UVI Nursing School  

 

kibbles
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February 25, 2012 6:26 pm  

Hello! My daughter is looking at UVI for nursing school. We're originally from Brooklyn, and moved to Iowa, and the one thing she missed most was the beach. Someone suggested looking to the Carribean for nursing school, and we were pleasantly surprised to find UVI, which is fully accredited, and has the nice weather and beach she's looking for. (I say whatever motivates you, go for it.) As her mom, I was very happy to see the tuition costs, and the room/board costs.

We can't find that much information on the quality of the school, especially for nursing. Anyone have experience with that? She eventually wants to go on to advanced practice nursing, so she'll need a solid background to get into grad school. She has no particular plans on where she would want to live after graduation, either, so nursing jobs after graduation aren't that much of an issue, either, unless she decides to stay.

I'd also like to know the best way to ship things to her. Looks like Amazon doesn't let you use prime for the USVI.

She doesn't graduate high school until 2013, but she is a solid student and tests well. In other words, not the top GPA in school, but nearly the top for the ACTs. I'm minorly concerned about culture shock (I moved around a bit when I was younger), but since she was raised in NYC and not here in Iowa I think she'll do ok.

What else do we need to look into, besides the school? It's the STT campus for the BSN, if that helps. We even took a peek at the BET reality show filmed on campus, but that didn't help too much.

Thanks in advance for anything you can share with us!


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onthespot
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February 26, 2012 3:33 am  

Maybe spend a summer down here with her to do some hands on research.


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ChanelCinq
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February 26, 2012 3:52 am  

I just wanted to let you know of another option. I go to Interamericana University of Puerto Rico (Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico) and my program is 100% in English. We have many nursing students from the USVI, both from STT and STX. I am not exactly sure why. I know some of them are older with previous Bachelors like myself and we are doing the 22 month second Bachelors program. They don't have that on STX.

Our school just got a new assistant director of the nursing dept and she is awesome. She has a Doctorate of Nursing Practice and she studied in the UK. So she is Puerto Rican with a British accent. Yes that has nothing to do with anything except you would never guess she is Puerto Rican.

I know it is not what you are asking but you may want to look into it.


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kibbles
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February 26, 2012 5:27 pm  

My daughter doesn't speak Spanish, although you said the program is 100% in English, how is it living there without knowing much Spanish? I will ask my SIL too, she is from there, and lived there with my niece and nephew, but she didn't seem too keen on them going to college there.

I looked for summer programs for her, but there wasn't one at UVI unless you already lived in the USVI. Hopefully they can get in touch with me about something, but this is her last summer of high school. She got her CNA already, so she is pretty confident about her major, at least.

As for us just spending a summer down there, I have 2 other kids, one with severe disabilities, and he needs to go to school year round, and even if we skipped a bit of school, I can't fly with him. 🙁 So maybe her grandparents can go with her. We will have to do a campus visit at one point.


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kibbles
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February 26, 2012 5:32 pm  

Apparently the NCLEX-RN isn't given in PR? That would be a problem.


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stxem
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February 26, 2012 6:38 pm  

Have you considered schools in Florida too? That might be less of a culture shock for someone who just graduated from high school and an easier transition to college life...From my impressions, the nursing programs described on this thread (UVI, PR) seem to cater towards older, non-traditional students, rather than those straight out of high school?

I know you are not worried about culture shock but the VI is very different than the states and it takes a certain attitude and spirit to live here successfully. UVI is also a very small university but without the same community attitude (lots more students living off-campus, non-traditional students etc) than a typical small university/college in the states.


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OldTart
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February 26, 2012 6:56 pm  

Before you or your daughter make any sort of even a tentative decision you should personally visit and check out the UVI program and the campus for yourselves. As much input as you get from any public forum, the investment will be well worth it when you can visit during university sessions and talk to both professors and students. Good luck!


