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Finding the Right Post Graduate Nursing Program


A previous blog, Benefits of a Higher Nursing Degree, to Internationally Educated Nurses, discussed the importance of a higher nursing degree while pursuing a career as a Global Nurse. This blog discusses how an IEN can go about deciding on to find the right post graduate nursing program at a leading academic institution overseas.

As written in the blog referred above, nurses typically explore the option of enrolling for a higher degree for reasons of career growth, better remuneration, building higher competence, or interest in the subject matter. In addition, factors such as whether to pursue the higher nursing degree part-time or full-time, and the ability to relocate influence the choice of academic institution, and by extension the post graduate nursing program.

What are the steps involved in choosing a post graduate nursing program? Let’s first consider the reasons for wishing to enroll for a higher nursing degree. If the reasons are career growth and remuneration, then the first step is to do carry out a bit of background research (future casting) on current in-demand specializations and future healthcare trends, in the country of interest. If the reasons are a desire to shift to academics or to move into management, the options are far clearer and more limited.

Once an IEN has drawn up a list of potential specializations or programs, the next step in the decision process is deciding whether relocation is an option, in order to pursue the post graduate nursing program. Ideally, an IEN should not be constrained by geography, when taking a decision on which academic institutions to shortlist, as this freedom allows the aspiring student to choose the best institutions for a particular specialization. However, financial and personal factors may constrain the IEN to limit the choice of potential academic institutions to specific geographies; in which case compromises will need to be made with respect to the quality of the program and the profile of the academic institution.

Based on the decision on whether to stay put or to relocate, the IEN can draw up a list of academic institutions that offer the post graduate nursing programs of interest. The following criteria can be used to evaluate academic institutions prior to shortlisting them:

  • Reputation

Although this sounds like a no-brainer, the reason behind listing this criterion is that an aspiring student needs look beyond how well-known an academic institution is, and find out how good the academic institution is in the post graduate nursing programs shortlisted by the student. Famous academic institutions have very competitive  student-admission norms and can be quite expensive, while not boasting of the best reputation in a specific nursing specialization.

  • Faculty

A good process to evaluate the strength of an academic institution in a specific nursing specialization is to go through the faculty roster for that specialization. Well-known names, frequent and impactful publications (in terms of citations and publication in high-impact journals) on the subject matter, and the quantity and quality of doctoral programs in the department are good proxies to judge the quality of the faculty.

  • Industry Partnerships

Depending on the specialization chosen, aspiring students should also investigate industry partnerships that the selected academic institutions boast of, as they would be important in determining the quality of the practicum or the internship, if either of these are part of the course structure.

  • Course Fee

Leave the cost of the program decision criterion for the last. Once the aspiring student has shortlisted a couple of academic institutions and a specific post graduate nursing program in each of them, only then should the student look at the course fee. The reason for this is because student loans are not too difficult to arrange, and it makes no sense cutting corners on a program that is going to demand a significant quantum of the student’s time and thinking for the next couple of years. Furthermore, many institutions offer scholarship programs that the student can apply to.

INSCOL Academy offers post-graduate nursing programs, targeted at IENs, in specific nursing specialisations, in nursing management, and in nursing education, in a choice of colleges and universities in Canada, the UK, and the USA.

INSCOL Academy also arranges for part-scholarships for the programs on offer, so that a portion of the financial burden is taken off the IEN’s shoulder. So, if, as an IEN, you have prepared your shortlist of post graduate nursing programs, give INSCOL Academy a call for guidance on the most suitable options available to you.



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