I ended up getting accepted to both ASU and GCU's nursing program
. I ended up going to GCU (A.T.Stills campus) because it is four semesters instead of five, and 15 minutes from my house. ASU downtown would have been about 45 minutes-1 hour away (with traffic in the morning and my work schedule, it would have been rough). ASU is ranked #21 on The U.S. News and World Report while GCU is ranked #435. However, GCU did earn a Best College award on the same report this year. I have heard by word of mouth in the nursing community that GCU's nursing degree is well respected. Even the ASU counselor told me that while she would love for me to come to ASU, GCU is a fantastic option as well and had nothing negative to say. GCU does cost around $10k more than ASU, which is significant. However, if you come in with a high 3.7+ gpa, you get a $3500 scholarship per semester, which pretty much evens out the cost between the two schools. GCU scrubs are purple and ASU's are a burgundy top with white scrub bottoms. At my campus (A.T.Still), we are required to wear our scrubs whenever we come to campus. It's so nice to not have to worry about what to wear in the morning plus, you get to look and feel like a nurse all day!!!
Two months into the program: It's not easy. The first two weeks were crazy because everyone was getting used to the systems, instructors, class pacing, etc... (My classmates and I were definitely freaking out!) Now, I feel like I have more of a handle on things. Get a planner, definitely stay on top of the coursework, and talk to the professors if you need help. I really like GCU @ A.T. Stills because it is a small campus (only 23 in our class) and it is starting to feel like a family. The instructors are very accessible and they have a simulation lab with open lab times where you can practice for your benchmarks. Across the street is the A.T. Still University campus where a lot of us go to study in the library or cafeteria after class. There is also a huge YMCA adjacent to A.T.Stills and GCU students receive free membership!
I've read some postings on here about differences in the way students are taught at GCU vs. ASU. This year, GCU changed it's curriculum and the way they normally teach. They are preparing us to be "Nurse leaders of the Future" and have us do a lot of class group discussion, lots of scenarios, and a little lecturing. As a student, I definitely feel like I have to be alert, awake, and on top of my studies to be able to participate and be awesome in class every day. You have to maintain a 76% average to continue on to the next level, which seems easy, right? You aced your prerequisites, right? No, it's not as easy as you would think. Nursing requires critical thinking and application. You are going to have NCLEX-style questions and can no longer rely on memorization. It's a medical degree, it's not easy. You can do it! My professors have been nothing but helpful and after meeting with them, my exam scores rise significantly.
I really haven't had any experiences where I felt like there was a religious bias pushed on me. Nursing is a science and the professors have always treated it as such. One professor does ask if we would like to say a prayer before exams and although I'm not super religious, it helps to take that moment to calm myself down before the test.
A nice thing about GCU is that if you become a SNA (Student Nurse Association) member, you will be assigned a mentor who is in an upper level class to help guide you through the process. Mine has been very helpful. When I was feeling flustered in the beginning, she gave me some tips and advice on how to stay on top of things. I have even sent her photos of my flashcards and ask her to check them. The upper level classmen come in to talk to us every couple of weeks or so to answer questions, give us study tips, advice on time management, and anything else. Honestly, the school has been a great experience so far. My class is a mix of guys and girls and we are of different ages, races, and backgrounds. We are all very supportive of each other!!
I don't know a lot about ASU's experience from a student's perspective but I have heard only good things as well. Hope this helped! Good luck!!