If your Catholic upbringing and faith drives you to help other people overcome their health problems and illnesses, you may wish to pursue a career in nursing. Catholic universities and colleges offer undergraduate programs that teach you the fundamentals of nursing care, including how to educate and treat clients with potentially life-threatening illnesses. In addition, you develop the skills needed to move forward in your career as a nurse practitioner, midwife and some other advanced discipline while upholding the values and ethics of your faith. But if you don't know how to apply to nursing school to become a registered nurse, the entire process may overwhelm you. The following information may make the enrollment process easier on you.
What to Expect When You Enroll Catholic Nursing School
Many Catholic colleges and universities in the United States offer BSN or Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees to undergraduate students who wish to work in healthcare as employees or as sole practitioners. The BSN programs generally fall into two categories: basic and advanced. However, both categories expect you to stay focused and disciplined in your studies and faith by completing your courses and program requirements successfully.
You can choose the right program based on your previous education and career goals. For example, you can apply to the basic BSN degree program if you:
- Recently graduated high school, or if you have a GED or General Education Development diploma
- Have a previous career as a nursing assistant, home care aide or respite care aide
- Have limited college, university or vocational school credits but enough to transfer to Catholic nursing school
You may choose to move forward with your career goals and apply to the advanced nursing program, if you previously attended a two-year program, such as licensed practical nursing or medical assisting.
You should keep in mind that the basic and advanced programs require you to attend school for four years. During that time, you may take a number of credit courses that include English, clinical leadership and religion. The courses range in length from two credit hours to as much as nine credit hours per semester. For instance, some schools require that you take over 100 hours of coursework each academic year before you graduate.
The school of your choice will typically offer career guidance before you actually enroll in school. It keeps you from enrolling in a program that's not suitable for your career goals now or in the future.
How to Find Scholarships and Grants
Although you can apply for Catholic-based scholarships and grants after you enroll in a college or university, it's a great idea to do so before you complete the application process for nursing school. A number of schools provide scholarship awards to students who plan to enroll and attend their specific school, but you can find awards and grants that pay for your education at any Catholic institution.
To apply for faith-based funding, you must do so when you complete your federal application for school aid. Your school's financial aid department may request copies of your parents' income, such as tax documents, if you don't have any income of your own, or if you live at home with your parents. If you file your own taxes each year, you'll need to sign and submit an income statement to financial aid. Your school will provide the funding amount you qualify for once you complete your enrollment.
If you're ready to move forward in your career as a faith-based nursing professional, contact a reputable college and university specialist for more information about the BSN programs and financial assistance. This is a great idea for people who graduated from schools like Saint Thomas Academy. Why not bring faith into your tertiary education too?