For those who have decided to attend a nursing school, you will quickly find out that your options are vast. You can go to your local community college, a stand-alone nursing school, the nursing department at the university, or even sign up for nursing classes online. You've got to narrow your choices down somehow, so you can settle on a school and start your classes. But how do you know which school you should choose?
First things first, you can cross every school off the list that is not accredited. Why? Well, there are a few reasons. The biggest one is that non-accredited schools are quite often scams, which means you could be throwing your money and your time away on an education that will leave you limited in where you can get a job or further your education. Accredited nursing school programs follow nationally established standards for nursing education, and many employers will not hire nurses from a non-accredited program. Additionally, attending an accredited program means you can use those credit hours toward higher degrees - something you can't do with hours spent at a non-accredited school or program. So, before signing up for anything, check to make sure the program you are interested in is accredited, and don't listen to any excuses about why it's ok that they aren't. Many places will talk about guaranteed job placement for life or free continuing education, but those are not a good enough trade for giving up the benefits of an accredited program. Your money will be better spent elsewhere.
The next thing you need to do is find a program that fits with your lifestyle. Some people can easily attend school full time, while others have a limited number of hours available for school each week. Try to find a program that fits in with your availability and go with it. Since nursing is such a growing field, and one that is always seeking new faces, nursing programs are available that will fit almost any schedule - including online classes that can be completed from the comfort of your own home. In your pajamas (and yes, many are accredited). Of course, many online nursing programs are designed for those who are already working in the nursing field, so read the fine print carefully. Even if you aren't already working in the field, though, many required classes for nursing can still be completed online.
Nursing is a widely expanding field, with many options to advance along the way, but it all has to start somewhere. Nursing schools are how you get started in the wonderful field of nursing, so find your perfect school and get started today!