First, congratulations for getting into the nursing program!
. I would say you should wait and see how your classes are before buying a laptop. Although it is more convenient than a desktop, dragging it to and from class could get old real fast (not sure how long/far you have to travel from home to school). As for the lectures, you may not have to take as many notes as many instructors now use PowerPoint for their lectures and often provide printed copies of the slides for their students, so you don't have to take as many notes (that's what they did in my master's program). The benefit to taking your PDA is that you could buy a keyboard and also the program "Documents To Go"--that way you can type any notes right into Microsoft Word then hot-sync when you get home. Also, a PDA and PDA keyboard are much smaller than a laptop! As I said above, I would wait and see how much info you are provided during lectures--do you have any friends who went thru the program before you? Maybe they can give you an idea of what lectures are like and how much notetaking you have to do.
As far as whether you would be out of place taking notes on a laptop, my gut feeling is that you would not--from what I've heard, many students take their laptops to class these days.
Good luck and give me an update as to what you finally decide