Choosing A Nursing Education Program, School And Financial Assistance

It has been proven that one of the most popular professions in the health care industry today is nursing. Since this field is very broad, people can find a lot of prospective careers within this field like becoming a registered nurse, a vocational/practical nurse, advance nurse practitioner, or nurse specialist in a specific health field like geriatric, home health, and pediatric. Aside from being a broad discipline offering numerous options for aspiring health care professionals, nursing is also now an in demand profession offering better career and income opportunities. This makes nursing a good career option for people looking for stable and well-paid jobs.

If you are decided to pursue a career in nursing, one of the important aspects you need to consider is nursing education. Through a nursing degree, you will obtain the necessary training, skills, and knowledge needed for your job. However, there are a lot of nursing degrees available today, both online and offline. Before finding a nursing school, you need to determine first the suitable nursing degree for you based on your career goals and preferences.

Important Things to Consider When Planning Your Nursing Education

  1. Registered NursesSpecific nursing degree program you want to take. There are basically 3 educational paths to choose to become a nurse. These are Bachelor of Science degree in nursing or BSN, associate’s degree in nursing or ADN usually offered by community colleges and technical schools, and a diploma in nursing offered by hospitals and health institutions. BSN degree programs are usually the most common nursing degrees taken by students because it is the main educational path in becoming a registered nurse or an RN. This type of degree program takes 4 years of study. Associate nursing degrees are 2-year degree programs while diploma in nursing is 2-3 year programs.
  2. Nursing school choices. After choosing the degree to take, the next step to find is to look for the school that matches your preference and needs. To find the right school, there are certain factors that should also meet your needs or the school that is closest to what you are looking for. When finding the best and right school, you should also consider the location of the school, size of enrolees, and rate of tuition fees.
  3. Tuition fee. Sometimes, the tuition fee can be the biggest factor that affects a person’s decision whether to enrol in college or not. Financing education especially nursing is not that easy especially if you are taking a 4-year nursing course. When choosing a school, make sure to inquire directly from the prospective school or university you want to enrol in and ask for possible assistance you can get if you are not that financially well. This way, you won’t have to accept just what you can afford even if the school is not that good. The quality of education you will get is very important not only when applying for jobs but also for personal enhancements so make sure that you get the best nursing education from a quality school.
  4. Accreditation and national licensure passing rate. This is very important in order to ensure students that they are enrolled in a school and program recognized in the country. To determine if your prospective school is accredited, you can inquire from the organizations that are authorized to provide accreditation such as the NLNAC or National League of Nursing Accreditation Commission and the CCNE or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. You should also determine the passing rate of the total nursing graduates in the national licensure for nursing. A high passing rate indicates that the school have excellent nursing academic program.
  5. Online programs and bridge programs. To provide better education options for aspiring nurses, a lot of schools today offer online education programs in nursing. These kinds of nursing programs provide better options for students who have problems with on-campus courses. Aside from online nursing programs, people with previous education attainment can now obtain a nursing degree the faster way through nursing bridge programs.

Assistance For Nursing Students With Financial Situation

Enrolling in a nursing school is very expensive since aside from regular classes, students need to undergo rigorous training in laboratories and students need to pay for every equipment and facilities they use. Students will also be trained with supervision in nursing facilities, which is part of their curriculum. If you are not financially well and cannot support your full nursing education, you can apply for assistance through grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study programs offered by the school, the federal government, non-profit organizations, and private institutions.

Nursing ProgramGrants are the most common financial assistance students apply for since aside from being offered for everyone by the government, grants are also free and do not require students to pay back once they finish school. If you apply for the federal government financial assistance grant and you meet the qualifications, you will receive a financial assistance based on your family income, education plans, and financial needs.

Scholarship programs are the most difficult to obtain due to competitive environment but they also provide the most excellent financial assistance. It is definitely worth it to try for scholarship programs especially if you think you deserve one. There is also scholarship programs offered for higher nursing degrees like master’s and doctorate degrees in nursing. To find a scholarship program where you can qualify, search online and inquire from various community groups, religious organizations, non-profit organizations, foundations, corporations, and businesses.

If you can balance part time work and your education, then you can also try some work-study programs offered by your school, by the community, or by your staff. These types of assistance provide students some financial educational support while students work through on-campus jobs, student assistant jobs, and community-related jobs. Students qualified for work-study programs do not only receive financial help but they can also receive early experience and resume credentials by doing a job related to their field of study.

Some students avoid loans as much as possible but if you know how to handle your limited finances, taking an educational loan can be a good option since loans are also form of investment for your future.

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