How to pay for nurse anesthetist school (CRNA)?

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    I would like to go to anesthetist school once I am finished with my RN and BSN. However, the cost for these programs is expensive (about $25,000 per year).

    Does anyone know of any types of grants, scholarships, etc. that would pay for nurse anesthetist school tuition? I do not know where to start looking for assistance.

    I am married with children and will be in my 40s when I am ready for nurse anesthetist school. My husband and I cannot afford the entire tuition on our own.

    Any suggestions are welcome. I appreciate any help anyone can offer.

    Thank you,


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  2. 12 Comments...

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    I got almost 27,000 hits for a Google search of "CRNA scholarships."

    If you're working in a hospital at that point, many have some sort of employee tuition assistance program, but most specify that your degree should advance you in your field, not change to a new one like anesthesia.

    Other than that, you're probably looking at loans.
  4. 1
    hi Lori,

    Most of the time with graduate school we are on our own when it comes to flipping the bill. You may be able to find an employer to help towards costs, but I believe scholarships are few and far between after the undergrad level. Additionally, I do not think you will find any government assistance beyond undergrad either.

    However, I had an extensive conversation with one of my professor's about this very matter. Her response was quite simple actually. She said that you need to look at the debt that you will incur to go to graduate school as an investment. True, school may be $25k a year, but the return on your investment would be well worth it. So, even if you need to take on some debt while your are in school your ROI (return on investment) will be well worth the money spent. Hope that helps! : )
    CCRN86 likes this.
  5. 0
    Stafford loan offers grad school loans, but I believe the max is like $57,000. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

    As far as scholarships, I would sign up for They will let you know all available scholarships based on specific information you put in. It's free.
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    You will more thank likely have to take out loans. There are federal loans for grad school (Grad Plus, I think?) as well as private loans to help with the cost of living expenses if necessary.

    Will your husband be able to support the household on solely his income while you are in CRNA school? That will be a determining factor in whether or not you take out minimal loans or a maximum amount.

    Some will say you need not worry until you are at that point however from a purely financial aspect - worry now. Better to worry now and plan, than wait until two days before you start the program.

    Try saving if possible, although for most people, it is difficult to save enough to cover all costs. I've been interested in CRNA school for about 3 years now, just been trucking along and keeping updated on it for myself, knowing that one day it will happen. In that time, I have not come across any grants or scholarships available.

    You could contact the prospective schools and ask them. The FA offices there should be a big help.

    Also, keep in mind state v. instate, private v. public when looking. You have other options to - military and USPHS (they are not military, but they are a uniformed service who will repay loans up to a certain amount, under some circumstances).

    What area of the country are you in? What is you and your husbands financial life like now? Not to pry or be rude but just trying to help you out as much as possible. Unfortunately some people are not polite about CRNA inquiries on here
  7. 0
    Take out loans. I have two friends who went the CRNA route and ended up 100k in debt. However, the prize will be a salary that will allow you to pay this off. Good luck.
  8. 0
    How to pay for NA school:

    1. Loans
    2. Significant other(s)
    3. Military/USPHS
    4. VA
    5. Loan repayment programs (IHS, Military, etc.)
    6. Some hospitals/anesthesia groups will help cover tuition have stipends, but those are usually few and far between and most CRNAs don't recommend that route.

    Scholarships/Grants are also unusual for nurse anesthetist students.
  9. 1
    The schools should have this information. Check with them.
    CCRN86 likes this.
  10. 0
    Most of the ones that I know that have gone through CRNA programs just take out loans and pay them back post haste when they are done. Consider your income is going to essentially double from being an ICU staff RN (assuming that is where you are/were at). They spend a few years paying off the loans and then they are done with it.

    One of my friends got a generic graduate school nursing scholarship -- She got about $1500, renewable for a second year. Those are out there if you look and apply, but you'd have to get a lot of them to put you all the way through school.

    A couple I have known have gone through military/VA programs or used their GI bill (I think.) From what I've seen, that is the only way to do it for free.
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    I wouldn't worry about it now. You have to graduate and pass the NCLEX (not a given), get a job (not a given) and get a job in an ICU (definitely not a given), work for at least one year but preferably several, get accepted to CRNA school (again not a given), before you have to worry about paying for it.

    In the mean time save up as much money as possible because you won't be working while in CRNA school. There are school loans for graduate school, bank loans, family loans etc to answer your question.

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