Must decide..Public or Private Nurs Sch..Advice

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I have been lucky enough to be accepted into the 2 BSN nursing schools that I applied to for fall 2005. Now I need your advice in deciding.

School #2. I love the private school. Small class, attached to a hospital(not part of the hosp, though, but physically attached to it and they have a great relationship), teachers all fulltime, and know students by name. Thier NCLEX pass rate was in the 80s but they have since brought it up to the low 90s. Much closer to my home, against traffic. BUT, the cost is $16,000 per year, not incl books, uniforms and all the other nursing fees. you attend classes 2 days , clinicals 2 days and 1 day off each week.

School # 2, is public. Tuition is much cheaper, thousands cheaper. Also BSN. NCLEX pass rate for 2004 is 97.4%. The schedule, I am not sure yet, but I think its more hectic than at the private. I am currently taking Patho (absolutely great course and teacher) there which is a prereq for their BSN and hope to speak to a current nursing student there soon, about their schedule. The dean is leaving, my current patho teacher is leaving and I was told maybe a few other profs. Could be just career moves. But I kinda think about it.

I am in my late thirties with mortgage and 3 kids, the oldest heading to college one year after I finish nursing school(may 2007). So, MONEY IS a BIG, BIG FACTOR for me and the family. This is a 2nd degree,so I don't qualify for many of the loans and grants, etc. My husband prefers if I go to the public, financial concerns, offcourse.

So my fellows, I need your advice. What would u do, where would u go?

tks

HealthyRN

541 Posts

I can understand your dilemma! If money wasn't an issue, I would definately choose school #1. I would prefer the smaller class sizes and the individual attention that goes along with it. Not to mention you can't beat a schedule like that! However, $16,000 is a lot of money to pay for undergraduate tuition. If money is truly a concern for you, and there is no way to get around it with loans, financial aid, etc., it sounds like you may have to go with school #2. Just because it seems that a lot of professors are leaving, it doesn't necessarily mean the school isn't good. A 97.4% NCLEX pass rate is not bad!

Are the schools close enough that they share similar clinical sites? If so, you may end up having very similar clinical experiences regardless of the school that you choose. You may want to ask if you can audit a lecture in each school to get an idea of what classes are like. Meet with a financial aid advisor to explore all options.

Good luck in your decision!

Has 20 years experience.
I have been lucky enough to be accepted into the 2 BSN nursing schools that I applied to for fall 2005. Now I need your advice in deciding.

School #2. I love the private school. Small class, attached to a hospital(not part of the hosp, though, but physically attached to it and they have a great relationship), teachers all fulltime, and know students by name. Thier NCLEX pass rate was in the 80s but they have since brought it up to the low 90s. Much closer to my home, against traffic. BUT, the cost is $16,000 per year, not incl books, uniforms and all the other nursing fees. you attend classes 2 days , clinicals 2 days and 1 day off each week.

School # 2, is public. Tuition is much cheaper, thousands cheaper. Also BSN. NCLEX pass rate for 2004 is 97.4%. The schedule, I am not sure yet, but I think its more hectic than at the private. I am currently taking Patho (absolutely great course and teacher) there which is a prereq for their BSN and hope to speak to a current nursing student there soon, about their schedule. The dean is leaving, my current patho teacher is leaving and I was told maybe a few other profs. Could be just career moves. But I kinda think about it.

I am in my late thirties with mortgage and 3 kids, the oldest heading to college one year after I finish nursing school(may 2007). So, MONEY IS a BIG, BIG FACTOR for me and the family. This is a 2nd degree,so I don't qualify for many of the loans and grants, etc. My husband prefers if I go to the public, financial concerns, offcourse.

So my fellows, I need your advice. What would u do, where would u go?

tks

Private is much more expensive versus community college. For me private was the best route because of the small classes, etc. etc....also it is the only place around here without a waiting list. Downfall...its is about $450.00 a credit without books versus $86.00 a credit at a community college. It sounds insane and it is, but for me the choice was based on not wanting to sit in an endless waiting list, to later be put into a hat and wish my name was pulled out (lottery system).

