How much debt is reasonable for NP school? - page 2

by junipers

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I am contemplating joining a masters-entry program that will leave me over $115,000 in debt by the end. Starting salary for certified nurse-midwives (my chosen field) seems to be about $70,000-$75,000 a year. Loan repayment... Read More


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    I looked at what my return on my investment would be:

    I made x-amt as an RN

    What would I make as an APN?

    How soon could I pay back my loan?
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    Oh my gosh just realized how much I owe in loans. Ok I started out as a LPN then went to rn then BSN now working on my master about half way done with it currently owing about 32 tho. and by the time I am all the way done I will owe 42 tho. Did not realize I had that much in loans. So I , am thinking about paying on my intrest before I am completly finished. Hopefully this will help. I was only planning on getting at the most 20 to 30 tho in loans. But in the end I hope it will be worth it.
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    Quote from junipers
    It is a lot, no question. I could do the second half of the program part-time while working as an RN, and I may well do that.

    For nurse-midwifery, there are many fewer masters entry programs than other specialities and most of them leave you with over $100,000 of debt. It is important to me to become a midwife and be established in a practice before starting my own family, and since I am in my late twenties, I feel that time is a definite factor. I could be a midwife in three years, but with substantial student loans - or I could apply to accelerated BSN programs for next year and work for a couple of years as a nurse before applying to midwifery programs, becoming a midwife in 5-6 years but with half the debt.

    Either way, I have the possibility of halving the debt in three years (either working as a midwife in an underserved area for that time, or becoming a midwife the traditional route and only taking on half the debt). Since I am more interested in practising as a CNM than an RN, perhaps the (ridiculously) expensive program is not such a bad idea?

    Edit: My estimate of $115,000 includes living expenses

    It is a difficult decision and I appreciate everyone's comments!
    I am currently mulling over a similar issue, though I actually only applied to ABSN programs because I wasn't able to take the GREs in time. The program I am left with entrance to, by default, is going to cost me probably $45k in loans. And I am 99.9% certain I want to continue on with my education to become and advance practice nurse (probably ALSO a CNM/WHNP) AND I want to get either an MPH or an MBA so I can help run a health care organization. Sooo, that's a lot more school. I owe less than $5,000 now for my first undegrad degree, which is great, but taking on this significant expense for BSN-hood is frightening me. I am also in a hurry to just get it done, because a career and family is on my mind. $45,000 is *hopefully* less than my starting salary, but it's still a lot of money.

    I know for the undergrad, the HRSA repayment program is highly competitive and you are only eleigible if your Expected Family Contribution is 0. Mine is not zero, though not much more since i am supporting myself and can probably only afford to pay for books and uniforms out of pocket. Regardless, that is not an option for me. Hopefully they are easier to come by for graduate students.

    Have you applied and been admitted to any direct-entry CNM programs?
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    Quote from iridium54
    I know for the undergrad, the HRSA repayment program is highly competitive and you are only eleigible if your Expected Family Contribution is 0.
    There are several HRSA programs and I'm not sure which one you are referring to here but the HRSA NHSC loan repayment program (for primary care providers) does not require you to have a EFC of 0. There is also a NHSC scholarship program which I have not looked into extensively but I doubt that one requires an EFC of 0 either.

    To add to this post, I agree $115k is a whole lot for the RN/NP portion, especially if you are looking to do more schooling. I did a MPH program (like you want to do) at one of the most expensive (but best!!) schools so if you're looking to add more education you may want to also factor in those costs which will probably add at least another $30k onto that. Because of this, I am now purposely choosing NP schools that will leave me with less debt than the MPH has.
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    My BSN was via big city private school...about 70k; then small city public for MSN...another 40k. One tough lesson I learned was GO PUBLIC for BSN and MSN. And by the way, both of my programs were "accelerated". Many public school programs really are excellent, especially the undergrad as so much of it's technical...
    sunnyd_83 likes this.
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    Frontier (I estimated) will cost about $30-35K total with books and technology. There are cheaper options for me, including a state school I can go to for about $18K one I get in the graduate work but I would have to get my BSN first (I am planning an ADN-FNP at Frontier) and in order to get my BSN I would need to take about a years worth of general education courses because they were not required for my Associate's in Applied Science degree I got. So add that all together and I am well over the $30K Frontier is. And I save so much TIME doing the bridge... plus save some gas (although there are a couple of campus visits) and save some lost income from having to be sure not to work on certain days my classes are...

    I looked at Emory- OMG.... its $50K A YEAR!!!!! I know they have a good name and all but man, the cost plus the hour drive every day is not something I am willing to do!

    I think there are ways to get a quality education from a highly regarded school without taking on so much debt. Just takes a lot of research.
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    Just this week I met a gal who was preparing for graduation from Frontier's NP program and she had lots of positives to report about the program... just commenting on that since you just mentioned it.

    I was just accepted into a post grad certificate program for nurse education. I will be applying for the faculty loan repayment via the government to cover that one. So now I just need to find a HRSA site to pay off my graduate loan.

    Slightly humorous note to all this -- I spoke with the student loan dept recently and asked them "what will happen to my loans if I die before they're paid?" The answer: it's forgiven! Til death do us part. At least my kids won't have to fork over any inheritance money to pay for my nursing school loans (should they be so fortunate).
    ICUman likes this.


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