New entry-level Masters program at U of A!!

  1. Hi all,

    In the last week, U of AZ has posted a change to their programs. They have dropped their 2nd degree BSN and have added a mepn program (master's entry to the profession of nursing (mepn) pathway). This is available to those who already have a non-nursing bachelor's degree.

    check out the link for more info:
    Page not found | UA College of Nursing

    I called to get more info. They said tuition would probably run between 35-45k(depends on residency status). They will start having info sessions on the new program starting at the end of this month.

    Last edit by Joe V on Apr 3, '18 : Reason: capitalization
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    About Cid13

    Joined: Nov '09; Posts: 20; Likes: 1


  3. by   twinieten
    That's so cool! Makes me wish i was in Tucson!
  4. by   abvincent1
    Yes, they changed it to the masters degree for one specific reason: money. The education they provided as a bachelor's degree (accelerated) is no different from that which you would receive in this new master degree program. You may walk away with the master degree, not a master of science in nursing, but just a year ago that education (which has according to the website has not changed at all) earned you a bachelor degree only.

    The tuition when it was an accelerated bachelor program was $28K, now it is going to be 35-45K? When you do the math now you are going to pay at minimum 25% more for the same education simply because they now give you a "master of science" degree. (If they charge 45K that's an increase of 61% for the SAME education you would receive as an accelerated bachelor student). Is simply saying you have a master of science worth paying the 61% increase in tuition?

    See the lightbulbs here? Notice how there isn't much talk of sponsorship now? Connect the dots...
  5. by   twinieten
    What do you mean when you say, "there isn't much talk of sponsorship now?"

    It does seem like a mighty big leap in cost for the same curriculum. What would an actual masters degree student be required? Are they sacrificing quality?

    It does appear to be a Master of Science in Nursing, so you're not losing that title. For a degree holder, this might still be a great route to go. I don't know what the going rate of a masters degree is for university students, but I can imagine it's not cheap. If someone were to get a BSN and then continue their education to get their MSN, would they end up paying roughly the same amount? To walk away with a Masters in half the time would be pretty sweet, vs getting a second Bachelor's degree and then eventually a Master's degree.

    So, putting cost aside, I guess that just leaves the question about the quality of the education if the curriculum is the same as what a BSN holder would receive. You kind of expect more from a Master's holder.
  6. by   abvincent1
    I can't speak of specific programs, but when I went to graduate school as an in state resident I paid about $3K a semester. It was roughly 15K with all expenses over two years.

    This program is 35K for one year, and the second poster said even 45K. That is absolutely absurd. What I see happening with nursing schools is demand is there just before the bubble bursts. Want an example? Go look at MBAs in the early 2000 time frame. Every one had to have an MBA, so the programs boosted the costs to levels that couldn't be maintained, and now the demand collapsed and they are getting an exclusive group of subsidized and or wealthy students...most of whom they must significantly subisidize with even more money just to get them to attend. My best friend resides over the MBA admission program at a Pac-10 school. They literally travel the globe now looking for students because the demand created in the 2000 can not be met now.

    If you look at these nursing programs, you see a mirror image only compounded. Who in his right mind will pay 45K for a 15 month program where you graduate and make 50K a year? No one with any common sense. But as long as these students get govt subsidies for loans to fund this ridiculous logic these schools will continue to pump out debt ridden students who will be paying for these loans for 20 years. I am not simply targeting Arizona, as it is a great school, but look at all the schools. Last I checked Georgetown was almost 70K, Miami was well in to the 50K range.

    I assure you that can not economically last. What is happening is these schools are trying to squeeze as much as they can out while the momentum is on their side---just like mortgage companies did during the housing crisis. But momentum can only last so long before the demand will meet the regression line. The notion that nursing is a safe industry for life has driven demand, and rather than meet this supposed national shortage by providing quality education to all interested and able, the nursing schools are out to subsidize their pockets under the notion that they are doing what they should for the better good.

    Again, I am speaking more indirectly, not at Univ of Arizona. It is just an example of the linear disconnect between reality or what a potential perceives as reality and what the schools see as potential profit making. Until they meet it will flow along like a wavechart---highs and lows.
  7. by   abvincent1
    I will also add, that it is not a MSN. They are giving you a MS. Do your research in regard to what that qualifies you to practice. An MSN will qualify a student for nurse practitioner, Nurse Midwife, and other exclusivity practice of higher caliber. This MS based on what I am researching through the Nursing Board gives you the ability to practice on an equivalent level as a BSN.

    I haven't researched it but I would wager you could do the traditional BSN route of two years at a significant in-state tuition price reduction over 24 months comparably. Why pay so much more to finish 9 months earlier?

    Just some things to ponder. Euphoria is a costly mistake in the world of economics---ask those who are 50-70% upside down in their houses how the euphoria they felt during the boom worked out when an unsustainable momentum trickled back down to the realistic regression line.

