Johns Hopkins vs. Columbia

  1. So I was accepted to Hopkin's BSN/MSN and Columbia's ETP program. I am having a difficult time deciding between the two. I would love to live in NY, but the reviews I've been reading about Columbia's ETP is worrying me. Also, I would love to go to Hopkins, but I just came back from visiting Baltimore and wasn't very impressed. (Sorry, Baltimore folks!) Still, I feel that Hopkins is a more solid program, but it also is about 6 mos longer than Columbia's program. What would you do in my situation? I would love to hear feedback from alumni of either program. Thanks!!
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    About CaliforniaHopeful

    Joined: Dec '09; Posts: 26; Likes: 3


  3. by   Mission
    I graduated from ETP in 2006 and was really happy with the program. In fact, I liked it so much I did my MPH and I am currently working on my PhD at Columbia as well. While I've seen some negative posts on this site, some of which seem legitimate gripes, I don't personally know anyone who wishes they had gone somewhere else or was dissatisfied with the program.

    It's a very intense year and you really have to be prepared for that. The faculty here are open and supportive but no one here will baby you. Also, remember the focus of the program is to prepare you to move on to the NP portion, not to prepare you to do beside nursing, so the coursework is focused on critical thinking, clinical knowledge, not skills. Some of the complaints of heard in the past have been primarily from people who had no intention of finishing the masters portion and didn't feel we spent enough time on skills. On the other hand, reading posts about other schools on this site (schools where people stated the graduated without ever inserting a foley, giving an injection, etc), Columbia seems to do alright. When I got my first clinical job (several months after I graduated) the skills lab instructor agreed to meet with me and go over some of the skills I needed for that particular job. The director of the program knows every ETP student by name and is aware of how they are progressing, she really cares about students success even if she seems overworked and busy (which she is).

    Oh, we also got a new dean, Bobbie Berkowitz, who I think is going to be an amazing and forward thinking asset to the school. Especially for people like me who are really interested in community health. There's more info about her on the CUSON homepage.

    Anyway, good luck with your decision. I don't know much about JH but sounds like you have a tough choice to make.
  4. by   outrunningzombies
    How much of Baltimore did you see? If you only saw the area around Hopkins, you only saw one of the worst parts of the city. There are some nicer areas in the city!
  5. by   CaliforniaHopeful
    Thanks Mission! I really appreciate your insight.

    I went down to where Homewood Campus is, the nursing school, and Mt. Vernon. I also ventured to Fell's Pt. and Inner Harbor. However, I did not spend much time in Fell's Pt. I just ate at a restaurant there and looked at a few blocks before I took the water taxi to Inner Harbor. While I found Baltimore a very unique city, I think the problem was that I kept on comparing it to San Francisco, my home town. Please let me know if I had missed something that I should have seen.
  6. by   SFRN
    Well as a Hopkins nurse I am BIASED! But I say go to Johns Hopkins. I graduated in 2005 and had a GREAT experience. I lived in Charles Village area and although I left Baltimore for my native California, there are days I actually miss Baltimore--cheap housing, adorable row houses, sigh.....Good luck in whatever you do, But I can guarantee you will get a GREAT, solid education at Hopkins.

    PM if you have any specific questions!
  7. by   outrunningzombies
    Good areas in Baltimore? I like Federal Hill and Charles Village, and my cousin lived in a really cute walkup near Washington Heights (? maybe? fuzzy memory today). Fells Point has some fun bars. I was never impressed by the Inner Harbor, honestly.

    I only visited San Francisco itself once (went to the general Bay Area a few times), and all I'm really familiar with in NYC is Brooklyn, but if you're comparing Baltimore to either city, I think it's going to fall way short. I just didn't want you to base your decision on one of the worst parts of the city.
  8. by   CaliforniaHopeful
    Thank you so much! I just PM'ed you!

