Stevenson University?

  1. Hello,

    I am new to this forum so first I will introduce myself. I am a mom to 3 kids and live in Columbia, MD. I decided to go back to school after taking a long time off from working to raise my kids. My kids are 7, 5 and 3. I am taking classes at night at Howard Community College and I am hoping to start a BSN program or possibly the accelerated RN program at Howard next year. I have a BS in Dietetics from UMCP and all of the prerequisites were satisfied from that, but I had to repeat the sciences since it had been over 10 years. I am finding that school this time around is much easier. I don't know if it is the school or just that I am more focused and determined! I applied to Stevenson University for the BSN second degree option and was accepted for this fall. I am confused about what to do. I went on Monday and talked to the nursing department and saw the campus and the nursing lab, etc and I did like it. It is a small private school (formerly Villa Julie College) and is expensive. I am planning on applying for scholarships and if I can get any/enough I will most likely go. Howard Community College is very close to me (5 miles away) so that program is very appealing. I just don't like that I will have to wait until next May to start and won't get the BSN. I am applying to UM BSN program for spring 2010 as well (unless I end up getting scholarship $ and go to Stevenson). If I was able to apply to UM for fall I would have, and if I had been accepted I would have chosen UM for sure. I am nervous to turn Stevenson down, with the chance that I don't get in to UM. I am leaning toward a BSN program because I want to eventually apply to the nurse anesthesia program at UMAB.

    I'm sorry if this is so confusing! I am just trying to sort through the options and figure out what is best. I know only I can figure that out, but any input would be helpful! I have heard rumors about Stevenson not being strong in the past (lower NCLEX passing rate) but I am confident I will do fine if I do go there. I like that UM is a top nursing school and I am a terp, so I am partial If anyone here is going to Stevenson or is considering it, please let me know so we can chat about it. I don't want to make a decision I will regret later.

    Thanks for any advice!!
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    About terps97

    Joined: Apr '09; Posts: 54; Likes: 2
    from US

    41 Comments

  3. by   Jules A
    Hi,
    A friend of mine did the RN-BSN option at Villa Julie and loved it although it was quite expensive. Like you the NCLEX percentage doesn't impress me either way because I was confident I'd pass.

    I didn't think that UM is really all that much cheaper though. Am I wrong? Good luck.
  4. by   terps97
    Yes, UM is half the cost of Stevenson. It is now up to $20K/year and UM is about $10K. Thanks for the input!
  5. by   SiennaGreen
    My two cents-I wouldn't pay that kind of money for SU, not if you had a chance to begin at UMB the next semester.

    I was in a similar situation. I applied UMB and my local CC. I got in to both and chose the CC b/c it has a wonderful reputation and they were offering me scholarships that would pay for almost 100% of it. UMB did not have anything grants/scholarships for me...so, the way I looked at it was, I can get my RN for almost free and then allow the hospital I work for to help pay for my BSN P/T while working.

    You have so many options, I know how difficult it can be. Don't jump on SU unless you know thatis what you want. Worst case is you don't get accepted to UMB. Apply again to both in the spring, and use SU as your back up then. It's a gamble, but might be worth it
  6. by   Jules A
    Quote from SiennaGreen
    My two cents-I wouldn't pay that kind of money for SU, not if you had a chance to begin at UMB the next semester.

    I was in a similar situation. I applied UMB and my local CC. I got in to both and chose the CC b/c it has a wonderful reputation and they were offering me scholarships that would pay for almost 100% of it. UMB did not have anything grants/scholarships for me...so, the way I looked at it was, I can get my RN for almost free and then allow the hospital I work for to help pay for my BSN P/T while working.

    You have so many options, I know how difficult it can be. Don't jump on SU unless you know thatis what you want. Worst case is you don't get accepted to UMB. Apply again to both in the spring, and use SU as your back up then. It's a gamble, but might be worth it
    Good points and fwiw I think Stevenson is pretty easy to get into.
  7. by   terps97
    Thanks for the input. I really am partial to UM and would rather go there if I could. The only way I will even consider SU is if I get enough scholarship money. Maybe they will let me defer the acceptance as a back up?

