What to Know When Choosing a Nursing Certification Program

Nursing programs can vary widely both in what they look like and in the types of careers that they produce. It can be difficult to select the right school. After all, before you’ve started the program, you don’t really know what to look for.

In this article, we discuss important factors that go into any nursing program, such as accreditation, degree options, and more. Here is everything you need to know about how to choose the right nursing certification program for your lifestyle.


Let’s just assume that every nursing school you are likely to consider is accredited by the state you are living in. There will probably be exceptions to this rule, and just to err on the side of caution, you may want to give the school you are looking into a few extra Googles just to be on the safe side, but unless you show up for the school and it turns out to be in someone’s backyard, it’s probably state accredited.

Great, right?

Well, it’s good. Not great. A degree from a state-accredited school will help you find a job in nursing, however, if you want to set yourself up for the best possible future success, what you really need is to find schools that are accredited by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission.

The NLNAC does careful reviews of schools to make sure that they teach students everything they need to know to have a safe, successful career in nursing. Not only can you be sure that you will exit the program with all the necessary skills, but you can also be confident that you will leave with ample advancement opportunities.

People who graduate from non-accredited colleges may not be eligible for graduate classes, or promotions. They may also find that they have limited access to student loans while they are in the program.

Degree Options

Do you want to start your career as an RN? Or what about an LPN? While these career paths are similar, there are differences that can have a distinct impact on the professional experience you have. LPNs tend to work more with doctors while RNs work more with patients.

Both are great ways to pursue a career in healthcare, but unless the college you choose has coursework to support both, you’re limiting your options before you even graduate.

The field of nursing is diverse. Look for colleges that will give you access to a wide range of different available career paths.


Not every college has a nursing program. At least not a great one. While it may feel natural to opt for the nearest community college or state school, you should instead focus more on making a list of qualities that your school needs to have.

From there, you can then start looking at locations. If the school is close to you, that’s great. However, if you have to travel, you may find that it is worthwhile to secure the future career of your dreams.


There are limits to how flexible a nursing program can be. To earn your certificate, you have to complete a certain number of credit hours, and get the required amount of clinical experience. No matter what program you choose, it’s going to be a significant time commitment.

However, there are still ways to make your educational experience a little more flexible. For example, getting a Post-MSN certificate programs online is a great way to continue your education while also working in your chosen career path. Online colleges provide the same quality of education as their in-person counterparts, with more flexibility and often at a better price.

Even if you do decide on a program that is in person, however, make sure that it can accommodate your current schedule. Some programs can offer class times during the day or at night to accommodate working students, while others maintain more traditional classroom hours.

Class Size

There are several reasons that class size can have a big impact on your college experience, even when you are going to school online. For one thing, it affects how much attention you will get from your instructors.

Anyone who has ever sat in a classroom with stadium seating knows it’s not uncommon to take classes in college where you and your teacher never even make eye contact. While that may be fine for some fields of study, it’s not so good for medicine, which requires a very hands-on learning experience.

However, it’s also possible that some people may wish to avoid extremely small class sizes as well. College, especially graduate programs, can serve as a great networking opportunity for future employment. Microscopic class sizes may not allow you to make the sort of connections you are looking for in your college studies.

Consider your goals, and then look for class sizes that match them.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 28, 2023

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