Choosing the best degree program can be difficult, whether you are just starting your nursing career or have experience in the industry. Of course, in order to enter the nursing sector, you must first pass a basic training course. A degree will allow you to grow in your work. You could later obtain a master’s or doctoral degree to climb into even more advanced professions. This article will serve as a guide for you in choosing the best nursing degree.
Table of Contents
Nursing Internships Or Clinical Rounds
Hospitals and other healthcare businesses that hire fresh graduates look for candidates who have done clinical rotations or internships. When you begin a nursing degree, your chosen institution should start looking for local hospitals at which you can complete your clinical rotation or internship.
Several programs demand that the student nurses do an internship or rotation during their last year of school. You work full-time at a job site during these assignments, obtaining valuable exposure to the healthcare industry. Excellent performance throughout your rotation may result in a strong recommendation letter or job offer once you graduate.
Bridge Programs Can Help Earn Your Degree Faster
Completing a bridge program may be a suitable option if you already have some nursing education and are ready to proceed to more advanced levels. For instance, many professionals in the nursing industry wish to become family nurse practitioners to provide better care for families. Plus, family nurse practitioners (FNPs) offer a significant salary. Those wondering how to become an FNP can do it through a bridge program like RN (registered nurse) to FNP program.
Online VS. On-Campus Program Delivery
Nursing programs are delivered in one or two ways: online or on-campus. An on-campus degree is the traditional college experience in which students either reside on campus or commute from home to attend classes. Alternatively, more students are turning to online programs because of their relative affordability. Online programs often have reduced tuition and do not charge many of the student fees that on-campus students are subject to. Online students also save money by avoiding the expenditures of on-campus housing and commuting.
Aside from cost advantages, many online programs allow students to view lectures and complete coursework at their leisure. These programs are appropriate for students who work full-time. Because of advancements in online learning tools, most online programs now equal the rigor of their on-campus counterparts.
Keep in mind that online learning has its own set of obstacles. Online students frequently juggle academics and other duties. Students must retain solid organizational skills, remain motivated to complete assignments, and stay on track with the material.
Find Out The Curriculum
Nursing is a challenging job that necessitates knowledge, competence, and the ability to respond quickly to various patient care scenarios. Especially if you’re going for an accelerated nursing program, it would be best to look for a program curriculum that exposes you to as much real-world patient care as possible. Suppose you’re considering an ABSN (Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program. In that case, you’ll want every bit of experience you can obtain because you’ll only have 16 months to prepare for a new job.
In addition to completing all accreditation standards, a nursing school curriculum should provide a sound basis for a nursing career. While coursework is important, classroom or online learning alone does not provide the requisite experience to treat real-world patients. Look for a nursing program that prioritizes lab and clinical experience, and you’ll be well-prepared for your future career as an RN.
Know The NCLEX-RN Exam Pass Rates For The Program
The NCLEX-RN exam is one of the most significant aspects of pursuing a career in nursing. It is the professional license exam all nurses have to pass before they can start practice. While NCLEX pass rates are not a clear marker of job employment after graduation, they do speak to the quality of nursing education. Many previous students have stated that they were more than prepared to take the examination and begin their careers as practice-ready nurses upon graduation.
Participating in a great nursing school while staying connected to your peers is the finest preparation for the NCLEX-RN exam. The NCLEX-RN exam should not include much material you are inexperienced with if a program has imparted sufficient nursing knowledge.
Is It Synchronous Or Asynchronous?
Course schedules, both synchronous and asynchronous, influence how and when you take classes. In a synchronous style, all students in an online course communicate with their lecturer simultaneously via an online portal. This learning approach is similar to that of on-campus students.
Students can access prerecorded lectures at their leisure in an asynchronous style. Students in an asynchronous program communicate with their teachers and peers via email and online message boards.
Both learning approaches demand students to finish work by specific dates. When deciding between synchronous and asynchronous, consider the program’s requirements in relation to your other duties. Students whose work schedules interfere with scheduled lecture times may be turned off by synchronous learning programs.
Regional vs. National Accreditation
Regional accreditation is conferred by one of seven regional accreditation organizations. The Department of Education supervises these agencies and assigns them the duty of examining academic programs in various parts of the United States. Regional accreditation is held by the most respected institutions of higher learning.
Private accrediting institutions that regulate specific programs, such as remote learning and online programs, may also offer national accreditation. The Distance Education Accrediting Commission’s accreditation is the holy grail for online educational programming. If you transfer to a regionally approved institution or university midway through your nursing program, your credits should transfer. Your credits may not transfer if you go to a college with only national accreditation. Consider contacting various colleges to learn about their accreditation and credit transfer procedures before beginning your college education.
There is a wide range of nursing degrees to choose from. Many courses can be upgraded with specializations. Conduct extensive research about different nursing degrees while keeping the points above in mind so you can choose the best one for you. Once you’ve decided on a degree, you can narrow your search to nursing schools that offer that program.