Loans and Volunteering

  1. Hey all, I guess I'm wanting to ask about two somewhat separate things..

    First, I'm looking for personal experiences or any recommendations/comments at all about volunteer organizations that might be attractive for nurses.. specifically ones that offer student loan forgiveness..

    Peace Corps? from what I hear, the most nurse-related work would be educating and not so much practicing? does anyone know if it's the same for AmeriCorps? I was excited when I first heard about the National Health Service Corps and their hefty loan repayment program, but then I realized the only nurses they recruit are NPs and not RNs.. Doctors Without Borders sounds amazing and I'll probably look into it eventually regardless, but they dont offer any sort of loan forgiveness do they? any other organizations out there??

    Second, what would you say is the largest reasonable amount for student loans to become a nurse(bsn)?? I don't have any yet and I realize large loans should be avoided if they can.. but sometimes they're just necessary yeah? do any of you have substantial loans that seem like hell and impossible to pay off or is it a good, doable investment with an average nursing salary (not to mention the feeling of being a nurse- it'll be a dream come true for me once I get there )?
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   LiveZen
    Peace Corps is the only one I can offer advice about. I just finished my prereqs and will be starting nursing in March, and was seriously considering the Peace Corps. If you have only federal loans, and no private loans, it would be a good option, as they will defer (not make you make payments on) your federal loans while you are with PC. Private Loans (Sallie Mae, Key Alternative, etc) are a different story. In that case you'd have to check with your loan provider. I have Key Alternative and their max deferrment is six months.

    I'd love to find an organization that would help pay off some loans...that way I could kick the private loan and then just work on the lower interest federal loans. Let me know if you come across anything, I'm looking, too!

    As for lots of students loans, yup, that's me. I started at a private school, as a high school ed major. In January 2006, after two and a half years of that, I transferred to a public school, and that's where i'll be starting nursing. I will have a LOT of loans, from a grand total of six years in school. That's why it's really good that hospitals are offering loan repayment as a perk these days.

    Hope all goes well with you getting into nursing too!
  4. by   californiasky
    Quote from LiveZen
    I will have a LOT of loans, from a grand total of six years in school. That's why it's really good that hospitals are offering loan repayment as a perk these days.
    Yup, I'm looking at 6 or so years of school as well.. oy. I think I saw somewhere on one of these forums that things like sign on bonuses and loan repayments as perks are a sign that the hospital has a high turn over rate, which could mean that the working conditions aren't that favorable.. is that true? I'd never heard that anywhere else, I kinda figured it was pretty standard (er maybe not standard per se, but not unusual)..

    well good luck with nursing school, I'll def let you know if I find any organizations [:
  5. by   LiveZen
    I've heard the same about hospitals with highturnover rates offering a lot of bonuses/loan repayment, but I'm not sure that is always the case.

    I know of a major pediatric medical center anked in the top 10 pediatric hospitals in the country, with cardiac and neonatal programs in the top 5 in the country, that offers loan repayment opportunities. So, it may not necessarily reflect on the hospital.

    Loan repayment is going to be something I will be looking into as I choose a hospital. First I have to start nursing school and graduate! )
  6. by   alem-tsahai
    Not a volunteer job, but...If you work at a VA hospital they will pay up to 40k of your nursing student loans over three years. Not sure exactly how that works out since I've never worked at a VA hospital.

    And be very careful with your loans if you join Peace Corps. I was a volunteer in Africa with eligible federal loans and one of them STILL defaulted despite all the paperwork I sent them (for reasons I still don't understand to this day). It took me YEARS to straighten that out. The federal goverment will make your life a living he!! so be prepared!

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