You have probably seen their ads or just came across the Chamberlain University recommendations online. Now, we are going to find out if this school is worth it at all. One of the top questions a lot of people ask about this school is about its legitimacy. Thus, our topic today: is Chamberlain University legit?
Chamberlain University is a private school with campuses across the country, including an online campus. It is 100% legit. Its being ‘private’ is one of the reasons a lot of people would not recommend it. However, it’s a good school, and regionally accredited. This university has also had its fair share of controversies, ranging from student complaints and general misconduct—you can look them up online. This post is purely about its legitimacy, so we won’t go into that.
We will arrange this article into pros and cons so that you can make your own decision. In the end, whether Chamberlain University is a good school or not can also be subjective. So, there is no one-fit-all answer that will satisfy this question.
Is Chamberlain University Legit?
Yes, Chamberlain University is legit. There are questions about Chamberlain’s legitimacy as a school. Chamberlain is indeed a legitimate private institution. It is a private university with online campuses and physical campuses across the country. I have attended the campus in Northern Virginia. Beyond being a real university with campuses nationwide, they offer many programs, including nursing. Chamberlain also offers a bridge program for those who are already registered nurses to earn their bachelor’s degree in nursing. They have the program I am enrolled in, which is a BSN. They also offer a master’s in nursing program, I believe a nurse practitioner program, and beyond the nursing field, they provide other programs. For example, they have a program for earning your master’s in social work and a program for obtaining your Master’s in public health. It is a legit school and not a diploma mill.
Now, when we talk about the nursing program at Chamberlain, some wonder if it is worth it at all. The answer is yes, it is legit and worth it. Chamberlain University is a legitimate school, and so is its nursing program. But it’s not just about being legit; the nursing program is also regionally accredited. You 100% need to attend an accredited school because a non-accredited program can affect your reputation, your ability to sit for board exams like the NCLEX after you graduate, and even your job prospects. Some employers do not hire graduates from non-accredited programs, and sometimes even national accreditations are not valued. It turns out this particular university is regionally accredited.
That said, we will be looking at both the pros and cons of this university. These points are important for you to consider if you are contemplating enrolling here. Individual decisions are subjective, typically based on the kind of student you are, what you seek in a nursing school, and other similar factors. By the end of this post, you’ll be able to decide for yourself if Chamberlain University is worth it or not.
Pros of Chamberlain University
Let’s begin with the pros, including the type of things you want to see in an ideal nursing school.
1. Chamberlain University is Regionally Accredited
First, which we’ve talked about already, Chamberlain is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Therefore, when you complete your bachelor’s degree there, you qualify to sit for the NCLEX. The nursing degree you receive is regionally accredited. Many seniors I am familiar with have graduated with either one or multiple job offers.
2. Chamberlain’s Nursing Program is Less Restrictive
Many nursing schools require students to complete a pre-nursing program and all prerequisite courses before applying to the more competitive upper division. Often, these programs have limited slots, so they accept only a fraction of applicants. Chamberlain, however, has fewer entry barriers, and is easier for more applicants to gain admission. While it does not admit just anyone, the process is less restrictive. Chamberlain University generally has an easier entry into the program without the need to reapply for specific nursing courses or upper-level classes.
3. Accepts Credit Transfers
Chamberlain accepts transfer credits, more so than many other nursing schools. Their credits are also accepted by other schools due to their accreditation. This university accepts nursing-related transfer credits to a certain extent, including courses such as pharmacology and nutrition, although some restrictions apply. This flexibility extends to prerequisite courses as well. I have taken prerequisite courses at a traditional college and two community colleges, including both in-person and online classes, and Chamberlain accepted all these credits without any issues.
4. Fast Paced and Flexible
Another pro is that Chamberlain operates at a fast pace and offers three start dates. You’ll find that this is significant when compared to other nursing schools, which typically only offer start dates in August, September, or January. Chamberlain, however, allows students to begin their studies at three different times throughout the year, and this program spans a full year. With this method, you can commence their studies in the spring, summer, or fall semesters, and the sequence of their program will follow accordingly, whether it be spring-summer-fall or another combination based on when they start.
