Best ideas on how to prepare financially for nursing school - page 2

by brian 9,879 Views | 21 Comments Admin

Nursing school can be expensive. If you are not prepared financially you could get yourself in a lot of trouble. Community colleges are the least expensive but may not offer the best programs or the best opportunities in... Read More


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    I knew I wanted my BSN without question when I discovered that I wanted to be a nurse. I attended a second-degree BSN program immediately after I earned my first BS. It was when the economy was at its worst. When I realized I'd have to stay in school longer during my first degree, I started working as an RA to have my room and board paid for, picked up a TA job, and kept my retail job that I continued on holidays back home because I knew that the amount of loans I'd have would balloon. The RA job alone saved me over $16,000 total, in addition to scholarships that I was receiving from school.

    I chose my nursing school based on cost, and job prospects in its region: they gave me a decent scholarship for tuition, and I got a job before I graduated. I lived on a tight budget while I was in school, so that I'd avoid taking out more loans than necessary. The guarantee of a job alone helped me start paying my loans off early. I still live on a modest budget so that I can pay my loans off sooner than projected, but I'm fortunate in that it hasn't been difficult to make ends meet so far (and I've been able to treat myself a little bit along the way ).
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    The way I will do it is to first pay all my debts and then save for the tuition for community college classes a few at a time..pay as I go, workfulltime and attend only 2 classes at a time, it will take longer but I have been in debt now for a while and I can tell you it feels awful so I refuse to get a loan out for school until I pay off what I owe...this will teach me to be more careful in the future.
    simonemesina likes this.
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    Quote from jennannwarren
    I worked two jobs (one part time and one full time) while taking all of my pre-requisites at a local community college. I paid off all my previous debt (credit cards, car loans) and put some money in a savings account. I start my BSN program next week and will be working part-time in order to pay my utilities and gas.

    I thought about going the ADN route, but I can get my BSN in three years, which is only one year more than my ADN. I am going to a private school (tuition is $30,000 per year). I did get a sizable scholarship but had to take out loans. I will have about $25,000 in loans when I finish. My payment will be about $400 a month once I graduate, which is very manageable.

    My husband and I have developed a very tight budget for the next three years. We know that it is going to be hard, but will be well worth it in the long run.
    $30,000 a year?
    When I looked at different schools, I started out looking at two colleges that were 22-24k a year, then I found out our state university was only about $7000-$9000 a year. BIG difference at the end of three years. I went with the BSN program at our local California State University and have no regrets.
    Good job on getting the scholarship jenn. Congrats on acceptance of the nursing program. Good luck to you. It may seem like a long road now, but before you know it, you will be done. It seems like I just started school (I remember it like it was yesterday). I have now been an RN for almost 4 years. Time flies when you're having fun, or...if you are going through a nursing program.
    anie10 likes this.
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    $30,000 a year?
    When I looked at different schools, I started out looking at two colleges that were 22-24k a year, then I found out our state university was only about $7000-$9000 a year. BIG difference at the end of three years. I went with the BSN program at our local California State University and have no regrets.
    Yup, sad isn't it? When I was comparing schools, I found that my local state university charged $27,000 for tuition for their one year BSN program, but was in one of the most expensive areas of the country and would likely have required me to purchase a car to access their clinical sites. It also didn't have the best reputation. When I compared it to the $40,000 for tuition for a one year BSN program at a well regarded private institution, I found the private school to be a better deal. The cost of living was lower at private school, the area in which the school was located was much, much safer, and I wouldn't have to purchase a car, pay for insurance or gas, etc. The $13k difference in tuition seemed significant at first, but when I factored in everything else, the seemingly cheaper state university really wasn't cheaper after all. Even though I paid a substantial amount of tuition money, I am very happy with my school choice, even if it required me to move.

    Also, sadly, many cheaper state schools have long, long, long waiting lists.
    NF_eyenurse likes this.
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    Hello all,I too am looking to find a way to lessen the burden by finding a job. Can anyone give me advice on finding a job at a hospital while doing pre Reqs? I have no experience in anything medical and begin school October first. Thanks!
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    I worked 30-40hrs/week at a coffee shop throughout college because I had rent/bills to pay. I graduated with a $13,000 student loan debt (OSAP) 3 years ago... Working on paying it off!If I could go back, I would have taken a year or two off after high school to save for my education.
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    I find the cost of American education astounding! I'm Canadian, and the cost of a 4 year BSN (excluding living costs) is roughly 10-12,000 per year. How in the world do they expect people to pay 30,000+ a year??? That's insane. @ Suzie Q: if you are willing to do rural nursing out West, your OSAP debt could be paid in 2-3 years.
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    Quote from joanna73
    I find the cost of American education astounding! I'm Canadian, and the cost of a 4 year BSN (excluding living costs) is roughly 10-12,000 per year. How in the world do they expect people to pay 30,000+ a year??? That's insane. @ Suzie Q: if you are willing to do rural nursing out West, your OSAP debt could be paid in 2-3 years.
    Yep talk about insane, in some countries citizens can actually get paid training or a stipend during nursing school , also EMT's, but here its all about money and prestige.
    on eagles wings and joanna73 like this.
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    I'm actually considering joining the Navy as a nurse. They would help pay for school (about $30K) through monthly stipends and then you would have to go work for them for 4-5 years. The way I see it is, you have a guaranteed job once you graduate, and Navy experience would look great on any resume (I would hope). The downside, 6 months on a boat and they send you to far away lands. Family can come with you but still.

    I'm applying to several schools, one of them is a 2yr degree vs. 4yr, and in the end. It's an 18-month program, about $8,000. Then you need to pass the NCLEX before you do the RN to BSN, so you end up not having a BSN until like a year later, which is alright but a lot of jobs are looking for people with BSNs, even the Navy.

    All this and it's assuming you make it through the program. They say that out of 100 students who make it into this program, 25 actually finish it. I'm also applying to private schools because from what I have heard, they care more about their students than the public school systems. They want you to learn and pass (prob. because they get more money out of you lol), whereas the public schools are "happy to fail you" as so many have sadly put it for me.
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    I wouldn't rule out community colleges! For instance, I hear all the time in my state (RI) that our community college has the "best" nursing program. (This is what doctors and nurses have stated to me repeatedly over the years, and also that they normally choose students from my school first). In my personal experience- when I had my 2nd child, I allowed student nurses to come in with their instructor. The ones from the the state college were nervous, timid and very cerebral, checking their books and with their instructor frequently. The ones from the cc I could not tell apart from the actual nurses, they were so hands on and confident. It was a huge difference and was one of the deciding factors as to why I chose the community college over regular.

    I'm not sure about other states, but it'd be a good thing to check on your own- RI is offering 0% interest loans now, only for those in the medical field though, ie NURSES!

    If you're a single mother, displaced homemaker, under a certain income bracket, etc you may be eligible for help too. Check with all the resources you can within your state. And you can always appeal your financial aid if you are denied, like I was. The new SAP rules I know are a nightmare for a lot of people. Supposedly if I do a full semester and pull really good grades, I can qualify for the aid.

    Also, check into some of the hospitals around you. Some of them will pay your tuition back or a percentage of it. I believe you HAVE to sign a contract though, stating you will work there for x amount of years. Even if it's 1/4 of your tuition, it's still a HUGE HELP.

    I hope that this helps some of you and that your area has some of these perks!
    Last edit by hellenn on Aug 27, '12 : Reason: forgot about tuition paybacks


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