Sorry it took so long for me to respond as I have been busy with classes. I am a current student of the IUPUI ABSN. In a similar situation, I chose to look into IUPUI after trying the Ivy Tech route that was suggested (and happily completed) by family. I must preface everything with my customary admonition that if you truly want to be a nurse you have to look at all potential programs and go to whoever accepts you first. That said, there are many reasons why this choice (IUPUI) worked out for me so I'll quickly give you the number one reason before I get all wordy. My main impetus was that I was in a dead-end job and needed a new career FAST. Because I was pressed for time and money it wasn't hard to decide between these two programs for my personal situation. Once you are accepted, Ivy Tech takes 20 months for an associates and IUPUI takes 18 months for a bachelors. In my case I had to wait to apply at Ivy Tech making a hypothetical 3 year wait for the associates. My math of worth was: 3yrs+ASN < 18mos+BSN
Other factors for my personal situation included...
Funding: I needed to stay a full-time student in order to get loans at Ivy Tech but did not have enough pre-req classes left to enable full-time status.
Funding: Not only do schools love second degree students and their proven success at the college experience, so do employers! Clarian had just announced their partnership with IU by providing instructors to the accelerated program in addition to scholarships. One way to think about it was getting a sign-on bonus a little early. If you sign a work committment with Clarian (or Community Hospitals) they will front you most of the money for your accelerated program because they know you are mere steps away from working for them.
End-goal: I would love to go to graduate school so a bachelors is something I would have pursued after Ivy Tech anyway. I cut out an additional 2-year step of getting my RN to BSN. In fact, if I were starting again I would also consider U of I and their new accelerated masters in nursing program.
Ivy Tech experience: Mine wasn't so great since the program was in flux at the time and the requirements for being eligible to apply kept changing. I would go for an application and they would tell me I was ineligible to apply based on the new rules that they never told students about who did not continually go to all the nursing information sessions.
Ivy Tech preferences: At the time Ivy Tech gave admitance preference to students who had completed their prereqs at that campus. IUPUI did the same. Since I had IUPUI credits I had the leg up at IUPUI.
My age: Again, accelerated students are sometimes held in a more positive light in nursing journal studies because they TEND to be older, more mature, career switchers with greater work experience. Where an 18 year old high school graduate may be more likely to try nursing (or have nothing better to do with their life at the time), dedication and committment to the field of nursing is proven by people who are prepared to quit successful careers in order to realize their dream of becoming a nurse. I personally was tired of hearing from unmotivated younger students, "Is this going to be on the test?" The accelerated student environment seemed more closely aligned to my experience of wanting to work hard and be open to learning experiences.
Sheer numbers: IUPUI is very tight lipped about their admissions but we could make up a number for the sake of discussion - that maybe half of the students who apply to IUPUI ABSN will actually be accepted. This made up number, I believe, was a stark contrast to Ivy Tech numbers when I was perpetually ineligible to apply. In fact, there is a rumour that the number accepted in our accelerated class was lowered from previous semesters because not enough people applied (as in 100% were accepted). I have personally noticed that the Indianapolis market has exploded with nursing programs recently. I would not be at all shocked if numbers (demand) are less of an issue at Ivy Tech currently.
Partner prestige: I have no penchant for prestige in choosing a school. I do not plan on attending alumni gatherings or stickering my car with my alma matter. I don't think I'll even consider my college choice in my eventual days at work as a nurse. However, I realize this is not everyone's experience. My partner, though supportive of my nursing goals being realized at any school, was verbally appreciative that I would be getting a degree from the Indiana University School of Nursing (you have to say the whole thing to make it sound fancy), the largest nursing school in the USA, instead of a community college that no one would know if I applied for a job in California. *textual sarcastic warning* Whoop-ie, people have heard of my school so I don't have to explain it when it comes up in conversation every day. Like that would EVER happen.
Comments on accelerated students at the American Association of Critical Care Nurses http://www.aacn.nche.edu/Publications/Issues/Aug02.htm
University of Miami press release about trend of employers funding accelerated programs http://www6.miami.edu/UMH/CDA/UMH_Main/1,1770,2593-1;64351-3,00.html
IUPUI second degree BSN website http://nursing.iupui.edu/degrees/absn/index.shtml
University prestige at Time magazine http://time-blog.com/work_in_progress/2007/07/does_university_prestige_matte.html
BSN vs ASN arguments succinctly summed up by a nurse practitioner at Yahoo! Answers http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080116134336AAwAJbP