Why Going to Nursing School Out of State Is Worth It

Each blog post is dated and contains accurate information as of that date. Certain information may have changed since the blog post publication date. If you would like to confirm the current accuracy of blog information, please visit our ABSN program overview page or contact us at (866) 892-6747.

Relocation for accelerated nursing school: one student's story about moving

A California native, Dominique earned her bachelor’s in health science in 2016. Her goal was always to become a nurse, so she wanted to leverage that degree and go to nursing school out of state. Specifically, she wanted to attend nursing school in New York.

She had personal reasons for wanting to pursue her path to nursing in the Empire State — she ultimately wants to work as an oncology nurse at Memorial Sloan Hospital in New York City.

Since she had just spent the past four years completing her undergraduate degree, she also wanted to finish her nursing degree quickly. So it’s only natural her research of nursing schools led her to choose Utica College’s Accelerated Bachelors of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program in Syracuse, New York, which she could complete in as few as 16 months.

Dominique plans to graduate in December, and has no regrets about moving across the country to pursue her passion.

Read more about why she relocated to Syracuse to earn her B.S. in Nursing at Utica College — and why attending nursing school out of state may make sense for you, too.

“Yes, it was worth relocating for this program,” she says.

She had support relocating and throughout the program

The cost of living in Syracuse compared to New York City made Utica College rise to the top of her list of out-of-state nursing schools.

Since she would be moving cross-country to start nursing school, a strong support network was also key for Dominique — not just with the relocation transition but throughout her nursing school experience. She found that with Utica College’s ABSN admissions team, faculty and fellow students in her cohort.

Admissions representative

Dominique’s first point of contact with the Utica College ABSN program was with an admissions representative.

“I filled out a form on the website and got a call within 20 minutes. They talked me through everything. They do a lot of the hard work for you, which was perfect because I was still in school,” she says.

Part of that hard work involved helping her navigate the admissions process and finding a place to live. That also included matching Dominique with a roommate to help lower her relocation expenses.

“My representative gave me a list of housing that had 16-month leases, which is perfect because I’m done in 16 months. I don’t have any obligation for a two-year contract,” she says.


From day one, Utica College faculty and staff made Dominique feel at ease. “I didn’t have any healthcare experience, so it was nerve-wracking. The instructors really welcomed me,” she says.

She’s come to find that support carried over to the rest of her time as an ABSN student, too.

“If you need help and you reach out to them, they will help you. I’ve had one professor stay after to fine-tune my nasogastric tube and my tracheostomy suctioning. She’s here. She doesn’t have to be here, but she’s here and she helps you,” she says. “If you reach out for help, they’re going to be there for you.”


Starting nursing school is daunting enough; starting nursing school out of state far from family and friends can be even tougher. Relocating for nursing school became easier for Dominique thanks to fellow nursing students in her cohort.

They leaned on each other to study for exams and provide encouragement during the stresses that come with accelerated nursing school. “The support from my classmates is probably what’s getting me through this program,” she says. “I came from California. I didn’t know anyone here, but my cohort really welcomed me. That made the difference.”

She could start sooner

Utica nursing student with medical equipment

Aside from the relocation and admissions support, Dominique had a long list of reasons why Utica College’s ABSN program in Syracuse would work best for her. Near the top of the list to attend nursing school out of state? Speed.

Three start dates per year

Utica College’s ABSN program doesn’t have a waitlist because we offer three start dates each year — in January, May and August. For Dominique, that was a huge plus, since she wanted to hit the ground running after she completed her undergraduate degree.

“I was looking for a school that had multiple start dates. Utica has three, which is perfect. I did not want to take any time off from when I graduated.”

16-month program length

Dominique knew from the start of her search for nursing schools that she wanted an accelerated nursing program. While she admits the program is difficult, for her it made sense.

“I think a lot of people get intimidated because it is accelerated, but if you go in with the mindset that you’re going to work hard for 16 months and then you’re going to be done, it’s worth it. You’re going to learn a lot and know just as much as nursing students who took a regular two-and-a-half year program.”

She found a great nursing program

Another great reason to consider going to nursing school out of state? Your options increase significantly, so you can find the nursing program that perfectly fits your needs. A set number of colleges and universities may exist in your home state, but they may not have nursing programs or offer accelerated nursing degree options.

Online and hands-on program

Utica nursing student with simulation manikin

No matter where she chose to go to nursing school, Dominique wanted to make sure she received a quality education to set her up for future career success.

She discovered that foundation with Utica College’s blended approach to learning. It’s preparing her with the skills she’ll need to compete in today’s ever-changing healthcare job market by combining online courses, simulation and skills labs and clinical rotations.

High NCLEX pass rates

Dominique was impressed with Utica College’s higher-than-average NCLEX pass rates. In 2016, Utica College’s ABSN program in Syracuse reported a 97% first-time NCLEX pass rate, while the St. Petersburg location reported a first-time pass rate of 94%, compared to the national average of 87%.

“Our test questions are very similar to the NCLEX, and those test questions are not easy. You definitely have to study for them. It’s critical thinking, and I think going into my fourth semester I’ll be very prepared for the NCLEX,” she says.

More, diverse clinical experiences

Dominque liked the idea that she’d complete her clinical rotations at various healthcare facilities in central New York, granting her access to a variety of patient care scenarios.

“I’ve been on an orthopedic floor, pediatric floor, oncology floor, telemetry floor and psychiatric unit. With that much experience it allows me to choose what I have an interest in,” she says.

She also appreciated that rotations start the first semester, which helped her overcome her first day of clinical fears faster, making her feel that much more prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation.

Get started on your future now

Attending nursing school out of state could mean the difference between starting your nursing career sooner and waiting to start your nursing education. If you’re ready to start your future as a registered nurse today, reach out to a member of our admissions team!

The Ultimate Nursing School Admissions Checklist

Ready for nursing school but stressed about applying? We recommend downloading our free admissions checklist to learn the important ins and outs of applying to accelerated nursing school.

The ultimate nursing school admissions checklist