What’s the quickest way to start earning a degree in nursing?
The answer to that question is simple. The fastest way is probably to enroll in one of those colleges that advertise aggressively on television and billboards. If you visit one of those schools, you’ll get a sales pitch. A financial counselor will hook you up with some federal and other loans. You’ll get a uniform and before you know it, you’ll be in a classroom.
Sure, that’s a fast way to get started. But is it the best way?
I stumbled on the answer to that question unexpectedly last week, in an unusual place. I had pulled my car into a gas station to fill up. The guy who was pumping gas looked like a student, so I asked him if he was in college. Here’s what he told me . . .
“Well, I was taking nursing courses at [he named an institute] until a few months ago. After about six months of study, I decided that nursing was not for me and I quit. But now I owe more than $20,000 to repay loans that the school got for me.”
Better Ways to Get Started
This poor guy got nowhere, and now he owes a ton of money too. So, what’s a better way to start training as a nurse? Here are a few options to consider . . .
Option One – Check out courses available at local community colleges. They can be expensive, but you can start out with just one or two courses instead of signing up for an expensive nursing program at a for-profit training school. The result? You can limit your expenditures and indebtedness.
Option Two – Take health courses online. It’s a great way to get a feel for nursing, decide whether it’s for you, and save a lot of money too. Here at StraighterLine, we offer a great selection of applicable courses:
- Introduction to Biology
- Anatomy & Physiology I
- Anatomy & Physiology II
- First Aid/CPR
- Medical Terminology
- Introduction to Nutrition
- Online Chemistry (General Chemistry I)
These courses are high in quality and reasonably priced. Even one or two of them will let you explore health care and decide whether nursing is right for you. Once you have completed them, you can transfer the credits that you’ve earned to a college and save money.
Plus, there’s no need to take loans that will come back to haunt you in the years ahead. So if you’re thinking about starting a college program in nursing, this could be the way to go.
Talk to Some Nurses Too
If you’d like to make a good decision about whether nursing is for you, talking to nurses is a good step to take. You can call a local hospital and ask for a referral to a member of its nursing staff. Another way is to visit Nurse.Org, which posts a list of state nursing organizations on its website. If you call one of them and explain your interest in nursing, they can refer you to local members and resources that can help you make a wise choice about how to start your training.
To Learn More
Be sure to download The StraighterLine Guide to Careers in Nursing. This free 25-page handbook provides answers to your questions about starting your nursing career.
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