I’m Accepted, Now What? (AKA The Wallet Shock)

So, surprisingly, I actually had a lot of difficulty looking up what exactly would be required of me once I got accepted into a program. And, I was pretty shocked by what was required of my school and the timeframe I had to turn in said materials. And, more importantly, the cost! So, I decided to put together this wonderful aggregation of everything I had to do and pay for.

As always, I preface this by saying this is what’s required from Baton Rouge Community College’s School of Nursing for 2018 enrollment. Your own paperwork and monetary costs may change within the next year and may completely be different depending on your own school, city, or state.

So, at BRCC, once you submit your confirmation of acceptance, you receive this lovely acceptance packet that tells you everything that’s due before you’re actually really enrolled into the program. But more importantly, it tells you what’s due immediately upon confirming your seat into the program. As far as I can tell, the deadline is the same for both Fall and Spring 2018 start Nursing Students.

Due within 24 hours of submitting Confirmation of Acceptance:

  • Completed LSBN Application
  • Completed Background Check Forms
  • Money order payment for background check and application processing fees ($90.75)
  • 2 sets of Fingerprint cards ($22.70)

Subtotal: $113.45

I didn’t expect to spend so much within 24 hours of confirming my acceptance into the nursing program but that’s exactly what happened.

In the acceptance packet, I had a stack of green pages stapled together. The first set of sheets was the LSBN Application for Permission to Enroll in a Clinical Nursing Course Form and underneath, you had Authorization for Criminal Background Check (CBC) Page I and II. But, in order for the LSBN to process these documents, you have to pay a fee of $90.75 payable in the form of a money order (no personal checks or cash) payable to the Louisiana State Board of Nursing. And, lastly, you’re also required to submit 2 full sets of finger print cards. For me, I could only get my fingerprints processed at the Louisiana State Police Headquarters on Independence Blvd, and they only took card for payment of the finger printing. I spent ~30 minutes, someone else spent a hour and a half, so expect some kind of wait.

Due on or before July 12, 2018 @ 4PM:

  • Receipt confirming purchase of uniform ($175.98)
  • Receipt confirming purchase of supplies ($117.61)
  • BLS CPR card or BLS CPR class registration verification ($20.00)
  • Health history and physical form ($20.00)
  • Immunizations and lab tests ($0)
  • Student nurse liability insurance ($38.00)

Subtotal: $371.59

So these expenses will change a little bit depending on the person, and I’ll explain why in a few moments.

Starting with the uniform, I purchased 2 sets of scrubs (top and bottom), plus a school polo and a lab coat from Uniforms by Bayou and paid $127.27. If you purchase only 1 set of scrubs, obviously your prices will be lower. The school requires at least 1 set of scrubs, a monogrammed polo, monogrammed lab coat, and black slacks as part of the uniform. The store also said some people buy the Grey’s Anatomy scrub bottoms as a slacks replacement. Some of my classmates purchased the bottoms, and I did not. Thus, you can see where uniform cost discrepancies will come up depending on what you decide. The other store my school recommended was Classic Image Uniforms, LLC. Unfortunately, I cannot comment on their prices. Lastly, my school also requires white clinical shoes. I ordered mine off Nursemates with a discount code and paid $48.71.

Supplies were also a bit of a headache. The school doesn’t directly give you a list of supplies, instead they tell you that the uniform shop will give it to you. My uniform shop initially had some difficulty finding the list, but here’s what it said:

  • Stethoscope (Clinical lite or Littman Classic III)                    $22.95 or $89.00
  • Bandage scissor colored                                                               $5.00
  • Economy blood pressure cuff                                                      $22.95
  • Pen light disposable                                                                      $2.00
  • Hemostats                                                                                       $4.00

For my stethoscope, I went with the Littman Classic III, but I went through eBay and found it for $81.00 brand new in an obnoxious orange so that someone can’t take it. My bandage scissor, blood pressure cuff, and disposable penlight, I ordered through Amazon and paid $36.61. I’m not sure the uniform store would have actually been cheaper because I bought my hemostat through them and definitely got charged more than $4.00 for mine.

As far as the BLS CPR card or class, I’ll be taking my class through the school. The school only charges $20 but it must be paid in cash. I’ve been told that on average CPR classes through third party providers average around $60, so I’ll be saving quite a bit there.

Health history and physical form with immunizations and lab tests turned out be a giant headache as well. The health history and physical form is a no biggie, but the required immunization and labs are:

  • Tetanus vaccine (current 10 years)
  • Hepatitis B series or a titer (current 10 years)
  • Complete blood count
  • HIV test (current 5 years)
  • VDRL/RPR
  • Varicella titer
  • MMR titer
  • TB skin test or a chest x-ray

I think the biggest cost discrepancy you will see will be regarding the physical, immunizations and labs. I have health insurance, so I went through Baton Rouge Clinic and just paid my $20.00 deducible to see my primary care physician who ran everything. BRCC recommended 3 different clinics to try for the physical, immunizations and labs. They were: BRG Family Health Center, Care South, and Total Occupational Medicine. When I called, the first two were booked until August, and they stated I would not be seen through them. Total Occupational Medicine was interesting. They specialize in worker’s compensation and DO NOT ACCEPT INSURANCE AT ALL. They quoted me $45 for a physical (this is with a student discount), $120 for the tetanus shot, $80 per shot on the Hep B (3 series shot. so $240 total), $20 on the blood work, $80 on the HIV test, $25 on the VDRL/RPR, $25 on the MMR, and $40 for the TB test.  In total, you would be looking at $585 if you did everything through them. Even if you don’t have insurance, your best bet is to look around, call other clinics and use Total Occupational Medicine as a last resort.

And, student liability insurance was a nice refreshing change. The school refers 3 different insurance providers (Healthcare Providers Service Organization, MARSH – Proliability and Nurses Service Organization), they all charge $38.00 a year. Proliability will let you lower your annual cost if you lower your coverage, but a $6 dollar difference seems hardly worth it. I went through NSO because many of my nurse friends have them and recommend them. For me, the total cost will end up being $76.00 as my program is 2 years long, but I’m paying annually and won’t have to worry until next year for the second half.

Overall, I probably could’ve saved a few more dollars here and there. Within a week, I had to spend a total of $485.04 just to meet the document submission requirements for school. For others, you can realistically expect to spread out the spending into 3 weeks and a half weeks. I just wanted to have all my paperwork and documentation ready to submit as early as possible in case I had an issues, that way I had plenty of time to resubmit.

For those of you applying into programs, definitely save your money. No one told me how expensive it would be even within 48 hours of accepting my nursing school seat!

Disclosure: Theresa is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you real information about nursing, nursing school, nursing clinical supplies and general school preparedness.

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