So you’re thinking about moving to Houston to complete the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (2nd Degree) program at the University of St. Thomas Houston. Congratulations! Choosing to further your education and open up a world of new career opportunities is an exciting decision, but one that requires careful consideration. After all, going to nursing school out of state can be a scary proposition if you aren’t prepared to leave family and friends or if you don’t know what to expect.
In this blog post, we share some of the pros and cons that come with relocating to Houston for our ABSN program. By learning the upsides and downsides that come with this decision, you’ll have an easier time making your choice one way or another.
Pros of Relocating to Houston
Houston, the largest city in Texas both by population and area, is a huge hub of art, culture, education and opportunity. If you’re looking for reasons to make the move and earn your nursing degree in as few as 12 months with the University of St. Thomas, there are plenty to choose from.
A City with Something for Everyone
The fourth-largest city in the U.S. with more than 2.3 million residents, Houston has the arts, dining and cultural opportunities to compete with anywhere in the nation.
Whether you’re looking forward to experiencing the multicultural voices and inspiration of the Museum District, shopping and dining at world-class restaurants and retailers, watching multiple professional sports teams, or enjoying the great outdoors with rich nature-oriented events and spaces, there’s a niche for everyone in Houston. There’s a neighborhood to suit anyone, with hugely different communities all making up the mosaic of Houston culture, and cost of living is significantly lower than comparable metro areas. If you want it in Houston, you’ll find it.
An Onsite Experience That Equips Students for Success
Located just outside of The Woodlands, a well-known parks and recreation hub within Houston, UST’s ABSN program site has been specifically crafted to provide a valuable, high-tech learning environment for skills and simulation labs.
Our skills labs feature all the equipment you’d expect from a state-of-the-art hospital setting, providing the framework to practice valuable nursing skills. Combined with the online portion of our curriculum, you can bring theory into practice and get the experience you need to achieve your degree.
The cutting-edge medical manikins used in our simulation labs allow you to continue growing your skills, mastering patient care scenarios in out of state nursing school that you might not be able to achieve in-state. With a learning environment entirely dedicated to your success, our ABSN program could be worth relocating to.
A Thriving Healthcare Market Full of Job Opportunities
As one of the largest cities in the U.S., Houston has a thriving healthcare industry filled with major institutions. The Texas Medical Center alone has more than 106,000 employees, and Texas Children’s Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital and more make the city a thriving center for healthcare professionals.
With a nationwide shortage of nurses, Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduates will have plenty of opportunities to find a job that suits them. Paired with clinical placements at many of these top healthcare facilities, as a University of St. Thomas Houston ABSN student, you’ll open the door to an exciting, rewarding and lucrative career in the greater Houston area.
Cons of Relocating to Houston
Like any major life decision, relocating to Houston to participate in UST’s Accelerated BSN program naturally will have its downsides. It’s important to weigh these against the benefits when deciding if earning your BSN degree through this program is going to be the right choice for you.
The Costs of Moving
While there’s plenty of opportunity in Houston, simply put, moving costs money. You might be eligible for loans or financial aid assistance to help cover the cost of relocating for our ABSN program, but the many costs that come with moving including security deposits, moving vans, storage lockers and more can make the process costly. This 12-month ABSN program will additionally be very time-intensive, so working full-time could become difficult (and in most cases, not something we recommend). Before figuring out if relocating is right for you, do the math on your finances and make sure that it’s feasible.
Uprooting Your Support System
Moving to a new city can mean leaving your friends and family behind to start fresh. If you have friends and family already in the greater Houston area, great! If not, you’ll need to face the prospect of branching out and creating a new support system around yourself. Making new connections can be difficult, especially when participating in a challenging academic program like an ABSN.
Challenges lie ahead, but UST works to help students acclimate in this new environment. Our faculty is always ready to help (or simply be there to listen), and after registering you’ll be able to connect with dedicated success coaches. Acting as a support structure, they can assist with study tips, provide advice on residential areas to consider moving to, and generally help when discussing the many stresses that an ABSN program brings on. Forming a new support system takes work, but we’re here to help ensure that you can make it happen.
A Loss of Stability
In new settings, it can often feel like everything has turned upside down. You don’t know your way around town, your neighborhood can feel unfamiliar, and the time you spend getting your new life up and running is time that takes away from your nursing studies during a challenging accelerated program. During a time that can be taxing even to people who are settled and ready to take on the challenge, you’ll have to work twice as hard to make sure you achieve what you’re looking to. If you thrive on a new challenge this might be a pro, but for most people, out of state nursing school is a hard road to walk.
Finding a new normal is vital to succeeding in this program, but you’ll be surrounded with a cohort of individuals in a similar situation. You’ll be attending labs and clinicals with your fellow classmates, and they can be a valued addition to your new social circle, should you decide to take the leap and relocate to Houston to achieve your degree.
Want to Learn More?
If relocating out of state to nursing school with the University of St. Thomas Houston’s ABSN program sounds like it could be the right decision for you, we hope you’re one step closer to making the major change of moving to Houston.
Contact our admissions team to learn more about UST and receive our free relocation guide full of information about everything Houston has to offer.