Do homework before choosing a nursing school
TBO.comSouth Florida State College's nursing program is one of the best in the state and, for that matter, ranks as one of the best in the country. It has a long and successful history of quality faculty, strong curriculum and clinical training.
Published: August 11, 2012
Published: August 11, 2012
Hundreds of excellent graduates notably serve in most of our community health agencies. Over the past several years, the Licensed Practical Nurse and Registered Nurse programs had a stellar 94 percent pass rate on the national licensing examinations that credential them to provide nursing care.
SFSC's nursing programs graduate approximately 60 to 80 students each year. Our graduates have a 100 percent job placement rate with strong employer satisfaction. Additionally, the SFSC Nursing program is in the process of gaining national accreditation from the National League of Nursing to demonstrate our commitment to excellence. This national recognition is a hallmark and endorsement of the high quality of nursing education the college provides.
Recently, SFSC received a similar national college accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College recognizing the superior quality of higher education provided by the college. These accrediting agencies are recognized throughout the world as the standard of excellence in higher education and in nursing. Be confident that SFSC has excellent programs.
More importantly, it is time to help those in our community who are trying to make decisions about which college or program to attend. These are really important decisions that have lifelong consequences. How on earth do you make such a decision? Here are some things that are important to know. They are questions I would ask if I were helping my son or daughter, relative or friend, to make a good decision about their future.
First, investigate whether your potential institution is nationally or regionally accredited by a well-recognized, higher education entity. If your certificate, associate degree or bachelor's degree is not from an accredited institution, you may have difficulty in transferring your college credit toward future college degrees. Ask about accreditation by the official accrediting agency for your program such as the American Dental Association or National Radiological Association.
Second, what is the national or state examination pass rate for graduates of the college or program? If the pass rate is below the national average, this should be an area of significant concern. The ability to pass the credentialing exam is the determining factor to receiving the credential that allows you to practice in your newly chosen career.
Third, what is the job placement rate for graduates from the prospective program? For colleges eligible to distribute Title IV federal financial aid, information will be available that describes the number of program enrollments, completers, job placement rates and estimated salaries for graduates. This information may be found under the individual program website or it may have a designated label called "gainful employment."
Fourth, if you need financial assistance, as many students in our community do, ask about what state and federal financial resources, grants and scholarships are available. Some funding sources may not need to be repaid or will have lower interest rates.
If you are entering into a contract to finance your education, pay attention to the requirements. Ask questions about your financial obligations if you should fail courses, decide this field is not appropriate for you, have a medical or family emergency that requires you quit coming to classes, or what are the consequences if you are unable to make the defined contract payments.
Finally, what do employers have to say about the program and the graduates' knowledge, skills and preparation for the workforce? What do the actual graduates from the program have to say about how well they feel they were prepared for their job? Did their classroom, lab or clinical learning experiences prepare them for actual job responsibilities?
These questions are the ones that most people don't know to ask and really wish they had known before they made that important higher education decision. If you need any assistance, we encourage you to visit us at SFSC. We'll be happy to help you get started in building your future.
Leana Revell is the vice president for Educational and Student Services at South Florida State College.