Hey guys! I often get soooo many questions about my honest opinion on my experience at Chamberlain. I know the website can be confusing and leaves little information on tuition and class format. I believe Chamberlain does this so that you are FORCED to go in and speak with them. That is why I’m writing this blog for you all because I hope I can help clear up any confusion you may have.
First, let me be honest..
Chamberlain was NOT my first pick when it came to nursing schools. I knew tuition was overpriced and the program was a bit longer than my other options in Houston. Chamberlain also had a mixed reputation that I was not so sure about. Typically, if you look up any Chamberlain location, they are often rated 2 stars or less! I was very alarmed by the number of reviews that referred to the school as a SCAM. I eventually decided to check them out after receiving the devastating news that I had not been accepted into the nursing program I applied to (it’s cool UTMB, no hard feelings). I was pretty stressed out by the fact I’d have to wait a whole entire year to find out if I had been accepted to another nursing program! That’s when I became more interested in the fact that Chamberlains admission process was quick and easy!
If you plan on visiting Chamberlain soon, here’s what you can expect! I experienced a rather quick admission process at the Houston campus location (I’ve heard other locations have a waiting list). On my first visit, I was given information about my options at the school. There are two options you have. One option is to complete all your prerequisites and nursing courses with Chamberlain. This option will take approximately 3 years to complete and cost around $70,ooo. This is a good option for kids who want to go to Chamberlain right out of high school! You’ll have a nursing degree by 21 or 22 as long as you stay on track. Option two is for people who have already completed your prerequisites at another College/University. You will be able to transfer in your classes BUT your GPA must be a 2.75 or higher. I’ve heard rumors that the GPA could be changed to 3.00 and different states might have different requirements so just keep that in mind! So for this option, it will take approximately 2 years to complete and about $50,000 (ouch I know).
*If you’re applying to Chamberlain after failing out of another nursing school, you’ll have to speak with the advisor on if any of your previous nursing credits can be transferred in.*
After receiving my options on education, I then also received information about my payment options. Next, I was told to send in my transcript and set up my HESI exam. I know I get a ton of question about the HESI, but I’m going to be pretty honest and say, I don’t remember a thing about it. That was two years and many exams ago. All I remember is that I bought a study book that is put out by the makers of the HESI. Super helpful and I definitely recommend buying it!
I took my HESI about two weeks after my initial visit at Chamberlain. I was then informed that an admissions panel would review my profile. I received a phone call about 3 weeks later letting me know I had been accepted!!! See how easy that was?
Classes and Professors
Classes at Chamberlain are 8 weeks long and you will take 1 to 2 classes at a time. I already know what you’re thinking… ONE CLASS AT A TIME?! Umm trust me, you’ll understand when you get there. Don’t argue with admissions and beg to take 3 classes at once. They will say no and also, you’d probably died if you actually did take 3 classes in 8 weeks. You can expect to be on campus at least twice a week! Classes usually start at 9am and 1pm. Clinicals are once a week.
So, as far as my personal experience regarding classes and clinicals.. again I’m going to be completely honest with you all. At first it was rough! I was not sure I had made the right choice at all! I was taking Patho and Health Assessment 1 and I was struggling. The professor teaching Patho was very monotoned in lecture and could not answer the students questions. When the whole class failed exam 1, we all brought up our concerns to our Deans. Their response? The Deans showed up to our following lecture to read a list of textbook page numbers in which we “could have found the answer” to our test questions. ARE YOU KIDING ME?! Did I mention the whole class failed the test? Now it felt as though the blame was being placed on us for being “poor students” instead of the poor teaching skills being displayed. This issue was laid to rest until test 2 came along and AGAIN the whole class failed. My class lost it and all showed up at our presidents office demanding attention to this matter. After what felt like an ongoing battle with the staff, we were finally allowed to retest our first two exams and a dean stepped in to teach the remainder of the course.
To be quite frank, that session was a complete shit show and caused half of my cohort to fail and be held back a semester. At this point, I was barely making it through and I had no idea how I was going to make it. It felt like the staff were not on the students side and we had piss poor professors.
