Was your education worth it?

  1. 0
    Hi all,

    This post is particularly about the financial aspect of nursing & becoming a nurse. I'm a pre-nursing major (sophmore) & have already had to take out several student loans.

    Has anyone else had to take out loans while working towards their degree? How successful were you at paying them back? Was it worth it?

    I know college can be looked at as in "investment", yet I'm so stressed about this because I really want to be a nurse, but then again I'm afraid of the debt I will accumulate & not being able to pay it back.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated!

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  2. 48 Comments...

  3. 2
    I think for me it has paid off. I have to work 1 Extra shift a month to pay my monthly student loan payments, But with what I make as a RN I can live comfortably, I drive a new car and pay a mortgage all by myself. If my husband did not work we would still be able to survive pretty well. No I would not be able to afford a BMW or live in the richest neighborhood, but i still would be able to make ends meet. I came from a home where we lived off food stamps and general relief. So I can pretty much live off bare minimum.

    Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.com
    lpnhereicome and AJJKRN like this.
  4. 0
    I'm curious about how much you owe, but that's not something you have to answer, and I'm not asking. I just graduated in December, and I've looked at how to pay back my loans, and what I could do if I was REALLY serious about paying it off in a short amount of time. I owe double what other new grads owe because it took me a while to get into nursing school, and unfortunately, I had one bad memory (it's on another thread) I wish I could undo. That said, if my better half and I treated my loans like car payments, essentially we'd be making 2 payments on 2 new cars. I could've paid my loans off in 3 years if I had stayed at home, but I like that I've moved out and moving forward.

    I can say right now that with my current full-time job and if I decided to work agency part-time for a year, I would completely kill my private student loan (with all my agency money going to paying down my loan), and if I did it for another year, all of my federal loans would be gone. Even without the second job, I can still live rather comfortably. It would just take a bit longer to pay off my loans.
  5. 5
    Maybe people should be afraid of debt. Student loans are handed out like candy because you have to pay them back. Schools are able to get away with outrageous tuition because of easy loans.
    That is why community college is so popular and hard to find a spot in a nursing program. I paid for my 2 years at CC while living at home with my parents. My $4/hr CNA job paid for all my tuition, books, fees.
    What about taking a part time job and paying as you go?
  6. 5
    Sure. It cost me $2,600 and 9 months to become and RN. Now I make well into six figures. Very worth it. However I see these new young nurses who graduated from expensive nursing programs and owe $50K or even more. They of course start at the bottom of the pay scale and struggle to make ends meet. They end up working just to pay their loans while continuing to live with their parents. It's demoralizing for them. Remember they are the lucky ones who were able to find jobs. Plenty of new grads struggle to get that first job. I would not go into a lot of debt for nursing school.
  7. 0
    I owe $4000 for my ASN, and was started off a week after graduating making more than 11x that in salary- very much worth it! But I feel badly for my friends who owe so much for their BSNs. We make the same but I'm able to save more and live a little more loosely due to nearly no debt. When I begin my RN to BSN this upcoming spring, I will be making enough to pay as I go. So yes, end result: totally worth the investment!
  8. 1
    Yes and no. I make more in a month than my degree cost, but I'm still underpaid for what I do. All nurses are.
    Race Mom likes this.
  9. 4
    As others here have suggest, it depends on the details. Are you talking about a $10,000 loan or a $100,000 loan? There is a huge difference. Too many people hear "It's OK to take out a student loan" ... and think that means that they can afford to take out HUGE loans that end up crippling them for life.

    In reality ... "Yes, student loans can be a good thing to do... but they are not always a good thing to do." You need to be sensible about the amount. And you need to understand that you will need to make sacrifices in other areas of your life to pay them off.


    Do your financial homework and figure out how to pay for your education in a way that won't cripple you financially for the rest of your life. Limit the amount of loans that you take out. That may mean going to school part time for a while as you work at another job to make money. etc. Sit down with a paper and pencil (or use a computer spreadsheet) and calculate it all out. Find out how much your monthly payments will be on any loan you take out. Find out how much you can expect to earn/take home from the types of jobs you can reasonably expect to get with your degree. etc.

    You need to know all those details before you can make an informed decision.
  10. 4
    Every single dang dime. I finished grad school (a real brick-and-mortar school with a thesis research requirement) pregnant c number 2 and didn't finish paying off the loan for it until he was in first grade. And that has opened doors for me ever since. (He's a working nuke engineer now).

    "Education is a companion which no misfortune can depress, no crime can destroy, no enemy can alienate, no despotism can enslave. At home, a friend; abroad, an introduction; in solitude, a solace; and in society, an ornament. It chastens vice, it guides virtue, it gives at once grace and government to genius. Without it, what is man? A splendid slave, a reasoning savage."
    -- Joseph Addison
  11. 0
    I managed to get thru with scholarships and tuition reimbursement. However, I do think you could sit down and calculate the cost/benefit and come up with a solution. Might need help from financial advisor or some other professional. In most situations you figure how long you have to go to school plus how long it takes to pay back the debt. Then include how many years you expect to work. Subtract and you will know how many years you will be working debt free.


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