    I too liked Charles Village. It has a nice college atmosphere. Also, I wish I had seen Federal Hill while I was there. But anyways, thank you for your input on Baltimore.
  9. by   PsychGrad07
    Quote from SFRN
    Well as a Hopkins nurse I am BIASED! But I say go to Johns Hopkins. I graduated in 2005 and had a GREAT experience. I lived in Charles Village area and although I left Baltimore for my native California, there are days I actually miss Baltimore--cheap housing, adorable row houses, sigh.....Good luck in whatever you do, But I can guarantee you will get a GREAT, solid education at Hopkins.

    PM if you have any specific questions!
    SFRN, I can't figure out how to PM you. Sad. Anyway, I was hoping you could elaborate on your experiences at JHU. I have been accepted to the accelerated class starting this June, and I plan on attending. However, with financial aid awards having been recently released and the realization of how expensive this endeavor will be, I'm kind of getting cold feet! I know Hopkins is one of the best schools I could attend, and it's an honor having been offered the opportunity. I also feel like Hopkins' international focus is a really good fit for me, and I think going there could really expand career opportunities for me in terms of working in global health later on.

    All in all, did you find it to be worth the cost? Were you satisfied with the job opportunities you found as a new grad? How much did Hopkins help you with your job search? Was there anything about your experience that you were dissatisfied with? Also, slightly unrelated, but I'm interested to know if you participated in the study abroad option for clinicals?

    Any info/advice you want to share would be appreciated. Oh also, if you don't mind my asking, have you felt comfortable paying off your loans on your salary as a new nurse?
  10. by   SFRN
    Hey PsychGrad07,

    Not sure why you can't PM me. As for the costs, well it was a pricy number attending Hopkins, fortunately I had some grants/scholarships and I didn't leave with too much in debt. I was also worried about the costs prior to attending, but I figured this is an investment in my education/finding stable employment and went for it. There was the opportunity to do clinicals overseas, for community health I went to St. Vincent and the Grenadines (union Island). Some students went to Singapore/South Africa for his/her practicum. I did my practicum at Johns Hopkins Hospital. When I came out of school jobs were plentiful not like the situation now, but realize that nursing jobs are cyclical with periods of surplus of jobs and then times, like now, where it is difficult to find a job. I would say that you will eventually get a job in nursing--albeit may not be the job you like. As far as paying off loans-- locked in my interest rates when I was in school and so far I am not having difficulty paying them off. I live/work in the Bay Area and I am actually working 2 jobs by choice. The average Bay Area nurse is making around 100,000 per year---yes, yes the cost of living is higher in the Bay Area but you CAN live comfortably with that kind of salary. Ok I think I answered your questions, any more just let me know. Good luck with whatever you do. I was in your shoes at one time and it was scary packing up my truck and driving to Baltimore for school.
  11. by   Kristinebean
    Hi SFRN!
    I was recently accepted into the Traditional Program at JHUSON and I have some concerns (i.e. tuition, quality of education etc.) about attending the program. I, too, am from California, and I live about 30 miles away from SF. Is the quality of education and the experiences you had at JHUSON worth the high tuition? How did you handle the move from SF to Balitmore? I would really appreciate it if you could give me some advice about what to expect at Hopkins and how you adjusted to living in Baltimore. I love California, but I would like to experience life on the East Coast. Also, I've been hearing some not so great things about Baltimore and the Hopkins Nursing program in general so your feedback is much appreciated. Thanks!
  12. by   Ollie2011
    I would also love to hear people's experiences with the traditional BSN program at Hopkins! I have recently decided on Hopkins over Columbia (probably one of my hardest decisions ever)! What negatives have you heard about Hopkins' program? I'm still trying to justify the price tag of any private nursing program as opposed to going to an in-state school...any feedback on that would also be greatly appreciated! Thanks!!
  13. by   linearthinker
    That's easy. Hopkins is a strong tier 1 school, Columbia is Ivy League. There is no doubt in my mind, one should attend the very best school they can get into. So Columbia, no question. Good luck!
  14. by   Ollie2011
    I'm sorry, I don't think I understand why Columbia is a clear choice over Hopkins? Do you mind elaborating? Also, since it looks like you are already in the profession, what makes attending the best school you can get into worth the cost over an in-state school? Do you see hiring and promotion decisions in favor of nurses who have graduated from these top-tier schools over nurses who have not?
    Thank you!!