How to Choose a Nursing School

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Figuring out how to choose a nursing school depends on four main factors: accreditation, NCLEX pass rates, curriculum and clinical rotations. It’s important to find a program that is accredited especially if you intend to pursue higher education after earning your BSN.

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Knowing what to look for in a nursing program can be tricky. There are many factors to consider when choosing a nursing school, and it can be difficult to find the best fit. Whether you’re interested in nursing in Houston or unsure where you want to work as a nurse, we can help.

The program you choose lays the foundation for the rest of your nursing career. When it comes to finding a top-rated nursing program in Houston that meets your needs, keep these four factors in mind as you research.

two UST nursing students working in lab

Is a BSN worth it? Here are six reasons the answer is yes.

1. Accreditation

A major reason you’ll want to investigate schools that hold accreditation is that if the state’s board of nursing doesn’t approve the nursing school you attend, your state may not let you sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN), the exam every nursing graduate must pass to become a registered nurse (RN). Without the ability to take (and pass) the NCLEX, you can’t receive your nursing license.

Luckily, the University of St. Thomas Houston and its baccalaureate degree program in nursing meet the highest standards for producing quality nurses.

Additionally, accreditation plays a significant role if you plan to pursue the additional studies necessary to become a nurse educator, nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, or nurse anesthetist. Transferring credits from an unaccredited program is prohibited at several colleges offering these advanced programs.

When it comes to securing a job after graduation, most healthcare employers also prefer hiring practitioners educated under nationally established standards.

2. Comprehensive Curriculum

UST’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program curriculum is just as demanding as a traditional BSN program taught in a classroom, even though it is online-based.

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Our hybrid learning methodology includes clinical rotations at local facilities, on-site skills and simulation labs, and coursework with an online component. It's demanding, but as you go through the curriculum, you can discuss what you’re learning with classmates via online discussion boards and ask questions of your faculty and clinical instructors.

Our curriculum also prepares you to sit confidently for the NCLEX exam. We ensure you’re familiar with the topics and format you’ll see on the test so you know what to expect.

3. NCLEX Pass Rates

A BSN program’s high NCLEX pass rates can show the program’s level of commitment to student success. The Carol and Odis Peavy School of Nursing’s consistently high NCLEX pass rates for first-time test-takers show that our ABSN program is part of a nursing school that wants you to succeed.

4. Clinical Partnerships

No matter what nursing program you choose, clinical rotations will be vital in helping you find your place in the healthcare industry post-graduation. Finding a program that offers exposure to a wide variety of clinical settings allows you to see where you fit within different specialties and find the one that interests you most.

With UST’s accelerated BSN program, you’ll gain meaningful nursing experience during clinical placements at top healthcare facilities in the greater Houston area. Everything you learn will come together when you can put the knowledge you’ve gained in the program into action.

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Here are eight tips for how to prepare for nursing school.

Nursing clinicals in our 12-month accelerated program empower you to work with experienced nurses and doctors in Texas under the guidance of clinical instructors. You’ll gain your own experience across a variety of specialties, including the following:

  • Adult health
  • Community health
  • Mental health
  • Obstetrics
  • Pediatrics

Clinical placements pave the way to your nursing future, so where and with whom you do them really matters. A solid clinical experience can shape you into a confident and skilled nurse.

Nursing in Houston

Now that you know how to choose a nursing school, we have great news. The University of St. Thomas Houston can offer you all the points mentioned above. Houston is a wonderful place to become a nurse and provides a unique advantage when it comes to kicking off your nursing career on the right foot.

Our main campus is very close to the Texas Medical Center (TMC), located in the heart of the city. The 1,345-acre campus is home to top experts in medical treatment and care, research and technology.

UST nursing student standing outside

In addition to the TMC, you’ll be near Houston Methodist, Memorial Hermann and Texas Children’s Hospital. There’s no shortage of top healthcare jobs for qualified candidates in Houston!

Ready to Start Your Nursing Journey?

If you are ready to take the next steps toward becoming a nurse, now is the time to act. You can put your non-nursing bachelor’s degree toward a future in nursing through our ABSN pathway. Contact our admissions team today to learn more about our accelerated nursing program.