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shibuya
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February 26, 2012 8:12 pm  

I was planning to go to the UVI nursing school prior to Hovensa shutting down (have to leave now) and started taking some nursing school classes. I love it. The teachers are helpful and compassionate and in my limited experience it seemed thorough. i know some folks that are currently in the uvi nursing program or who graduated from it and say that they really felt it was well worth their time and money. i believe that UVI has an almost 100% first time NCLEX pass rate too? anyway, i don't know about the other programs at UVI but the nursing program seems top notch.


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kibbles
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February 26, 2012 8:18 pm  

Florida costs a lot more than UVI, at least for out of state students. We've been looking all over the country and this seems to be a great combo of price, location, and quality. Of course we will be visiting first, we'd be doing that will all the colleges being considered!

I don't see where the nursing program isn't for high school graduates. Everything on their website makes it look like UVI is like any other university out there.

We just have to arrange it with the school (we emailed) to see when they recommend a campus visit. If they want to interview her, it would be on their schedule, not ours. So hopefully we hear from them soon enough, and can plan a trip there.

I saw that UVI had dorms, I saw the reality TV show a bit, and they showed the dorms a bit, it seems like it has a decent amount of traditional students there. She's also been taking college courses already, so as far as going in with college credits, like a non-trad student, she'd be on track with that. I guess that's another thing to ask them, number of commuter students versus those living on campus.


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shibuya
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February 26, 2012 8:22 pm  

" I'm minorly concerned about culture shock"

you might want to figure that out in advance. she will by far be in the minority or possibly the only white student in her class. i currently am taking two classes and am the only white person. doesn't bother me in the slightest, but definitely different from most of the states.


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stxem
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February 26, 2012 9:47 pm  

Don't base any of your impressions on the reality show. It would be like basing your impressions of New Jersery on the Jersey Shore tv show.

When you visit, you will see if it is the right fit. And when I speak of non-traditional students, I'm talking about older students going back to school, those with families, students working full-time, taking night classes, commuting from home. Academics has nothing to do with the definition of a non-traditional student. With it being a small university to begin with, the high proportion of non-trads may limit many of the social experiences a traditional freshman may want to have. Perhaps this is more true on the STX campus than on STT. On STX most students commute. And then add in the culture difference...I just think it has the potential to be a difficult adjustment--more difficult than college should be.

I'm not bashing UVI. It is a good fit for many students and the staff and faculty are great. However, there are very few students who come from the mainland for its undergraduate programs, especially straight out of high school.


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onthespot
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February 27, 2012 1:15 am  

She should get all her prerequisites out of the way at a local JC, if possible. That will save buku bucks and likely be a much safer transition from HS to college, and give more time to explore the realities of the options at hand.


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ChanelCinq
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February 27, 2012 5:35 am  

My daughter doesn't speak Spanish, although you said the program is 100% in English, how is it living there without knowing much Spanish? I will ask my SIL too, she is from there, and lived there with my niece and nephew, but she didn't seem too keen on them going to college there...

You don't need Spanish to live here. I dodn't speak a word of Spanish when I moved here. Now I live in Ocean Park, one block from the beach in a gringo area. But I have traveled all over the island and I used to live near school which is 7 miles inland and more local and I still never needed Spanish. Now I have been here 18 months and I still don't speak it but I certainly can understand a fair amount just from living here.


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ChanelCinq
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February 27, 2012 5:41 am  

Apparently the NCLEX-RN isn't given in PR? That would be a problem.

Yes the NCLEX is given here. I actually did a test run and drove to the building yesterday to know exactly where it is. The Puerto Ricans do not need the NCLEX to work here but it is given here. Obviously you can't choose Puerto Rico when you sit for a state but most of my classmates that took NCLEX here either took it for their home state (CA, FL, OR, TX, NY, etc, etc) or WI. We take it for Wisconsin because it is part of the compact states in which you can pracctice nursing in any of 24 states. That and because WI is the cheapest and they have the easiest paperwork. Those of us that are not sure where we will end up working take NCLEX for WI because it provides more opportunities.


