CUNY vs. SUNY

  1. Hey everyone!

    I'm new to the forums, and an aspiring RN student, but I wanted to ask current CUNY/SUNY RN students/grads if they could outline some pros vs. cons when considering applying for CUNY or SUNY for your initial RN education.

    Besides the obvious differences (price, length of degree programs, degree programs offered, locations, etc.), I guess I'm looking for opinions on qualitative differences, like does it make a difference in your career as a RN? Have you experienced both systems and have a strong preference for one (and why?)?

    Specifically, I'm currently torn between pursuing the two-year RN (Associates) program offered at QCC, which is both in my vicinty and my price range, vs. going all out for a four-year BSN program at a nearby SUNY. I'm curious as to which would be a better education in the long-run and if the competitiveness of the programs are varied by school.

    I've heard conflicting opinions from current RNs that have been in the work force for many years (most of the advice I've received is to get a two-year RN, get a job quickly, and then use the next 10 years to get the BSN part-time) or are current teachers themselves.

    I truly thank you all in advance for any advice or insight, and I apologize if this discussion topic has already been covered (feel free to point me to that thread, if it does already exist).
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    About NurseChapel

    Joined: Oct '06; Posts: 21; Likes: 2

    14 Comments

  3. by   sacrdhazel
    Hiya!

    I am currently in the midst of a transfer from a CUNY to a SUNY. And that is only because I was forced in to the transfer. Theres really no difference other than BSN/ADN education. 2 year ADN programs are in higher demand and harder to get in to than 4 year programs. I was in CUNY Kingsborough for the first 2 years of my ADN program (1 year pre req and 1 year clinical) and got pregnant with my twin daughters and had to stop attending. When I wanted to come back, they didnt have enough seats for me, so I went on a mad dash to find a school that would accept the bulk of my credits. I finally came upon SUNY Farmingdale's ADN program. They are even accepting my Fundamentals clinical course.. which most schools do not do. The main difference I have found between my CUNY nursing program and my SUNY program is more flexability. In CUNY they handed you your schedule. You didnt get to pick it. In SUNY I can pick days, evening or weekends and can basically pick the hospital I do my rotations in. That would have NEVER been an option in CUNY.

    I know from my situation, I have a husband and 2 kids so I need to be out and making a paycheck asap. I did an externship over the summer with Long Island Jewish hospital and I was told by every veteran nurse to get out and let the job send you back to school on thier dime. I find now that most of the BSN graduates are usually kids right out of high school or people who had a BS degree already and are going back for thier RN. So I guess really you are the only person who can gauge thier situation.

    Good luck!
    Last edit by sacrdhazel on Oct 29, '06
  4. by   pongtipRN
    as a nursing student at bronx community college, i find that they require more core requirements than SUNY community colleges. i am looking in to transferring into westchester community colleg (suny). the prereq's i am taking now to get in to the nursing program at bronx community college is the SAME courses you take while in the nursing program at a suny community college. great for me, since i am already an lpn and advanced placement credit will be granted, if i pass the challenge exam.
  5. by   bisson
    `all you nee dto know are these 2 key facts:

    1) in order to get into a cuny school , you need atleast a 3.8 GPA in your core pre-reqs ( anatomy 1 & 2, micro, english, psychology, math for meds ) this means don't even think about getting anything but an A or A-

    BMCC has a 3.8 minimum and laguardia looks at ALL of your grades and none of them can go below an A-

    2) no one gives a rat's behind if you pass your tests or graduate the program at a cuny school. the staff is terrible and the school is rooting for you to fail .

    if you're going to spend time and money on this career, go to either a private school or a 4 year school. but watch out for Hunter, I hear people didn't liek it too much.
  6. by   Agent99
    Find the best school that has a good clinical experience and a high passing rate on NCLEX.

    If you like school, then get the BSN first. If not, get the AAS. It doesn't really matter as a new grad though. You won't be doing anything but staff nurse at first. You can go back to school to get BSN. It's not easy to go to school and work as a nurse, though.

