The best sign of a great nursing school would be the passage rates because if you can’t pass your NCLEX, then what’s the purpose? Here is a link to the nursing school passage rates straight off the Board of Registered Nursing. http://www.rn.ca.gov/education/passrates.shtml
Secondly, look at the cost of tuition. IF you’re going to a community college, then you’ve got not too much to worry about because the school is pretty cheap – click here to see the costs. The bigger question will be when you get into a school like Mount Saint Mary’s University or West Coast University and have a price tag of over $100k in tuition alone, would you want to wait and see what happens with your other applications or would you want to start school immediately? Personally, I would want to wait because the education is pretty much the same and you wont have to spend your paychecks paying loans for the next 10-30 years of your life.
Lastly, you’ll want to check out the schools you’re interested in, the drive time and where the clinics will be located, classrooms size/setting and professors. Most clinical sites are strict about coming to the hospital on time for shift change/report and because you must register a mandatory amount of hours per the BRN. So just some things you need to consider before enrolling.