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 programs seem to pay back about $25,000 per year of service in medically undeserved areas. Does anybody have any thoughts on the wisdom of enrolling in this masters-entry program?
Thank you for your input,
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!
Last edit by junipers on Apr 21, '11