Before becoming a nurse, its important to carefully choose where to receive an education. There are many nursing schools around the country, so students need to investigate them and choose the school which will best prepare them for their nursing career.
Nursing Schools and Degree Goals
Nursing schools do not all provide the same degrees, so students need to do their homework about what they can achieve through the school. For example, many technical and community colleges offer nursing programs but most of these result in an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN). Although this degree is a good place to start, many nurses end up returning to school to complete a bachelor’s degree anyway.
A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides the most job and educational opportunities for nursing students. However, these degrees can usually only be obtained from universities.
Nursing Schools and Accreditation
Accreditation is important when choosing potential nursing schools. Accreditation means that the school’s staff and its curriculum have been approved by a third party organization. This guarantees that what a student learns while attending that school will prepare him or her for a nursing career. Students who graduate from non-accredited schools often find that their degrees are not recognized by employers or by other education institutes.
In the United States, two accrediting organizations exist: National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Nursing schools only need to be accredited by one of these organizations, but some schools choose to be accredited by both.
Online Nursing Schools
Not all nursing students can jump into a traditional college learning environment. Some may have families or jobs which make that type of education difficult. Online nursing schools can often be the answer for these students.
With online nursing schools, students take required courses through the Internet. They can ask their instructors questions over the phone or through email, and can even chat with fellow students in chat rooms and message boards for their classes. The biggest difference is that they can complete their work at times when it is convenient for their schedule.
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