Our Ready, Set, Grow series is an eight-part series that will walk an adult learner through the process of going back to school, this week outlines how to choose the right school for you. Each week will feature a new resource so be sure to check back each week to pick up the new tool.
Ready, Set, Grow! – Choosing the Right School
When it comes to going back to school, many RNs feel anxious about being plunged into a foreign culture—a classroom filled with 18-year old nursing students right out of high school, for example, or stern instructors ready to call out every error. You’ll want to choose a school with a culture that you can fit into comfortably.
The good news is, with the current push for nurses to advance their education, large numbers of nurses in their 30s, 40s, and 50s are returning to school—so online programs have evolved to meet the needs of nurses like you. Online education is far more flexible than on-campus education, eliminating commute times and traditional semester calendars. At American Sentinel, you can begin a course during any month of the year.
You may also feel more comfortable with nursing education that is based on an adult learning model, as with American Sentinel University. This means your work experience and existing clinical skills will form the foundation for learning new academic concepts related to nursing—so you won’t just be memorizing facts for the test. You’ll relate to your coursework immediately, and be able to apply it to your current job. What’s more, you’ll have something in common with your instructors right away: the fact that you are all dedicated, experienced nurses with a desire to never stop learning. The key to a truly interactive culture is instructors who encourage feedback and persuade everyone to participate—the result is a truly dynamic learning experience.
If you’re juggling education with work and family, you’ll also want to find a supportive academic environment. Look for a school that assigns a dedicated student success advisor—this is a great sign that the school regards you as a real person, with a need for ongoing encouragement and support, rather than just one more student to push through the system. At American Sentinel University, our personal success advisors are well acquainted with our nursing course work and can help to guide you as you become comfortable with distance learning. Your advisor will be available to you through phone, email, or live chat, and can also help you navigate computer issues, the research process, etc.
Of course, you need to choose a school you can afford. If you’re shopping around and comparing prices at several schools, be sure you’re comparing apples to apples. American Sentinel prices its tuition per semester credit hour, while some other schools charge per quarter hour or even by a flat fee per term or semester. The easiest way to compare schools’ total tuition price is to know how many credit hours you’ll need to graduate, and then multiple by the price per credit hour. If this sounds complicated, we invite you to download our free e-book, Make Sure You’re Not Comparing Apples to Oranges, which includes a school comparison worksheet. At American Sentinel, we want you to choose the right school for you, even if that means you attend a different school. Call our Admissions department to discuss options today at 866.922.5690.
Have you dreamed of earning your BSN, MSN or DNP? With American Sentinel, you can make that dream a reality.
Read the other Ready, Set, Grow! articles for more on how you can grow professionally and personally by going back to school.