The cost of a quality nursing education, or any college education for nursing school help websites that matter, is quite steep and, often, this fact leads many individuals to give up their dream of an education. However, there are many ways to pay your way through nursing school and one of them is getting nursing school scholarships.
While there are many organizations including non-profits, corporations, and the government that provide nursing school scholarships to help nursing students with their tuition needs, you would have to be willing to put in your time and effort to find and secure one.
You can begin your search for nursing school scholarships at the school that you wish to attend. Most likely, they will have a financial service program for their students. The best way to find this out is to contact the school’s Financial Service Office or speak to the school’s Financial Adviser.
Find out what assistance the school offers to students in terms of financing and what the requirements for eligibility are. However, some schools will provide you detailed information about loans only after your acceptance to the school. Be sure to check with other nursing schools in your area besides your school of choice so you can compare which school can give you the best funding that will meet your needs.
In addition to local nursing schools, you can also check with non-profit organizations in your area that has scholarship programs. However, not all scholarship programs are the same. Some scholarships are available only to certain ethnic minority groups or to students of a particular field of study such as technology or research. With some patience and persistence, you will be able to find nursing school scholarships.
Another great source is hospitals in your area. The typical agreement is the hospital will pay for your tuition if you work for them for a specific period after graduation. Instead of nursing school scholarships, some hospitals have work-study programs where the hospital employs students to help them pay for their tuition.
If you are not able to locate any scholarships in your local community, you can try searching the Internet for funding from organizations that operate within your state or nationwide. The government, nursing organizations, and other agencies have websites that are good resources of information to help you find nursing school scholarships. You may also encounter websites of companies that offer to locate a scholarship for you. Beware of companies that will ask you for a fee. You do not have to pay anyone to do something that you can do on your own. Finding nursing school scholarships may be frustrating at times but if you persist, you will surely find one.
se this list to “interview” your school. The best way to find the following information is to first look at the school’s website. Some can be hard to navigate. Use a search engine if you can’t find a particular item. If you still can’t find it, call them and ask for the admissions person. They should be helpful and volunteer the information freely. If they are unhelpful or hesitant, that can be a clue to the overall culture of the school.
1. NCLEX Pass Rate. Every nursing student has to take a national exam called the NCLEX to finally get licensed as a nurse. Check the school’s rate of students who pass the NCLEX. Every school should have it either published or revealed freely if you call them. If they are hesitant to tell you, that’s a red flag!
2. Accreditation. Accreditation is a national “stamp of approval” for a school. A graduate from an accredited school is able to transfer or continue their education in other schools. It can also be an indicator of the quality of education you will receive. The two bodies that accredit schools are the NLNAC (National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission) and the CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education). The CCNE is exclusively for bachelor’s and master’s degree levels, while the NLNAC may accredit at any level. Look at the school’s website or ask them directly to make sure they are accredited by one of these organizations.
3. Class Size and Retention Rate. Is it a big school or a small school? What is the typical class size? And most importantly, how many students make it all the way through in one try? This is probably one of those things you’ll have to call and ask about. A high drop rate can mean a few things. Nursing programs are generally difficult, and that’s not a bad thing, since you’ll be better prepared for the NCLEX. However, beware if they have too high of a drop rate. They might not be helpful enough to their students.
4. Clinical Sites. The program should have a list of clinical sites they send their students to. Ideally, it should include a variety of hospitals in the area. Nursing homes are not great clinical sites for RN or BSN programs. They should not be sending you exclusively to long-term care facilities.
5. Prerequisites. Know which prerequisites the school will require before you enter the program. Depending on what you took in high school and how long ago, prerequisites can take quite a bit of time. You can usually find this information on their admissions packet.
6. The Application Process. Always check the school’s application process for these important details. Is there a waiting list, or do they accept candidates based on test scores and grades? A waiting list can be good or bad. However, in most cases, a waiting list is not a good sign. It’s an outdated system and is being phased out by many schools.
7. Program Competition. How competitive is it to get into the program? Community Colleges are often the most competitive. However, you can get a general idea by asking a program representative over the phone. If they accept applicants based on test scores, ask them the average test score for the applicants they accept. Then you’ll know what you need to get on the pre-entrance exam.
8. Type of School. Know what type of nursing school you’re looking at! Universities, Private Colleges, and Community Colleges all work very differently. The names can be misleading. For example, some private schools have the word “university” in their names, while others have “college of nursing.” They can be confusing.