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Choosing the Best Nursing School

Where you choose to earn your BSN is one of the most important decisions of your career. Before you make a commitment, be sure to ask the following questions to choose the best nursing school.

Are the University and Nursing School Regionally Accredited?*

This is one of the most important questions to ask when selecting the best nursing school program. Regional accreditation is the highest level of accreditation a college or university can obtain, and it's recognized throughout the United States. This means that other regionally accredited nursing schools recognize your degree and coursework. Regional accreditation is especially important if you want to go on to earn an MSN.

Jacksonville University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Accreditation of a nursing school is done on a volunteer basis, but it ensures the quality and commitment of its educational program in the proper training of nurses. Jacksonville’s School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Accreditation is usually required for employer tuition reimbursement to ensure the quality of instruction employees received.

Is the Nursing Program Truly Online or Mixed With Campus Classes?

Many online nursing programs can be misleading. You might find that not all of a program's classes are available online or that the online courses offered do not add up to a complete degree.

All courses required of our BSN degree are available entirely online, and that includes lab courses such as chemistry, which are often an on-campus component of other programs. At Jacksonville University, any lab materials you may need, such as a microscope or lab slides, are included with your materials fee and shipped directly to your home.

What Are the Online Classes Like?

Other online nursing program classes consist purely of reading a book on your computer monitor and taking tests. A state-of-the-art online nursing program like Jacksonville University's offers interactive techniques, such as streaming video and audio lectures, along with lively message boards to supplement the curriculum. All tests are offered online, so you'll never have to drive to a testing center or pay a testing fee.

What Are the Clinical Requirements?

This is a very important question to ask when deciding on the best nursing school program. A high-quality online nursing program will require you to demonstrate the skills you have learned. Determine your obligations by asking the following:

  • Do I have to travel to another city? If so, for how long?
  • Are there additional travel costs, or is travel included in my tuition costs?
  • Can I select a preceptor I already know?
  • Can I fulfill the requirements with my own employer?
  • Are there additional fees?
  • How many hours are required?

At Jacksonville University, we refer to a clinical as a practice project because it allows you to put your learning into practice – to help your career and your community. Whether your interest is quality improvement, policy creation, procedure development or new techniques, you pick a topic of interest to you. The online BSN program requires completion of one course that entails a practice project: NUR 456 Application of Professional Nursing Concepts. Not only is the practice project self-directed, you also get to choose the RN who mentors you through it. So you get to work one-on-one alongside someone you feel comfortable with – a nurse who has already earned his or her bachelor’s degree (or higher) and can help mentor you through successful completion of your project.

You will fulfill your project requirement right in your hometown or where you work. There’s no need to travel a long distance to complete it.

What Are the Fees Over and Above the Tuition and Textbooks?

Many institutions charge not only tuition, but also a host of assorted fees for application, technology, transcript evaluation, library privileges, graduation and more. Extra expenses can quickly add up, so make sure you know your bottom line cost prior to applying. Jacksonville University's tuition is very affordable with no hidden fees.

* Jacksonville University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097; Telephone number 404-679-4501) to award bachelor's and master's degrees.

The School of Nursing is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).