The choice for you has been clear for a long time- nursing is the career you’ve chosen that will make you happy and provide for your lifestyle. But your decision is only a stepping off point. Now, you need to consider how best to achieve your nursing school dreams by finding the right school for you. It may be a college specially dedicated to nursing studies, or it may in fact be a community college with a variety of nursing programs to choose from. It may be a four year traditional school, or a university with a hospital attached for ease of learning and a more hands on approach. No matter your choice, it all comes down to weighing the various pros and cons of each institution in your best interest.
Full or Part Time
Thanks in part to the nature of the economy, the first choice many college level students face is how best to afford school and still out food on the table. Many students remain at home with their parents during their collegiate studies, but this doesn’t work for everyone. If you are out on your own, or returning to school after a time away, you might be looking at taking part time classes while working a full time job.
If you have earned a scholarship, or your loans allow you to take classes full time and still pay your rent, your nursing program time can be reduced significantly. No matter your situation, always do what is in your best interest, not what an admissions director suggests is right for them.
Gen Ed Studies Required
Many nursing programs require standard general education classes, such as math and English, with some specific science and health classes thrown in as well. These are to be completed before you start the more direct course work related to your nursing program. In this case, it might well be in your best interest to not enter a nursing program right away to limit costs and stress, focusing instead on these gen ed classes and strengthening your position when it is time to apply for the nursing school programs. Many students begin this way, and it works for a majority of them quite nicely.
For others, college is all about the degree program, so applying as soon as possible in order to reduce time in school is essential. Schedule a meeting with the admissions counselor of the nursing program in order to get the ball rolling, and begin taking your specific nursing classes as soon as possible.