reconsidering becoming a nurse but still want to be a CRNA - page 2

I was hoping I can get some opinions from you guys here on the CRNA board. I was really into the idea of becoming a nurse and was even more excited when I found out about the CRNA profession. I... Read More

  1. by   manna
    Originally posted by Cynthiann
    Manna - I just don't see how you can do it between fulltime school and work and your kids. How do you afford the daycare? How do you have time to study?
    Daycare here is very reasonably priced (I live in a very rural area). For my two boys I pay around $120/week. I don't know about in your area, but around here they also have government-funded daycare assistance programs for lower income families. I work 40 hours a week and bring home around $20K a year. I'm also thinking of trying to pick up another part-time/weekend job... if I get into the BSN program next year, I'll have to quit working here and hopefully pick up a job at a hospital.

    I love school - it's what keeps me going - and I find time to study because I WANT to. I don't have a lot of free time for myself - seems like if I'm not studying I'm cleaning house, or at work, or playing outside with the kids...

    It's VERY hard - but I will be SO proud once I'm through with school, and I think I'm setting a great example for my kids - if you work hard enough, anything is possible.

    I understand how you feel about your grades as well - I'm a bit of a perfectionist myself. I've made 3 B's since I've been putting myself back through school, and you wouldn't believe how depressed they made me! LOL - I'm learning to relax a little bit and chalk it up to the fact that I am doing an awful lot for someone in my situation, and I'm pretty proud of my GPA even with those B's (last I checked it was a 3.84).

    Feel free to PM me if you ever want to chat some more about school and kids, or whatever.

    Good luck! I really hope things work out for you!
  2. by   loisane
    Cynthiann, it is not true that a BSN would take 4 more years after a 2 year nursing degree. On this board I have heard about accelerated BSNs that only take about one year if you are already an RN.

    School debt is a fact of life for many of us. I have borrowed the money for every one of my degrees. I have four of them, and am working on a fifth. My student loan is just like another utility bill, I don't expect it will ever go away. Of course, it would be nice to be debt free. But I would rather live the way I do now (even with the debt) than to be debt free, but making less money.

    Maybe not everybody feels so comfortable about school debt. But even the most conservative of financial counselors will tell you their are two things worth going into debt for-housing, and education.

    It is definitely a big decision.

    loisane crna
  3. by   Cynthiann
    Originally posted by loisane
    Cynthiann, it is not true that a BSN would take 4 more years after a 2 year nursing degree. On this board I have heard about accelerated BSNs that only take about one year if you are already an RN.
    I meant that where I am right now with one year's of pre-reqs done it would take me 4 more years to finish a BSN.

    Originally posted by loisane

    School debt is a fact of life for many of us. I have borrowed the money for every one of my degrees. I have four of them, and am working on a fifth. My student loan is just like another utility bill, I don't expect it will ever go away. Of course, it would be nice to be debt free. But I would rather live the way I do now (even with the debt) than to be debt free, but making less money.

    Maybe not everybody feels so comfortable about school debt. But even the most conservative of financial counselors will tell you their are two things worth going into debt for-housing, and education.

    It is definitely a big decision.

    loisane crna
    It's not the school loans I'm worried about, I can worry about those when the payments are due after school is over. It's the thousands of dollars in credit card debt and bank loans that I'm worried about. And since I own my home we get checks in the mail all the time to take out a loan, all we have to do is go to the bank and cash. It seems like those companies know just when we are struggling the most so we always end up cashing them. At the moment we pay $500-600/mo just between cc and bank loans. Add in that we pay almost $600 for mortgage that's 95% of my husband's check, and we still have to pay for gas, electric, water, phone, internet service, food and household items.
  4. by   Cynthiann
    Originally posted by manna
    Daycare here is very reasonably priced (I live in a very rural area). For my two boys I pay around $120/week. I don't know about in your area, but around here they also have government-funded daycare assistance programs for lower income families. I work 40 hours a week and bring home around $20K a year. I'm also thinking of trying to pick up another part-time/weekend job... if I get into the BSN program next year, I'll have to quit working here and hopefully pick up a job at a hospital.
    In my area it's mostly around $80-85 per child, so on the cheap end it's $160/week. Consider if I get a job making $8/hour which comes out to about $500/mo and minus $320 for childcare and at least another $50 (probably more) bucks for gas, clothing, eating out, etc.. I'll probably come out with a $100/check to actually use towards the bills. To me that is definitely not worth working.

