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Which CSU nursing program should I go to?
0 Too long didn’t read version: Which CSU nursing program should I go to? Should I go to a worse school in my dream work location(SFSU) or a better school in my non-dream work location(SDSU)? Is it hard to get a job in a faraway city soon after graduation? Does the prestige of a nursing program matter or is it your GPA that matters? Is it really hard to get a job soon after graduation? How do I make it easier?
Long and full version:
Should I go to one near where I want to work or one that is prestigious and has a really high NCLEX pass rate? I am a junior in high school and I live in San Jose, but I want to work in San Francisco when I grow up. My priority is to graduate in four years or less and to be able to work in San Francisco within a year of graduation.
I’m considering San Diego State, CSULB, Sacramento State, San Francisco State, San Jose State, and CSU Los Angeles.
San Diego State and CSULB have the best ratings as overall CSU’s. San Jose has a good nursing program and it’s in my city, but it’s really hard to get classes and graduate within 5 years because it’s really crowded. CSULB is too hard to get in and it’s a commuter school. I want a great dorm life.
My plan is to get a CNA license the summer after my senior year. Then I will work part time as CNA while in nursing school. But is it more likely that the hospital that you work at as CNA and had clinicals, preceptorships, and internships at during nursing school will most likely hire you after you graduate? I heard that it is because you invest your time in that hospital and they see how you are so they will more likely hire you. Will it be hard to get a nursing job in San Francisco right after I graduate from San Diego? Should I go to a worse school in my dream work location or a better school in my non-dream work location?
Why I want to work in San Francisco: I speak Chinese and I heard that bilingual nurses are in higher demand in locations where the foreign language is more commonly spoken. San Francisco has a lot of Chinese people, so the language skill would maybe help. Also, I really love urban cities and San Francisco has the highest salary for registered nurses. UCSF Medical Center starting salary is like 55 bucks. San Francisco is 7 miles long and wide so I can walk everywhere and the public transportation is really good. There’s many parks and good restaurants and stores very close together. However, it’s really expensive to live there but it’s my dream.
Thank you very much for your time.
Poll: Which CSU should I go to if I want to work in San Francisco when I grow up?
San Jose State University
My vote is for SFSU. Here are my reasons:
You speak Chinese. How well? Get certified as a medical interpreter if at all possible. It will really help your job prospects, especially in SF. It won’t make much of an impact in SD. (I’ve lived in or near both cities.)
You want to work in SF. The connections you make in school are VITAL when it comes time for looking for jobs. You have to be your own best advertising. When I was in clinicals, I introduced myself to managers when they were on the floor. When I received good feedback from nurses, I told them to let their managers know. When it came time for a preceptorship, the stars aligned, and a manager moving to my dream unit offered to help me get my preceptorship there, and now I have an offer for when I am licensed (I graduate in 10 days). It is ALL about connections.
In nursing, alma mater doesn’t matter the way it does in business or law. The only way it would impact you is if you went to a school with a REALLY poor reputation, and you’ll find that even within the Bay Area (and I’m sure San Diego), each school has its own reputation for the type of nurses it produces. CSUs, in general, are well-respected within the nursing community, and I really don’t think that which one you attend will matter too much.
Sometimes being a CNA helps, sometimes not. RN experience is all that is counted when you look for jobs, but prior medical experience does help, and the connections you make in your job can be your ticket. Do not count on it as a guarantee. Not one of the people in my class who work as CNAs have RN positions waiting for them where they work.
Get accepted into a program first before you over think your brains out.
I would recommend taking things one step at a time. My best advice for you is to start taking night classes at your local community college. I did this when I was in high school and it is the only reason I am graduating in five years instead of six+! It only costs high school students $4 per semester. You can start getting your GE classes done, i.e. english, statistics, psychology, philosophy as well as co-reqs for nursing such as nutrition, child development, etc. Assist.org is your best friend. I went to SFSU straight out of high school to complete my pre-reqs and it was next to IMPOSSIBLE to get into the classes I needed. I ended up getting all my classes done at Canada and Skyline colleges. So, I would recommend you do this as well to save money as well as stress/time. I would not get caught up in wanting the college experience but that is just me! Good luck!