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Network in current city or move to attend cheaper program?

crosew crosew (New) New

Hi all, I'm fairly new to the allnurses forums! I'm currently taking prereqs to get into an accelerated BSN program. I live in Philadelphia, so I have lots of private school options: Drexel, Jefferson, Penn, etc. However, I know that Pitt has a top-ranked program and since it's a state school, tuition would be cheaper for me.

I'm leaning strongly towards Pitt for a number of reasons. But from my last job search (I was in psych research trying to switch fields a bit and get into public health) I know I had a terrible time getting interviews, etc. because of my lack of experience + my lack of contacts who could vouch for my skills in the field. I'm worried that if I attend Pitt and then try to come back to Philly, I'll be unsuccessful in finding a job because I wouldn't have contacts in Philly. Of course, there is also the option to stay in Pittsburgh after graduation and get a few years of experience there, which I suspect would help with a job search in a new city.

Any of you in similar situations? What would you do if you were in my shoes? Thanks!

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 43 years experience.

I think your assessment of the situation is pretty good. How do you feel about possibly living in Pittsburgh for a year or two? I don't think you would need a lot of experience before before moving back to Philly -- a year would probably be enough. You might also be able to get a job as a new in grad (from Pitt) in Philadelphia if you get lucky and play your cards right.

Finally, how much financial difference are we really talking about? Put the numbers down on paper -- not just tuition, but living expenses, etc. If the financial difference is significant, I'd move to Pittsburgh.

I like Pittsburgh and I think their program is a little bit longer than the ones around here, which seems more...sane. My boyfriend is just worried (well, I am, too) that once I get out and try to go back to Philly, Philly people "will know what a Drexel or Jefferson grad is like, but not necessarily what a Pitt grad is like." Which is a valid point, but I'm not sure how hard it is to move around as a nurse--I'd like to think not that hard, but as a few fruitless job searches in other fields have taught me, it really helps to know people. But yes, the financial difference is pretty significant--Pitt will cost a little over $30K (and living there is slightly cheaper than Philly) and schools in Philly will cost between I think $50 and 80K. :(

WookieeRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in PACU. Has 3 years experience.

Pitt seems like a better financial option mainly because even after the high tuition of Philly schools, even living in the suburbs you're going to be paying a lot more for a 1br (I paid $775 for a dump of an apartment in Hatboro right on the train line so commuting to the city wasn't that bad).