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Nursing Programs: Public vs Private Universities, does it really matter?

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Hello all current nursing students and active Nurses! I need to pick your brains please!

I am a 2nd degree student and mother of 2 beautiful girls. I made the biggest decision in my life coming back to school to pursue a degree in nursing and I cannot be happier.

So I applied to a BSN programs at a few of my local schools here in NYC. As you all know, all these programs are super competitive! I Studied my butt off for all my pre-requisites- attending night school and weekend school so I can continue working. I spent weeks perfecting my personal statements- often hounding my mentors and friends for their feedback.

So now I have heard back from the schools and I am in!!! WOOOO Something I did not expect- I got in to both of my first choice schools!!! Wow- I have choices? I did not expect this. All the late night studying paid off!!

Both are wonderful programs, with great clinical placements- the difference is, one program is at a Private University, while the other is at a Public one. The Private school program is 6x as much as the private!!!!

I am trying not to let the $ be the main deciding factor, but as you all know it carries a large weight. As a second degree student I am not eligible for most financial aid. I received my "financial aid package" from the private school, and it was laughable. I would have to take in private loans for tuition and living expenses, as my husband cannot carry all the burden on his own. I am also applying for scholarships.

So going back to my original question, what makes or breaks a good Nursing applicant once you are out looking for a job? Is it the school name? Or is it the NCLEX score and the clinical placements you had at school? As I applied to schools I was well aware of the tuition and costs and decided I was willing to get into this educational debt, and consider it as an investment. But should I get into this large debt if I have the choice not to?

The two schools I am referring to are Pace University and Hunter College in New York City, for any of you familiar with the schools.

HELP ME!!! I would love some insight =)

Edited by Joe V

Hello all current nursing students and active Nurses! I need to pick your brains please!

I am a 2nd degree student and mother of 2 beautiful girls. I made the biggest decision in my life coming back to school to pursue a degree in nursing and I cannot be happier.

So I applied to a BSN programs at a few of my local schools here in NYC. As you all know, all these programs are super competitive! I Studied my butt off for all my pre-requisites- attending night school and weekend school so I can continue working. I spent weeks perfecting my personal statements- often hounding my mentors and friends for their feedback.

So now I have heard back from the schools and I am in!!! WOOOO Something I did not expect- I got in to both of my first choice schools!!! Wow- I have choices? I did not expect this. All the late night studying paid off!!

Both are wonderful programs, with great clinical placements- the difference is, one program is at a Private University, while the other is at a Public one. The Private school program is 6x as much as the private!!!!

I am trying not to let the $ be the main deciding factor, but as you all know it carries a large weight. As a second degree student I am not eligible for most financial aid. I received my "financial aid package" from the private school, and it was laughable. I would have to take in private loans for tuition and living expenses, as my husband cannot carry all the burden on his own. I am also applying for scholarships.

So going back to my original question, what makes or breaks a good Nursing applicant once you are out looking for a job? Is it the school name? Or is it the NCLEX score and the clinical placements you had at school? As I applied to schools I was well aware of the tuition and costs and decided I was willing to get into this educational debt, and consider it as an investment. But should I get into this large debt if I have the choice not to?

The two schools I am referring to are Pace University and Hunter College in New York City, for any of you familiar with the schools.

HELP ME!!! I would love some insight =)

Pace is a great school. Is it worth 6 times the public school. no.

All that matters at the end of the day is that wherever you go is NLNAC/CCNE certified.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 43 years experience.

Public vs. Private doesn't usually make a difference -- assuming that both are reputable schools. Many state universities have truly excellent nursing programs. While I am not very familiar with those 2 particular schools, they are both well-established schools that I have heard of. Unless you know something significantly bad about the cheaper one, I'd go to the cheaper school.

If both are accredited and you get the same degree from both, go with the public school.

Money is the biggest thing. If you can afford it by all means. If your pulling loans, be prepared to pay your loans off for a Long time I you go private. I've changed from private to public because the cost was crazy.

Yeah I was paying 2000 per credit hour at an Ivy league school, left after a week and got my ADN for free at a public school......

This was all really helpful.If all that matters is that I just earn the degree, I will do just that. I honestly cannot afford the private school.Ty again everyone!

KelRN215, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pedi. Has 10 years experience.

Hello all current nursing students and active Nurses! I need to pick your brains please!

I am a 2nd degree student and mother of 2 beautiful girls. I made the biggest decision in my life coming back to school to pursue a degree in nursing and I cannot be happier.

So I applied to a BSN programs at a few of my local schools here in NYC. As you all know, all these programs are super competitive! I Studied my butt off for all my pre-requisites- attending night school and weekend school so I can continue working. I spent weeks perfecting my personal statements- often hounding my mentors and friends for their feedback.

So now I have heard back from the schools and I am in!!! WOOOO Something I did not expect- I got in to both of my first choice schools!!! Wow- I have choices? I did not expect this. All the late night studying paid off!!

Both are wonderful programs, with great clinical placements- the difference is, one program is at a Private University, while the other is at a Public one. The Private school program is 6x as much as the private!!!!

I am trying not to let the $ be the main deciding factor, but as you all know it carries a large weight. As a second degree student I am not eligible for most financial aid. I received my "financial aid package" from the private school, and it was laughable. I would have to take in private loans for tuition and living expenses, as my husband cannot carry all the burden on his own. I am also applying for scholarships.

So going back to my original question, what makes or breaks a good Nursing applicant once you are out looking for a job? Is it the school name? Or is it the NCLEX score and the clinical placements you had at school? As I applied to schools I was well aware of the tuition and costs and decided I was willing to get into this educational debt, and consider it as an investment. But should I get into this large debt if I have the choice not to?

The two schools I am referring to are Pace University and Hunter College in New York City, for any of you familiar with the schools.

