I cannot just go with the flow. There is something within my makeup that won’t let things be simple.
As graduation from nursing school approaches, a million questions rear their heads.
Go right into a Bachelor’s program? Wait a little? Which one? How are you even going to pay for that, you lunatic? Will you have a job? Just how are you going to get that job? Why isn’t everyone around me experiencing syncope from all these questions?
It isn’t helping me that it seems like every conversation I have presents new and more disturbing questions about at least one of these topics. This program sucks, the faculty just had a huge walkout. This other program sucks! None of the online faculty ever get back to you. The same program that you just heard sucked? So-and-so had a GREAT experience there! Oh, and what about this other place you have literally never heard of before because they weren’t listed under the Maryland accreditation, but apparently are?
So just in Maryland, which is really all I’m considering at this point because I don’t have time to think about how much more it costs to go to school in DC or VA, and don’t get me started about online programs from Penn State or whoever, we have:
- University of Maryland: + prestige, has the master’s specialty I want, hospital attached − competitive, rumor mill things, huge
- Washington Adventist University: + small, has a hospital attached, that hospital has a big mental health unit − will there be religious impact on my nursing practice?
- Bowie State: + easy to get in, cheap, close − program is “in flux” and has terrible license exam pass rates
- Towson + Cheryl says she loves the masters program − far, no actual “online” program
- Stevenson: + the app process is the easiest − rumors that it’s terrible ± they have sent me more email than anyone making me feel wanted yet annoyed
- Johns Hopkins: + prestige, it’s JHU, I mean, come on − they don’t need me, and it costs SO MUCH
- Notre Dame: + heard nice things about their cohort program at Harbor, their rep was nice, um? − why had I never heard of them until this month?
I was going to put which ones were expensive as a minus, but they are all expensive. So consider that a vote for “give up”. I mean, this is like shopping for something for which you are not in any way considered a potential customer. And that will affect the rest of your life. And, next to your house, is the most expensive thing you will ever buy. I can’t decide what shoes to buy, I always just want to buy them all, so this is just ridiculous. At the same time, I feel like a college who markets to me is somehow crass and I don’t want to be a member of a club that wants me as a member. Before I started this post, I had narrowed this down to applying to ND, WAU, Stevenson, and maybe Bowie. Because I hate the most traveled road – the Terrapin road. But I think I’m going to have to look at that road. Even though they get something like 928,374 applications and have 100 seats or something like that.
And all this thought process because while I have been in school, the economy has tanked so hospitals can afford to be choosy, understaff I guess, and the hire rate for new associate’s grads is in the pooper. Three or four years ago associate’s grads were not worried about this. Not to mention, despite what some people think, every college recruiter tells me I DO have to get a second Bachelor’s degree IN NURSING before I can go after that master’s in a clinical specialty. There’s always that chance that I’ll get a job after all, and that job will be at a place that wants to invest in me and help me pay for my continued education! That feels like a pipe dream right now.
Do I sound crabby? I am not really. I mean, I am so happy to be where I am and even be contemplating all this. I just get frustrated with how confusing it all is and how much advice I get and how it all conflicts. I have three browser windows open full of tabs about jobs and schools and financial aid and professional nursing organizations. And… I SHOULD BE STUDYING!
And what I wish I was doing is watching The Vampire Diaries and eating ice cream.