School loans....

  1. With the nursing shortage and people wanting nurses to STAY....i'm thinking that if hospitals would agree to pay off school loans for time worked, that would keep a LOT of people in the profession for longer. I mean my DH and i owe 20K between the 2 of us. That SUCKS.........if someone would pay it off for us in exchange for work we'd GLADLY jump on that bandwagon. Maybe we should have that legislated....
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   GraceyB
    What do you mean pay off loans for time worked? Does that mean that you want your paycheck to pay off loans and you don't take anything home? If I have this wrong, please do clear up what you mean.
  4. by   NsgTiger
    I know of one facility that will match employees loan repayment up to $400 per month! Can be a great deal, however, you must wonder what the working conditions are like for the hospital to have such an offer.
  5. by   SnowymtnRN
    No no....i mean i think that should be an incentive, like sign on bonuses, completion bonuses, etc...it would definitely add some longevity for nursing employment. I think that if a hospital could offer loan repayment up to a certain amount and you agree to work there for a certain legnth of time PLUS salary would make it worthwhile. I mean plenty of places SWEAR they will "pay for you to go to school" .....what about those of us who have already been and didn't have any of those breaks?!?
  6. by   sjoe
    Some do, some don't.

    But your reasoning is faulty. There is no reason to believe this would increase nurse loyalty towards an institution. Once the loan is paid off, what would be the incentive to stay on? The larger the benefit (i.e. the more quickly the loan would be paid off), the sooner the nurse would be likely to leave.

    Not to mention the fact that it would favor those nurses who borrowed money to go to school rather than those who paid their way through in other ways--working, for one.

    AND what business would a state legislature have mandating this employee benefit that clearly would discriminate in favor of one healthcare specialty over all the others?
    Last edit by sjoe on Mar 24, '03
  7. by   memphispanda
    The hospitals here offer to pay loans off, but it may be for new grads only. I am in a diploma program, and our hospital system will pay loans back if we are employed by them at a rate of $250/month for full-time, $125/month for part-time. They don't pay off the interest.
  8. by   llg
    I am interested in the responses to this topic as the hospital I work for has begun considering it. We hesitate to provide this benefit for some of the same reasons mentioned above.

    The bottom line seems to be: if we provide some sort of a loan repayment program, it will, by definition, be a benefit available to only some of our staff. Is it really fair to compensate some nurses (e.g. recent grads with loans) more than others (nurses without loans) for doing the same work? That doesn't sit well with some of us.

    I'm trying to figure out some way to help with loans that does not treat the other nurses unfairly by offering them something, too. The best idea I can come up with is the provision of education dollars (earned like vacation time) to everyone that can be used as the employee sees fit. Some people would use it to help repay existing loans. Others could use it to pay current school bills. Others could use it for continuing education and/or certification exams, etc. I think this would be both a good recruitment incentive and also a good retention strategy.

    The problem with the above idea is that either the amount of educational dollars earned by each employee would have to be very small or the program would be very expensive. So, I have my doubts it will fly.

    llg
  9. by   SnowymtnRN
    You misunderstand me. i think it should be an INCENTIVE to those who have school loans, because in my years i've come to realize that MOST nurses, not all, are borrowed up to their ears to complete their education. Now that said.....i think it would be a GREAT incentive to maintain nurses in the field. And lets say i got a hospital to pay off my school loans over a 4 year term of service agreement. if they did that for me, i'd be more apt to stay WITH them after my agreement was over due to their loyalty to me.

    As for nurses who DON'T have any loans, there should be a longevity type incentive, education dollars, whatever. i didn't mean that those who owed loans deserved incentives over those who don't. Cuz that's DEFINITELY not true. But its hard to work on the average of $18-20 an hour and have enough money to live on AND repay your school loans. that's just reality.

    Hopefully no one is offended and i made my point clear! :-)
  10. by   NurseWeasel
    Hospitals here do it... but generally they give you a flat dollar amount - you can use it to pay off your loans or you can use it for a down payment on a new car, or you can buy some clothes or put Pergo floors in your house... and yet they tout it as "repaying your educational loans" *rolls eyes*

    I know this because I asked. I'm paying my own way through school this time around and didn't want to miss out on the sign-on bonuses and longevity incentives just because I don't have student loans. So it might behoove you to pick up the phone and call around to your local hospitals. Maybe they've got a program you haven't heard about.
  11. by   traumaRUs
    I too live in Illinois and my hospital pays student loans off at $5600/year and tuition reimbursement of $1800/year. This is an incentive for nurses to go back to school. Well worth it too. I'm doing the ADN to MSN route myself.
  12. by   SnowymtnRN
    Hrm....that's a thought. i know my husband works at a university hospital and they pay 100% tuition if he wants to continue his education, which he does, but nothing we've heard about his current loans. I've asked around and a lot of places skoff and shrug off the idea. But its great that many places are doing it now.
  13. by   cindyln
    way back when I finished nursing school I signed a contract to work at a hospital and they paid 1 year of student loans for each year I worked. Alot of hospitals may do that now. YOu just have to check into it.
  14. by   laurasjj
    I don't know if you're actually looking for loan payback, but here is a link to a payback program.
    http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/nursing/loanrepay.htm

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