Best Colleges for Nursing School

Best Colleges for Nursing You Can Apply To

What do some of the best colleges for nursing have to offer?

nursing school
Image courtesy of Daily Nurse.

Nursing has become one of the top competitive degrees in today's world that one can apply to enter. But how do you determine what the best college for nursing is, or if it has the path that works best for you?

We are asked multiple times throughout our lives, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ Some say teachers, firemen, or policemen, while others say veterinarians, zoo keepers, or lifeguards. Over the years, our answers continue to change until we all have to take the most significant step in our lives, declaring what we want to study in college. For some, this is easy because they have known what they want to learn for years, while for others, this may be more challenging. However, the focus of today's piece is centered around those who decide to study nursing and to educate them on the best colleges for nursing and why they should apply for their program. 

Nursing Program Requirements

As you continue, you will learn more about the process of being considered for a nursing program and some of the best nursing programs in the United States.

nursing program tips
You must study the different skill sets needed to be a nurse before getting hands-on experience with patients. Image courtesy of Aspen University.

Prerequisites required to be a valid nursing school candidate:

  Before you even consider applying to a nursing school, the MOST important thing you need to make sure that you have done is to either graduate from high school or receive your GED. This is the first and minimum thing to consider when applying for a school. This shows schools that you could complete the first requirement they look for and have some background in achieving something that you have started.

  You must complete all prerequisites at your university to be considered for your school program. Several schools use GPA and grades from your prerequisites when considering you for their program. Nursing is one of the most competitive majors in the United States. Therefore, it is essential to show you are serious about wanting to be selected.

 Does your university a good nursing school? Or offer a nursing program at all? You want to consider these things as you consider applying to nursing schools. You may learn that your university may not have the best nursing school or not have one at all. 

    If this is the case, you want to start looking at nursing programs that are well ranked and will provide you with education in the field of nursing that interests you. Although several nursing programs will provide you with the general nursing education needed to become a nurse, you need to keep in consideration that you may want to focus on becoming a nurse in a particular specialty such as an ER nurse, Cardiac nurse, or Critical Care nurse to name a few. Therefore, you want to ensure that the nursing program you are applying for has the extra training needed for these particular specialties.

Nursing practice
Something exciting to keep in mind is that after you’ve been in nursing school for a year, you will have the opportunity to start your clinical and labs! Image courtesy of Elms Collage

   Another thing that you also need to make sure that you keep in mind when applying for nursing programs is if you will have the ability to pay for them. A few ways you may pay for the program involve applying for scholarships or grants, taking out a loan, or paying it out of pocket if you are fortunate enough. Don’t let the cost of programs discourage you from applying. Several universities have financial aid services available where you can learn more information on how to go about paying for your program.

   Like when you apply to schools right out of high school, you want to apply early for nursing programs. Applying early allows you to sit back and breathe after sending out your final application and also ensures your application is looked at sooner rather than later. 

With your applications, be prepared for admission interviews. Now just because you get an interview doesn’t mean you will necessarily get into the program, but it does imply that you are being considered for the program. So, when you go in for your interview, dress formally like you would for a job interview, and remember to breathe and stay calm while interviewing. Keep in mind that interviews are generally just conversations where those interviewing you want to learn more about you as a person and determine if you are a good fit for their program. One thing that has stuck to my mind regarding interviews ever since I heard it is “if a person or company doesn’t want you, then you won’t like it, OR it wasn’t going to be a good fit, to begin with.” It’s better to have this determined from the start than to have put a ton of your heart and soul into something only to find out that this isn’t what you wanted.

   Finally, after completing all the steps above, you have to try to relax and sit back as you wait for acceptance letters to come in. This will be the most nerve-racking part of the process but keep in mind just how exciting it will be when responses start coming in. Don’t let rejection letters discourage you. You will likely get into at least one of the programs you have applied for. On the other hand, suppose you don’t get into any programs. In that case, you can either try to use it again during the next application period or find a different major that interests you and has fields you would like to work in after finishing school.

Best Colleges for Nursing

When looking at the different options available for nursing schools, take some time to read through the nursing schools' almanac. If you click on the link provided, you can read about the 2022 Top Ranked Nursing Programs here in the US. Here is a sneak peek of the first three schools listed in the 2022 Rankings:

1) Duke University 

If this name sounds familiar, it’s because it is a nursing college and one of the most well-known universities. It’s not uncommon to hear the title of this university when we talk about prestigious universities to get accepted into. Aside from being on the list of top-ranking schools in the nation, it is known to be the first university to offer the “doctor of nursing practice degree.” As mentioned before, when it comes to students graduating from their bachelor of science nursing program, over the past decade, Duke students are more likely to pass the  NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses) on the first attempt.

Duke University nursing
With the help of state-of-the-art equipment, nursing students at Duke University can receive training that prepares them for when they begin practicing on patients. Image courtesy of Duke Today

2) Johns Hopkins University

Another well-known and respected university is a part of the top three ranked “MSN, DNP, and online nursing programs in the US News and World Report.” It is estimated that the university educates a diverse population of approximately 1,200 nursing students, including 500 full-time and 700 part-time students. These numbers and rankings exemplify how the university wants its students to succeed and have opportunities they may not be able to accomplish at other universities. Along with the first five MSN classes scoring a 95% pass rate on their NCLEX, the university offers two additional tracks for their students. They offer a DNP with seven advanced practice specializations, which you can read about examples of specialties above, and a track for individuals pursuing a doctor of philosophy (PhD) in nursing.

Nursing John Hopkins
With the ability to go through their nursing program online or attend part-time, John Hopkins University’s various teaching methods allow their student to succeed no matter their life circumstances. Image courtesy of John Hopkins School of Nursing

3) New York University

Before getting into this school, I will admit when I think of going to school here; my mind doesn’t jump straight to going to school for nursing, which may be the case for some of you as well. However, New York University is an excellent fit for those of you who know that they want to become adult-gerontology practitioners. Not only is this university consistently ranked in the top ten nursing programs nationally, but they also offer:

  • An MSN program that has nine concentration options 
  • the opportunity to receive a post-master's advanced certificate in eleven fields 
  • a DNP that has three entry paths 
  • a Ph.D. in nursing research and theory development 

By attending New York University, nursing students have endless opportunities. In addition to these opportunities, the BSN program has more than 400 students each year who pass the NCLEX at an 87% first try rate.

nursing practices at NYU
Unlike many other nursing schools, New York University provides two simulation floors that allow students to practice what they are being taught and help prepare them for working in hospitals with living patients. Image courtesy of NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing

Now's your time to apply to nursing colleges!

You now have had a chance to read about what is required for a nursing program and where to look for more information on various nursing programs in the United States.  It's your turn to look further into the programs out there and decide what programs interest you!

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