    Oh, I did check into those assistance programs and with me not working I would pay $160/mo and if I work I would qualify for nothing.

    Originally posted by manna

    I love school - it's what keeps me going - and I find time to study because I WANT to. I don't have a lot of free time for myself - seems like if I'm not studying I'm cleaning house, or at work, or playing outside with the kids...
    I guess that's why I couldn't do it. I need time to myself. If not, I would go crazy. It's so important to me to be well rounded and fulfill my self mentally (school), spirtually (my time with my family), and physically (my time to go to the gym). When I'm missing one of these my life just doesn't seem right.

    Thanks for all the comments and suggestions.
  5. by   traumaRUs
    Go for it Cynthiann! Have you filed your FAFSA? Thats the government-run student loan program. Its great for lower income families. Also, you might try refinancing your house. We just did for 4.25% for 5 years and then its adjustable. I'm not interested in CRNA, but was a nursing asst, LPN, ADN and now I'm doing University of Phoenix's ADN to MSN route. I did the LPN and ADN part years ago while working full time (nights), going to school days and raising two boys with a husband in the military and frequently gone. It can be done. I just broke things down into semesters...daycare, work, sleep and then started again. That made it manageable for me. Good luck...don't quit.
  6. by   Athlein
    Go, girl! You obviously have a great deal of drive and determination. By all means, keep working toward the big goal of a career as a CRNA. If you truly know the day-to-day job description of a CRNA and believe that the profession suits YOU (not just the CRNAs that seem so happy and well-paid when they post! We all know happy, well-paid folks with jobs we aren't suited for), then you should aim high.
    In the meantime, though, please let me give you some advice. Get your financial life in order....FIRST. Whether that means selling your house and moving to a less expensive area, working now for an unspecified length of time until your debts are paid down and you have some money in the bank, or committing to some type of financial aid program, the stress you are experiencing regarding money is painfully evident in your posts. As long as you have that kind of stress, any kind of school is going to be a tough, arduous road. And, should you choose to declare bankruptcy, your credit will be adversely affected for a long time, making you ineligible for certain types of financial aid.
    CRNAs have been around for a long time! We'll still be here when you take care of that financial housekeeping, get your RN degree, and work in the ICU for a year or two.
    Best of luck from a first-career financial services girl and a second-career SRNA!
  7. by   Dixen81
    Manna, you are so cool...Hats off to you! Cynthiann, here's someone who has her head on right, and I would listen to her if I were you. She's right; where there is a will, there is a way! I know it's hard to make it with a limited income, (I'm in the same boat), but set your priorities, make some sacrifices, and go for it! Good Luck!
  8. by   Cynthiann
    I didn't know that bankruptcy can affect my qualification for financial aid. Well, that is definitely not an option for me.

    You suggested that I get my financial life in order, I agree that's my biggest obstacle at the moment. It's the main reason I even started looking into other healthcare program, just so I can get started working sooner. I'd rather do something in the healthcare field regardless that's why I was looking into respiratory therapy, the program is a year shorter than nursing. When I started talking to my husband about it, (he works in a hospital) he said that he thinks I would like being a RT more than a RN. I guess it's because he gets to hear the RNs and LPNs he works with gripe all the time.

    I've also considered selling my house but when we bought it we did a first-time buyers program that paid our down payment (almost $2000) and that obligated us to live here for 5 years. That 5 years is not up until January 2006.

    Thanks for the suggestions, you really seem to understand my financial stress.
  9. by   manna
    Originally posted by Cynthiann
    IIt's not the school loans I'm worried about, I can worry about those when the payments are due after school is over. It's the thousands of dollars in credit card debt and bank loans that I'm worried about. And since I own my home we get checks in the mail all the time to take out a loan, all we have to do is go to the bank and cash. It seems like those companies know just when we are struggling the most so we always end up cashing them. At the moment we pay $500-600/mo just between cc and bank loans. Add in that we pay almost $600 for mortgage that's 95% of my husband's check, and we still have to pay for gas, electric, water, phone, internet service, food and household items.
    Sounds like you and your husband really have some serious financial problems - seems like there's just about nothing more stressful than that! (BTDT)

    I agree with the other posters who said you should probably get your financial situation straight - even if that might mean you taking a job, or your husband taking a second job. Check out http://www.daveramsey.com for some great financial advise - I love that guy and try to catch his radio show when I can (you can also listen online).