In contrast, at other schools, students might have to wait until the fall semester to begin, and the academic year only includes fall and spring semesters. This scheduling often extends the duration of the program to 3 years, with nine semesters, without reducing this time. Chamberlain, on the other hand, may take only about two and a half years to complete, thanks in part to the acceptance of transfer credits. If a student brings in additional transfer credits, their time in the program could be reduced even further. This aspect contributes to the fast-paced Chamberlain, where students engage in 8-week courses, moving from one class to the next in quick succession.
Now, this requires absorbing a considerable amount of information in a short period. However, it is somewhat mitigated by the fact that, unlike other programs where students might take three or four classes simultaneously, at Chamberlain, the maximum is typically two on-campus classes and one online class. This really depends on your schedule as a student. However, most often, students will find themselves taking only one or two nursing classes at a time.
5. Chamberlain University is NCLEX Prep
The NCLEX preparation is an important aspect of the nursing school experience. From the beginning of my education, such as in Nursing 101, I encountered NCLEX-style questions. I participated in workshops focused on the NCLEX, where we discussed expectations, including the types of questions to anticipate. Now, the examinations in all nursing courses are designed in the NCLEX format. You will see questions from ATI. For those unfamiliar, ATI is the organization responsible for creating the NCLEX. You’ll benefit from extensive access to study materials and workshops.
6. Easy to Get Into
Chamberlain University is an easy school to get into, but they do not carelessly admit students. This requires a more nuanced answer because, frankly, it’s subjective. This isn’t the same as asking if Chamberlain is a legit university. To that question, the answer is simple: yes, Chamberlain is legit. Its nursing program is legit and accredited as we’ve explained earlier. Whether Chamberlain is easy to get into is more subjective and cannot be answered with a simple yes or no.
I will say that, on average, Chamberlain is less competitive to get into than other four-year universities, especially state schools. It tends to be, on average, less competitive than your average state school, and certainly more so than community colleges. However, when comparing it to other private universities, it’s not as clear-cut. I personally would not say that Chamberlain is easy to get into. This is because you still need to submit all your transcripts to Chamberlain, whether you are just out of high school, have completed college credits before, or have a previous degree. You must work with an advisor, complete the application process, and sit for an entrance exam. Some schools require the TEAS, while others require the HESI (Health Education Systems, Inc. ). Chamberlain requires the HESI, at least at the time of making this post. I had to take the HESI to apply to Chamberlain. You must get a certain score on the HESI to be accepted into Chamberlain.
Compared to other schools, especially when discussing Community College, attending a Community College for a nursing program usually involves a two-year course of study. However, before you can apply and be considered for admission into a nursing program at a Community College, you must complete prerequisite courses. This means that by the time you are ready to submit your application, you should have already completed certain courses. For some schools, these prerequisites include Nutrition, Anatomy, and Physiology one and two, statistics for some schools, and chemistry. You need to have all these courses completed before you even apply. After completing all your prerequisite courses, you then need to take an entrance exam, such as the TEAS or the HESI, and achieve a certain score, similar to what is required at Chamberlain. Following this, you must work with an advisor to submit your application. When you apply to a program, you might be competing for a limited number of spots, for example, 30 seats, against a large number of applicants, possibly 1,000 to 2,000. This situation is quite intense. If you apply, you may be lucky to get wait-listed or even luckier to be admitted. Sometimes, you may be denied admission, which means you have spent a considerable amount of money on prerequisites that were specific to that school. In my view, this whole process is overly competitive and, frankly, seems unnecessarily so.
When comparing Chamberlain to your typical Community College or even your average State School, it appears to me that Chamberlain is less competitive both to apply to and to gain admission. It is not so much that Chamberlain is less competitive on its own. Rather, I believe many schools are overly competitive, and that is just my personal view. However, I think the real issue is not a shortage of nurses in general but a shortage of nurses working at the bedside. In my view, the application process and the steps to enter nursing school are unnecessarily complicated.
If you meet all the necessary criteria, such as passing the entrance exam among other requirements, and if your GPA is within a certain range, you are likely to be admitted. As long as you meet all of Chamberlain’s admission requirements, you will be admitted. I found that from the time I applied to when I started classes, the wait was relatively short, typically from 2 to 4 months. However, I observed that other campuses across the country did have waitlists and appeared to be more competitive for admissions.
