Nursing Programs: Public vs Private Universitys, does it really matter?

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    Hello all current nursing students and active Nurses! I need to pick your brains please!

    I am a 2nd degree student and mother of 2 beautiful girls. I made the biggest decision in my life coming back to school to pursue a degree in nursing and I cannot be happier.

    So I applied to a BSN programs at a few of my local schools here in NYC. As you all know, all these programs are super competitive! I Studied my butt off for all my pre-requisites- attending night school and weekend school so I can continue working. I spent weeks perfecting my personal statements- often hounding my mentors and friends for their feedback.

    So now I have heard back from the schools and I am in!!! WOOOO Something I did not expect- I got in to both of my first choice schools!!! Wow- I have choices? I did not expect this. All the late night studying paid off!!

    Both are wonderful programs, with great clinical placements- the difference is, one program is at a Private University, while the other is at a Public one. The Private school program is 6x as much as the private!!!!

    I am trying not to let the $ be the main deciding factor, but as you all know it carries a large weight. As a second degree student I am not eligible for most financial aid. I received my "financial aid package" from the private school, and it was laughable. I would have to take in private loans for tuition and living expenses, as my husband cannot carry all the burden on his own. I am also applying for scholarships.

    So going back to my original question, what makes or breaks a good Nursing applicant once you are out looking for a job? Is it the school name? Or is it the NCLEX score and the clinical placements you had at school? As I applied to schools I was well aware of the tuition and costs and decided I was willing to get into this educational debt, and consider it as an investment. But should I get into this large debt if I have the choice not to?

    The two schools I am referring to are Pace University and Hunter College in New York City, for any of you familiar with the schools.

    HELP ME!!! I would love some insight =)
    Joe V likes this.
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  3. 18 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    Quote from gizzel84
    Hello all current nursing students and active Nurses! I need to pick your brains please!

    I am a 2nd degree student and mother of 2 beautiful girls. I made the biggest decision in my life coming back to school to pursue a degree in nursing and I cannot be happier.

    So I applied to a BSN programs at a few of my local schools here in NYC. As you all know, all these programs are super competitive! I Studied my butt off for all my pre-requisites- attending night school and weekend school so I can continue working. I spent weeks perfecting my personal statements- often hounding my mentors and friends for their feedback.

    So now I have heard back from the schools and I am in!!! WOOOO Something I did not expect- I got in to both of my first choice schools!!! Wow- I have choices? I did not expect this. All the late night studying paid off!!

    Both are wonderful programs, with great clinical placements- the difference is, one program is at a Private University, while the other is at a Public one. The Private school program is 6x as much as the private!!!!

    I am trying not to let the $ be the main deciding factor, but as you all know it carries a large weight. As a second degree student I am not eligible for most financial aid. I received my "financial aid package" from the private school, and it was laughable. I would have to take in private loans for tuition and living expenses, as my husband cannot carry all the burden on his own. I am also applying for scholarships.

    So going back to my original question, what makes or breaks a good Nursing applicant once you are out looking for a job? Is it the school name? Or is it the NCLEX score and the clinical placements you had at school? As I applied to schools I was well aware of the tuition and costs and decided I was willing to get into this educational debt, and consider it as an investment. But should I get into this large debt if I have the choice not to?

    The two schools I am referring to are Pace University and Hunter College in New York City, for any of you familiar with the schools.

    HELP ME!!! I would love some insight =)
    Pace is a great school. Is it worth 6 times the public school. no.

    All that matters at the end of the day is that wherever you go is NLNAC/CCNE certified.
    Pneumothorax likes this.
  5. 0
    Public vs. Private doesn't usually make a difference -- assuming that both are reputable schools. Many state universities have truly excellent nursing programs. While I am not very familiar with those 2 particular schools, they are both well-established schools that I have heard of. Unless you know something significantly bad about the cheaper one, I'd go to the cheaper school.
  6. 1
    If both are accredited and you get the same degree from both, go with the public school.
    Pneumothorax likes this.
  7. 0
    Money is the biggest thing. If you can afford it by all means. If your pulling loans, be prepared to pay your loans off for a Long time I you go private. I've changed from private to public because the cost was crazy.
  8. 1
    Yeah I was paying 2000 per credit hour at an Ivy league school, left after a week and got my ADN for free at a public school......
    Pneumothorax likes this.
  9. 0
    This was all really helpful.If all that matters is that I just earn the degree, I will do just that. I honestly cannot afford the private school.Ty again everyone!
  10. 1
    Quote from gizzel84
    Hello all current nursing students and active Nurses! I need to pick your brains please!