    Is your credit good enough that you could refinance all your bills into one payment? Interest rates now are pretty reasonable... And start throwing away those "checks" you get in the mail!

    I don't mean to sound harsh - just trying to be helpful!
  10. by   manna
    Originally posted by peggysue
    Manna, you are so cool...Hats off to you! Cynthiann, here's someone who has her head on right, and I would listen to her if I were you. She's right; where there is a will, there is a way! I know it's hard to make it with a limited income, (I'm in the same boat), but set your priorities, make some sacrifices, and go for it! Good Luck!
    Awww thanks Peggy! You just made my day!

    It is SO tough to keep on keeping on... I've been going to school part-time for FIVE years and I'm still not done with my pre-reqs LOL... I've been feeling kind of burnt out lately, but I heard this great quote the other day on Paul Harvey - "People with goals succeed because they know what they're aiming at" - So I keep setting myself little goals to not get so discouraged looking at the big picture.

    My current goal is to finish up my pre-reqs and takes Orgo I summer term of 2004.... Starting Chem I on August 18th - can't wait!

    It definately takes some sacrifice - and if you aren't willing to do that, you probably aren't going to make it. (not speaking to anyone specifically, just in general). Like I said before - nothing worth doing every came easily!
  11. by   Cynthiann
    I've thought about being able to refinance my bills but I'm not sure how our good our credit is. But our debt to income ratio is so bad we are probably considered high risk to a finance company. Does anyone know of a company that would refinance/consolidate someone in this type of situation?

    Other than daycare costs, it's not worth it more me to work because I will lose the grants I'm currently qualifying for. I'd rather get this free money and have more time to study then work, cut my school load in half to take twice as long to finish and lose grant money all at the same time just for an extra couple of hundred dollars a month. It just doesn't make sense to me to do it like this.

    It's hard to explain how bad our situation is right now. If I had a way to not have as much bills this moment everything would be so much easier.

    I just found out about unsubsidized loans so I'm going to take out some of those to see if it will help financially. It's weird how the lady at the financial aid office gave me an attitude about it. As if they don't like to give those out. All she could tell me is they have to see if I qualify after she looked at my records in the computer. I don't see the problem since I have 0 EFC.

    I've also decided on one more thing. The next application period for the nursing program at my school is in October for the spring semester. I decided that if I get rejected again then I may do something else for awhile because I can't wait forever to get into a program. So I'll give one more chance and see if it was meant to be.
  12. by   Athlein
    Cynthiann,
    Please allow me to step out of my nurse shoes and into my financial adviser shoes for a moment so that I can offer you some advice. Have you contacted the Consumer Credit Counseling Service yet? If not, please consider it. It is a non-profit community service agency that offers free debt management advice and planning. Look in the phone book under debt or credit. In some instances, they can renegotiate interest rates on money due, so that more of what you pay actually pays off the balance due, not the interest. But beware of imposters. Many private companies have been created with similar-sounding names.
    Also, please speak with a neutral third party before you take out a home equity loan, refinance, or do anything that could affect your real property ownership. Given your present circumstances, doing so would be extremely risky.
    And, one more thing...Check with your student aid office before you sign on the dotted line of those unsubsidized student loans. Unsubsidized student loans are awarded regardless of family income, which is why they are often the only source of financial aid offered to families with more than nominal income. With unsubsidized student loans, you are borrowing money from the government, just like a subsidized loan, but you are responsible for the interest that accrues from the time the money is disbursed. You are probably getting an alternative loan. If so, please read the fine print very carefully. Their interest rates can be enormous, and because they are given by private companies, may come with fees, penalties, and other hidden charges.
    Any financial adviser would likely point out that additional loans, credit cards, or money borrowing may place a patch on your financial situation for a short time. Eventually, though, the dam will burst without a solid plan for reaching a more stable situation.
    Getting your finances in order is very scary, but it is also a tremendous relief when you begin to realize that with hard work, time, and a structured plan, it can be accomplished.
    Good luck!
  13. by   no-pain
    Cynthiann,

    I am an RRT and have been for the past 11 years. I too want to take the route of the CRNA. I have just graduated with my BSN and will be applying to a few CRNA programs this fall while I am getting my required year of nursing experience. Being an RRT has been invaluable, however, I would suggest to you that you just go into the nursing profession, maybe first with your ADN and then working while getting your BSN. If your ultimate goal is CRNA this is the best way to go. (in my opinion and one who has gone through it).

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