Cons of Chamberlain University
Chamberlain may be a legit university and a worthy one. However, there are some aspects you really need to think about to help you decide if this school is worth your money. Let’s look at the major cons associated with Chamberlain University.
1. Chamberlain University is Not a Traditional College
Chamberlain is a non-traditional college. It is not really for younger people or those just coming out of high school. It does not offer what one might expect from a four-year university experience. There are not many student organizations. We do have a Student Nurses Association and student government, but beyond that, there are not the organizations you would find on other campuses, like traditional ones. For instance, there is no Black Student Union or the chance to create your own student organization. Here, a high schooler or someone seeking the typical young person college experience will not find it the best place for that. You are likely to be around older people who probably have experienced that already because they already have other degrees. But there will not be much opportunity for you to get that college life experience.
2. It’s a Private University and Expensive
Another downside, in my opinion, and this is subjective, is the tuition, especially because it is not consistent as it changes. I mean, it is not $2,000 a credit hour right now, but $735 per credit hour, which is more expensive than some four-year universities. So it is a bit more expensive. It is more expensive than any college or an ADN program, but again, you are getting your bachelor’s. They do offer financial aid, and you can use your FAFSA with Chamberlain. The school itself does not offer many scholarship opportunities. Scholarships are something you would have to seek outside of Chamberlain. There are some scholarships that Chamberlain does offer, maybe like $500 a semester or something like that, but not many. Meanwhile, I wrote an article on how to get nursing school paid for—make sure to check out that article. It might help you cut costs.
3. Some Say Chamberlain is Not Reputable for Nursing Program
Well, from the start of this post, I have reassured you again and again that this university is 100% legit. Yes, you’ll find comments and individual reviews (from past and present students) that this school isn’t reputable for nursing but that’s not true. Apart from the working class, a lot of people see it as more of a last resort option, and it depends on what is important to you. I must clarify that I do not frequently hear outright statements claiming Chamberlain is a subpar institution. However, I do notice a considerable number of inquiries questioning the quality of Chamberlain’s nursing program. This concern seems particularly prevalent in online forums, such as Reddit and Facebook groups.
Now, I found one thing in common; that everyone complains about the expensive fees. The truth is that you will be taking out like $100k in loans. A lot of people will recommend a community college over this amount of money but it’s really up to what you want and can afford for nursing. Do not make a decision that you’ll regret being in so much debt that takes forever to pay off. While this school is pricey, you will finish faster, and it’s not competitive, which is nice.
Do Chamberlain Nurses Get Hired?
This is a question to which I cannot provide a statistical answer. I am not associated with the school. You might find data online for this topic, but I am not aware of the specific percentages, such as what percentage of students secure a full-time job in their field three months after graduation. Therefore, I do not have any concrete facts to offer.
However, based on my personal experience and observations, I have not encountered a situation where a Chamberlain graduate struggled to find a good job at a reputable facility after completing their studies. To my knowledge, Chamberlain is a highly respected institution. Several of the hospitals where I have completed clinical rotations, which are well-respected, employ graduates from Chamberlain University.
If you ask again, the answer remains that Chamberlain University is legit. So, I have identified some pros and cons of Chamberlain. As I mentioned, although I have categorized aspects as pros and cons, for me, everything is a pro except for the cost of the program, which is quite high. However, it ultimately depends on what you want. If you can excel at self-teaching online, handle fast-paced learning, have other life commitments, and want to quickly earn your degree and move on without a strong desire for social involvement or making friends, then Chamberlain is the university for you. The program is purely academic and suits those who just want a degree and just starting their career. On the other hand, if you need a traditional college experience with more opportunities for socializing, making friends, and forming lasting connections, Chamberlain is not the go-to school. It is highly academic and fast-paced. From my experience, most of my peers share this practical approach. Many are at a stage in life where their focus is to log in, complete their assignments, achieve good grades, and complete the program. If you are undecided or wish to learn more about Chamberlain, I recommend visiting their website and speaking with an advisor, which was my initial step.
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