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Different factors are important to different prospective students, but many students consider these areas when choosing the right nursing colleges for them:
Nursing Specialites - Pick your program first, and then decide on a school that matches
Tuition - Prices vary dramatically between private schools and public schools, and between in-state and out-of-state residents at state schools. Availability of financial aid can also vary significantly between institutions.
Class Size - Find out the student-to-faculty ratios for both classroom and clinical instruction. Small class sizes for clinical rotation and nursing courses is more important than for prerequisites.
Clinical Rotation - Does the school provide enough clinical rotation time? Are the clinical placements varied enough and do they provide hands-on experience? This information is best to get from current students.
Location - Search for schools in a specific area.
Accreditation - This indicates that the school meets the standards of education set by a national accrediting organization. It is a good indicator that you'll receive an adequate education. See the questions on Accreditation for more information.
School Size - Some people want the close attention of a small school, while other prefer the intellectual stimulation of a large institution.
Types of Nursing Degree Programs:
Baccalaureate Nursing Degree:
Graduates are eligible for licensure as a registered nurse and employment in a variety of inpatient care settings and ambulatory care settings, including hospitals, community agencies, schools, industries, home health care, and clinics.
Master's Nursing Degree:
The master's degree provides for the attainment of advanced knowledge and speciality nursing practices. Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of settings and a variety of advanced practice nursing roles, such as clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, or nurse administrator.
Nursing Doctorate Degree:
A post baccalaureate nursing doctorate curriculum provides for entry into professional nursing practice, and preparation for initial licensure. Graduates are prepared to practice within and across diverse health care settings. This program is designed for the person who holds a baccalaureate degree in another field.
Associate Degree in Nursing:
A program usually affiliated with junior, technical and community colleges. Some associate degree programs are found in senior colleges and universities. Associate degree programs are usually two years in length, and include course work in general education and nursing. Graduates are eligible for licensure as a registered nurse, and are prepared to practice in structured care settings.
Usually a hospital-based program, with a course of study of two to three years in length leading to the award of a diploma.
A program one year in length leading to a diploma.
Your choices of nursing degree program types should be made based upon your goals and what type of nursing you want to practice. Additional issues like time and finances may also play a part in the decision-making process.
In this day and age of economic hardship, the practical nurse remains a high demand job. Finding the right practical nurse course only takes a little research as well as deciding what your schedule is able or willing to accommodate.
Practical Nurse courses are usually taught at technical schools and will last anywhere from nine months to perhaps a year and a half if you are going part time. Most programs now offer evening classes and even part time classes for the working adult wanting to change fields to one with more job security.
Practical Nurse courses generally require you to take an entrance exam and score a certain level in Mathematics and English to get accepted into the program, Technical Schools do accept Pell grants which, if qualified, will pay the entire cost of your tuition.
You should enjoy working with people and have also an eye for detail because the practical nurse is often the only one seeing the patient, depending on the type of facility, and should be able to notice changes that may require she/he contact the Dr or possibly the RN above them.
Practical nurses work in a variety of places, including hospitals, nursing homes, private duty cases, and through agencies visiting clients at home. They are also qualified in certain fields as telephone nurses, such as for large companies that offer employment assistance programs which include answers to basic health care question.
No matter the practical nurse course one chooses, upon completion they will be eligible to take the LPN Nclex to become licensed to practice and enter a high demand job field that offers job security.