If you’re already done the soul searching, the research, and you know for certain that a career as a practical nurse (PN) is right for you, then it’s time to start looking at PN programs. There are many considerations to make before investing your time and money. Here are a few key questions any prospective student needs to ask before committing to a program.
At the end of a PN program, nurses must pass what is called the National Council Licensure Examination or NCLEX. Without passing this exam, a nurse cannot practice as an entry-level nurse. It is wise to research PN programs you are interested in to determine how many of their graduates pass the NCLEX each year. If the program has a fairly high pass rate, you can feel confident that the program adequately prepares graduates for what is to come on this highly important exam.
As you consider PN programs, consider whether this is a program that emphasizes the academic or clinical experience. Not all nursing programs are created equal. Some programs put more emphasis on “book work” or the academic side of learning. In other programs, students are immersed in clinical experiences right away. Consider your own personal learning style as you decide whether the program is a good fit for you.
There are many PN programs to choose from and, before committing, it is important to make certain that a career in nursing is right for you. Do you have a sincere desire to work with injured or ill patients from all walks of life? Will you be able to treat patients ethically and fairly, regardless of any biases you might have? Can you handle the sight of blood, and can you tolerate handling bodily fluids?
Most all PN programs will prepare you for the day-to-day tasks, but they cannot teach a nurse to be caring, empathetic, kind and understanding. These qualities are crucial in order for a professional to thrive in a nursing career.