There is an ongoing shortage of nurses in the United States. In light of this, it’s more important than ever that aspiring nurses receive the training they need to help fill this gap. As they prepare to begin their educational journey, prospective nurses may become overwhelmed with the sheer number of choices they have for nursing programs. There are over 2,600 colleges and universities in the United States that offer a nursing degree. But, not all schools are created equal. For those students hoping to become the best nurses they can be, it’s vital that they research and find the best nursing program to prepare them for the challenges of their future career.
For those endeavoring to find the best BSN nursing programs in Connecticut, here’s what you should be looking for:
1. A Comprehensive Curriculum
Considering BSN programs in Connecticut? One of the most important elements to consider is the curriculum. The coursework your program prepares you with is directly correlated with how well you’ll be prepared to enter the nursing field. A comprehensive curriculum should include training in prevention, health promotion, risk reduction, population-based practice, as well as a strong foundation built upon a liberal arts education. At University of Bridgeport, BSN nursing students are required to complete a holistic curriculum that lays a strong foundation with general education classes such as Academic Writing, Public Communication, Sociology, and Fine Arts. These classes help future nurses become more well-rounded individuals who have the ability to analyze and interpret a variety of texts in a number of topics.
Additionally, BSN students at UB are required to complete classwork in their major area that prepares them for their future career. Courses include, but aren’t limited to:
- Health Promotion
- Health Maintenance and Restoration
- Family Nursing
- Health Policy
This extensive curriculum is designed to prepare students for the unique challenges of a career in nursing. When researching the best BSN nursing programs, make sure to assess the curriculum offered by each program!
2. Experiential Training
In addition to a strong curriculum, your school should provide you with hands-on, experiential training. This can come in the form of internships and/or clinical classes. For example, University of Bridgeport provides students with courses that incorporate a clinical component. These include Health Maintenance & Restoration I and II, Essentials of Family Nursing, Health Promotion, and Transition to Prof. Practice. Additionally, the seventh floor of the Health Sciences Center at UB has been renovated to include a Nursing Skills and Simulation Center consisting of 10 beds. Learn more about the Nursing Skills and Simulation Center, here.
Your future nursing program should also have strong ties to the community. Look for a school that offers clinical experiences at local hospitals, schools, medical offices, laboratories, and more. The training you’ll receive at these locations will be invaluable, as will be the professional connections you’ll make during these clinical experiences.
3. Multiple Degree Pathways
Everyone’s educational journey is unique. Many students decide to pursue a BSN after working in another field for some time. On the other hand, some dream of being nurses their whole life, and go into nursing right away. No matter your situation, the best nursing school for you will have options to accommodate your particular academic path. This is also the case for actively working RNs who wish to advance their education with an RN-to- BSN degree program. A BSN can provide seasoned nurses with many benefits. Whatever your route to the BSN, the best BSN nursing schools will offer their students a variety of program options. You can learn about UB’s BSN options here.
4. NCLEX Success Rate
In order to work as a registered nurse in Connecticut, you will be required to take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).The NCSBN requires candidates to pay a $200 registration fee prior to sitting for this exam. Additionally, candidates will need to submit an application for licensure/registration to the nursing
regulatory body where they want to be licensed. With this in mind, it’s important to make sure that your BSN program adequately prepares you to pass the NCLEX, the first time. Schools will have access to information regarding the success rate of their program graduates. Before enrolling in a particular BSN program, make sure that it will prepare you to take and pass the NCLEX.
One of the most fundamental elements to look for in your future BSN program is accreditation. No matter which school you choose, the minimum requirement they must meet is that they’re accredited by either the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Accreditation guarantees that students are provided with an education that prepares them for professional life after graduation. Only the best BSN nursing programs are accredited and, without accreditation, there is no real guarantee that a career in nursing will be possible. In most states, licensure is predicated upon the fact that applicants have earned a degree from an accredited institution.
Nursing is a challenging enough field, as it is. Why not set yourself up for the best possible future by enrolling in one of the best BSN nursing schools in Connecticut? Using these key points as a reference, you’ll be able to find not only the best programs in Connecticut, but the best program for you.