Saturday, April 28, 2012
Someone recently told me, "Don't choose a school based on how much it costs."
In my recent education in nursing school, I'd have to wholeheartedly agree.
I am graduating next week from Belmont University - definitely not the cheapest route to a nursing degree. Not by a long shot.
But I have been so, so impressed with this 16-month accelerated BSN program that I can't help but talk about it! (I've gotten several emails about those of you interested in nursing school, so maybe this will help someone.) Not only are the faculty excellent in their field, but they encourage us, pray with us and for us, and have an open door policy to come talk with them about just about anything. I've taken advantage of that quite a bit this past semester as the initial shock of my pregnancy drove me to their offices with so many questions about finishing the semester and applying for jobs. They handled it all with grace, compassion, wisdom, and prayer. So wonderful. Being at a Christian school, too, made a huge difference for me. In a field that's about helping and compassion, it would be hard to picture studying under people who don't know Jesus. What is their motivation for being apart of this very tiring, very sacrificial profession? Sure, it's rewarding. But not always.
The facilities are stunning... the most medical mannequins of anywhere in Tennessee (which are quite scary but very helpful - ha!) and the highest pass rate for the NCLEX of anywhere in the state. But the reputation of Belmont in the community is probably the most impressive part. Whenever we would go to clinicals and they'd see the patch on our sleeve delineating our school, nurses, doctors, everyone would say, "Oh, wow. You go to Belmont..." with so much respect. It felt a little crazy, and at times, I wanted to reply, "Yes, but I just started! I have no idea what I'm doing!" :) But it has surely played into the job hunt... I got a job exactly one week after applying to a hospital, and felt that as soon as I walked in the door, they already had an offer on the table because of my background at Belmont. It's just that respected.
I know I sound like a Belmont commercial right now, but I'm just so thankful for my experience there - no matter what it has cost (financially, emotionally, time-wise) - and I know it has prepared me as fully as I can be prepared for this next season as a new nurse.
So I'd have to give the same advice... don't choose a school based on how much it costs. If it's supposed to happen, God will provide. Maybe through financial aid, scholarships, etc. Maybe not. But when I think about my other options - which included a community college that would have been nearly free (though a lesser degree) - I am so thankful that Shawn and I made this choice.