Deciding on where you’ll attend college is a choice that sets your path for the next chapter of your life—simply put, it’s a big deal! Of course, you’ll determine whether a school has your specialty or area of study, whether that’s an advanced practice within a particular area or a certain combination of core courses. However, there’s more to keep in mind than the coursework alone, particularly if you’re moving a long distance for this opportunity.
Consider both the city and the school.
When you look into potential programs, whether it’s for your bachelor’s degree or master of science, you’ll do a lot of research into the program and the institution more broadly. Your research probably starts with a key phrase like “nurse practitioner school in Ohio” and expands to consider where the best nurse practitioners were trained, what the Ohio Board of Nursing endorses, and what common scope of practice is most often associated with the program.
You may not have paid too much attention to the location of the school, but this is another crucial detail. Will you be fulfilling clinical hours or working with qualified nurse practitioners from this area? If so, you’ll want to be sure that this clinical experience meets your needs. And, just as importantly, you must consider your life outside of the MSN program. You won’t be spending every waking hour on coursework (though it might seem like it sometimes), so it’s crucial to think about the other amenities a location has to offer. You’ll be living here through at least your program, if not after, so you want to like the space you’re living in.
Think about your long-term plans.
Of course, you must consider how you’ll spend your studies and the time you’re in this program. Even a full-time student will have downtime, which you can then fill with other local points of interest. But what about the time after you achieve that long-awaited degree? If you plan to stay in the area, for instance, you want to ensure you’ll have patient care opportunities there post-graduation. If you don’t want to stay local, you might decide to use a storage unit finder to avoid lugging everything you own to school and back—the cost will be well worth it during such stressful times!
Pay attention to local amenities.
You need your program of study and you want to organize your post-grad plans. But you need more than things to do in order to enjoy your time outside of class. And, even more importantly, you have to know that you’ll be okay while you’re working towards becoming an RN or nurse anesthetist. Will you have access to a primary care provider while you’re in school? In most areas of the United States, you‘ll have access to your basic wants and needs. However, there are still plenty of health care deserts and other areas with fewer critical resources, like reliable public transit.
Make the decision that’s right for you.
Let’s say you’ve found the best MSN program in the country, but it’s in an area where you can’t get the health care you need for a mental health condition or chronic illness. In that instance, you may be better off looking into other nurse practitioner programs that better meet your needs. At the end of the day, you need a program that works for you in all ways. That may be becoming an MSN through the best program in the U.S., or it may be a part-time option through an online MSN program that lets you stay close to family. Remember—it doesn’t have to look like the best choice to anyone on the outside looking in. What’s most important is that your decision works for you.