HELP ME!!! I would love some insight =)

Your clinical placements and recommendations from professors/clinical instructors mean the most when you're out looking for a job. There is no such thing as an "NCLEX score". You either pass it or you don't. A future employer doesn't care if you passed it in 75 questions or 265. Either way, you're an RN.

If both schools are reputable and have good NCLEX pass rates and can give you good clinical placements, there's nothing wrong with letting money be the deciding factor.

Personally, I went close to $90k in debt for my undergrad education at a private university. I could have attended a state school for free. I don't regret my decision, as this was my first degree and the college experience mattered more than the nursing school but if it's your second degree and you have kids and other responsibilities, save yourself the money.

Your clinical placements and recommendations from professors/clinical instructors mean the most when you're out looking for a job. There is no such thing as an "NCLEX score". You either pass it or you don't. A future employer doesn't care if you passed it in 75 questions or 265. Either way, you're an RN. If both schools are reputable and have good NCLEX pass rates and can give you good clinical placements, there's nothing wrong with letting money be the deciding factor. Personally, I went close to $90k in debt for my undergrad education at a private university. I could have attended a state school for free. I don't regret my decision, as this was my first degree and the college experience mattered more than the nursing school but if it's your second degree and you have kids and other responsibilities, save yourself the money.
You raise several good points. One especially stood out to me, and I feel like you picked the thought right out of my head- the thought of the "college experience"The public college is extremely competitive- with only 80 seats offered. So the fact that I got accepted blew my mind. Because they are so competitive the school is known for being unforgiving. Not that I won't give it my all, I am a type A personality and am always very hard on myself when it comes to grades (that's another story all together). The students are known for being very cut throat and I can vouch for this as I have interacted with my Fierce competition just trying to get in.The private school on the other hand was sooooo nice. And the applicants are older adults like myself as it is a second degree program (the public is a mixture 2nd deg and reg pathway).I know I am being silly, and maybe I am drawn to Pace for its aesthetic qualities. I know I sound immature my friend actually told me "Don't go into debt just b/c you want friends!" She is right. The public school may not be all "kumbaya" but it will get me to where I want to be.In other words, I need thicker skin.

pghnurse527

Has 1 years experience.

My honest opinion is that private school is not worth paying 6x the price. I just finished my BSN at a private university and while I feel I got an exceptional education, and a TINY advantage for job placement, it is not worth the amount of money I had to spend.

I think it just depends on the schools in your area. All of the private schools where I live (Las Vegas) are about $50k for 18 months and super shady. The public institutions, however; are home to the most established nursing programs in the area. Even after I complete my RN-BSN and get my MSN (hopefully), I still will not have spent $50k on tuition! I think it's ludicrous. That being said, if there is no way you can get into one of the public schools in the foreseeable future then you may have to take the plunge. Plenty of people graduate from private nursing programs and go on to be successful, competent, and caring RNs. Additionally, the private schools in your town may be better than the public ones. I don't think a blanket statement could be made either way. I will say though that my father graduated from Pace (many many moons ago) and he is a pretty smart guy! :)

Public or Private university does not make a difference. Hunter College has one of the best nursing programs in NYC and it's also very extremely competitive to get in. So congrats on making it in :)

I have very close friends that finished both programs and both were happy with their education and have jobs almost immediately after passing their NCLEX.

In the end, it will depend on which school you like best, which school environment you think would work best with you.

Congrats and good luck :)

Annachu512, BSN, RN

Specializes in Tele. Has 2 years experience.

I personally attend a private school and love the smaller size. But the higher price tag is something to consider. My school is VERY giving with it's grants and scholarships so I only pay half of what I should. If you're really unsure, see what grants may be available and maybe that price tag will not be as bad as you think.

But the question is...will my degree be better since I attend a private school? No, as long as the school has a good reputation, go with the cheaper one. I only attend the expensive one for the distance factor. I'm a commuter with a baby girl so that was what I needed. Good luck!

I dont know how many times I have to mention it.....

A C C R E D I D A T I O N

Now listen, I am an idiot and dont know what I am talking about so please....

Dont listen to a word I say.......

Hey everyone. Thanks again for the insight. I accepted my seat at Hunter (public).I am very excited to start.

I Have been at both a private nursing school and a public nursing school. I transfered from the private nursing school because it was too expensive, and my father got a job at the pulic university and I had to pay only half the tuition so I tranfered to the public school.

This is just my opinion and it doesnt reflect all the private and public nursing schools in the US. I thought the classess where easier to pass at the private school and I had a 4.0 gpa over there, if you think about it, private school is like a business and the students are the customers,they get minimal funding from the state and federal gov. so they will do anything to keep the students and make them stay and pay the expensive tuition.

but when I got to public school, cos of my GPA from the private school I got a scholarship and let me tell you a public school will make sure they get a good return on their investment in you. the classess were harder, and my GPA has dropped to 3.6 ever since. I find that it is difficult in general to get an A in a public school vs. a private school. Again it could also be that I started all my hardcore nursing courses at the public school so that may account for the drop in GPA as well.

S.kill2018

Specializes in ICU. Has 5 years experience.

I definitely disagree with the idea that private schools are easier. I am in a nursing program at the only private school in my area -- there are three other public universities around that also offer a BSN. Our grading system is much higher than the others, and our classes are tough. We also will graduate with more clinical hours.

Private school is not the easy way out.

I definitely disagree with the idea that private schools are easier. I am in a nursing program at the only private school in my area -- there are three other public universities around that also offer a BSN. Our grading system is much higher than the others, and our classes are tough. We also will graduate with more clinical hours.

Private school is not the easy way out.

That's why I said it is only my opinion from my experience from both a private and a public. U dnt have to agree and u re entitled to urs.