With hundreds of programs to choose from across the United States, selecting the right Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) program can be intimidating. For Heretha Hankins, the decision hinged greatly on ideals. “If you’re looking to make a decision on which program to choose, and you’re looking at several different programs, I encourage you to look and see what the program says their motto is,” says Heretha, a graduate of Walden’s Master of Science in Nursing program. “What is their vision? What is their mission statement? Because that’s going to tell you what they feel they are trying to put into their students.”

Of course, there are plenty of other factors to consider—financial aid, clinical training, and flexibility, for starters, are all important, especially for practicing nurses hoping to achieve their Master of Science in Nursing degree. But ultimately, Heretha says, the decision comes down to personal ideology—including whether a program’s philosophy coincides with your lifestyle and your own goals. “If you can align your life with what that mission statement is, if it speaks to you, it’s the program for you,” she says.

Want to take the next steps to further your nursing career? Find out if a Master’s of Science in Nursing degree is for you.

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