Bachelor (of Arts) Party
I graduated from Loyola in 2010 and I absolutely loved it. I had the full college experience. I made lifelong friends. I spent my fair share of nights at F&Ms and still managed to graduate summa cum laude. I was president of my sorority and really blossomed as a critical thinker. Unfortunately, included in that full college experience was the uniquely American experience of college debt. Despite a generous scholarship, TOPS and tuition help from my generous parents, I still graduated with multiple thousand dollars-worth of student loans to repay.
Second Time Around
Nearly ten years have elapsed since I became an alumna of the Wolfpack. In that time, I established myself as a graphic designer and managed to pay off my debt. As the years passed, lots of little life events happened that inspired me to pursue a new career path: nursing. I’m no longer a traditional student, however. I’m a parent. I’m older than the average college student by a few years. And in order to go to nursing school, I had to stop working full-time and start paying tuition again. I needed to find a cost-effective and time-sensitive way to become a nurse, taking into consideration that I also had a mortgage and daycare bills to pay.
That’s why I chose Delgado and the Charity School of Nursing. No, it’s not perfect. There’s lots of bureaucratic red tape and organizational challenges to overcome. The school is at the mercy of state funding. But it’s the best choice for me. Here’s why.
In regard to tuition, classes at Delgado are less than $150 per credit hour. On top of that, many of my credits from Loyola were eligible for transfer to my Delgado degree, allowing me to save more money on courses. Though I won’t graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, I will be able to finish my Associate degree in two years. Several state universities offer RN to BSN programs, many of which can be completed online in a year while working full time. And many local hospitals offer tuition reimbursement to defray the cost of these programs.
Not only does Delgado offer many online classes, the school has several campuses across the metro area for students’ convenience. Additionally, Delgado offers “Mini-mester” courses, or full courses that have been condensed into 8 weeks instead of the full 16-week semester. In one semester, I was able to knock out four mini-mester classes while still working full time. I took two classes for the first eight weeks and two classes for the second eight weeks, allowing me to complete the courses required for me to apply to Charity School of Nursing.
Like with most things in life, you get out of Delgado what you put into it. A good, challenging education is waiting for you if you choose to pursue it. I’ve done well so far, but not without many hours of studying, preparing and working for my grades. I began this journey with no medical experience, but thanks to my classroom and clinical experiences at Charity, I felt well-prepared for my first real medical job as a nurse tech this summer. Overall, I feel that my Charity education has provided me with lots of hands on technical experience and rigorous classroom learning, and my Loyola education has provided me the toolkit of critical thinking to connect the dots between those technical and academic aspects. I’ve truly had the best of both worlds in regard to my education.
In about a year and a half, I’ll be a Charity graduate. It will be a distinction I will hold in as high esteem as my Loyola degree. Delgado’s Charity School of Nursing is a crown jewel in our city–and not only for the quality of the nurses it graduates. To me, Charity is special because it makes careers in nursing attainable people of all backgrounds in New Orleans through affordable education. It’s the same type of affordable education my dad benefited from when he took electronics classes at Delgado in the ’80s. And I’m proud of that family legacy. Geaux Dolphins.