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poorthang
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February 27, 2012 12:53 pm  

The costs from flying home / visiting can't be overlooked. It's expensive! She will be isolated,on an island.Maybe that's appealling ,however a "kid" from NY,Iowa would be served best by having a couple of years close to you for that transition from kid to young adult.There are temptations,like anywhere else(drugs,Rum and cheap,)but financially and socially she'd be better off on dry land in the states.Penny wise and pound foolish Start looking into flights and hotel rates and you'll see what I'm talking about.I personally would not put my daughter in this position.I have two.Go slow Mom.


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islandlola
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February 27, 2012 2:14 pm  

<>

I agree with this; in my mind, this would be one of the most significant concerns with sending a recent high school grad from far away to UVI. There are many, many stateside schools where this is also true and where the concern would be the same. An older, somewhat more experienced student may fare better in such circumstances.

Best,

Islandlola

Islandlola!


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kibbles
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February 27, 2012 2:20 pm  

Whoa hold on. One, I didn't mean culture shock because of race. We're a multiracial family, and the culture shock moving to Iowa from Brooklyn was far greater in that respect, I assure you. The culture shock was more not being able to get things like she is used to at home, transportation, slower internet, things like that. When I was college age, I was living overseas in Europe. I missed Hershey Bars, for some stupid reason.

Secondly, if you don't think there is a grain of truth to Jersey Shore, you've never been there. My parents live there. It's overblown, of course, and of course I don't expect a reality TV show to be accurate, but don't gloss over reality. Furthermore, the show had 4 kids from California. We were mostly looking at the sights, shops, stuff like that.

Excellent to hear about the NCLEX in PR. And WI is a good idea, because when she goes to college, we're moving to Madison, plus that may be where she wants to go to grad school. I will tell her about that, and that there are 24 states in that one 'group'. Still can't understand why my SIL doesn't want her kids going to school there in general, but they just moved FROM there about 5 years ago so that may have a lot to do with it.

I also know what a non traditional student is; I've been one. There are lots of them at my college, the same college my HS aged daughter attends for some classes as well. So by that time she will have 2 years of experience with non traditional students under her belt. Still, what is the percentage of them, if they have dorms on campus? It doesn't sound like a commuter college to me, like the CUNY ones I attended when I was younger.

And as for my kid going far away to college? GOOD. That's what college is for. I have three kids, so I don't need lectures on how to raise them. We travel, she's done things independently, and I was on my own in Germany just a year older than she would be there, and London after that. To live. If we catch up with her back in NYC, visiting family, instead of going to the Midwest (Which isn't too bad either, we looked) it would be even cheaper. Like mini reunions. My husband flies frequently, I wouldn't be suprised if we'd get some decent FF miles racked up, we already do. (He has a 1000 mile commute.) That last comment? I'm looking at your posts, and you haven't got a positive thing to say to anyone about anything. I'll take it with a grain of salt. I guess I shouldn't have mentioned the "Iowa" part at all, because I guess some of you think that means I'm some sort of dimwitted, poorly traveled and educated farm girl? Yeah, that's not me at all.


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stxem
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February 27, 2012 4:53 pm  

First off, I'm not trying to dissuade you or your daughter from UVI. I'm just trying to present some facts and give some insight into aspects about the university that you may not be aware of. On ST Thomas, less than 38% of the student body are between the ages of 17-29. On St Croix that number is 25%. When your program has less than 200 students, this dramatically reduces the number of students that may be available/want to be in your daughter's peer group. It sounds harsh, but non-trad students typically have jobs, families and are just too busy. I don't know the commuting percentage on St Thomas, but on St Croix its probably 80%+. There are dorms, more on ST Thomas than on ST Croix. The student body is about 1500 for St Thomas, 1000 for St Croix.

How much of the UVI reality show did you watch? The cultural differences down here don't stem from racial differences necessarily, but from actual cultural differences that transcend the availability of candy ( since you've watched the show, did you notice how it became the statesiders vs. the Islanders? and got pretty nasty too?). Yes, that part did have some truth to it. Though I put very little stock in reality shows in general.