My pocket is hurting and I know I will have so many student loans, having said that.....my dream of becoming a nurse is priceless and whatever gets me there is the route I choose :p

All I can say is ponder and weigh the choices and only YOU can decide what you want and what is best for you and your family. Unlike you I do not have children yet, as my husband and I are waiting until I finish school at least. Your situation involves a little more weighing. Good luck, and whichever route you choose will be for the better, you will see :)

Jess

Princess74

817 Posts

Wow, only 16,000 dollars. I start Medical Careers Institute in August. I'll be taking Practicle Nursing and it's costing me $19,ooo. For a 1 year course. However that does include all of my books, uniforms etc...

redwinggirlie

559 Posts

Money is a good point to consider, but which one will give you more time at home with your family and with your studies? Those would be my important issues to consider....

Another option: is there a community college where you could get an ADN close to you? Not wanting to start a BSN/ADN war .... Community Colleges offer flexibility and are less costly... classes are smaller, too

laurik

5 Posts

97.4% is a wonderful percentage for NCLEX passes. It does reflect on the program.

I have always reminded myself that even in larger classes, I am the one that decides how much individual attention I get. If you choose public, sit in the first 2 rows of class, be prepared, go to office hours to meet with the teacher, ask questions and make a point to get to know you teachers.

Good luck with which ever you choose. It'll go fast.

Specializes in Critical Care, Pediatrics, Geriatrics.

Why public?

Because its in your budget! Because as someone else has said YOU determine the attention you will get, not to mention every instructor is different and you will have good and bad at EITHER school! Because the majority of your experience will come after you graduate! Because no one will think you are a better nurse just because you chose private over public, YOU determine what you will take from the program! Because the school OBVIOUSLY has a higher NCLEX pass rate...Wouldn't you be mad if you paid thousands of dollars a semester and then didn't pass the NCLEX...what would be the point?

Bottom line...just b/c it costs more doesn't mean its worth more. If these students at the private school are getting all this one on one attention b/c they have smaller class sizes with a less hectic schedule but yet they don't do as well on the NCLEX then that would be a huge red flag to me b/c they really should be at an advantage in comparison.

Obviously, as you have stated you and your hubby need to watch finances. BSN at a public school for now, and MSN at a private school later could be an option for you. I don't know if you have ever had to pay back student loans but $16000 times x amt of semesters is a lot of money!!!! :uhoh3:

spaniel

180 Posts

I simply don't agree. There's lots of cost cutting a some public schools. I just went through this nonsense at a well regarded "public" school. There was extremely poor communication, staff didn't answer emails, advising was done in part by the secretary of the department...

For sixteen grand I'd take the private school- from how you describe it it seems they have their act together. I believe in the long run it'll cost you less.

Specializes in er, pediatric er. Has 4 years experience.

If there is any way to make it work, I would go to the private school. There is something to be said for the instructors knowing your name! I had the choice of a community college and a private university, and i will never regret making the decision to go to the private university. I do owe a lot more money than I would have if I had gone to the state school, however I believe my educational experience has been much richer. I read on this board about things the teacher do or say to some of the posters here, and I will shocked! We also did not have the "weeding" out that many of the schools have. We started out with 55 and are graduating Saturday with 46. Many of the 9 peolple who did not make it dropped out for personal problems.Our NCLEX passage rate is in the 90's.

If you really can't make the private school work, you will get a good education at the stae school, as well. As far as content goes, most nursing schools teach similiar content.

Good luck, I hope you get to become a nurse, and you have a good experience no matter which school you choose.

SusanJean

463 Posts

I would definitely opt for the private route - and did.

I am also a 2nd degree student and rec'd scholarships and loans - no problems even though I already have a BA degree. Don't discount it so quickly - talk to the school's financial aid office to see what is available. Once I did, they offered me a scholarship right off the bat for GPA, and helped w/ others so I had the option for no out of pocket expenses if that were my decision.

I love this college because the classes are small, the profs are always available to help and seem interested in seeing the students succeed. There are a fair amount of non-traditional students in the nursing program and they are welcome and valued. The classes are small - people complain if there are 20 in a class. :chuckle

Yes, it costs more, but you get what you pay for.

My husband is an ajunct at the local CC and they have a nursing program. Never once did we even discuss that as an option for me. And, I will add, money is a big issue - this education is on me - dh is not paying for one red cent of it...but that is another topic...:rolleyes:

Good luck w/ your decision. And remember, it is not just the pass rate, but the entire education, the references, the experience. This school will be your life for the next few years...

SJ

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