Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Stony Brook Accelerated Nursing Program

For some time, I planned on applying to CUNY Lehman and SUNY Downstate's accelerated nursing programs but I may also consider the accelerated nursing program at SUNY Stony Brook as well. Why? Well for starters, it gives me more options to choose from, especially in the event I do not get accepted to my first two choices. Secondly, it is an excellent program with a good reputation, at least that is what I read on allnurses. I actually was interested in Stony Brook early in my search (before I became interested in Downstate) but the distance was a huge deterrent (it's about 1 hour 10 minutes drive in one direction). The program is only a year though so even if I had to commute over 90 miles a day, it would only be for a year and they don't require any entry exam! Besides if I were to go to Lehman I'd have to pay for toll on the Throggs Neck bridge and Downstate I would have problems finding free parking most of the time (I always do in Brooklyn) so all 3 schools are in the same boat I think.    


For the past few days or few weeks rather I have been getting anxious and I can't quite pin point why. I am currently enrolled in my fifth prerequisite class and I must say that Chemistry is a mental treat compared to the anatomies because I actually feel like my brain can actually hold most of the information. Also my grades so far are in the A range so I may actually get my first "A" in a science course. Yet my mind keeps going back and forth about whether I am doing the right thing or whether the acceleration route is the best option or if doing a part time program is better.

I am never one to make rash decisions or take huge risk without thought but when I do it generally works out because honestly my instincts/spirit never fail me. But I also remember what it is like looking months for my first "real" job after graduating with my first degree (I had several part time jobs) and it was a nightmare. For starters, everyone wanted experience that I didn't have (I majored in Computer and Information Science and was looking for related jobs). Secondly the starting pay in a few instances were the same as the jobs I had that did not require a degree. Thirdly I found out I was pregnant a couple of months after graduation so I had to deal with going on job interviews with an ever growing belly and possibly not being considered for jobs because employers would know that I would eventually go on maternity leave. I don't have plans for anymore children and I doubt I will be pregnant for any job interviews in the future but I do have some concerns. For starters the job market is tough, really tough, at least for a new graduate. I think my family can manage for 12-15 without my full time income if I save enough but what about an additional 8-12 months just looking for my first nurse gig? Just the though of going through that at this point in my career makes my heart sink a bit and puts me in panic mode.

Then there is the whole child care thing. My husband from day one has been surprisingly supportive of me going back to school to be a nurse but outside of some financial and moral support, I am on my own. I can't rely on my husband to be there with the kids for my early morning clinicals or my late night classes and working night shifts would also be difficult since my husband works various shifts on any given day and I don't have trusted family close by. My oldest will be 13 by the time I anticipate starting nursing school so she would definitely be a helper (my younger children would be about 7 and 8 by then) but night jobs may still not be an option for a few more years unless I can somehow work opposite hubby which means knowing his schedule ahead of time (and he almost never does). I truly believe that nursing is for me at this time in my life but if my decision is not going to be compatible with my family situation I may have to reconsider everything or further postpone them, even though I have invested a fair amount of time, energy, and money already.