I've seriously been considering going back to school for nursing. I started a while ago but had to stop because of things going on in life at the time. I did finish some classes but don't have any type of degree. I unfortunately DO have about $28k in student loans.
I am currently 28 years old and working for about $40k/year and absolutely hate the job. If I go back for nursing, I know i would have to quit as I wouldn't be able to handle nursing school and working full time as well. With this I would have to take out loans for living expenses such as rent a food. I've done the calculations and came to about $100k to acquire a BSN degree (this includes my current loan). I don't have any other debts besides my existing student loans ($28k).
Do any of you think this will be worth it, or is $100k in loans too much for a BSN . I know nursing is something that I would love and be able to pour myself into. I am currently living in Minneapolis so the market for nurses is pretty good, at least right now...
Last edit by ravindram on May 9
Depends on how old you are. I KNOW that my loans are going to outlive me. I have one more degree I want to get (DNP) which will take me into my mid 50s. It is degree #6. I am paying a little as I can and trying to keep up on unsubsidized interest. To me it is worth it. Life circumstances required me to change careers so I needed to borrow more money. I will do my best to pay it off, but that probably won't happen. I am around the 100K range right now.
You and I will get flamed for even thinking (me doing) of that kind of debt but I had 2 small kids and a house when I unexpectedly lost my job. I borrowed money to become a nurse so that put payments on hold. I have 2 special needs kids so their health came first and we desperately wanted to keep our house. It was in 2008-2009 when the housing bubble burst and but for the grace of God we were able to keep the house and I am a nurse now. I am going into a specialty (informatics) that has the potential for 6 figure paychecks.
I will probably be the only positive answer you get. Do what you need to do
100K in loans is NOT worth it. If I were you, I would keep working at the $40K/yr job (or find a similar one that you don't hate), pay off your student loans, save up a little money, and then go to a community college and get your associates degree in nursing. Apply for scholarships, as many as you can. If you aren't able to work, you may have to take out a very small loan for living expenses, but it should be nothing close to 100K. You can then start working as a nurse, gain experience, make money, and get your employer to help pay for your RN-BSN.
Remember, 100K is just the loan, you will have to pay that back PLUS INTEREST.
Don't do it.
You may like or hate your current job but the fact of life is that, unless you find loan-free way to finance BSN degreel, you can't afford it right now. Work more, save some money, once you have them, start prereqs one at a time, go to community college and do ADN. When you start working, you either can save enough, or find an employer who will at least partially pay for your BSN.
Meanwhile, you can do phlebotomy, tele tech or CNA course and work part time. That will give you experience, some small $$ and, most importantly, the ultimate knowledge if nursing is the thing you want to throw your hard-earned money onto.
A second mortgage, sounds awful
Quote from That Guy
A second mortgage, sounds awful
... and you can't default on it, doesn't matter what.
Not in a million pay-off years.
I once had the group of nurses who work a lot of overtime, 4-5 12 hour shifts a week, every week, working the same time as me. As we sat around the nursing station, I asked them how come they work so many days.
The answer was the same for all of them: student loans. The amounts varied from 5K to 250K.
Nursing is hard enough as it is full time. What if you were stuck working overtime, and the extra money just went to pay loans.
I personally would not do it.
Hard pass. No! There are cheaper ways. Lots of people work while doing nursing school.
No no NO.
First of all, you're not going to walk into a $100K job as a new grad, even with a BSN, even as a new grad in California or one of the other high-paying states. It will take you several years to even come close to that salary mark.
Second, the new grad job market is still iffy in many places. It may takes weeks or months before you land that first job.
Third, though you seem to have been on your own for a while...it couldn't hurt to remind one that unless you're living at home or in some other situation where a majority of your expenses are covered by someone else, you're going to have to juggle rent, groceries, gas, other bills, along with those loan payments. And those loan payments are not going to be small, not with 100k to pay off.
Fourth, getting overtime is not guaranteed. And do you really want to give up your free time for a second job just to make all the loan payments.
If you can at all help it, don't do it. Pick a cheaper program, go part-time as opposed to full-time so you can work during school, and/or go for a diploma or ADN and then bridge to the BSN later.
I paid $4000 per semester for my BSN, so about $20k total. I really think anything more than this is a total waste of your time and money. $30k, at the MOST, would be reasonable. I would not take out an additional $70k in loans just for a BSN, but that's just me.
I don't really believe in taking out student loans at all, unless you have absolutely no other choice. That is debt that does NOT go away - and you have to remember, in a very good portion of this country, as a RN you'll be starting out around $50k/year or less. And you CANNOT work overtime while you are in orientation.
I am working on my third bachelor's degree right now and I have $0 in loans for any of them because I have worked my butt off through all of them so I could pay my way. I had some family help with paying for my BSN just because the clinical hours changed every six weeks or so, so I had trouble holding down anything but a part time job, but for the most part I've paid for everything out of pocket. It's doable if you work hard enough.
For the record, you can work full time while you're in nursing school if you can find a job to accomodate the weird hours. My current degree program is way harder than nursing school was, and I work full time, go to school full time, take a separate prep class for 10+ hours per week, and volunteer every week, and it's looking like I'm going to come out with mostly As and maybe 1 B. You just have to want it bad enough.
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