There are so many nursing programs scattered across Connecticut, that the process of choosing the right one can feel intimidating. Not all nursing schools are created equal, so how do you know you are choosing the best possible one for you? How do you know you are choosing a program that aligns with your career goals, your scheduling demands, and your educational needs as an aspiring nurse?
Top-notch nursing schools provide students with the skills, knowledge, encouragement, and resources needed to succeed – in both their degree programs and in their future careers. To help you make this choice, Goodwin College has outlined seven must-have qualities that the best nursing schools all share.
- Varied Levels of Nursing Education
Today, healthcare employers are looking for qualified nurses who are masters at what they do. They are armed with the skills, training, and knowledge needed to succeed in any nursing career. In Connecticut and across the nation, nearly 80 percent of employers prefer to hire nurses with a Bachelor’s degree. That is why the best nursing schools do not just stop with an Associate RN program – rather, they offer numerous opportunities for nursing students to grow and expand their education.
As you consider your nursing school options, look for a school that makes it easy to grow. Learning opportunities should always be at your fingertips, as a nursing student and well into your career. At Goodwin College, you will find three levels of nursing degrees – an Associate degree program, which will prepare you for the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) and a career as a registered nurse; a RN-to-BSN program, in which you can advance your education in just 16 months part-time; and a Master’s in Nursing program, for those who desire an advanced clinical or leadership role in healthcare.
- Online and On-Campus Coursework
As a nursing student, you deserve a college that offers classes on your schedule. Especially if you are already working as a registered nurse, you deserve a curriculum that can be tailored to your scheduling needs. The best nursing schools will offer just this – flexibility, convenience, and the ability to complete your nursing coursework on your time or online.
Goodwin College’s nursing school is all about convenience. While our foundational ADN program is offered on campus, you can still enjoy the flexibility of day and evening courses. This means you can still work full-time or part-time while working towards your Associate degree. Most clinicals also have day, evening, and weekend options.
Once you gain the fundamental, hands-on experience in our RN program, you can advance towards your BSN degree. Our RN-to-BSN program is specifically designed around the busy lifestyle of a registered nurse. It can be uniquely designed to meet your specific needs, with classes available fully online. Our Master’s nursing program offers the same sort of flexibility. At Goodwin, you can complete your MSN degree entirely online while continuing to work your full-time nursing job.
- A Focus on Clinical Experiences
Hands-on experience and clinical training is vital to your success as a nurse. The best nursing schools recognize this, and dedicate a good portion of their RN curriculum to clinical rotations and practical skills development. Clinical rotations enable you to work in a real-life healthcare setting, with real patients, under the supervision of an experienced medical team.
All the nursing courses at Goodwin have a skills (simulation) laboratory and a patient care component. In the skills lab, students can demonstrate their competency in laboratory procedures, as well as observe, conduct, and evaluate tests. The patient care component is typically achieved through a clinical assignment, where students shadow medical professionals and practice direct, patient care on real people needing help. Clinical rotations are completed throughout Connecticut, in varied settings such as:
- Community Health Centers
- Doctors’ Offices
- Home Health Care Services
- Hospice Facilities
- Long-term Care Facilities
As you look for a nursing school, you will want to ensure that the options for clinical rotations align with your career goals. This can be particularly helpful if there is a specific setting in which you want to work.
- Location, Location, Location
Location is a top-of-mind consideration when researching nursing schools, especially if you have existing obligations. If you have a family or a job that is keeping you close to home, the best nursing school for you will be the one that is also nearby. Too much travel can make it a hassle to get to and from class. Choose a nursing school in a central location, that is close to home as well as ripe with job opportunities.
Goodwin College is centrally located in East Hartford, Connecticut – surrounded by suburbs, yet only a few minutes away from Connecticut’s capital, and a short drive to some of the top healthcare facilities in New England.
- Financial Aid Opportunities
Despite popular belief, the best nursing schools do not have to be the most expensive ones. Rather, they should propel you into financial success and help offset the cost of a nursing degree with multiple financial aid, grant, and scholarship opportunities. The best nursing schools have a dedicated team of advisors who are committed to helping you identify financial aid opportunities.
At Goodwin, we believe that college is essential, and should therefore be accessible and affordable. That is why we have one of the lowest tuition costs for private, nonprofit colleges in Connecticut. During the admissions process at Goodwin, you will have the opportunity to meet with one of our financial aid advisors to design a personalized financial aid package that meets your needs. We’ll even help you fill out your FAFSA and find scholarship opportunities.
One factor that defines the best nursing schools is accreditation. If a nursing school is accredited, it means that its curriculum, policies, professors, and financial standing have been reviewed by an accrediting agency and have met the highest standards of excellence. Earning your degree from an accredited nursing school ensures a high-quality education.
Goodwin College, as a whole, is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Our ADN nursing program was granted continuing accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), and our RN-to-BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing (CCNE).
- Career Placement Services
A nursing degree should always lead to a great career. The best nursing schools will want this for you – to succeed not only in the classroom, but also after earning your degree. Being a career-focused nursing school in Connecticut, you can rest assured that Goodwin College will make your success a priority.
Goodwin has a Career Services team that will always be available to you, free-of-charge, for career placement and counseling support. We can help you shape your resume, prepare for interviews, attend networking events, and help you build the connections you need. We also have relationships with an extensive network of healthcare employers throughout Connecticut. These employers identify our graduates as exceptionally caring and compassionate care givers, and will look forward to meeting you.
Learn more about Goodwin’s nursing programs by calling 800-889-3282, or visit here to learn why we’re a leader in nursing education in Connecticut!
Goodwin College is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin College was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.