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10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Nursing School

Posted by Sara Giboney Friday, Jun. 28, 2024

Choosing a Nursing School10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Nursing School

If you’ve started your search for the best nursing school for you, there are some important things to consider.

You’ll want to look at accreditation, curriculum, clinical experience opportunities, nursing faculty credentials, student support, the cost of tuition and financial aid options, campus facilities, NCLEX pass rates, student life, housing offerings and the alumni network.

Nebraska Methodist College (NMC) is a healthcare college that offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral nursing degrees. 

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing is offered in traditional four-year and accelerated one-year formats. The four-year program is for recent high school graduates and transfer students. The accelerated program is for those with an associate or bachelor’s degree in another discipline.

Here are 10 things to consider when choosing the right nursing school for you:

1. Best Nursing Schools Accreditation

Accreditation means an accrediting agency recognizes that an institution has maintained a certain level of academic standards. 

Graduating from an accredited nursing school means you received a quality education. When you begin applying for jobs, future employers will want to see that you graduated from an accredited institution.

Types of Nursing School Accreditation

The college or university you choose should have national and regional accreditations. 

In addition to demonstrating that the college has met certain standards, accreditation ensures that students have access to federal student aid. 

You should also make sure that the college’s nursing program is accredited. 

NMC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and Nebraska’s Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education (CCPE). NMC’s nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Nursing School Reputation and Rankings

Publications such as U.S. News and World Reports, and share rankings of top nursing schools based on survey results, NCLEX pass rates, cost of tuition, program outcomes and accreditation.

These rankings may help you understand the overall reputation of the school.

NMC has been ranked in the top five nursing schools in Nebraska by 

The College has also been awarded the American Association of Men in Nursing Best Schools for Men in Nursing award.

2. Nursing School Curriculum

A nursing program’s curriculum will tell you a lot about the education you will receive.

At NMC, students complete the Educated Citizen core curriculum, which includes all arts and sciences requirements. The curriculum prepares students to become competent practitioners who are able to respond to complex situations. 

These courses, often referred to as general education, include biology, chemistry, math and communications classes. Most of these classes are completed during a student's first year of nursing school. 

Nursing Core Curriculum Courses

A comprehensive curriculum of a nursing program should prepare students with the knowledge and skills they need to be a competent and compassionate nurse. 

NMC’s nursing program curriculum focuses on population-based health, which helps students understand the diverse factors that influence health outcomes for different populations.

Students take multiple population health courses, complete population health clinicals and participate in community service focused on population health.

Other classes included in the curriculum include, public health science, pharmacology, professionalism in nursing, healthcare policy, research methods, transition to practice and nursing care of specialized populations.

How to Choose a Nursing School3. Nursing Clinical Experience Opportunities

Your clinical experiences are a valuable part of nursing school as they give you hands-on experiences in clinical settings. 

At NMC, students participate in their first clinical during their second year. Students then participate in clinicals each semester until they graduate.

In their final semester, students participate in a preceptorship. The senior preceptor practicum integrates the concepts they’ve learned throughout the program. 

During the preceptorship, students experience the role of a practicing nurse. They are assigned to a registered nurse preceptor, who acts as a mentor and helps them gain confidence and competence in applying skills they’ve learned in nursing school.

This is an opportunity for students to work in an area of interest to discover if it is a good fit and network with a potential employer.

At NMC, nearly 99% of students were placed in one of their top three choices for nursing preceptorships in 2023.

When you graduate from NMC, you’ll be prepared to work in various healthcare settings because of your coursework, clinical rotations and preceptorship.

Graduates of NMC often accept positions in cardiac care, emergency care, surgery, mental health, pediatrics, intensive care, neonatal intensive care, oncology, obstetrics and gynecology, progressive care, rehabilitation, clinical settings, orthopedics, neurology and labor and delivery.

Nursing Simulation Labs

Simulation labs are an important tool for nursing students to practice skills. Simulation labs typically feature manikins that simulate common medical situations.

NMC has four hospital-room modeled simulation laboratories with high-fidelity medical manikins that simulate real-life patient scenarios.

4. Nursing Faculty Credentials and Student Support

As you’re going through the nursing program selection process, you’ll want to know about the professors who will be teaching your classes.

Knowing the student-to-faculty ratio will help you understand how much support you’ll most likely get. 

NMC’s 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio allows students to get personalized support from faculty.

You can learn more about the quality of nursing faculty and student support by scheduling a campus visit where you can meet some of the professors and by reviewing student testimonials online.

Experienced Nursing Faculty

As a nursing student, you’ll want your teachers to be experienced nurses.

When you meet faculty during a campus tour, ask them about their experience in nursing. You can also read their biographies on the college’s website.

At NMC, most nursing faculty are still practicing nurses, so they understand what it’s like to work in healthcare today.

Student Support Services in Nursing

In addition to the support you’ll receive from your professors, the college should also have support services available to you.

Resources available at NMC include:

  • Academic advising
  • Career counseling
  • Counseling services
  • Supplemental instruction
  • Test preparation
  • Time management help
  • Tutoring

5. Nursing School Tuition and Financial Aid

You will want to compare tuition costs and financial aid opportunities when searching for nursing schools. 

You’ll find that tuition costs less at public colleges. But don’t eliminate private colleges from your search because of the cost of tuition.

