Why is picking a nursing school so important? The school you select will be the place you meet classmates that will be with you through your long days and nights of clinicals. The school also pre-selects what hospitals you rotate to so having alumni at those hospitals helps your chances of landing a position after graduation. However, passing the NCLEX should be a defining factor in the school you select.
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.