Hi everyone! I would love some advice...
I currently live in Portland and will be applying to the two accelerated BSN programs that there are here in Oregon (OHSU and Linfield) this winter. I unfortunately won't quite meet all of the requirements to apply to U of Washington in time for their October deadline.
While I REALLY don't want to leave Portland, it is also really important for me to start an accelerated program next summer for various planning purposes, so while I am a fairly competitive applicant, I still need to apply to a few other schools as "back-ups".
This is where I am "stuck". I look through the list of the 230 programs available in this country, and just feel "empty" about where I might be willing to move to. Many of these states and cities are places I've never been to. I'm originally from the NY metro area and don't have any desire to return there. I almost feel like in choosing my back-up schools I am practically throwing a dart. So I thought I would share what my important criteria are, and see if any of you had some recommendations! It is just really stressful to imagine picking up and moving my whole family to a new strange place for 15-18 months - also knowing that if I am offered a job in that area we might stay....
So, what I am preferably looking for is:
A "nice" place to live (vague enough for you?) :)
I have two young children - so educational opportunities and activities for them (a zoo, children's museum, generally family friendly area, good preschools, etc)
Some sort of natural beauty - maybe close driving to great outdoor activities (hiking, etc)
Fairly low cost of living - I'll want to minimize commute time to the school while not breaking the budget so that's another reason I'm not interested in going to school in NYC or something. As an example, we pay $1500 now to rent a nice 3 bedroom home that is close-in.
Not a deal breaker, but I tend to "fit in" better in communities that lean a little more democratic or liberal
Again not a deal breaker, but I tend to like easy access to holistic or natural or organic products - so at least a Whole Foods or similar type of grocery available
Decent weather? (my hubby is from northern michigan and doesn't really want to deal with 6+ months of solid snow....
I know this doesn't give much information to go on, but I'm just hoping there are some of you who can maybe relate to my situation, and who LOVE where you live, and can let me in on the location! :)
Thanks in advance for any help!