    It's all so confusing!!
  8. by   SiennaGreen
    They might let you defer. They might not-as a matter of putting pressure on you to accept. Who knows what their admissions office looks like in this economy. Either way, consider this; you wouldn't marry the first guy that ask you, just because you were afraid that the guy you really liked wasn't going to, would you? Granted its not as big of a decision, but if you weren't pleased with your choice and you have 40k student loans hanging over your head for 20 years...well, it might have some similarities
  9. by   terps97
    Quote from SiennaGreen
    They might let you defer. They might not-as a matter of putting pressure on you to accept. Who knows what their admissions office looks like in this economy. Either way, consider this; you wouldn't marry the first guy that ask you, just because you were afraid that the guy you really liked wasn't going to, would you? Granted its not as big of a decision, but if you weren't pleased with your choice and you have 40k student loans hanging over your head for 20 years...well, it might have some similarities

    That is true, they may do that. I might as well try. I agree with you 100%, and I think the reason I am feeling so confused about this decision is because it is my only option to start this fall. I am eager, but I need to be patient. I am not getting school loans (if I can't get enough scholarship $ to cover a lot of the cost I wouldn't go there anyway) so that isn't an issue. I just refuse to pay that! I find it interesting that they don't require the NET or recommendations either. Makes you go hmmmm... :icon_roll
  10. by   Rhone
    Quote from JennyA
    Makes you go hmmmm... :icon_roll
    Well, for what it's worth, it's not really anything out of the ordinary. Nursing schools seem to follow the same pattern than I noticed in my previous life when I was researching clinical psychology PhD and PsyD programs: Private schools, compared to public schools, are significantly easier to get accepted into, but of course are far more expensive. Of course, extremely prestigious private schools (e.g. Hopkins) are often an exception to that generalization.

    If money was no object for me and I was interested in SU, I probably wouldn't let the NCLEX pass rate alter my decision (unless they were in danger of losing accreditation!). I think the lower pass rate is easily explained by the easier admissions, and I'm guessing they probably also don't aggressively weed out (i.e. fail) students the way CC nursing programs do. In other words, I see no reason to assume that the pass rate necessarily reflects the actual quality of the teaching.

    (Of course, money is an issue for me, so I'll take a public school any day..)
  11. by   SiennaGreen
    I respectfully disagree about pass rates and their relationship to your nursing education. Now, let's caveat by saying we all know nursing schools teach to the NCLEX. Sometimes it might seem too much, but that's another arguement. Given that we all have to pass the NCLEX in order to go to work, it's a pretty good gauge.

    I am in a school that does not require an admission test. (NET, TEAS) We're ranked by GPA of our prerequsite coursework. We also have a very high MBON first time pass rate, higher than most of the local BSN programs. Our program is academically grueling and we are taught from the beginning how to learn and how to test....in prep for NCLEX. We also lose a pretty high percentage of our students from first semester to fourth. I would guess close to 40%, but that's just a guess. However, we have a great NCLEX pass rate. The program works if you work.

    I am wary of programs with poor pass rates because clearly they are missing an integral part of the process. Weeding out is not a bad thing if it is representative of people dropping/failing out that are not able or willing to do what it takes to pull through. I am especially leary of low pass rates in a school that does not require admissions testing or are too easy to gain entrance to.

    Obviously, there are many factors at play. Just be careful assuming that you will be able to learn independantly and pass NCLEX at a school w.less than stellar reputation/pass rate. It's possible that the reason behind the low rates is the students aren't being given the tools or the education needed to pass.
  12. by   terps97
    I see both sides. I think a program with low passing rates definitely puts up a red flag. However, when I met with an advisor at Stevenson, she explained that they had trouble with their accelerated part-time option that they offered to second degree students who were pretty much all working while going to school. She said they decided to drop that program when they realized how hard it was for students to juggle working full time and part-time school and now that option is no longer accelerated (it is now a 3 year program). Apparently that was the time when they had issues with students not passing NCLEX. From what I can tell the professors all come from very good schools and have good backgrounds. Many come from UMB with MSNs and PhDs. I have to say that I did like the campus and I love the idea of having such small class sizes. With a difficult program like nursing I think that would be a great thing. I have applied to UMB for the CNL program for spring since it made more sense to me to go for the MS instead of another BS and the 16 month option is also appealing. I have to say that I still keep thinking about Stevenson and wondering if maybe I should be going there. I think I would be comfortable there and I like that it isn't in the city (easier to get there, parking). I just wish it wasn't $20K!
  13. by   Jules A
    I agree about Stevenson. The only negative I found was the price. Their professors are excellent, classes small, rolling courses for the RN to BSN option etc.
  14. by   jtk57
    JennyA, You say that you are applying for the Spring CNL program at UMAB; you should be aware that it is significantly more expensive than the BSN program, even though many of the classes are the same. I was accepted to the CNL program for the Fall, and I have lately been trying to figure out my loans situation, etc. I will be able to save some money with my wife still working while I go to school, but I estimate it will still cost me approximatley 19 to 20K per year (21 month option), and that is based on the estimates I got from the school itself. I was also under the impression that the UMAB CNL would be more affordable than Stevenson, and it is.. but only slightly. Even though I thought Stevenson was a fine school (I also was accepted there), I do think the education I will get at UMAB is going to be superior overall, which is why I chose to accept that slot instead. But as far as being cheaper, it really isn't.

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