources and need to work to support their studies, for example if you have a family to support.
There are many different nursing specialties to choose from, but not all schools offer the same level of choice. For example, if you are interested in becoming a midwife, look for schools that offer midwifery courses. Or if you dream of becoming a nurse anesthetist, look for schools like Valley Anesthesia which offer the best nurse anesthetist courses.
Look for an Accredited Nursing Course
Nursing schools in the U.S. are accredited by the National League of Nursing. Your local State Board of Nursing is the best place to start if you want a list of accredited nursing schools in your area, but if you are interested in studying out of state visit that state’s Board of Nursing website. Local libraries are also a useful resource.
Have You Got the Basic Qualifications?
If you don’t have the requisite general education qualifications you need to start a four year nursing course, explore your options at the local community college. It should be possible to study in community college for the math and science qualifications required for a nursing course, but if you are not sure what you need, find out before you start the application process at your preferred school.
The best nursing schools have long waiting lists, so make sure you apply to several schools in order to give yourself the best chance of being accepted. In the meantime, sign up for part-time volunteer work at your local hospital to gain some experience, as it will help you in your application.