Which nursing school is the best one to attend? Should nursing students go to a technical school, or lower quality university, to get their general credits out of the way? What’s the best course for nursing students in this regard?
Choosing the right nursing school is a very important decision for future-nursing students. We recently received a question from someone regarding this very topic:
Hello, I’m currently a high school student aiming to be a RN. I’m unsure of which colleges/universities to go to. Can I go to a UC to complete my basic general courses, then transfer to a Nursing Program or is it better to just start off at a Nursing Program? Also, what are the better and higher rated Nursing Programs? Thank You!
Which Nursing School Is Best?
Thanks for the great question. There is no “best” nursing school, necessarily. There are factors you can look at to determine whether or not a nursing school is good (or how it may compare to others).
Some factors you may want to consider include the following:
- Is the nursing school accredited? It is very important that your nursing school be accredited. Which accreditation is necessary? At the very minimum, they should have whatever accreditation the Board of Nursing in your state as set as a requirement–otherwise, you won’t get licensed or be able to sit for NCLEX. In another article, we speak more about accreditation (scroll down towards the bottom of the article).
- What are the NCLEX pass rates? Most nursing schools retain this information, and some may even publish it on their own websites. You can always ask to see this. The higher the percentage, the better. You can use this stat to compare.
- What are the job placement rates for grads? Another great statistic to consider is the job placement rate for recent graduates. This can be an indicator of the quality of the university, and their ability to help graduates find work.
- What are the tuition costs? I know of two local universities, and both offer good, accredited nursing programs. One is about $7,000 more than the other per semester. Is there any difference between the two? Nope. One is a more private Christian university, and the other is a regular university. Private universities tend to have higher tuition than others. I work with nurses who have graduated from all kinds of universities, and most earn about the same pay, and are treated the same. In other words, I don’t see a huge difference on the job.
- What reputation does the university have? Last, but not least, the reputation of a university/nursing school program is something to consider. Does the community view it as a reputable education? Do you know any licensed nurses who graduated from there? Those are all good questions to consider too.
We don’t make any particular endorsements of specific colleges. I think being a great nurse has very little to do with the nursing program you graduated from, and far more to do with your own individual passion and heart. Look at Florence Nightingale as a great example–she had very little formal nursing education compared to what we have today, but she changed the world with her passion and heart.
Going to Lesser University to Get Transfer Credits
I’ve known many people who have gone to a cheaper university to obtain core credits, and then transferred to a more prestigious/expensive university that had a better nursing program (or they simply wanted to say that they graduated from “Blank” university).
There is certainly nothing wrong with this approach, with one important exception: You absolutely want to check ahead of time and make 100% sure all of the credits would transfer over to whichever university you planned to attend, and that all of the core classes you need will be offered.
This is where some students get into trouble. Sometimes they go to a cheaper university, and don’t realize it lacks accreditation, or the exact same courses required. Then, they switch to another, only to find out that many of their credits won’t transfer (or that they need to make up a few other core classes). Thus, they end up having to pay more in tuition, and it takes more time to graduate, when they thought they’d be saving money.
So again, this really depends on the universities/schools in question. Some allow transfer credits, some are much more picky.
So yes, you can do this, but I’d find out if the nursing school will allow the transfer credits long before you transfer (confirm this with an actual dean or advisor). In many ways, it is just easier to find an affordable nursing school or college and attend there from the beginning. This way, you can avoid any aggravation or disappointments over transfer credits.
I only attended one nursing school the whole time, and so I didn’t have to worry with all of that. I found that to be much easier and less stressful. Plus, many nursing schools have strict curriculums they want their students to follow, and they are often mixed in with the core classes. So that’s another thing to keep in mind. So my advice would probably be to avoid the transfer credit idea, unless you have no other alternative.
In any event, I hope God blesses you on your journey through nursing school, and everything works out as you hope.
Thinking about going to Nursing School?
Are you contemplating going to nursing school, or are you actually in nursing school right now? Nursing school can be challenging, especially if you do not know what to expect. Here is a great guide by S. L. Page BSN, RN called “How to Pass Nursing School“. This book gives you detailed information about how to pass nursing school from beginning to end. S.L. Page, the creator of this website, complied all the information students what to know about nursing school into one easy to read guide. She gives in depth information on how to succeed in nursing school.
S.L. Page graduated from nursing school with honors and passed the NCLEX-RN on her first try. In this eBook, she reveals the strategies she used to help her succeed.
Here is what the book looks like: