Colleges and universities come in two flavors, public and private. Though both of them are capable of offering a quality education, there’s some debate over what’s better- private nursing schools, or public ones.
Before looking at the things that separate them, it’s important to see what they have in common:
– Students of either are eligible for state financial aid, or financial aid through various nursing organizations.
– Both types of school turn out students who are qualified to take the NCLEX-RN.
– Tuition reimbursement schemes offered by employers can be redeemed for either school.
– Both types of schools are just as likely to be approved by the state Board of Nursing.
Private Nursing Schools vs. Public Nursing Schools
Though they’re fundamentally the same, public and private schools have some key differences.
Public nursing schools are supported by money from the state. They are generally larger, and may have larger class sizes, which results in less student-teacher interaction. Public schools also charge lower tuition fees to state residents, and higher ones to students coming from out of state. Residents also usually have an easier time being accepted to public nursing schools than non-residents do.
Private nursing schools are supported by tuition and endowments. They are generally smaller than public schools, and have smaller class sizes. Private schools also usually charge higher tuition fees than public schools, and may not charge different fees to residents versus non-residents. Private nursing schools may not necessarily accept residents any more easily than non-residents, and may also have additional requirements for admission.
Financial Aid and Private Nursing Schools
When it comes to nursing degree programs, none of them are cheap. One of the best incentives that states and schools have come up with to help lure new students to their nursing programs is to offer loan repayment schemes, tuition reimbursement offers, grants, and scholarships. Private nursing schools may have better financial aid programs than public schools. Public schools are usually just working with money given to them by the state, and some private schools get a lot more in tuition, donations, and endowments than public schools are granted. As a result, they can usually afford to be more generous with their scholarship and financial aid programs.
Some nursing students may be able to attend private nursing schools for nearly free, if they are able to qualify for financial aid through the school, the state, and any other scholarship programs available to nurses in their area. Hospitals and other medical facilities are also good sources of tuition money, since some of them have their own, private tuition reimbursement programs for students that are willing to sign on to work for them after graduation.
Finding Good Private Nursing Schools
Though private nursing schools generally offer a high quality education, that doesn’t mean that they’re all created equal. Even schools that are accredited may have nursing programs that aren’t any good to students who want to go on to practice, so would-be nurses have to be careful about ensuring that the nursing programs they enroll in have the Board of Nursing’s seal of approval.
All states have their own Board of Nursing, which is the organization responsible for setting educational requirements for nurses, and determining which organizations are capable of sufficiently educating them. The Board maintains a list of schools and programs that meet its approval, and it’s important that aspiring nursing students choose a nursing program that’s on this list. If they don’t, no matter how good their education is, they won’t be allowed to sit for the NCLEX-RN, and won’t be allowed to practice after graduating.
Ultimately, choosing a Board of Nursing-approved school is more important than deciding to attend a public school versus a private one. Private nursing schools have some distinct advantages over public schools when it comes to things like financial aid and admissions for out of state students, but making sure that you are qualified to sit for the NCLEX-RN is crucial to your nursing career. With the help of your state’s Board of Nursing, you’ll be able to choose an approved private nursing school, and have an easy time finding programs to pay for it.