Few careers offer more opportunity and variety than nursing. Whether you work with children or the elderly, in hospitals or doctors' offices, as administrators or clinicians, your skills are in high demand. The caliber of nurse you become depends mostly on the effort you put forth. Nevertheless, having a strong educational foundation is a huge advantage. This is especially true if you attend a top nursing college. Outstanding nurses come from any nursing program, but more of them graduate from the top programs. The record of excellence these programs exhibit puts them in greater demand, and they can admit new students more selectively. Due to distance, finances or any number of other reasons, you might not be able to attend a top nursing college. Still, having an idea of factors to consider when looking for an excellent nursing program will help you evaluate those programs you may be considering.
FacilitiesUnless you are attending an online nursing program, every college has a physical location and facilities. The best nursing programs are typically a component of higher quality medical schools, and a staple of an excellent nursing program is its integration within these schools. The learning value of working alongside an expert, even renowned clinicians, while studying in one of the nation's major research hospitals, is beyond measure.
TechnologyDriven primarily by advancing medical technology, health care continues to evolve rapidly. Thus, an essential component to any high-ranking nursing program is access to state of the art laboratories and computer systems. In the nation's best nursing schools, students train with the most up-to-date equipment and techniques. Familiarization with current and even future technologies gives graduates a major head start within the field of nursing. Technology has also made for a much more interactive form of learning. Students can receive instant feedback and test themselves. High-definition, 3D computer modeling has opened up windows that nurses from only a few years ago could only imagine.
ResourcesOf course, faculty, staff and educational materials make up the basic components of any nursing school. Highly experienced, well-respected faculty is another feature of the best nursing programs. Faculty demonstrates a strong commitment to their students' success. Additionally, these schools have committed support staffs, who are proud of their contributions to its success. Students and faculty have access to some of the best available teaching aides and equipment, while exceptional libraries provide a host of supporting services.
RelationshipsStrongly interconnected with their communities, the top nursing programs work closely with health care providers. Through classroom and field study, these providers share their areas of expertise, broadening a nurse's understanding of learning material. Employers especially value nurses who graduate from distinctive programs. The best programs provide career placement services, and the contributions made by graduates are their strongest testimony. Accreditation and public recognition in the form of awards are further evidence of a program's reputation and standards as a top nursing college.