Nursing School options

  1. 0
    Hey, I'm 22 years old, I currently only have 26 college credits, I graduated high school in '07. I've had my CNA certification since Feb '10 and have been working at a local hospital as an NA I for a year now.
    I switched my major quite a few times and now I'm ready to get the ball rolling towards a degree in Nursing.

    Which would be my best option: Watts school of nursing, which I wouldn't start fulltime until Fall 2012 (I'm not including the MOC semester), and finish in Spring 2014, but rack up a huge amount of debt $40k just for tuition, probably $20k in personal loans (just for an Associates),

    OR should I keep going towards local community college gaining pre-reqs and not be able to start until Fall 2013, not finishing until Spring 2015? in FOUR years.

    I work fulltime, no I do not have kids, but I do not want to have huge amounts of debt, especially when new grad nurses are not gaurenteed a job. I'm not married and even if I were, I would not allow a husband to be the sole provider so I will work regardless.
    Am I wasting time? Should I just start the pre-reqs for UNC chapel hill, which will probably take me two years, and then try to get into the program and finish in 2016 with a BSN?
    granted this ALL depends on whether I would be accepted since the competition for slots is sky high at this point.

    The CC option would probably be best, but not be finished until FOUR years...which means I'll be a CNA for....four years all the while. UH!!!!!!

    What should I do?
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  3. 8 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Since you are apparently self-supporting, are you eligible for Pell Grants or other financial aid? Make sure you explore these options with an admissions counselor.

    I strongly advise you to continue in the traditional route & avoid amassing student loan debt. If hospitals are still hiring ADNs in your area, the best route may be to go to the CC & then do RN-BSN after you are working as a nurse. I realize that it is all relative, but 4 years is not an eternity - especially if it means you won't have huge student loan debts afterward.
  5. 0
    Nope, unfortunately I do not qualify for any financial aid other than loans, in NC, I'm still considered a dependent on my parents for another 2 years since I'm under the age of 24, and they are not helping out with costs at all.

    Yeah, that probably is the best way, I just want to be done faster .. being a CNA is grueling work for little pay, I hate the thought of living off of $10 an hour for another 4 years. especially since my boyfriend and my friends already have their ducks in a row and I'm still just starting out.
  6. 0
    I know this is a bit late, but did you research the tuition reimbursement option for Watts? They have a program where you graduate from their school and if you sign a contract to work for Duke and/or any of its partners for 3yrs after graduation, they will pay back 2yrs of your tuition (which would most likely be the 2yrs spent at Watts), I think they break it up to pay 1/3 at the end of each yr, which is about 13k a year. Go to their website or google it and see, it may not be too late if you are still interested. Good luck
  7. 0
    The only bad thing about going to community college. Even after you do all your pre-reqs. There is not a guarantee that you will get into the nursing program. So make sure you check all your options. And if you are not living with your parents and have filed your own taxes last year. The financial aide should be based on you, not your parents.
  8. 0
    Tammy's right in that if you are filing your own taxes and your parents are not claiming you as a dependent, you should be able to qualify as an independent student. Since you're only 22 and don't have kids, I might recommend getting your prereq's done at a community college, maybe get an AA or AS degree so you will be considered core complete, and then apply to both associate/diploma and bachelor programs--don't go crazy, but putting out several applications would maximize your potential for acceptance. There is crazy competition in the Triangle for most, if not all, of their nursing programs, so I'd be hesitant to put all my eggs in one basket, so to speak!

    Can you re-locate? There's great programs in other parts of the state, too! I'm planning to definitely apply to ECU and to Mercy School of Nursing in Charlotte (I have a previous bachelor's, and have completed all my pre-req's, but it has taken much longer than I anticipated to get to a point where I could actually apply to nursing school!). Mercy is also a diploma program and is quite a bit cheaper than Watts (though both offer an excellent nursing education). Mercy does offer an evening/weekend part-time option.

    Ultimately, a year or two isn't going to make a lot of difference (although it can certainly feel like it!). If your goal is to become a nurse as quickly as possible, you could go for the diploma or associate degree and then do an RN-BSN program. If you're willing to work as a CNA for a bit longer you can go straight for your bachelor's. Either option is a good one and the end result is the same--your license! Good luck on whatever you decide!

    P.S. I am only 26 so I remember feeling the same way just four years ago...the intervening time is what taught me that a couple of years to wait isn't that big of a deal!
  9. 0
    Like one of the others said... if you're parents are not claiming you on their taxes you are an independent student. I've been independent since I was 19 yrs old.

    If I were you, I would do the pre reqs at a community college. It may take you what seems like forever but it's probably the best option.

    Quote from Blackburryz
    Hey, I'm 22 years old, I currently only have 26 college credits, I graduated high school in '07. I've had my CNA certification since Feb '10 and have been working at a local hospital as an NA I for a year now.
    I switched my major quite a few times and now I'm ready to get the ball rolling towards a degree in Nursing.

    Which would be my best option: Watts school of nursing, which I wouldn't start fulltime until Fall 2012 (I'm not including the MOC semester), and finish in Spring 2014, but rack up a huge amount of debt $40k just for tuition, probably $20k in personal loans (just for an Associates),

    OR should I keep going towards local community college gaining pre-reqs and not be able to start until Fall 2013, not finishing until Spring 2015? in FOUR years.

    I work fulltime, no I do not have kids, but I do not want to have huge amounts of debt, especially when new grad nurses are not gaurenteed a job. I'm not married and even if I were, I would not allow a husband to be the sole provider so I will work regardless.
    Am I wasting time? Should I just start the pre-reqs for UNC chapel hill, which will probably take me two years, and then try to get into the program and finish in 2016 with a BSN?
    granted this ALL depends on whether I would be accepted since the competition for slots is sky high at this point.

    The CC option would probably be best, but not be finished until FOUR years...which means I'll be a CNA for....four years all the while. UH!!!!!!

    What should I do?
  10. 0
    I have talked to other students who are in the same position, financially. NC has some funky rules regarding loans through CFNC. For some reason they won't consider you as independent under 24 no matter what. I wonder what people do whose parents have died.
  11. 0
    Quote from mmc51264
    I have talked to other students who are in the same position, financially. NC has some funky rules regarding loans through CFNC. For some reason they won't consider you as independent under 24 no matter what. I wonder what people do whose parents have died.
    Unless things have changed since 2008 when I enrolled in college at 19, my advisor found a way to have me considered as an independent...I worked through highschool and lived with my grandmother. I just had to have documentation that neither of my parents supported me with finances. (both are still alive). BTW- I live in NC. I'm sure there are options out there, you just have to do your research.


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