I got out of the Navy 2 years ago and moved back to NE Ohio. I faced similar decisions to yours. I live just outside of Canton and spent alot of time on the BSN vs. ADN debate myself. As far as schools to attend, I know there are some around youngstown but didn't want to live there based on my brothers advice (he's a corrections officer in the prison in Mansfield) and he said a lot of prisoners where he works are from that area, suggesting its a relatively high crime area.
So, I've established I don't know much about youngstown other than hearsay, however, I am familiar with the Akron/Canton area. The BSN programs are at University of Akron and Kent State University. There are ADN programs at Stark State Technical School, Kent offers one as well, I believe there is a new one that has started up recently in Akron as well (Akron Institute or something like that), and Aultman College of Nursing. I've investigated all these pretty thoroughly and was a student at Akron University. So here's the scoop:
Akron University 4 yr BSN 1st year is all Pre-reqs, the 2nd year you ask to move to the nursing major and it will be based on your grades if you get into it or not. I assume Kent is similar to this.
Stark State is a 2 yr ADN and there is a waiting list, regardless of your grades/ACT/classes taken, there is a wait list. I was told in 2006 that I would be put on the list to start in 2009. I have a 3.77 GPA and a 28 on my ACT so I really wasn't happy with that. The upside of this school is its very cheap, like $127 a credit hour.
Kent State University ADN program.....well I tried to talk to their admissions counselors and I guess I went at the wrong time. They pretty much brushed me off told me to make an appointment for 3 weeks away to talk with a counselor. I decided to take my money elsewhere, if they were rude to a potential customer at our first meeting then I figure they don't deserve my $20,000
I signed up with Akron since I thought I had the best chance of getting in there since its merit based rather than 'who is in line ahead of you'. In my first semester there someone told me about Aultman school of Nursing so I looked into it.
Aultman School of Nursing....2yr ADN, competitive based application with no wait lists. If you have good grades/ACT score, then you have a good chance of getting in and they admit a class in the spring and another in the fall. I know people who got in with a 22 ACT around a 3.0 gpa.........and they still turned away a fair amount of people last semester. Needless to say I am almost finished with my 1st semester and feel its a really good program. The downside is the academic classes go through a private university so tuition is the same as going to a 4 year state school about $395 a credit hour.
I guess I should state why I switched from a BSN school to an ADN. It was mainly a convenience thing. I have 2 young children, my wife is an RN supporting us and I wanted to get done with my degree and start working as quick as possible. I'll get done with my 2 year degree and then my wife will go back for her RN to MSN through Akron University. When she is done with that then I will complete my RN-MSN. We got a plan, it just takes a while to implement.
The guy who told me about the Aultman program was an Army veteran who graduated from there and was working on his RN-BSN, and the guy who helped me out with advice on moving back to Ohio and the schools in this area was a CRNA (another Army Veteran). My point is feel free to ask questions, we veterans have a strong tradition of helping each other out. Seeya'round :spin: