GMU vs VCU 2023 Accelerated Nursing Programs

U.S.A. Virginia


Hi Everyone,

I desperately need some advice. I applied to both George Mason University (GMU) and Virginia Commonwealth University's' accelerated nursing programs. I was waitlisted for VCU and got into GMU, so I planned my life around GMU.

However, VCU was my #1 choice because it's a great school and very competitive for nursing. I finally got off of VCU's waitlist, so now I'm in a weird space where I've already decided on GMU, but have always wanted to got to VCU for nursing. Some advice after reading the below would be greatly appreciated.

GMU- my tuition would be 100% paid for and I'm guaranteed a hospital job for 3 years after graduation. However, that would be a 3-year commitment in which I can not leave if I got a better opportunity or wanted to go back to school full-time. GMU would only be 20-30 mins away from me. The program starts in August, so I would have 2.5 months off between now and when the program starts. GMU is only 3 semesters, which scares me because my first B.S. was not in a science field.

VCU- I will rely on scholarships (that I don't have yet) and federal loans. I can work anywhere after graduating, so I'm not tied to a specific hospital for a specific length of time. VCU is 3 hrs from me, but the closest I can move would be 1 hr away, so longer commute. Program starts in May (in 3 weeks). The program is 5 semesters, so I would have time to really absorb the material.

I feel like VCU would provide me with a better nursing education and everything will not be as crammed as GMU. That's my biggest thing. I want to retain the information, especially since I don't come from a science/medical background and I have never worked in the medical field before. GMU's tuition is lower and it would all be paid for.

If anyone has advice on some of my main concerns like the value of the education that I would get, etc, that would be really helpful!

Hi, congratulations on being accepted in both schools. 
it is a hard decision because on one side you have GMU that will be a faster track and if not cheaper, free in your case, and most important of all, close to home.... 
on the other side VCU might give you a better education, I don't know much about their program, but I know recent grads from both schools, the one from VCU had more confidence and was happier with her job. 
I don't like GMU. I got waitlisted for the transfer program. I ended up choosing Shenandoah. However, for practicality: price, program length, distance from home, little to no student loans, GMU seems like a good option (I think that's the reason it is so competitive). 

I've hear many people unhappy with GMU's program but happy they got it done without major debt.  Sorry, I am sure I wasn't helpful, but these are some points to reflect on. 

Another point, you may wanna think if GMU's tuition is worth a 3year work commitment. 

good luck.

Specializes in ICU.

Which one did you choose? As someone who is about to graduate from George Mason's ABSN program in a few weeks, I'd pick GMU. The program is not perfect- it has plenty of flaws such as disorganization (but I've heard that is just a common feature of nursing school in general). Many of us in my class have accepted jobs already in our #1 specialties/units and a good number of nurses at the hospitals we did clinicals at were GMU graduates as well. I know nothing about VCU so I can't speak on them, but GMU nursing grads seem to have a good reputation in the Northern Virginia area, as far as I can tell. 

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