Finding the right nursing program can be a daunting task. There are several factors and questions that will not only impact your decision, but also help you to choose the appropriate program for your studies. Options that may influence your choice are whether or not you may want to attend school close to home or far away, if you have had previous nursing experience in the past, if you want or require an accelerated program, whether you are looking for full time or part time classes, what cost you can afford, and finally, what type of eventual degree or specialty you would like to finish with. All of these options will have a great impact on outcome of your institution and programs choice.
Choosing a post secondary institution to study at can be an immensely personal decision and one that will take much consideration of your best interests. One of the key elements to choosing an institution is deciding whether or not to stay close to your current place of residence. Staying close to home has certain advantages, depending on age and financial independence of an individual. If the person is relatively young, has little experience in the outside world, or has specific responsibilities that require them to remain close to home, such as caring for a loved one, then choosing a post secondary school in close proximity can be beneficial. Remaining close to home can also have financial advantages as well. There is added financial security in remaining at home while attending school, such as financial support or assistance from family or parents, and being aware of the cost of living in your immediate environment. Being required to work while also attending school to support one’s self can be not only stressful but it is highly likely it may also interfere with one’s studies as well.
Another factor to consider when choosing a program within which to study nursing is whether you have had previous experience in the field prior to attending formal schooling. Volunteering at medical facilities, hospitals, or senior care centers can improve your familiarity with nursing equipment, procedures and protocols; likewise, if you have had attended schooling for nursing previously you may want to consider advanced, condensed or accelerated courses based on your current nursing knowledge and capabilities. If perhaps you would like to enter into the nursing field as soon as possible and feel capable of handling the added responsibility and compacted course information these types of courses may work well for you. If you are required to work part or full time or have the added responsibility of caring for a loved one or child while attending nursing courses, you may also want to consider part time courses as well which are much more accommodating to a busy schedule.
Finally, the last two important factors to consider when selecting a nursing program are the cost of the program you like to attend and what your eventual degree or specialty will you finish with. Often the extent to which a person specializes in a field will determine to some level, the cost of the schooling that is required to achieve that specialization. Also, programs that are accelerated or of advanced placement may also come at a higher cost. One of the benefits of selecting nursing as a profession is the wide array of programs specialties and fields. Nurses can be educated in ambulatory care, critical care, aids care, pediatric, orthopedic, oncology, and even psychiatric care. Beginner level programs that offer accelerated levels of schooling for BSNs or RNs, can run around $30, 000 in the United States. However, some possibilities do exist to assist with the financial responsibility of these costs. With high enough grades or specific entry requirements, grants or scholarships may be possibilities. Other options include companies that are willing to cover some of the costs under policies regarding continuing training to further careers. The US Navy for example, covers up $18,000 in training when individuals enroll into the Naval Nursing Program. The skills learned are not only highly marketable and transferable, but students are also guaranteed hands-on workplace training as well as a job position.