My research in resilience in nursing students and new graduate nurses has led me to a realization that we need to do a much better job of informing the general public, especially potential nursing students, about the world of nursing education. Pre-nursing students often lack understanding of the most critical considerations when choosing a nursing program. Many simply choose a program based on geographic location, cost, or brand familiarity.
Nursing students often experience stress, frustration, and anger when they begin their nursing education. The rigors and intensity of the program combined with having to adapt to a new type of learning are often unexpected and discouraging. How can we better prepare potential nursing students to succeed and thrive during their journey? My work in resilience has confirmed the importance of adequate and thorough information sharing and guidance counseling very early in the process. Future nursing students must be presented with basic information about both nursing education and the nursing profession to make wise and informed choices about their education. Not all nursing programs are created equal and the choice of a program can determine their successful outcome.
I am curious to learn how students choose their nursing program. I fear it is mostly based on factors that have nothing to do with quality or excellence (e.g. geographic location, brand, etc.). As nurse educators and researchers, I strongly believe we can do a much better job in reaching potential students and sharing critical information that will promote success and retention.