Please hack my thinking on this, the crusty old bats especially: I'm already accepted in this CC ADN program, have already completed one semester with clinicals. The program I'm thinking of transferring into is a private university which I think will be a better educational experience. I feel some kind of dissatisfaction with where I am. The atmosphere seems much better on the private campus, it is more personal, more of a community. Last week I just showed up in their nursing department unannounced, my first visit to the campus, and a nursing faculty member (not admissions folks) actually stopped what she was doing and invited me into her office to discuss the program. At my CC ADN program, I am hesitant to even approach my instructors sometimes...they seem swamped, over-extended. I am a strong student, and there always seems to be others who "need" the attention of faculty more than I do. I'm in Philadelphia, and most of the hospitals want the BSN. I was a freelance artist most of my life (I'm 45), and I'm going to have to really work to market myself. My thinking is that it might actually be worth it to take out the $30K in loans to go from zero to BSN by 2015. I'd have a better shot at starting my nursing career in a hospital job where I can use all the skills, and a more direct route to my interests of oncology, public health, critical care...I've been reading about RN-BSN online program costs, and for sure, they can be bought for one third of the cost of a BSN from this private university. But isn't there value in the, I guess they call it the "brick and mortar" college experience? And being part of a class in an old, beautiful college, where people notice each other and the school treats you like an important individual? This is one of this schools selling points, and picked up on that mood when I went there. The difference in atmosphere btwn my CC and this uni is like night and day: my CC feels like a trade school. And, won't a humane, collegial educational experience, the "name" of the school, and my effort (high GPA, volunteer work), facilitate my finding employment in a humane, healthy facility or unit? Cause this is the most important thing to me...a supportive, healthy work environment. Does this sound like magical thinking? Sentimental idealism? I'm sure it does, cause maybe it is.Still and all, maybe a better atmosphere would make the school experience more meaningful, and maybe it's worth paying off all that debt to come out of the gate with the BSN from the private university. Is value about more than money? Does an old private university offer something more than snob appeal? Is that something worth paying for? Not just for a HS grad on parents' dime, but even for a 45 year old single mom on a fixed income? It's an individual choice, of course! I still have to compare the # of clinical hours each program offers, that will influence my decision.So, the factors are: meaningfulness and atmosphere of the school experience, money I will owe, prestige of the BSN from that institution as it relates to my marketablility as a new grad. Yeah quite a mouthful huh.Does anyone share my view? What was your experience?.