Frontier vs Emory University

  1. Hello All,

    I am looking for some advice in regards to picking a school for my FNM/CNM degree. I entered Emory's direct entry program last August for second degree students. I will be awarded my BSN in August and sit for the NCLEX in September. I do not have any working experience as an RN yet and hope to land a job in the fall in L&D or as close to the impregnated uterus as I can get

    My dilemma is that while I am already accepted into the Emory FNM (Family Nurse- Midwife) program I unfortunately will not be able to pay to attend full time. Since I already have a Master's in Public Health and an undergrad degree (soon to be two) I am about two semesters worth of Emory tuition away from the federal "loan cap" (and the program is 5 semesters). So I will have to work full time and go to school part time. While I am fine with that I am also looking into the option of applying to Frontier after I have the required RN experience. It seems that Frontier is equally ranked with Emory but the tuition is far cheaper! It also seems that I would be able to do FNP and CNM at Frontier. While I have no interest in working with kids, I do want to do woman's health.

    I am wondering if anyone has any words of wisdom in regards to the reputation of Frontier. I have never attended an online program before and am afraid of feeling isolated and not being self-motivated enough to be engaged in an online program. I also am wondering if Frontier graduates are as respected as students who have graduated from other "traditional" schools.

    While I have a long track record for attending top tier schools, I am starting to loose faith in the branding that the fancy name and the high tuition costs that come along with it. I am already close to 130K worth of student loan debt from all my schooling thus far. I am getting married soon and will be expanding my family within the next year-ish, so I have a lot of other background factors going on that are making me seriously pause before I invest in another 100k worth of schooling (the total FNM program tuition cost at Emory) when I will have colleges standing next to me that do the same job and do it as well as I do but have half the debt!! Maybe it sounds like a no-brainer when talking about the money but I am afraid of walking away from Emory and going to Frontier and not being equally respected and marketable among my peers. And also having to face the quarks of Frontier and having to find my own preceptors...

    Any helpful suggestions or words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated. I am feeling so torn and heartbroken about what to do and it is causing me tons of stress on top of what I am already dealing with finishing up my accelerated program Don't get me wrong I think the Emory program would be a great experience, if the tuition were the same I would prob have no quandary about staying where I am.

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  3. by   calgrrl
    Hi there! I am applying to nursing programs this summer and I'm also faced with the issues of tuition cost. I will likely go to a private school if I get in, but simply because it is an accelerated program for my BSN. The 2yr community college program actually has a higher NCLEX passing rate and is much, much cheaper, but I figure that if I apply myself I can pass the test and start working a lot sooner. However, I don't have even an 1/8 of the tuition debt as you do and will have help paying my costs. I might make different decisions if I owed so much as 130K is no laughing matter and you will be paying that off for a long long time. A decision to go to a less expensive school may be a big consideration.

    A doctor friend of mine told me that he went to a decent state school, but that HIS partner, a top-of-the-line Mayo Clinic MD, with crazy credentials is now working at a major HMO in a rural community just like my friend. So, the end result can be the same with a fancy degree or a just-as-worthy-but-less-expensive one.

    For you, consider getting on the phone and calling local employers. Find out if they would prefer to hire Emory students vs. Frontier. Find out what starting salaries are and what they look for in a potential employee. You may find out that it will or will not make a difference and that can help guide your decision.

    Good luck with your decision.
    Last edit by calgrrl on May 18, '11
  4. by   BabyLady
    This is my two cents:

    I have no idea why anyone gets the FNP/CNM Dual degree and this is why.

    Most people go into this line of work because they are interested in women's health. With an FNP, you have to add kids and men into the mix.

    I know that some OB-GYN offices employ FNP's but the vast majority of them do not. If they have a choice between an FNP or a CNM or a WHNP, I am sure that the one that is specialized will win, hands down.

    Unless you work in a very, very rural area, you won't be doing prenatal care in a Family Practice office, they will go to an OB-GYN.

    I just feel that you will use one OR the other, but not both in the same practice.
  5. by   CEG
    If you are in Atlanta and think you will live there or in the surrounding area when you work I would consider Emory for that reason. I relocated to the area and had a very hard time finding a job because there are so many Emory grads who precept with practices and then get hired on. The midwifery community as a whole has been very friendly, but getting to know people while in school is so helpful. Has I stayed in the area where I went to school I had several job offers without even applying but when I moved it took me more than a year to find a job.

    I also think Emory has a really top-notch program. I have been very impressed with what I have seen from them. I think Frontier is great (certainly has a great reputation in the midwifery community) but I would miss the in person aspect of the training and the day to day class attendance (but I know distance learning is not for me!)

    The difference in cost between Frontier and Emory might be made up in salary if you find a job more quickly as a result of going to Emory.

    Have you looked into National Health Service Corps, military scholarships/stipends, etc? I have about $140K in student loans so I know how you feel- also a 2nd career midwife.
    Last edit by CEG on May 22, '11 : Reason: bad grammar!

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