I’ve been a reader and lurker on the site for awhile now and finally decided to ask my first question. I have dreamed of being a nurse for the last ten years and have worked hard on finishing up my prerequisites and keeping up my GPA while being a homeschooling SAHM to nine young kiddos. Suuuuper excited that I am now in a place when I can finally apply to and attend nursing school! Woot! I would love your input on my current predicament
The school closest to me is a community/tech college with an LPN program (two semesters with start dates every spring and fall) and a bridge to ADN program (two semesters with only fall starts). It will be the cheapest option for me, as I will get 16 free credits a year (part of my husband’s employer benefits) and the rest will be covered in both grants and cash-flowed. I don’t really desire to get my LPN first and would prefer to go straight to an ADN program, but the ADN program closest to me is just over an hour away (and the clinical parts of the program will also be over an hour away). This ADN program would also be almost completely paid for between free credits and grants, but gas prices would be costly. If I did the bridge from LPN to RN program at my local community/tech college, I would have at least 1 semester of lag in between graduating with my LPN and starting the bridge program (which is highly competitive due to the low number of seats available and the one-a-year start dates) and more realistically a three semester lag.
Another option is to go straight for my BSN at the local state college. The program will cost me around $15,000 out of pocket when all is said and done, and the wait list right now is around 1-1.5 years. I do eventually want to earn my BSN, and would have the option to do so for around $8,000 online if I go through the partnership program at my local community/tech college.
The last option is to go through Rasmussen College. The only benefit to this would be guaranteed acceptance, accelerated classes, and a BSN at the end. The major downside is cost. I think I could graduate with around $30,000 in student loans (no way could my family afford to cash flow that all, and I would not receive any free credits from my husband’s employer as it is a private school) and be finished in less than two years.
I think I know which direction I should go, but I wanted to hear from others who may have faced similar options. What were your deciding factors in going the route you did, and passing up on alternate routes? I already feel like I’m starting the program so much later in life than everyone (I’m almost 33) so I’m naturally inclined to rush into whichever option is fastest, but the logical side of me says that slow and steady wins the race. Help!