    I am a 2nd degree student and mother of 2 beautiful girls. I made the biggest decision in my life coming back to school to pursue a degree in nursing and I cannot be happier.

    So I applied to a BSN programs at a few of my local schools here in NYC. As you all know, all these programs are super competitive! I Studied my butt off for all my pre-requisites- attending night school and weekend school so I can continue working. I spent weeks perfecting my personal statements- often hounding my mentors and friends for their feedback.

    So now I have heard back from the schools and I am in!!! WOOOO Something I did not expect- I got in to both of my first choice schools!!! Wow- I have choices? I did not expect this. All the late night studying paid off!!

    Both are wonderful programs, with great clinical placements- the difference is, one program is at a Private University, while the other is at a Public one. The Private school program is 6x as much as the private!!!!

    I am trying not to let the $ be the main deciding factor, but as you all know it carries a large weight. As a second degree student I am not eligible for most financial aid. I received my "financial aid package" from the private school, and it was laughable. I would have to take in private loans for tuition and living expenses, as my husband cannot carry all the burden on his own. I am also applying for scholarships.

    So going back to my original question, what makes or breaks a good Nursing applicant once you are out looking for a job? Is it the school name? Or is it the NCLEX score and the clinical placements you had at school? As I applied to schools I was well aware of the tuition and costs and decided I was willing to get into this educational debt, and consider it as an investment. But should I get into this large debt if I have the choice not to?

    The two schools I am referring to are Pace University and Hunter College in New York City, for any of you familiar with the schools.

    HELP ME!!! I would love some insight =)
    Your clinical placements and recommendations from professors/clinical instructors mean the most when you're out looking for a job. There is no such thing as an "NCLEX score". You either pass it or you don't. A future employer doesn't care if you passed it in 75 questions or 265. Either way, you're an RN.

    If both schools are reputable and have good NCLEX pass rates and can give you good clinical placements, there's nothing wrong with letting money be the deciding factor.

    Personally, I went close to $90k in debt for my undergrad education at a private university. I could have attended a state school for free. I don't regret my decision, as this was my first degree and the college experience mattered more than the nursing school but if it's your second degree and you have kids and other responsibilities, save yourself the money.
    Pneumothorax likes this.
  11. 0
    Quote from KelRN215
    Your clinical placements and recommendations from professors/clinical instructors mean the most when you're out looking for a job. There is no such thing as an "NCLEX score". You either pass it or you don't. A future employer doesn't care if you passed it in 75 questions or 265. Either way, you're an RN. If both schools are reputable and have good NCLEX pass rates and can give you good clinical placements, there's nothing wrong with letting money be the deciding factor. Personally, I went close to $90k in debt for my undergrad education at a private university. I could have attended a state school for free. I don't regret my decision, as this was my first degree and the college experience mattered more than the nursing school but if it's your second degree and you have kids and other responsibilities, save yourself the money.
    You raise several good points. One especially stood out to me, and I feel like you picked the thought right out of my head- the thought of the "college experience"The public college is extremely competitive- with only 80 seats offered. So the fact that I got accepted blew my mind. Because they are so competitive the school is known for being unforgiving. Not that I won't give it my all, I am a type A personality and am always very hard on myself when it comes to grades (that's another story all together). The students are known for being very cut throat and I can vouch for this as I have interacted with my Fierce competition just trying to get in.The private school on the other hand was sooooo nice. And the applicants are older adults like myself as it is a second degree program (the public is a mixture 2nd deg and reg pathway).I know I am being silly, and maybe I am drawn to Pace for its aesthetic qualities. I know I sound immature my friend actually told me "Don't go into debt just b/c you want friends!" She is right. The public school may not be all "kumbaya" but it will get me to where I want to be.In other words, I need thicker skin.
  12. 1
    My honest opinion is that private school is not worth paying 6x the price. I just finished my BSN at a private university and while I feel I got an exceptional education, and a TINY advantage for job placement, it is not worth the amount of money I had to spend.
    gizzel84 likes this.


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