What To Look For In The Top Nursing Schools

When it comes to choosing nursing schools for your degree, it pays to get the best nurse education possible from the more than 1,500 nursing schools out there. That way, you can keep your options open and position yourself for the best nursing jobs.

Accreditation And Certification
The best nursing schools will be accredited by a qualified and certified agency, such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Each school also has a pass rate, known as the National Council Licensure Examination. This indicates the pass rates of students and is a good indicator of a successful nursing program. A good nursing school will offer a variety of degrees and levels of certified nursing, as well as different specialties.

Because of the severe shortage of nurses, qualified nursing instructors are also in great demand. Find out who makes up the school's faculty. It's always an advantage for instructors to also be practicing in the field, to keep up on the latest technology, trends and professional challenges. Often the school will be affiliated with a research hospital, giving students access to professionals who also fill in as instructors. Other faculty considerations include how many have advanced degrees, the turnover rate and how many work full- or part-time.

Class Size
Just as any educational experience is enhanced with a smaller student-to-teacher ratio, nurse education is no different. Find out what your chosen school's class ratio is and if this is typical for most classes. Small classes in nursing are especially critical, as so much clinical training requires specific interaction with the instructor. Other classroom features to consider are frequency, duration and types of clinics, plus on-the-job training.

Funding And Financing
The best nursing schools will accept a variety of scholarships, grants and financial aid packages. Because of the shortage of nurses nationwide, the government and even nursing schools themselves are offering discounts on tuition, books and even stipends to attract the best and brightest of the nursing school applicants who will then go on to successful nursing jobs.

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