Many people move the Virgin Islands with all sorts of ideas about living in a tropical "paradise". Many bring expectations that cannot possibly be met. Hence for most, those ideas and expectations are blown out of the water within 6 months. And after 6 months, most people leave because the islands did not meet those expectations. It is DIFFERENT down here, not in a bad way necessarily, but just different. The same applies to the University. Maybe your daughter would take to island life like a duck to water (as many transplants have done with the islands and stayed for years). But in your exploration of whether to attend UVI and live in the VI, it is best to keep an open mind, assume nothing and try not to form too many opinions and ideas about living here/about the school until you have actually been here and visited.


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stxem
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shibuya
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February 27, 2012 8:28 pm  

no reason to get all defensive. we are just trying to give you a broad picture of everything that is different here since you asked. there were no accusations implied by myself and i am sure by the other respondents as well.


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Phizz
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February 27, 2012 9:16 pm  

here are some student population stats:

http://www.uvi.edu/sites/uvi/Documents/Institutional%20Research%20and%20Planning/IDS09-10/section1_spring.pdf

To me what is shocking about these stats is the huge disproportion by gender. I know in the States there are currently 10% (plus or minus) more women than men in colleges and graduate schools; but at UVI there are apparently 2x (at least) more women than men. Are the men going off island to school or have they given up on the concept of higher education? Are the courses offered at UVI not directed towards men?

Is this a disturbing trend? Anyone have any opinions?


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basefilm
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February 27, 2012 9:38 pm  

I'm not even from the V.I. and have never been there (I'm reading these messages because I'm considering moving). However my wife and I have worked in higher education for over a decade, so I'll offer my perspective on that only.

There is a big difference between an institution where a large number of students are commuter students, and an instutition where there are few commuter students. Here are some general differences that I would say apply across the board.

In a commuter campus:
* Students come to class, probably stay for open time between classes the same day, then leave
* There are fewer student activities and student groups
* In the evening and especially on weekends, a campus can really empty out a surprising amount, leaving little to do
* There is less a sense of overall cohesion among students, as there is less time with everyone together

In a non-commuter campus:
* Students stay in residence halls (dorms); many institutions require first-year students to stay in the dorms
* Students are more likely to have a 'classic' college experience, with late-night study sessions and all-night talks with friends
* There are staff (often called 'Residential Life') whose job it is to create both a social and support structure for students.
(I've heard some students call it a 'pre-fab social life'.)
* More student clubs, activities and organizations provide more to do on evenings or weekends.

Either is fine, but you should be aware of the differences, just so you are making a conscious decision. The 'pre-fab' social atmosphere of a non-commuter campus is no guarantee that a student couldn't end up lonely, anti-social, homesick, etc. Your daughter might prefer it to not be distracted by extracurricular activities, and would just as soon form relationships with a small group of people and maybe some faculty or staff.

The judgment call you and your daughter need to make is more about how well she might do in one environment than another. Students can flourish in either environment, and while you should talk and think about it a great deal, a student won't know until they get there.

I'd recommend a pre-enrolment visit to any college/university, but especially to one as off the beaten path as U.V.I. The University should be able to assist you with planning and arranging your visit. Some institutions have programs where prospective students can stay in a res hall room with a roommate--a current student, not just another prospective student--for a weekend, to really get a better idea of what the institution is like.


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poorthang
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February 28, 2012 12:58 am  

Hey if you can't wait to get rid of her .,just say so.I'm sure she is independent minded like mom.She'll be well traveled after you drop her off with a pocket full of cash.After she gets hustled out of the first wad ,and then some...get ready to send her some more I can't raise your kid,it just sounds like your a little overwhelmed.When the "girl thing " kicks in ,and it will...be ready for those phone calls when she says the girls are picking on me in the dorm...,cause they will.I'm sure your confident being bi-racial is a plus for her.Really?Let us know how that works for her.Don't ask for opinions on a message board if you don't want opinions. I have taken classes on Stx campus.The "kids"were respectful, ...but so was Eddie Haskell.Good Luck*-)


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