school choice advice... thanks for reading!!

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    Hi, thanks for reading! I'm currently having trouble with the decision to turn down admission to Johns Hopkins SON for an accelerated bachelor's. If I turn it down, I won't be paying 90K+ for a BSN (a pro). But I'll also have to wait three more years to graduate, and I'll be going to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), which I don't know much about but I'm sure is fine, if not as prestigious as Johns Hopkins. (a possible con)
    It seems not to matter where the BSN comes from... is this really true?
    My ultimate goals are to work as an L&D nurse for a few years while my husband & I start our family, then go on to a midwifery program (most likely Frontier) later in life.
    I currently have a bachelor's degree in Neuroscience from Oberlin College, which means I already have some loans in repayment! I'm only 22, and the idea of so much debt is overwhelming but I want to make the right decision for my future/career.
    Am I making a good decision to wait and go to VCU instead of Johns Hopkins?

    Thank you in advance for any input/advice.
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  4. 12 Comments so far...

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    What's the price difference between VCU and JH? If it's very large, then you aren't necessarily making a mistake. What's the difference between your current income and what you will likely make as an RN in your area, with three extra years in the workforce? Figure those in, instead of just looking at what you'll owe to Johns Hopkins.

    $90K for nursing school is a lot - that's 2 years salary in my part of the country, and where I live it doesn't matter as much what school you went to, as long as it's accredited and the school doesn't have a bad reputation at local hospitals. I haven't personally researched CNM programs, but I know that most other nursing grad programs don't worry too much about where you went for undergrad - there aren't enough applicants with that prestigious of a background applying for it to be necessary, since the majority of nurses go to community colleges or state universities.

    Only you (and your husband) can decide what's best for you of course, since we won't be paying back the loans! Just make sure you look at more than JUST the tuition. The difference between two programs gets smaller if you'll spend the interim 3 years making minimum wage.
    nurse2B444 likes this.
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    VCU is a good choice. I went on a tour there when I was considering nursing schools and I liked what I heard and the building where the school of nursing is was very nice. It doesn't matter where you get your degree from...a BSN is a BSN. I'll be graduating with my BSN from GMU next year and have another bachelors as well. I say save yourself a lot of money and and go to VCU. No matter what school you chose to go to you'll be taking the same NCLEX and that's what hospitals will look at when it's time to find a job. Did you think about applying to VCU's accelerated program( 15 months)?Good luck.
    nurse2B444 likes this.
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    I went to VCU and did their RN-BSN program. I really liked it. In my experience, it doesn't really matter where you went to school, so I'd pick the more financially realistic school.
    nurse2B444 likes this.
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    My tuition per year is about $21,000 so I guess I would say go with John Hopkins. But if money is an issue and you don't want to be stuck with oodles of loans like me, then I would say go to VCU.
    nurse2B444 likes this.
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    If I had your background I'd probably want to jump on the Hopkins offer but I agree that 90K is a lot to spend on a nursing degree. Have you researched funding options? If it isn't something you can work out VCU is a well respected alternative.

    I gather that hospitals, etc., don't typically care where you get your credential leading to your RN, but depending on what your future academic plans are, your school can make a difference.
    nurse2B444 likes this.
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    If I had your background I'd probably want to jump on the Hopkins offer but I agree that 90K is a lot to spend on a nursing degree. Have you researched funding options? If it isn't something you can work out VCU is a well respected alternative.

    I gather that hospitals, etc., don't typically care where you get your credential leading to your RN, but depending on what your future academic plans are, your school can make a difference.
    nurse2B444 likes this.
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    I would go for Hopkins. But ultimately, you have to do what's best for you. I'm starting at Duke in the fall and the price tag terrified me too ($84K). But, there are several scholarship options that can significantly reduce the price, if you're willing to do the leg work. Check out the Tylenol Brand Scholarship for Health Care Students. A google search should pull it up. Also, look in to hospitals that have loan repayment programs. Duke has a $50K loan repayment program if you agree to work for the hospital for 3 years. The government also has loan repayment programs if you work in underserved settings (free clinics, public hospitals, etc). The $90K price tag is scary, but you can make it work if your heart is set on Hopkins. Good luck!
    nurse2B444 likes this.
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    i sent you a pm
    nurse2B444 likes this.
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    I'd check out any other colleges/universities in the area. Why limit your choices to just these 2? Any other accelerated programs around? Especially if looking to get your Master's, make sure whatever program you choose is accredited. IMO the only reason to purposely seek out a prestigious undergraduate degree is to better ensure a career in ivy league education or possibly management. I'd save my $$ for a prestigious graduate degree!
    nurse2B444 likes this.


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