If you decided to go to Chamberlain, you will become very familiar with the ATI system. Chamberlain adopted the ATI teaching and testing system, which honestly was the turning point for me at this school. ATI is a system designed to fully prepare you for NCLEX! While exam questions are selected by your professor, all exam questions are written by ATI. This was actually a blessing because it actually started to feel like the questions made sense and matched the material I was reading (hint: read the ATI textbooks). At this rate, even if you were stuck with another piss poor professor, you were at least able to teach yourself by reading the ATI textbooks and taking the practice quizzes.
In my opinion, classes became much easier to pass after ATI was implemented (almost too easy). I believe this new system really helped prepare me for NCLEX! Overall I was really happy with this change.
Campus life will vary from location to location. The Houston location was a rather small one so we didn’t have as much as our sister school in Pearland. Our CAS (the study area) was pretty small and we had about two or three tutors. If you’re someone who relies heavily on tutoring services, just be aware they are pretty limited at some campuses.
Campus organizations are a great way to socialize as well as earn GRADUTION CORDS!!! NSNA or the National Student Nurses association is a great organization for students to join. Be aware of the fact that it is NOT FREE and you won’t get a cord just for paying your fees. You have to join at the national level, which is $60 to $80, then you’ll have to find out if your campus has membership fees. I was the VP of my campus NSNA and I assure you, the fees are much needed in order to even afford buying the cords. Being a part of NSNA will also look great on your resume when you begin applying for nursing jobs!
SGA is another organization you can join, which involves hearing out the students issues and bring those issues to the president. If you’re a leader in SGA, you’re expected to work with staff and students in an effort to make campus life better! Sometimes that means asking for healthier or vegetarian food options. Other times it means hosting NCLEX prep weeks, which usually consist of games and prizes. Leadership positions will be awarded a graduation cord.
Each campus may have different organizations in which are unique to your own! Reach out to your student body to find out more information on which ones offer rewards (like those graduation cords I know you want!). Getting involved in your school organizations can help make nursing school a much more pleasant part of your life. It gives you an opportunity to meet and make new friends!
Some organizations may be more exclusive, like the Honor society for nurses, which you will only be invited to once it is determined you are in the top 20% of your class!
The Global Health Program
One cool opportunity Chamberlain offers is the Global Health program! Chamberlain offers students the opportunity to get one of our nursing credit courses in another country. I was bound and determined to go once I found out about this! The global health trip will take place during your community course and you must apply for it! Apply early because deadlines will close and you will miss your chance. I will write a separate blog on this later on and talk about my experience in Haiti.
Please be aware that this experience is not for everyone. Several students in my group should have NEVER gone. Realize that the places selected are limited in resources and, yes, that also means food. If you can’t imagine eating local food, and letting go of your cheese burgers and pasta, then this probably isn’t the trip for you. You’re not going so you can look like a hero on the internet either so please, only attend a Global Health trip if you actually feel passionate about helping these people out. It’s not a vacation and the ones constantly complaining can really ruin it for everyone else. If you plan on going, do it for your love of people, not for your love for attention.. (sorry not sorry)
I do not regret choosing Chamberlain one bit. My goal was to become a nurse and this was the door of opportunity that opened for me. Sometimes we don’t always get what we want in life, but we have to make what we are given work. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Chamberlain. I laugh and I cried. I felt immense fear and extreme joy. I gained friends along the way and I lost some friends too. I met my amazing boyfriend and got to struggle through this journey with him. I got my dream job of being hired into the ER before graduation and I passed NCLEX on the first try (75 question gang gang gang). I truly believe I was meant to take this path, met the people I did, and face the hardships I went through for a reason. Nursing school is hard no matter where you go and nothing can truly mentally prepare you for it!
As far as my cohort, everyone passed NCLEX and pretty much everyone was offered a job before graduation. The number one hospital in all of Houston has hired practically only Chamberlain students in their ER for the past 6 months! So despite the scary rumors I heard before applying, Chamberlain students have a great reputation (in Houston at least lolz). My advice to anyone trying to decide on Chamberlain, remember your goal is to be a nurse. If the door of opportunity is open then what are you waiting for? Just do it already!!
Please shoot me a message on IG for any further questions you may have! Good luck friends!