Choosing the Right Nursing School

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So you’ve started your bachelor’s degree, or maybe even finished it… but now you realize nursing is what you’d really love to do. That’s awesome! Figuring out your passion is not always easy, but where do you go from here?


Choosing the right nursing school is a great place to start and doesn’t have to be overwhelming. In fact, for students at Utica College, choosing was easy.

“I chose Utica College because they offered the best course to completing a BSN in a short period of time,” says Sarah, a Utica College ABSN student. “I was looking for a program that would give me the most hands-on experience possible while finishing my degree quickly.”

Here are five reasons more and more students are choosing Utica College to start their nursing career.

1. Become a Nurse in Half the Time

This accelerated nursing program has a condensed academic format, allowing students to earn a nursing degree in just 16 months. However, in this fast, yet rigorous path to becoming a registered nurse, quality is not compromised for speed.

“I chose Utica College’s program because I wanted a fast option, but also a quality school,” says Evens, a Utica College ABSN student.

While the accelerated BSN at Utica College is like a traditional program in that it offers high academic quality and clinical preparation, students have the opportunity to begin their nursing careers in half the time it would take in a traditional program.

2. One Program from Prerequisites to Clinicals

For many, choosing the right nursing school means choosing a school that also offers the necessary prerequisite coursework needed. Having to attend one institution for prerequisites and then apply to another institution for actual nursing school (hoping all the course credits will transfer) is nerve-racking and stressful. That’s far from a concern for students at Utica College.

The early admissions Prerequisite Priority program (PREP) considers every student a nursing student the moment they decide to take prerequisites through Utica College. The PREP program allows students to immediately begin taking the prerequisite courses they need to prepare for nursing school.

Plus, as a PREP program participant, you’re also guaranteed a spot in Utica College’s accelerated BSN program, given you successfully complete your prerequisites with a grade of C or better.

Many other nursing schools won’t make an admissions decision until after a student completes their prerequisites. Not Utica College. Being a Utica College nursing student starts on day one, whether you need to take prerequisite courses or not.

3. There’s No Waiting; You Can Start Now

A common scenario with prospective nursing students after choosing the right nursing school and getting all or their prerequisite ducks in a row, is having to wait for the school to admit them before starting their nursing program.

Let’s say a nursing school can accept and admit 50 students, once a year in the fall. Depending on the number of qualified applicants a school receives and when you are ready to begin the program, it could take months, if not years, for you to actually start coursework.

One of the best advantages of choosing Utica College is not having to wait for the stars to align. You can get on the path to success much sooner. With three start dates every year (one in spring, summer and fall), we can accept more students more often.

Utica College accelerated nursing students complete their clinical rotations near their ABSN program site. Syracuse students have clinicals through several health care providers in upstate New York and St. Petersburg students take clinicals throughout Tampa Bay. This allows the ABSN programs to enroll more students.

Increased student capacity is attracting non-local students as well. Knowing they’ll be able to start their career faster, many students who aren’t local have no problem relocating - some temporarily others permanently -  for this accelerated program.

4. Quality Education, Flexible Program

As a nonprofit school, Utica College focuses on providing the best education and learning environment to help students achieve their career goals. If flexibility is what you need, this nursing program has it. Students have the convenience of completing courses online, giving them the ability to customize their schedule.

Although Utica College offers online courses, students aren’t expected to figure it all out on their own. They can communicate with instructors and other students anytime through an online platform called Canvas.

Online courses, however, are just the tip of the iceberg. Students are required to complete online courses as well as hands-on simulation labs under academic instruction.

“You can get your technique down on a manikin and, for me, it makes me feel a lot more comfortable to get my technique down before working on an actual person,” says Kristin.

5. Gain Real Life Experience

Once students complete the skills labs, they learn to interact with actual patients during in-hospital clinical rotations located in central New York for Syracuse students and the Tampa Bay area for St. Petersburg students.

“You’re following a nurse, and you’re figuring it out,” says Denise. “You’re seeing how they make these decisions, how they use time management, how they talk to patients, how they explain things to patients, so that we are going to be really prepared when we get to that next step.”

And prepared is an understatement. During the year of 2015, 94 percent of ABSN nursing students passed the national licensure exam, NCLEX. If that’s not reason to choose Utica College’s accelerated BSN, then what is?

If you’re having a hard time choosing the right nursing school, consider earning your accelerated BSN in half the time it would take through a traditional BSN program. Contact an ABSN Admissions Representative at Utica College and find out how to get started.

The Ultimate Nursing School Admissions Checklist

Ready for nursing school but stressed about applying? We recommend downloading our free admissions checklist to learn the important ins and outs of applying to accelerated nursing school.

The ultimate nursing school admissions checklist