    Nursing is very tiring, physically and emotionally. I still have not gotten my BSN. I should have went back to school a while ago, but whatever. I'll get there. lol
  7. by   NurseChapel
    Thank you everyone for your feedback thus far; this is very helpful to me!

    Quote from bisson
    no one gives a rat's behind if you pass your tests or graduate the program at a cuny school. the staff is terrible and the school is rooting for you to fail


    Perhaps it depends on which CUNY school? I've met the faculty at QCC and they strike me as extremely dedicated individuals and their most recent NCLEX pass rate was 100%.
  8. by   chestrockwell
    Quote from bisson
    `all you nee dto know are these 2 key facts:

    1) in order to get into a cuny school , you need atleast a 3.8 GPA in your core pre-reqs ( anatomy 1 & 2, micro, english, psychology, math for meds ) this means don't even think about getting anything but an A or A-

    BMCC has a 3.8 minimum and laguardia looks at ALL of your grades and none of them can go below an A-

    2) no one gives a rat's behind if you pass your tests or graduate the program at a cuny school. the staff is terrible and the school is rooting for you to fail .

    if you're going to spend time and money on this career, go to either a private school or a 4 year school. but watch out for Hunter, I hear people didn't liek it too much.

    That's not accurate at all. The pre-req's and grade requirements are different at every cuny school. I'm sorry you had a bad experience but you are giving out info that is blatently wrong.
  9. by   girls1
    As a fellow Bcc student, I would encourage you to give Bcc a chance.
    I started last fall and I was so discouraged by what everyone was saying about Bcc and all cuny schools in general that I actually wasted precious study time researching private schools. Cochran, Dorothea Hopfer, Beth Israel, you name it. I even took the two hour bus ride out to Westchester community to check that place out.
    But I did well in my pre reqs and this was my first semester in the nursing program. It's not even half as bad as they say it is. Sometimes you think going to a different school would make everything easier but it just ends up wasting time and money.
    Just my two cents. I'm sure you'll make the decision that is right for you.
    Good luck on your pre reqs!
  10. by   wanna-be-nurse
    I guess you just have to make the best with what you have. I go to Lehman-CUNY and I'm happy so far. If you want a more organized administration with more resources and less beauracracy, go to a private school. But I can tell you that you are going to have days were you just want to pull your hair and scream because CUNY staff has attitude, or some administrative mishap, etc. But there is enough resources to get you a good education at a decent price.

    I suggest you get into a BSN program because it makes no sense (to me) to go get an associates when they are trying to get rid of these programs, many hospitals require you to have a BSN (like NYP, NYU, etc). Plus hospitals provide tuition reimbursement. Its VERY hard to go to school and be a nurse. Get it over with while you can. And I hear that it takes about 3 years to finish the associates, (please correct me if I'm wrong) so its best to just go to a BSN. But if you don't get into any BSN program, I would leave the associate program as a last resort. You mentioned you are considering working on your BSN within 10 years, Why would you want to spend the next 10 years to finish your BSN degree? It seems like alot of time. But you know your circumstances and what is best for you. Hope this helps!!!
  11. by   bisson
    here's my perspective to the above post:

    it makes just about as much sense to get your associates and then bachelors as much as getting your BSN right away. here are my reasons:
    1) there are more associate schools then 4 year schools in NYC,
    2) while SOME hospitals will have loan forgiveness, many will not. however all will have tuition assistance if you are working for them= they will pay for your BSN
    3) you can always get your BSN online
    4) if you lan on getting aspecialty masters, tehre are a lot of accelerated programs that all you need is your associates- they will teach you the Bachelors curriculum along with masters.

    in teh end- it's up to you how much time you want to spend in school and what do you plan on doing with your career. if you are fine as a clinical staff nurse- all you need is your associates- the whole controversy over Rn's getting their BSN within 10 years of graduation is still all talk. no law has been passed, and if you graduate before it passes you will be exempt from it.

