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Nursing Schools Directory

Ultimate Free Guide to Nurse Education, Certification & License RequirementsNational directory of nurse education and training programs. Learn how to become a CNA, LPN or RN in each state
Welcome to NursesLink.org where 100,000 students come every year to find information about nursing education programs!

We are committed to helping nursing students realize their dreams by providing them with complete and accurate school information, free training courses and scholarship opportunities. Newly licensed nurses are in heavy demand. Browse our directory of state-approved nurse training programs in every state to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Registered Nurse (RN). On our website you can find specific information about nursing schools, certification requirements, license test preparation, free training classes and employment trends in any city or state.

How COVID-19 Has Affected the Nursing Profession

The emergence of the coronavirus pandemic has produced a dramatic increase in demand for healthcare workers including nurses. During the last couple years many nurses and other health workers have fallen victim themselves to COVID-19 illness and death. Despite the risks involved, many nurses have stepped up and met the challenge with open arms and have remained on the front lines and even worked overtime to help combat the spread of COVID-19. While the stress and pressure of being a nurse during a pandemic will certainly drive some individuals to leave the profession, luckily we are simultaneously experiencing an increase in the number of those entering the profession. “Data gathered by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing show an approximate increase of 6% in the number of both applications and applicants to baccalaureate nursing programs in 2020” (American Journal of Nursing, 2021). This bodes well for our future health outlook and will be instrumental in the continuing battle to reduce the spread of the coronavirus throughout the United States and abroad.

Why Choose a Career in Nursing?

Nursing careers offer a high degree of stability since they are an integral part of the health care industry, which is one of the strongest sectors of the US economy. Nursing salaries are very competitive given the amount of education required and many nursing positions offer excellent benefits packages. Health care employers such as hospitals, long-term care facilities and health maintenance organizations tend to be large in scale and financially sound. This allows them to offer strong incentive packages to attract the best possible job candidates. Nurses are typically well respected and carried in high regard. Training programs are widely available and very accessible.

How Fast Can I Become a Nurse?

The answer to this question first depends on which type of nurse you want to become. For a Registered Nurse the minimum education requirement is an Associate’s Degree which can be obtained in 18-24 months. With great diligence and strong study habits one can expect to meet the educational requirements and pass the required exams in about two years. While the Registered Nurse is highly sought after there are other types of nurses that you can become much more quickly. The Practical or Vocational Nurse designation can be achieved in approximately one year. The Certified Nurse Aide or CNA can be completed in as little as 3 months.

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Nurse Education Training Programs

See our extensive state by state list of accredited nursing schools and nurse training programs. If you are seeking to become an LPN, CNA or RN you can learn more about each career position and find training programs being offered in your local area.

If you are having trouble deciding which nursing career path to pursue try asking actual nurses about their jobs and gain valuable insight from their real life experience. Enrolling in an academic program is a serious commitment of time and resources and should not be taken lightly. Research various career options and learn more about the average salary you can expect to earn in each position before making a final decision.

Finding Accredited Nursing Schools

National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) – Find out which nursing schools are accredited by the NLNAC (one of two major national accrediting organizations for nursing programs). The NLNAC grants accreditation to ADN, LPN, BSN and graduate degree nursing programs. Employers often prefer to hire nurses from schools that are locally and nationally accredited. To give yourself a competitive advantage in the job market find an NLNAC-accredited nursing school to attend.

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) – The ACEN is recognized as the accrediting body for all types of nursing education by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Using strict guidelines for standards and outcomes, the ACEN grants accreditation to nursing programs throughout the United States. Their standards and criteria are approved by the Board of Commissioners and are published annually. The ACEN evaluates all types of nurse education programs, including hospital certificate programs, vocational schools, online (distance learning) programs, as well as traditional campus-based diploma or degree programs offered by colleges and universities. When considering a nurse education program ACEN focuses their attention on the mission and administrative capacity, faculty and staff, outcomes, resources, standards, curriculum and students.

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) – The second widely recognized national nursing school accreditation agency is another great resource for nursing students to verify accreditation status of nursing programs they are considering. CCNE grants accreditation to nurse residency programs, baccalaureate programs and graduate nursing programs.

Difference Between State Approval and National Accreditation

When a nursing program is “state-approved” that means it is allowed to operate within that particular state and provide nurse education for specific types of programs. State approved programs fulfill the nurse education requirements and allow their graduates to become licensed to practice in that state.

If a program is state approved but lacks national accreditation from either the NLNAC or CCNE, the education might not be recognized by out-of-state employers, other state boards of nursing, or other schools. This might prevent graduates from obtaining nursing jobs in other states or from having their degree and/or credits accepted by other educational institutions.

National accreditation ensures the student that upon graduation their education will be recognized across state lines. Graduates from nationally accredited programs can attend various colleges and universities to build upon their nursing education. They can also apply their existing credits towards obtaining similar license in other states.

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