Affordable housing, not here.

I had a dream that I lived somewhere with affordable housing. It is imminent that I will leave San Francisco. I will be here for fall-spring and maybe summer semesters, finishing my pre-requisite classes. I hope to start a nursing program in fall 2016. I would like to finish school as quickly as possible to begin a new transition.

For nursing school, I am certain I would thrive better in a small city or town with limited distractions. I want the town/city to be bike-able so I can get to clinics and offsite facilities without a car. Ideally, the weather is the same as San Francisco or colder. The city must have vegan and vegetarian eating options. Finally, the city must have accessibility to the outdoors for a hike or bike ride.

With this list of requirements, my choice of schools has been reduced to two programs. Yale, is a three year, general master’s entry level nursing program, with a focus on global health care, social conscience, and their brochure says, Yale nurses want to change the world to assure that all have access to high quality health care. Oregon Health and Science University, has an Accelerated Bachelor of Science program, completed in one year, focusing on commitment to social justice, and serving diverse, under-served and/or vulnerable populations. Both programs sound perfect for me.

I am excited about the Oregon program because within one year, I will be able to practice nursing with a Registered Nursing license in Oregon. Following one year of clinical work, I can apply to their Master-Nurse Practitioner program to specialize in Acute/Critical Care. It might be a better route, one year of school, one year of work, then specialize in the area I’d like to pursue, rather than a 3-year’s general Master program. These two programs allow me to apply this fall. Yale does not require pre-requisites. OHSU has pre-requisites, but they can be in progress. In addition, OHSU, after one year, I will be eligible for in-state tuition for the Master’s program. San Francisco State University is the runner up, offering a 2 year accelerated Master’s program but graduating with two degrees, a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees.

I am surprised to also find many programs that are not suitable for me. University of Washington requires potential applicants to complete 100 hours of volunteer hours in a healthcare setting, in a three-month period, within 12 months of applying. It is a valuable exercise to gain experience in shadowing nurses but the requirement in my opinion is traditional and conservative. You shouldn’t force anyone to volunteer. I am happy to have found at least two schools matching my interests and values.

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