6 Questions to Ask about Nursing School

Some questions to ask about nursing school include asking what sets the program apart, what the school looks for in its students, what the NCLEX pass rates are, and what clinical experiences are like. Another good question to ask is what you can expect during your time in nursing school.

woman sitting behind computer thinking

While you search for the right nursing school, it is important to have your questions ready. But how do you know what questions to ask when choosing a nursing school? Well, you have come to the right place.

Finding the right fit for an accelerated nursing program requires research, but first it is important to ask relevant nursing school questions because the answers will help you determine if the quality, values, and mission of the program will fulfill your goals.

Read on to find out what questions to ask when choosing a nursing school and find out what Catherine Luksic MSN, RN, and director of Misericordia University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has to say about finding the right fit for you.

1. What Sets the ABSN Program Apart?

What differentiates one nursing school’s education from another? This is important to find out as a potential nursing student because you want to make sure your goals and values align with the school. At Misericordia University, Director Luksic believes the curriculum and the school’s values are exactly what sets the ABSN program apart from others.

Four ABSN students standing in lab

“There’s nothing we take more pride in than graduating students from our program who are clinically competent, technology savvy and instilled with our core values — all components vital to nursing success in today’s healthcare workforce,” she says.

Why are those values so important? Because they are the foundation of the curriculum. The goal is to foster an educational environment that adheres to these values so you can graduate prepared to live them out with patients, families, and employers.

2. What Do You Look for in Students?

Every place is different, but when finding the right student for an accelerated BSN program, like Misericordia’s, commitment is most important.

A commitment to the study and the application of the principles students are learning is vital to success in nursing school. The ABSN program is going to take a lot time and energy.

At the end of Misericordia’s 16-month program, every student will be prepared to sit for the licensure exam, NCLEX-RN. The only way they will be successful at that is if they have adequately prepared, practiced, and passed each of the courses offered.

Misericordia ABSN student sitting with laptop

3. What Can I Expect During the Nursing Program?

Another important question to ask when choosing a nursing school is how the curriculum is laid out. Knowing how it works and what is expected during a program is key to figuring out what nursing degree path would be the best fit for you. Misericordia’s ABSN program actually blends online curriculum with hands-on experience, which is unique and helpful to those who are more independent and seek greater accessibility in their studying.

“To prepare you for the ever-evolving world of healthcare, our program has 3 unique elements. First, we offer students nursing theory courses in a completely online asynchronous environment. This allows you to do your coursework when it works best for you,” Luksic says, “Second, you will come to our state-of the art facility in Robinson Township for hands-on experience in simulation and clinical skills development. And finally, you will have quality clinical rotations at premiere healthcare facilities in Pittsburgh, including Allegheny Health Network and UPMC.”

ABSN student sitting in chair using laptop

The online coursework is asynchronous, so there will be a lot of readings, assignments, exercises, and tests that are all part of that didactic component. That means it is important for students to hit the ground running, especially with the knowledge that they are going to have to keep up with the pace.

The second part of the ABSN program at Misericordia University involves students coming into the nursing education center to participate in laboratory and simulation experiences so core competencies can be practiced.

Beginning in the second semester of the ABSN program, students will spend time learning in a clinical setting in addition to the labs and online work.

4. What Clinical Experiences Are Offered and Where?

Clinical experiences give students the real-world practice they need to be successful nurses. That is why it is very important to ask about a program’s clinical experiences — including what health care facilities you will be learning in and what kind of diverse experience is offered.

If you become a Misericordia ABSN student, you will have access to some of the best health care settings in the country. “Pittsburgh is an amazing center of health care excellence. Our students will be training in some of the finest facilities in the city, and that is going to help them as graduates to compete for the best jobs,” she says.

At Misericordia, clinical education begins in the second semester of the ABSN program. These diverse experiences will provide you with a comprehensive learning environment.

Clinical experiences for Misericordia ABSN students include:

  • Acute care
  • Pediatrics
  • Obstetrics (including labor & delivery)
  • Specialties, like psychiatric nursing
Nurse attending to patient in hospital room

Want to learn more about the value of clinical rotations? Discover 8 ways clinicals prepare you to be a nurse.

5. What Kind of Support Will I Receive When Coursework Is Online?

Having access to instructors and other faculty members as you navigate a nursing program, especially one with an online component, is essential during an accelerated nursing program like Misericordia’s. Just because you are completing work online does not mean you are on your own.

Misericordia also provides faculty advisors who can help support and mentor students through the ABSN program. There are also success coaches available who can help students in other ways.

6. What Is Your NCLEX Pass Rate?

This is one of the most important questions to ask when inquiring about a university’s nursing program — What is the NCLEX pass rate?

This question is the most critical to finding a quality nursing program. Why? Because nursing programs have standards to meet in order to be able to continue to be approved by the state board of nursing. NCLEX pass rates are a part of that.

two accelerated nursing students at table studying

At Misericordia, the BSN program had a first-time NCLEX pass rate of 88.6% for 2021.

Are You Ready to Get Started?

Now that you know the questions to ask when choosing a nursing school, it is time to make that first call.

Are you ready to reap the rewards of a quality nursing degree from Misericordia? Contact us today.

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