Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sticker Shock

So I mentioned my admissions packet for nursing school came a few days ago. I finally sat down and worked on it in earnest on Thursday night since classes are now over, and all of my finals aren't until the latter part of next week. I'm thankful that it wasn't as bad as it seemed. Once I got a handle on things and took care of what I could right then, it made the to do list much more manageable.

I have to be CPR certified, and I registered for a class put on by our local nursing student association. Still waiting on paypal info though.

Of course my immunizations have to be up to date. And that's a real issue, since I have a philosophical objection to vaccines--that's a whole other post sometime, but suffice it to say I've done my research. Top that off with the fact that I can't find my shot record ANYWHERE. Crap. I have to have a TB test also, so I headed to Student Health Services yesterday morning. After explaining to 4 different people that I didn't want to be vaccinated, I just wanted titers drawn, (and explaining why, and then being treated to the same mindless drivel as to why I was wrong,) I was starting to get crabby. Topped my morning off with a UA drug screen, and I totally dripped on my shoe. Then comes the blood draw--it's a student nurse that will be doing the draw--and she's completely terrified. But I have hoses for veins that even a 3 year old could tap with a pair of rusty scissors. Even so, she did a great job--heck of a lot better than the last 'pro' that poked me when I gave blood. Finished off with an awesome TB welt, and then I got to pay for the privilege. $152--thank goodness for HSA's.

We also are required to have a PDA. That suits me just fine, I've been jonesing for one anyway. So I look up my eligibility for an upgrade with our wireless company. Awesome news. I'll be eligible for the discounted 2 yr contract price almost exactly a month after I start classes. I need to talk with someone to find out if we need the thing for the first month or not. Because the price difference between 2yr contract and straight-up retail? $350. The only PDA phone with all the requirements for nursing school with my provider is $449 retail.

We're also required to buy a nursing kit, which is made up of??? Apparently top secret. But they are happy to tell us the one company that will be providing this for us...did I mention $96.50?

Also included was the booklist for the first semester. There is a convenient package deal from an outside company. Too bad it's all or nothing with the package, so no comparison shopping there. All for the bargain price of $956.12. No I didn't put the decimal in the wrong place or mistype.

School is expensive enough since tuition has gone up every single year since I've graduated high school. And in Texas, we have this cool stuff called designated tuition. Each school of study gets to decide how much they want to charge per credit hour, and then they just arbitrarily raise tuition to that. It's billed separately as "designated tuition." So tuition and designated tuition and fees for the first 13 hr semester is north of $5000.00.

And it will probably go up next year.

My head hurts.


  1. Tuition and fees suck. Maybe there is some sort of State grant program for nursing in Texas? My state has a workforce shortage grant that gives out the cash money if you agree to work for two years instate. It helped me out a lot...

  2. Hmm, I'll check that out.

    I keep running into walls because this will be my second, er, third, er, fourth degree.

    Most stuff out there is for people pursuing their first degree. :(

  3. OMG! Hope your head feels better.

    Wanted to let you know about the nurse pack, as I would imagine they're all pretty similar. Ours has suction cath, wound dressing change, and a couple of other kits...? It also has bandage scissors, fake/saline "meds", non-sterile gloves, thermometer, put it this way pretty much everything you'll need to get by in your program...minus the textbooks, oda, etc. We don't use PDAs in my program. =(

  4. duuuuuuuuuuuuuude! thats a lot of cashola! I buy almost all of my books online, used, and save ALOT. And the tuition! is that for a community college??? Or a BSN? DANG, I'd have more than a headache...where's the Xanax??? I was on the hunt for a PDA for 2 yrs, when finaaaally, my cell ph company had the Palm Centro for just $99! Whooo Hoooo! So I got a new phone and PDA. I LOVE IT! I have the Davis Drug Guide on there and use it CONSTANTLY at the hospital, it is soooooooo much faster than a book. Did I mention that I love it?

    Our nursing kit was: Trach kit, Foley kit, IV start, and injection kit, and some other little things. I didn't buy it, and I was soooooooooooorrry, bc I was constantly short, and having to "borrow" from others who did pay. Urgh, I felt so lame.

    Anyhoo, hope your wife is well, have a good wknd. Heather

  5. whew! that IS expensive.

    if only studying in the philippines is an option. where i graduated, you'll pay 50,000 pesos ($1,000.00) for one semester...that's tuition, dorm, and 3 meals/day food. there are 2 semesters in one year, you get your bachelor's degree in 4 years.

  6. Thanks for the comments on what's in the kits. Our kits for chiro school included a bunch of welch-allen dx equipment, I didn't want to duplicate.

    @Kirsten: Thanks, it's more of a metaphorical headache, but dang does it sting...

    @Heather: I'd love to buy my books used, but there's proprietary software I HAVE to buy from the package deal company, and like I said, it's all or nothing. :( And that tuition is for UT Arlington, a 4 year university. They have a fantastic reputation though, and if CRNA is in my future that's a big plus in my column.

    @May: For $1000 a semester total, maybe I better talk to my wife...that's a steal!

  7. I feel your pain. My first term was outrageously expensive. I was surely thinking I was gonna be living up to the term "starving Nursing student!"

    You can do it!

    Our nursing kit had a reflex hammer, penlight, Bp cuff, steth, a watch and a pen.

    I refused to buy it and put together one on my own for like $50.

    Good luck!!

  8. At my school we pay a nursing fee, and I guess that's what covered our "nursing kits." I lovingly call them nurse purses :) You didn't hear this from me, but you COULD get all those things from a hospital if someone you knew had access.

    Ask 2nd and 3rd year nursing students if they actually used the software or other "required" stuff. As you know, since you've been a student before, some stuff is necessary, the rest isn't.

    If they did use it and it was mandatory for the course, you could try to re-use the past students' software (if there isn't an annoying limited-period use code or something of the sort). Same for the other supplies. Getting them from past students could be a "next best" sort of thing. At the very least, they can give you tips on not wasting money.