ASU or GCU? Which school is better?

  1. I got accepted to ASU this week and GCU is telling me that I am "unofficially" accepted. Does anybody have any insight as to which school is better? I have heard some negative things about ASU from RN's that I work with and I have heard good things about GCU from some teachers at MCC. I live in Mesa and the GCU campus (A.T. Still) is only about 10 minutes away from my house. Both schools cost about the same (after a GPA scholarship from GCU) but GCU goes through the summer and ASU does not.

    Any suggestions? I would love comments from anyone in either the GCU or ASU programs. Thanks.
  2. Visit Hobberdog profile page

    About Hobberdog, CRNA

    Joined: Apr '12; Posts: 145; Likes: 81


  3. by   You're Tall
    hi wbthomas,
    i am starting the asu rn-bsn program next month. i can't tell you which is better, but i am curious what the other nurses have been saying about asu. it is ranked #21 in the nation for nursing educations. just curious.
    good luck on which ever you decide to attend.
  4. by   Hobberdog
    I'm sure it is a good program, that is why I am having a difficult time deciding. What I have heard is that ASU graduates are schooled heavily in theory and lack practical application. This may be from fewer clinical hours, I don't know. I have also heard that the ASU program is geared toward nursing administration. I don't care much about administration because I plan on continuing school to become a CRNA.
  5. by   linstubbs
    I'm in the same boat as you are. I attended the ASU meeting yesterday and am still trying to decide between them and GCU @AT Still. I have heard the same things you have- ASU/admin and GCU/lots of clinical practice. HAve you decided yet?
  6. by   2ndTime
    I am an ASU student, and its a GREAT nursing school. The faculty are wonderful. I know ASU does like to prepare their grads to look into nursing leadership roles, but that does not mean they don't teach the basic skills. I don't know what you mean by "lack of practical application", but that is not true at all. All BSN schools have pretty much the same amount of clinical hours, but you know that clinicals are only what you make of it anyway. You have to make your own opportunities I think whatever school you attend.
    Good luck with your choice!
  7. by   Hobberdog
    I chose ASU. ASU is ranked #21, GCU is ranked #435. ASU is $10,000 less than GCU. ASU is 1 semester less than GCU. And I like maroon better than purple.
  8. by   johnnyarei
    I think it really depends on personal preference. I've heard good things about both schools. ASU is more competitive to get into (they receive more applications). GCU is also a longer program. It's 5 semesters instead of 4. You would end up with a Bachelors degree with both schools.

    I don't know much about the traditional program, but another poster mentioned that if you attend ASU at the Mayo Campus then you have a "leg-up" if you apply for a new grad position there. The traditional program does give you a break though. You get the summer off - which is a plus!

    I chose GCU because I of a personal referral. I don't know anyone personally who went through the program at ASU.
  9. by   Hobberdog
    I studied both programs closely. ASU does have a much higher ranking (21st vs 435th). GCU gives you more clinical hours but their program is a full semester longer than ASU so that makes sense. ASU has a reputation among hospital nurses as being book smart, but lacking in application. I think that it all depends on the person. ASU is more difficult to get into and its students tend to be "book smart". I have worked with my hands for the past 20 years and so I am not worried about my hands on skills.

    For me it came down to money. Because GCU is 5 semesters and I can only get financial aid for 4 of those semesters, it raises the cost significantly. Also, because ASU has the summers off, I can work and earn the money I need to survive during the semester. GCU (AT-Still) would be much, much closer to me but the additional time and cost does not make sense in my situation. I will be starting in August at ASU Downtown.

    Best of luck to you Keisha! I hope you are enjoying GCU.
  10. by   celeste2485
    I'm curious to know what you decided and if you were happy with that decision. I have the exact options! A.T. Stills or ASU. I know ASU has a MUCH higher ranking and I've heard they have a more varied clinical experience. Also, their tuition will be much cheaper.
  11. by   Hobberdog
    I will graduate in May from ASU. I am happy with my choice. Both programs will teach you to be a good nurse. Both programs cost about the same (GCU changed to a 4 semester program which cut the cost quite a bit).

    GCU at A.T. Still would have been much closer to my house, but it really hasn't been a hassle to go to the ASU Downtown campus. I take an express bus from Superstition Springs Mall and it only takes 1/2 hour, plus I can read on the drive. Clinicals are all over town regardless of which school you choose.

    I based my choice on cost (at the time CGU was about $10,000 more expensive) and how the schools ranked (ASU 21st - GCU 335th). I plan on continuing my education and graduating from a top school was important to me (it will help me to get into the next round of school). For me the choice was clear.