    I hope the academic decision makers take this in to consideration when they focus their intent on meeting society's demand of educating nurses for everyone's quality of life. Many qualified and interested students will not receive nursing degrees now due to cost, limiting society's need. As prices reach unsustainable levels, many students will be discouraged to attend, and eventually these programs will need to find the true value of the education they are providing. I suspect 50-70K a year (medical school prices for a nursing education) is no where near realistic. As I stated, go look at the numbers in MBAs. It too was the "in"-thing at one point.

    Its quite discouraging and certainly has forced me to re-evaluate my own goals or at least look at other educational opportunities (and I could pay out of pocket).
  8. by   twinieten
    Hey, thanks for all this info! You're really right on, I think.

    This UA program is not an option for me since I live in Phoenix, but it sure sounded good. Maybe too good to be true.You've given some people some things to consider before pursuing that degree. Well, any degree, really.
  9. by   Cid13
    I don't think I know enough details yet to say if this is a great option or an overpriced option. I'll be attending an info session soon & posting the details. One big question is how this Master's program will bridge you to a NP vs. working towards a NP from a BSN. May be worth the cost then if that's your final goal.
    Last edit by Cid13 on Sep 12, '10 : Reason: grammer
  10. by   abend
    Be very careful with these expensive masters accelerated programs. From what I've seen, few places hire nurse practitioners who don't have any RN experience. Not to mention, your RN colleagues may not be too supportive... just saying. Ask these question BEFORE paying the exorbitant tuition and putting in the blood, sweat, and tears.
  11. by   abvincent1
    Absolutely CID. Listen, if you want to be a nurse, then you do what it takes. However, the most important steps in this process are at the beginning.

    I have researched this program, because I researched it at other schools who already offer the MPEN. What I found is that it is essentially a bachelors degree in nursing, but comparably, you are only getting the basics. You are not even getting pathophysiology for example---something the traditional nursing student does receive. The bridge I found from this program to upper level nursing (e.g. Nurse Practitioner) is you would attend for a certificate beyond your basic MPEN MS degree. So you could go for a post master certificate in NP or you could go the DNP route and get the requirements there as well.

    I am in no way familiar with Arizona's program, but I would wager it is highly molded around other MPEN programs already in existence---I would say this because they too had to get approval to qualify it on a master level.

    This is a great option for many, and I think it is tremendous that it exists, where I disagree in entirity is in the cost. I think the academics at these programs see a rapid influx of applicants and have boosted their tuition in accordance. What they are going to find is as they continue to boost the cost to skyscraper levels their applications are going to diminish and their pool of worthy candidates will subside. In my view educating the next batch of nurses should not be about money, it should be about the "better good" of society. I think by simply taking a bachelor program and turning it in to a master program with no changes did little more than grant them the privilege of charging higher prices for the education. How that benefits any one other than their program is beyond my train of thought.

    I certainly hope those still considering this tuition hike will think about these things. People go in to nursing to practice in the field and assist, it is hard to do effectively when you graduate and make $50K a year and are saddled with a $4-500 a month bill for 15 years from your $50,000 loan you took out for 15 months of education.
  12. by   azdesertflower
    Be very cautious when dealing with the U of A and their nursing program. I'm a graduate of the accelerated BSN program from 2008. The program at the time was advertised as "free BSN", a "waiver", a "scholarship". Just last month I received a letter from my sponsoring hospital stating that I have to pay the taxes on $28K of a "loan" for the program. 35 or 45K is just too much for the education you receive at the U of A. There is a revolving door of professors and let me just say, the good ones don't stay to put up with the BS. The 14 months that I was in the program did not in any way prepare me for bedside nursing on a super busy medical floor which is where I am now and hope to leave as soon as my contract is complete. There are people from my graduating class that once they started working decided that "nursing was not for them" and paid to get out of their contract. These people had graduate degrees in other fields, had been managers and higher ups and now they were less $28K. Nursing is not for the week. I can in no way imagine getting a NP with no RN experience. New RNs are having enough problems getting jobs here in Tucson with PCT experience. There are 4 PCTs on my floor now that have had their RN for 4 months now and no job. Most of the managers at the facility where I work don't care about my previous work experience or education. And most have associates degrees in nursing.

    anyhoo, sorry for the rant. Just get all your info, especially with the U of A. I know that Johns Hopkins has a direct entry master's. I would rather have one from JH than UA! At least I know that I got what I paid for!
  13. by   abend
    I feel you azdesertflower. Nursing is not for the weak. (I shake my head when I read posts by people who "just want to help people.") That said, I am not sure that any nursing school prepares folks for real-world nursing... But how could it really? Rhetorical. Think twice before leaving your cushy but boring desk job, Ladies and Gents.
    Anyway, I was told that anyone with an RN can't legally work "below" his/her license. So isn't that exactly what the RNs working as PCTs are doing?
  14. by   azdesertflower
    I'm not sure what the AZBON rules are about that. One of the PCTs was told directly by the manager that she would look "more attractive applicant" if she was employed than if she had quit her PCT job and was just job hunting. She has a BSN and the others an ADN. So who knows? Her title is PCT not RN or GN. I did not have to go through that because I already had a contracted job. I was lucky!