Private colleges will have financial aid opportunities, including scholarships, grants, employee tuition assistance, work-study programs and more.

NMC students receive more than $19 million annually in total financial aid. NMC awards $5.8 million annually in scholarships and grants, including $3.5 million in institutional scholarships.

Nursing Scholarships and Grants

As a nursing student, you’ll have many opportunities for scholarships and grants. 

Nursing scholarships available at NMC include:

  • Scott Scholars Program scholarship
  • Upfront Merit Scholarships
  • Academic and Leadership Scholarships
  • Becker Presidential Scholarship
  • Wischmeier Dean’s Scholarship
  • HOSA Leadership Scholarship
  • NMC Legacy Grant
  • Nebraska Career Scholarship

10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Nursing School6. Nursing Campus Facilities and Resources

A campus visit will help you decide which college is right for you. When you take a tour, notice how up-to-date the campus facilities are and whether there are spaces you could see yourself using.

NMC’s Josie Harper Campus offers everything you need for a meaningful and supportive college experience.

Some of NMC campus features include:

  • Accessible Testing Center
  • Chapel
  • Deja Brew café and Micro Market
  • Dining Hall
  • John Moritz Library
  • Learning and Academic Resource Commons (LARC)
  • Outdoor Patio
  • Wellness Engagement (WE) Center

Nursing Libraries and Study Spaces

Having comfortable study spaces and library resources will make nursing school easier. Check college websites to find out what their library has to offer.

At NMC, library staff are available to help students find books and journals, access databases, check out equipment, research course topics, use APA style and more. The library features individual and group study spaces. 

The LARC features modern study areas, private meeting spaces, cozy places to lounge and access to hardcopy, online and inter-library resources.

Nursing Technology and Learning Tools

Technology will play an important role in nursing school as it makes studying, research and presenting more accessible.

On-campus NMC students receive an iPad, Apple Pencil, keyboard cover and supporting apps to participate in online and technology-enhanced learning.

NMC students use innovative technology such as interactive apps that help them learn human anatomy and virtual reality that simulates surgical and hospital experiences. 

NMC is an Apple Distinguished School, which means innovation, leadership and educational excellence are embedded into the mission of the College. NMC uses Apple technology to inspire creativity, collaboration and critical thinking in learning, teaching and the school environment, and have documented results of academic accomplishment.

What to Consider When Choosing a Nursing School

7. Nursing School NCLEX Pass Rates

The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) is a nationwide exam for the licensing of nurses in the United States. Your college education should prepare you to pass the NCLEX. 

At NMC, 98% of nursing students passed the NCLEX the first time they took the test in spring 2024.

Faculty are intentional about preparing students with the knowledge and skills they need to pass the NCLEX and begin their careers as nurses.

Nursing Career Services and Job Placement

As you’re on your career path to nursing, you’ll want to have opportunities for networking and professional growth.

In addition to clinical experiences and a preceptorship, NMC students can attend networking and professional development events on campus.

An annual event brings together Methodist Health System clinical leaders with students nearing graduation. 

Career counseling is also available to students who need assistance with resume writing, job searching and more.

8. Nursing Campus Culture and Student Life

Getting to know the campus culture will help you decide a college is right for you. 

While you can follow schools on social media or look at their websites, you can get a better sense of the culture with a campus visit.

Nursing Student Organizations

Getting involved on campus will help you connect with your peers and build a community.

Some of the organizations for nursing students at NMC are:

  • American Association of Men in Nursing
  • BIPOC Affinity Group
  • Honor Societies
  • Ignite Student Group
  • LGBTQIA+ Affinity Group
  • Methodist Student Nurses’ Association
  • Student Ambassadors
  • Student Government
  • Student Housing Association
  • Student Veterans of America
  • Students as Parents Group
  • Study Abroad
  • Social Justice and Inclusion Ally Affinity Group

9. Nursing School Location and Housing

The location of your school and housing  is important, especially when you’re commuting to campus and to clinical sites.

NMC is located in central Omaha just blocks away from Methodist Hospital, where many students participate in clinicals. 

Josie’s Village is NMC’s on-campus housing, which is a short walk from campus.

On-Campus Housing for Nursing Students

Living on campus can often cost less than renting an apartment or house off campus. It’s also a great way to connect with classmates or students from other programs.

While many college campuses have traditional dorms, shared spaces with loft beds, some campuses have apartment-style housing.

Josie’s Village is NMC’s fully furnished, one- and two- bedroom apartment complex with free internet, on-site laundry, parking and utilities.

Choose a Nursing School

10. Nursing Alumni Network and Continuing Education

After you graduate, maintaining a connection to your college through the alumni foundation can help with networking.

Your college may also offer continuing education and professional development at discounted rates for alumni.

NMC’s Alumni Association offers events and newsletters to help you stay connected to the College.

Continuing education courses are free to alumni of NMC. Graduates can earn required continuing education credits.

Apply to Nebraska Methodist College Nursing Program

If you’re ready to start the nursing school application process, fill out an online application.

If you have questions about NMC’s nursing programs, nursing school criteria, nursing school tips, application process or nursing school prerequisites, contact the NMC admissions team at or (402) 354-7200.

Topics: nurse education, nursing, bachelor's degree, bsn, nursing degree, accelerated nursing

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