    btw, it only takes 3 years to finish associates if you plan on getting all of your pre- req's out of the way 1st, so you can focus mainly on Nursing courses. but trust me, there is no short cuts. it will take you the exact same time in the end because people in BSN programs STILL take the SAME courses associates student takes and then continues on to the baccalaureate curriculum
  12. by   NurseChapel
    Quote from wanna-be-nurse
    you are considering working on your BSN within 10 years, Why would you want to spend the next 10 years to finish your BSN degree?
    You're right; that is a long time. My original thinking was based on this supposed "get your BSN within 10 years of licensure" law that has yet to be passed, so I'm going to focus on gaining licensure as quickly as possible through an AAS program.

    Then I'll at least be working as a nurse, which is really what I want to do. I'll have time to decide if a BSN or MSN are worth pursuing and possibly take advantage of a hospital tuition-assistance program. For me, I think that's a better position to be in if I'm going to commit x amount of money toward higher education. My assumption is that a more advanced curriculum will "sink in better" if I'm walking into the classroom having already gained years of clinical experience...

    Again, many, many thanks for everyone's input! My journey towards licensure has begun, and it's been very helpful to bounce some ideas and questions off of a few folks along the way. Best wishes, also, to everyone else who has just begun their nursing education.
  13. by   pongtipRN
    Quote from girls1
    As a fellow Bcc student, I would encourage you to give Bcc a chance.
    I started last fall and I was so discouraged by what everyone was saying about Bcc and all cuny schools in general that I actually wasted precious study time researching private schools. Cochran, Dorothea Hopfer, Beth Israel, you name it. I even took the two hour bus ride out to Westchester community to check that place out.
    But I did well in my pre reqs and this was my first semester in the nursing program. It's not even half as bad as they say it is. Sometimes you think going to a different school would make everything easier but it just ends up wasting time and money.
    Just my two cents. I'm sure you'll make the decision that is right for you.
    Good luck on your pre reqs!

    I disagree. In my own situation, i would not be necessarily wasting time if I transfer to SUNY WCC or any other SUNY Community College that offers AAS in Nursing, I would only have to take my remaining Nutrition Class or Developmental Psych (depending on which school) and Dosage Calculations/Pharm, and the 3 Nursing Classes. Because I am already an LPN, they give me Advanced Placement--I do not have to take the 1st nursing class. But each school varies in their policy, for WCC i have to take a challenge exam. For another SUNY Community College, they automatically give me credit for being an LPN, I only have to take the NET, but no challenge exam. In my opinion, that's only 3 semesters without having to take chemistry, art/music, communications, and all the other B*S* that BCC wants me to take (which, AS WE ALL KNOW, is to milk you out of your money that you worked hard for or to milk you for your financial aid). To complete your degree at CUNY would take no less than 3 years maybe 2 1/2, if you're lucky, and that includes the prereq's. This is why the Nursing Programs at CUNY takes so long to complete. With the exception of Queensborough Community College, their requirements are much like SUNY schools, so I am speaking about my experience at BCC. PLUS, BCC requires that as an LPN I must have at least 1 year of acute care/Med-Surg experience, but SUNY Community Colleges do not have that requirement--they only require an LPN license to qualify for advanced placement. So, all in all, IN MY OWN SITUATION, and my own OPINION, SUNY Community Colleges that offer AAS in Nursing is much better than CUNY schools. Plus, the CUNY schools may SAY they have no waiting list, but they do. This may also apply to SUNY, but at least they are not completely biased on whether you get financial aid or not, since CUNY schools are mostly funded by YOUR financial aid (statistics and common sense show). So, not necessarily wasting money either, I would rather "waste money" as you say to finish in 3 semesters than to finish in 9, including summer classes. My 10 cents. lol.
  14. by   occc2010rn
    Suny Orange offers a two year RN program and has a 92% NCLEX pass-rate.
    So I can pay $1700 sem. (FT) at this CC instead of $7,000 at Mt. St. Mary's.

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