Choosing the Right Nursing Program

Updated By Dr. Carmen Spears on April 17, 2020

Nursing is a demanding and challenging profession that offers great rewards both personally and professionally. It has become a lucrative and highly respected profession, as qualified nurses are needed in both patient care and leadership roles.

Being on the front line of caring for people, nurses provide important support and assistance at the most challenging and difficult times of a person's life. Because of these great opportunities, it's crucial for potential nurses to pursue an education and choose the right program. Being on the front line of caring for people, nurses provide important support and assistance at the most challenging and difficult times of a person's life. Because of these great opportunities, it's crucial for potential nurses to pursue an education and choose the right program.

Pursuing higher education has the capability to increase job retention, job opportunities, and job satisfaction. However, there are many nursing programs out there, and understanding your educational choices is vital to your success as a professional nurse. Because of the complex and diverse nature of nursing, choosing the best program that will prepare you for the exciting world of professional nursing can ensure your success in this profession. The following tips can help you choose the best educational institution for you.

1. Choose Your Passion

When looking at different programs for nurses, be sure to identify your own personal and professional goals. What do you want now for your career? Where do you see yourself in ten years? The program that fits your short-and-long-term goals will help you enjoy your educational experience and develop the needed skills to fulfill this role. What is your passion for nursing? Where is your heart? What excites you? Knowing this will help you focus your decisions and choose a program that has the same commitment and passion for the profession as you.

Look closely at each program—does the program seek to get you to the end without regard to quality of education? Simply choosing a nursing program to obtain a degree may not meet your professional goals. Shortcut education often proves the old proverb, “You get what you pay for.” Look at the mission and vision of the nursing school. Be sure the nursing school's commitment, principles, and vision align with your own. Choose a program with the same passion for nursing that you feel.

2. Choose Your Ideal

Choose a nursing program that meets your ideal for success. Review the course requirements and speak to the people who will be by your side during your education. As you move through the program you will find challenges and barriers to success, so choose a program that is committed to your success and will provide you with the right resources.

Choosing your ideal nursing program can make the effort to complete a degree less stressful and more enjoyable. Also, look for a program that fits your lifestyle; a nursing program that is flexible and adaptable while still holding the curriculum to the highest standard may be in your best interest. At graduation, a nursing student seeks to have obtained a valuable degree that is respected in the industry. Choosing a nursing program that stands by the student both during and after graduation ensures a lifetime of success because of the quality of the education. Invest in a nursing program that is willing to invest in you. Choosing your ideal fit or match will make the result of the effort both satisfying and useful in your professional practice.

3. Choose a School Committed to Industry Standard

When choosing a nursing program, the first standard that you should review is accreditation. Programmatic accreditation increases the opportunities for nurses throughout the industry. Employment opportunities, advancement in positions, tuition reimbursement, future job opportunities, and job retention are just a few of the advantages of choosing a programmatically accredited nursing school.

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is a highly respected accreditation and one of only two accrediting agencies currently available to nursing schools.

Choosing a nursing program with CCNE accreditation ensures that it meets the highest standard of student support, curriculum, and quality faculty. Without accreditation, many doors of opportunity are closed to the nurse. Additional industry-related factors include pertinence to today's nursing environment, practical experience in real-world scenarios, and faculty who understand the role of the nurse in the future of nursing.

Seek out nursing programs that are on the cutting edge of industry standards. The program should provide you with opportunities to experience real-life scenarios through practical experience and faculty expertise. Review the curriculum and see that the experiences offered will give you competitive skills when entering the marketplace. Diversity in experiences and learning will serve you well as you work to meet your short-and-long-term professional goals.

The Choice is Yours

Ultimately, the decision for choosing a nursing program rests squarely on the shoulders of the student. Ask the right questions, talk to the right people, make the best decision. You will find the qualities you seek and more at Independence University. The Independence University School of Healthcare invests in hiring the best instructors, providing cutting-edge curriculum, achieving programmatic accreditation, and ensuring exemplary student success. At Independence University, we provide the highest level of commitment to your success. Ask the right questions and you will make the right decision when choosing a nursing program.

Dr. Carmen Herbel Spears has nearly 30 years of experience in nursing and healthcare management. She also has over 12 years of experience in nursing education. Dr. Spears' experience in nursing and nursing management includes home health, hospital, and critical care management and leadership. Dr. Spears excels in healthcare financial management curriculum development and organizational management and has been recognized nationally for her excellence in healthcare delivery. She enjoys working with the next generation of nurses.

For graduation rates, the median debt of graduates, and other data, see