I may be able to apply for nursing school as early as this fall. Yay! Can you help me come up with some resources to help guide me through the application process and assess the merits of different programs?
I've done some serious thinking and research since asking this question
a couple months back, and decided to apply for nursing school. I'm currently taking the science pre-requisites at my local community college. I sat down with the pre-requisite list for some programs yesterday and realized that, if I keep taking classes through the summer, I could be ready to do at least some applications this fall. I will be applying for accelerated second-degree BSN programs
; ideally, I'd also like to have the option of combining that with a master's in public health or public health nursing.
Only problem is, I have no clue how to navigate the applications process. The health professions adviser at my community college basically told me she doesn't know much about the programs I'm looking at because so few people there apply for them. The last career services person I talked to at my alma mater tried to talk me out of pursuing nursing entirely. (I do, however, have access to an alumni database; I plan to look around through there for grads in the field.) I have no sense at all of how competitive the programs are, how competitive an applicant I am, and what makes a good application. I suspect that the type of programs I'm applying for are especially competitive, but I don't know for sure.
So I guess my questions are:
-Are there good online resources for nurses or potential nursing students that I should know about? Places where I could ask questions about the application process or about jobs, and have them answered by people with a clue?
-Are there any kinds of program ranking lists other than US News and World Report that I should know about? How important is the ranking of a nursing program anyway? Would it be worth moving out of my city, where rent is cheap, I'm super-proud of the life I've built for myself, and there are lots of health care opportunities, to go to a "better" program? (I am entirely prepared to move for jobs when the time comes, but I was hoping to stay here for school; there are three programs in my city, and at least one more in the suburbs.)
-What kinds of questions should I be asking as I talk to admissions people at different schools and look at program web sites? NCLEX pass rates, job placement rates, graduation rates, where you do clinicals? What's most important to know?
Thanks in advance, hivemind!