Nursing school experiences in NYC, anyone?


I'm in the process of applying to various nursing schools/programs after finishing up 2 years worth of pre-requisites at community college while working -- and really could use some insights from anyone who's been there in regards to NYC. There's a lot that seems funky to me, but maybe that's normal for nursing and/or this part of the country (I'm originally from the south).

Also, my situation affects things a great deal: I'm a mid-life career changer, have a previous bachelor degree, but not tons of money. Every option toward earning a BSN seems loaded with pros, cons and lots of complications all over the place (assuming I *do* end up with options). Anyway, hope to find others willing to share experiences and answer a question or two. Thanks ?

Specializes in Community/Public Health. Has 3 years experience.

What parts of the process seem unusual?

Specializes in RN.

Hi @WhaleTails - your avatar made me smile, so thank you.

To clarify, I guess I mean I’m surprised to be at this point (pre-requisites almost complete, feeling proud of myself) yet none of the places I’m actually applying to for my RN seem like they could work for me, assuming I am accepted and even have options -- which would make me very lucky.

Finances are a concern, so of course I started at community college and am also applying for RN candidacy there. These spots are highly coveted and competitive, top GPAs needed. With a 3.88 currently, I’m told I’ll probably get in. Yet when I asked the nursing professor advising me if I'll be able to get a job after this program, she was very negative about it. Then I asked her about getting a BSN immediately after, and she warned me that I may have to repeat some of the pre-requisites I just got through (since many schools have a 5-yr ‘expiration’ on science courses). So back on the school treadmill before I can even work I guess? Why even offer associate-degree RNs at this point?

The city university system is very good here, but the pre-requisites for the 2 schools that are most feasible for me are insane: I’ll need 2 additional semesters of General Chemistry (I guess it’s more hardcore than the regular health-major chem I took at CC) PLUS 2 semesters of Organic Chemistry. And genetics. And assuming I can boost my GPA even more during that, because 3.88 may not even be high enough. I mean, I’m kinda willing to try, but it’s another big time commitment (and loss of money since I'm working a lot less at current career during this pursuit so I can make good grades) for even a chance, and I’m already 43.

Meanwhile, over at Columbia University, their direct-entry master’s program (in 15 months w RN) seems downright breezy to get into, not even requiring chemistry of any kind, or labs with A&P. Of course it’s over $100K. These are two extremes, but there doesn’t seem to be much middle ground in this city (I am applying to one private school that seems maybe more in the 60K range for ABSN, and I guess that is currently my #1 choice, so it's still not cheap, but less scary).

Just seems like I have 2 choices: community college, and possible not find a job and have to re-do more school to get into more school — OR go into massive debt that is unfair for my family (I have 2 small kids as well). Yikes.

Definitely would welcome any ideas on this, including any unconventional indirect paths I may not have considered. I just want to get started learning to be a nurse! I’ve been working toward it for so long, and I technically do already have a B.S. (though it's in advertising, heheh). I'm just surprised a city this awesome and full of opportunity is seeming very closed to me right now.

Specializes in Community/Public Health. Has 3 years experience.

I think what you need to look at are two things: what kind of work would you want to do when you graduate, and what the actual requirements are for an RN-to-BSN program. You might not be able to get a job at Mount Sinai or the NYU hospitals, but if you can think of where you might like to go you can see what their requirements are.

Specializes in RN.

Thanks, @WhaleTails. I'm just looking forward to getting any clinical experience as soon as possible to understand the reality more. I have a lot of fantasies about what I might like to do, and it's kind of all over (palliate care, anything related to brain health, wound care, NP sounds like a great goal one day but who knows, etc.)

Will try to focus on collecting facts and more info -- especially during this period of waiting to hear if I got in anywhere. Just been surprised it's been so hard to find anyone to talk to about all of this! It's a lonely pursuit.

Specializes in Community/Public Health. Has 3 years experience.

@oneday_nursepoundcake I'm happy to be your vent buddy if you need a friend! I'm an early-30s career changer; I grew up in NYC and now I'm in my last year of community college nursing program in Boston, another city full of prime healthcare spots that require BSNs.

Palliative care goes hand-in-hand with home health nursing; you can try looking up some agencies in the city and see what their hiring requirements are. A short-term nursing rehab might also be good for you, those facilities tend to hire new grads without a BSN and you're very likely to encounter patients with brain injuries and nasty wounds - sometimes on the same patient!