    Best of luck to you (you are in for a wild ride)! Congratulations on having choices!
  12. by   celeste2485
  13. by   celeste2485
    I ended up getting accepted to both ASU and GCU's nursing program. I ended up going to GCU (A.T.Stills campus) because it is four semesters instead of five, and 15 minutes from my house. ASU downtown would have been about 45 minutes-1 hour away (with traffic in the morning and my work schedule, it would have been rough). ASU is ranked #21 on The U.S. News and World Report while GCU is ranked #435. However, GCU did earn a Best College award on the same report this year. I have heard by word of mouth in the nursing community that GCU's nursing degree is well respected. Even the ASU counselor told me that while she would love for me to come to ASU, GCU is a fantastic option as well and had nothing negative to say. GCU does cost around $10k more than ASU, which is significant. However, if you come in with a high 3.7+ gpa, you get a $3500 scholarship per semester, which pretty much evens out the cost between the two schools. GCU scrubs are purple and ASU's are a burgundy top with white scrub bottoms. At my campus (A.T.Still), we are required to wear our scrubs whenever we come to campus. It's so nice to not have to worry about what to wear in the morning plus, you get to look and feel like a nurse all day!!!

    Two months into the program: It's not easy. The first two weeks were crazy because everyone was getting used to the systems, instructors, class pacing, etc... (My classmates and I were definitely freaking out!) Now, I feel like I have more of a handle on things. Get a planner, definitely stay on top of the coursework, and talk to the professors if you need help. I really like GCU @ A.T. Stills because it is a small campus (only 23 in our class) and it is starting to feel like a family. The instructors are very accessible and they have a simulation lab with open lab times where you can practice for your benchmarks. Across the street is the A.T. Still University campus where a lot of us go to study in the library or cafeteria after class. There is also a huge YMCA adjacent to A.T.Stills and GCU students receive free membership!

    I've read some postings on here about differences in the way students are taught at GCU vs. ASU. This year, GCU changed it's curriculum and the way they normally teach. They are preparing us to be "Nurse leaders of the Future" and have us do a lot of class group discussion, lots of scenarios, and a little lecturing. As a student, I definitely feel like I have to be alert, awake, and on top of my studies to be able to participate and be awesome in class every day. You have to maintain a 76% average to continue on to the next level, which seems easy, right? You aced your prerequisites, right? No, it's not as easy as you would think. Nursing requires critical thinking and application. You are going to have NCLEX-style questions and can no longer rely on memorization. It's a medical degree, it's not easy. You can do it! My professors have been nothing but helpful and after meeting with them, my exam scores rise significantly.

    I really haven't had any experiences where I felt like there was a religious bias pushed on me. Nursing is a science and the professors have always treated it as such. One professor does ask if we would like to say a prayer before exams and although I'm not super religious, it helps to take that moment to calm myself down before the test.

    A nice thing about GCU is that if you become a SNA (Student Nurse Association) member, you will be assigned a mentor who is in an upper level class to help guide you through the process. Mine has been very helpful. When I was feeling flustered in the beginning, she gave me some tips and advice on how to stay on top of things. I have even sent her photos of my flashcards and ask her to check them. The upper level classmen come in to talk to us every couple of weeks or so to answer questions, give us study tips, advice on time management, and anything else. Honestly, the school has been a great experience so far. My class is a mix of guys and girls and we are of different ages, races, and backgrounds. We are all very supportive of each other!!

    I don't know a lot about ASU's experience from a student's perspective but I have heard only good things as well. Hope this helped! Good luck!!
  14. by   Hobberdog
    I faced the same decision as you did, but at the time, GCU was still 5 semesters. That put the cost over the top for me. I anticipated for the scholarship due to grades while calculating the costs. If there had been only 4 semesters when I went to nursing school, I would have opted for GCU (AT Still). It is much closer to where I live. I ended up getting a bus pass though ASU ($150 for the year) and taking the express bus from Superstition Springs Mall. The bus dropped me off in front of my class in about 30 minutes. I did have to get to the bus stop a little early each morning because they leave on schedule, but I was able to study each morning while on the bus, which was helpful, especially on test days.

    I do not regret my decision to go to ASU, but I am confident that I would have received the same quality education at GCU. I have had several friends choose that option. I graduated in May and I am in the thick of searching for a job. I interview at Banner on Monday.

    The first semester is an adjustment from previous classes. You are required to bring a lot of information forward and apply it to nursing. The second semester is the hardest in my opinion.

    Best of luck to you.