The health care industry is expanding enormously, and finding the best nursing school is the objective of many who are looking to enter the field for the first time, or pursue an advanced degree in nursing. As technology continues to grow, nurses will be expected to provide care to patients over great distances via the Internet as well as by telephone. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average, by 2012, the employment rate of Registered Nurses will exceed the growth rate of all other occupations. Therefore, if you are looking to apply to the best nursing school, you may want to begin your search by determining which schools are pushing technology.
There are several questions that you may want to ask yourself or examine in order to determine which programs are ranking as the best nursing school. Alternatively, if you are only looking for nurse assistant certification, Red Cross CNA training attracts entry-level students who seek a fast track entry program into the health care profession. Firstly, do you want to attend school locally or are you able to travel or perhaps relocate? In the U.S., there are at least 739 nursing schools. Out those, 728 offer full-time programs and 478 also offer part-time programs. In its June 2009 edition, U.S. News and World Report lists top nursing programs across the country. However, this data was gathered in 2007, and is based on ratings by nursing educators, who essentially nominated up to 10 schools for each area of excellence.
There are many professional nursing sites and periodicals where you can get detailed information about programs as well as the most recent awards in your field of interest. One such site is The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), which in November gave out Awards for Excellence in Gerontological Nursing Education. The categories included:
- Advanced Practice-Level Curricular Innovation at Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing.
- Geriatric Nursing Faculty Champion at the Elaine C. Hubbard Center for Nursing Research on Aging, University of Rochester School of Nursing.
- Outstanding School of Nursing Communications at Mennonite College of Nursing at Illinois State University.
- Please keep in mind that the best nursing school for others may not be the best choice for you. There are many factors to keep in mind including location, cost, schedule, affiliated hospitals, medical facilities, and staff. For older students, flexibility may not be an option. The schools and programs mentioned above are just a tiny sampling of the broad range of nursing specialties offered by schools and universities. Additionally, more and more universities and colleges are offering online degree programs, which are ranked accordingly.