It's worth it. I was in a similar position a few years ago and also hesitant because I heard how difficult it was to gain admission to nursing school in NYC. I also heard how next to impossible it was to gain admission to an ABSN program. I don't know where your friends are applying where a 4.0 and it's still not enough, year after year, but I would be skeptical of the validity of that statement.
Some programs do require hefty admission criteria (such as Stony Brook), others will only look at your pre-reqs. I had a far from stellar GPA for my 1st degree and was pretty much told I was SOL for nursing programs
. On a whim, I applied to Lehman College (I actually forgot I had applied in the fall when they had sent me an acceptance letter in the spring). I decided to give it a try and apply to their nursing program and it ended up being the only nursing school to which I applied. And I was accepted to their ABSN program.
I took my pre-reqs at BMCC and finished those with a 3.93. Lehman only looked at pre-reqs and HESI scores.
So, bottom line, people do get accepted to NYC nursing programs all the time. As long as you finish your pre-reqs with a high GPA and research admission policies to each school, you very well could be accepted somewhere. I also want to add, there's a school upstate called SUNY Delhi which offers a nursing program and I don't believe it is all that hard to gain admission. It's in the middle of nowhere, clinicals are usually done at Bassett, and I think the program graduates you as an ADN so you can start working, then you finish out the requirements for a BSN. Most people end up working at Bassett after they finish their ADN, use the $8,000 sign on bonus to pay for tuition that Bassett doesn't cover, then head to other hospitals to work. I'm just mentioning it because it is a SUNY school and would be a much cheaper option than University of Rochester.