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How did you choose MSN program?


Has 6 years experience.


I was recently accepted into 3 MSN programs (Education) and trying to decide which to attend. I am curious to know what some deciding factors were in choosing your MSN program. My choices are: local private college evening/hybrid program (40k+), local state university on-line program (25k+) and regional state university on-line program (15k). The curriculum for each is very similar, so I'm weighing the benefits of cost and reputation. How important was name/reputation in your decision?

Another consideration I have is that it is likely that my employer will cover the program costs but I will not find out until after the first semester starts. So, if for some reason they put scholarships on hold (ie Covid) I will be paying for this myself, which makes the cheapest option the most attractive to me.

Any thoughts greatly appreciated!



Edited by BostonNurseNic

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

Here are the questions I would consider:

1. How likely are you to want to talk to a faculty member face to face? If you had some problem that you needed to resolve by visiting the campus ... how feasible would the one that is not local be to visit for a day or two? Given the money you would save, would you mind paying for a hotel if need be?

2. What is the reputation of the cheap one. There is nothing wrong with a regional state university -- a lot of them are quite fine. But is the one you would be going to a good school? Does it have a good reputation?

3. Do you know people who went to any of these schools for an MSN? Was their experience positive? If you have someone who went to the same program recently, sometimes they can help you avoid problems by filling you in on some of the ins and outs of the school.

4. Will finding/arranging preceptorships be an issue with any of them? Would you be "guaranteed" a preceptorship at one of the local schools, but struggle to find your own preceptors at the others?

Overall ... I lean towards taking the cheapest route unless there is some compelling reason to take one of the more expensive ones. The 4 questions above are the ones I would ask to see if there were a compelling reason not to choose the cheapest one. (Or do you have a compelling reason why one school is your dream school - and you won't be happy if you don't go there?)

Good luck with your choice.

Enarra, BSN, RN

Specializes in Ambulatory Primary Care. Has 9 years experience.

How I decided which school to attend was strictly based on cost.

I applied to two schools and accepted by both For MSN in nursing informatics: The Ivy League NYU Costs $1800 per credit and city university CUNY SPS $470 a credit and it needs 45 credits, both are reputable, accredited legit schools, employers will pay the same salary for a MSN degree no matter where it’s from. I picked CUNY SPS. I will pocket the difference and reinvest it somewhere profitable LOL

LovingPeds, MSN, APRN, NP

Specializes in Clinical Pediatrics; Maternal-Child Educator. Has 11 years experience.

I decided based on specialty. There are only two universities in my state which offered my specialty. I got lucky as some states do not even have one for my specialty. From there, I decided on reputation because the cost and other factors were comparable. I'm glad I did because in my interview with my current employer, he mentioned that my school had an excellent reputation for NPs.

Edited by LovingPeds