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Deciding on a Nursing Program


I'm almost done with a six year contract with the Navy and have my hopes on enrolling in a Nursing program once I'm using my G.I. Bill. I have been doing course work with Tidewater Community College in Norfolk, VA and have all of my gen ed's completed with the exception of science courses since they require labs (and my Navy schedule does not make in-person classes possible). Most of my family would love for me to go back to Central NY, but I'm not quite sure. I love the Virginia Beach area and I'm already established in a great school here. I guess since I honestly have nothing tying me down do I move back home to family (I moved out 10 years ago), stay where the Navy put me since I already know the area, or take a leap and go somewhere new? I guess my question is (since my options are limitless) what are some good Nursing schools? My family would love for me to find something in Central NY and I currently have my eye on Tidewater Community College or Old Dominion University, but I'm curious what else is out there. I will need to be able to at least work part-time while I'm in school since my GI Bill will not cover living expenses (and I refuse to move back in my Mommy and Daddy) and big city schools are out of the question.

pmabraham, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice, Palliative Care. Has 3 years experience.

Good day, kitkaite:

Thank you for your service to our country! I recommend looking at local community colleges to see what they offer.

windsurfer8, BSN

Specializes in Psych/Military Nursing. Has 14 years experience.

I am a vet and and I went to college after I got out to get my BSN. I went to school in DC area and it was cool. From my experiences...if you are free to go anywhere..take advantage of that! Look at places you might want to live. Also cost of living is a huge deal. And I am talking in nursing school. Places like Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota...SUPER cheap cost of living. Living in Northern VA was SO expensive while I was in school..but also cool place. So...My only advice...look around the entire country. Enjoy the freedom! There are tons of options for you.


Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

Are you planning to use the MGIB or the Post-9/11? Post-9/11's stipend adjusts for cost of living based on zip code, whereas the MGIB pays you at E-5, regardless of your rank upon separation. You'll need to research and figure out which is most beneficial to you. Also look at what each pays, as far as school costs, because this varies (and it's been too long for me to remember which one pays for what, but I used both at different times).

Be aware that these programs will only pay state tuition, so if any of the schools you're considering are private universities, you'll be on your own for tuition above the cost of state tuition. Also look at how long you have remaining, and consider attending a community college for your prereqs and paying out of pocket for those.

With how competitive nursing schools are, I would say to apply to as many schools as you'd consider, and see where you get in. That can help you narrow down your choices.

If you have been serving as a corpsman, you may be able to get CNA work, or even challenge the LVN/LPN boards in your state. If your experience has included at least 2 years of inpatient care, you might be set. I know here in CA, when I separated, that was the case (of course my experience was outpatient).