It's not a bad program. I'm getting ready to start my second (and last) year. I've heard so many people bad mouth the program and get people all worked up. I was petrified when I started because of all the rumors. I've never had problems with the administration. I'm assuming the "abuse" mentioned is the lab instructors and clinical instructors who want us to do things correctly. There are some that are tougher than others, but it's just because they want us to be good nurses. There were times when they were strict, but you can't take that personally. Just remember if they are being harsh or strict with you, they are probably being that way with everyone. It's their license on the line if you do something that endangers a patient.
So far, my experience has been positive. Yes, I get stressed before tests and projects, but that is to be expected.
If you listen to the school and don't overload yourself and prepare your family for the time you'll need to put into school, you'll be fine. Give yourself time to study the information and understand the skills you'll need. Take nursing school seriously and let the instructors know you take it seriously by coming prepared and following their directions (I can't stress that enough). They remember who does and does not come prepared and they also know which students are the most reliable.
I don't regret my choice of nursing school and I was torn between CCBC Essex and Maryland's second bachelors program. I chose CCBC because it's convenient, parking is free, it's a good program, and most of all it's cheap! I plan on working towards my BSN and then MSN, but I decided to get the RN first, then do a RN-MSN program and let my hospital pay for it. It has definitely saved me some cash.
Good luck to everyone. I know that there are some that probably disagree with me and may have had bad experiences, but I also know I'm not the only one that thinks the program is solid.