Community College or MGH?

  1. Hi all, I could really use some advice!

    A little background. I have a bachelor's degree in Psych. I was also doing premed, so I finished all of the pre rec classes you need for nursing school (A+P, micro, etc). I want to eventually get my masters in nursing to be an psychiatric np but for now I'm just worried about getting my rn so I can make decent livable money and set up other parts of my life like moving out and such. I live in MA but I want to move to philidelphia once I get my rn. Once I've done that I can go to school part time for my masters.

    Originally I was going to do one of those accelerated second degree programs and get my BSN. I applied to a few.

    But then I was thinking, maybe I should just get my adn at a community College. It'll be way cheaper (and my work will help pay for most of it) and because I already have a Bachelor's degree I would only have to do the nursing classes. Hopefully, this means I'd be able to work full time so I can help pay my current bills and save for moving when I graduate. But it'll be a lesser degree and it'll take me two years (and I have to wait until fall 2019 to take it) instead of the 18 months starting in spring 2019 with the accelerated BSN.

    But then I got accepted in the MGH school in Boston. And they gave me a $34,000 scholarship. However, that still means taking out a ~$40,000 loan on top of my $50,000 in school debt. And I most likely wouldn't be able to work or would only get to work part time because of the added work load. I live with my boyfriend and he's willing to help me though but it'll be a really tough time with student loans and my other bills. But, that would be good networking. And because I'll be saving a year by doing the BSN, I could maybe work for a year after my degree and get some experience before moving to Philly.

    So, long story short, I'm looking for advice. Is it worth it to get the BSN at MGH? I know it's a great hospital but I've heard some iffy things about the school. Or should I just go and get my adn at a community College and save the money?
  2. Poll: Community College or MGH?

    • Community College

      50.00% 3
    • MGH

      50.00% 3
    6 Votes
  3. Visit Actioncatt profile page

    About Actioncatt

    Joined: Jul '17; Posts: 5

    9 Comments

  4. by   KelRN215
    If you want to work in Boston, you need a BSN. Philadelphia I imagine is a fairly competitive area as well.
  5. by   Glucagon
    Perhaps you could sit down and calculate what your loan payments would look like and how long it will take you to repay those loans compared to the general salary for an RN in the area you will be working in. That way, you have a better idea of how the loans will affect you long-term and if that's something you find acceptable or not.

    I personally wouldn't consider a program that costs 40k after a 34k scholarship, but that's me. You might find it an acceptable cost for being able to start and graduate sooner.

    You can also take a look at the NCLEX pass and retention rates of MGH, which can help you know how well they are preparing their students.
  6. by   Actioncatt
    Quote from KelRN215
    If you want to work in Boston, you need a BSN. Philadelphia I imagine is a fairly competitive area as well.

    Is that the case even if I don't worry for a hospital right away?
  7. by   broughden
    I vote neither?

    1. A ADN at a community college will take you just as long as the BSN at a university. And then you will still need to complete the BSN once hired.
    2. Do NOT pay for a private school. $40k on top of already being $50k and THEN wanting to add graduate school to that? Is nuts. You will die of old age before you ever pay off your student loans.

    Apply to the local BSN state universities in your area, get your BSN at a reasonable cost.
  8. by   Actioncatt
    Quote from broughden
    I vote neither?

    1. A ADN at a community college will take you just as long as the BSN at a university. And then you will still need to complete the BSN once hired.
    2. Do NOT pay for a private school. $40k on top of already being $50k and THEN wanting to add graduate school to that? Is nuts. You will die of old age before you ever pay off your student loans.

    Apply to the local BSN state universities in your area, get your BSN at a reasonable cost.
    All the state universities in my area are also like 40k, so I would kind of be in the same boat in the end.
  9. by   broughden
    Quote from Actioncatt
    All the state universities in my area are also like 40k, so I would kind of be in the same boat in the end.
    UMass-Boston is $12,682 a year.
    Worcester State University is commutable from Boston and its instate tuition is $10k a year.
    Fitchburg State University is commutable from Boston is $10k a year.
    UMass Medical School in Worcester offers a direct entry graduate degree program (for people with bachelors in other than nursing) that is $15k a year or about $43k in total....and that would give you your graduate degree as well.
  10. by   karol_d5
    In my opinion, MGH is too expensive given that you have so many state schools in the area that offer you the same degree. I live in the area and went to Salem State for the accelerated program. I also considered the ADN which will be cheaper and getting the BSN could be done at a slower pace when you are already working as a nurse. However, having only an ADN will limit your job prospects and you have to know that you will not be able to work in the big city hospitals with an ADN, you are looking at long-term care and outpatient clinics. You have to decide what is more important to you. I would also ask programs that have the ADN to BSN options to see if they take transferred credits, I know people that have done these programs and a lot of it it's completing the liberal arts courses that you do not get at the ADN level, there are nursing classes but they are leadership, community, and so on; I have not seen many that have to have a clinical. Good luck with your decision!
  11. by   CKPM2RN
    Quote from KelRN215
    If you want to work in Boston, you need a BSN. Philadelphia I imagine is a fairly competitive area as well.
    But you can get it for a lot less money than you quoted.
  12. by   Bonstemps
    This is just my two cents, as someone who has debt from pursuing a degree.

    It all depends on how you, an individual, measures risk. For me, having my secondary degree (MS) was worth the debt as it would elevate me in the circles required to bring me to a specific professional level. I wanted to be a Director of Programming; however, I knew it would put me around 60k in debt. I chose to do so and within three years I had the offer I strived for; Director of Operations (and ha, I didn't take it!). I still have debt, but I imagine, with patience I will pay it off, especially since my degree has opened doors previously closed to me.

    However, debt is a burden. You can be clever and save and pay it off, but it is still something that can, at times, add weight to your day. It really all depends on what you want, how you plan to achieve your goals, and what you see in your future. MGH is an excellent school - I was accepted for their DE MSN in 2009 (but chose another school) - but it is expensive. What you are paying for is the name, the 1:1 attention, and the affiliation with Mass Gen and other wonderful hospitals. MGH students tend to leave prepared, qualified and in positions within 2-6 months. A BSN may allow you the opportunity to pursue a Masters or DNP/PhD in the future, should that appeal. For now, if you simply want to work in nursing and finances are troubling, go ahead and go for the ADN.

    You never know whats ahead, and neither do any of us. However, measure the amount of risk you are willing to take and try to understand what your professional goals are. I am slightly biased as I am a risk taker and haven't regretted my debt;I also appreciate MGH as an institution. But, I do understand the dilemma and would support either decision.

    Best of luck to you!
    Last edit by Bonstemps on Oct 8 : Reason: DE not accelerated MSN

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