Financing change of career to nursing

  1. I am currently working in the accounting field in which I carry a Bachelors degree. This was a plan B career-nursing was always my firs t choice, but I could not work full-time and go to nursing school full time when I was going through a divorce 15 years ago and had a 3 yr old son. In the Chicago, IL area, there is no night program for nursing students getting an RN either part time or full time.

    Well now that my son is almost 18, I am planning on entering a nursing program in 2009. I am taking my science pre-reqs now. At that point, I will be on my own and won't be caring for anyone but myself. However, I will need to quit my 9-5 job (and all it's benefits) in order to attend nursing school. Since I don't believe my employer will let me flex my hours around it since it is not work related, I will need to find a job that I can do around my school schedule, such as a nurses aide, since I cannot get any accounting jobs in the evenings/weekend.

    Has anyone else had to make a transition from 9-5 corporate environment to full-time school days working nights full time? Since I don't have a husband, will need a car soon as mine is on it's last legs, and I will have bills and my son will be in college -I cannot work part time. How did you finance nursing school and rent, insurance, health insurance, credit card bills, car loans, etc.......?

    Any advice?
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   grenada
    Did you look into Governor State University's BSN program?
  4. by   grenada
    Did you look into Governor State University's BSN program? It's in University Park - about 30 minutes from Chicago. They have a part-time program and cater to working adults.

    Sorry about multiple post.
    Last edit by grenada on Sep 15, '07 : Reason: additional info
  5. by   ♪♫ in my ♥
    Quote from fgreen
    I am currently working in the accounting field in which I carry a Bachelors degree. This was a plan B career-nursing was always my firs t choice, but I could not work full-time and go to nursing school full time when I was going through a divorce 15 years ago and had a 3 yr old son. In the Chicago, IL area, there is no night program for nursing students getting an RN either part time or full time.

    Well now that my son is almost 18, I am planning on entering a nursing program in 2009. I am taking my science pre-reqs now. At that point, I will be on my own and won't be caring for anyone but myself. However, I will need to quit my 9-5 job (and all it's benefits) in order to attend nursing school. Since I don't believe my employer will let me flex my hours around it since it is not work related, I will need to find a job that I can do around my school schedule, such as a nurses aide, since I cannot get any accounting jobs in the evenings/weekend.

    Has anyone else had to make a transition from 9-5 corporate environment to full-time school days working nights full time? Since I don't have a husband, will need a car soon as mine is on it's last legs, and I will have bills and my son will be in college -I cannot work part time. How did you finance nursing school and rent, insurance, health insurance, credit card bills, car loans, etc.......?

    Any advice?
    I'm doing it with savings accumulated over many years of planning for such a change. It appears that I'll be working 70-hr weeks out of town for a few months before the program begins in order to save more money.

    Advice: Get rid of the debt. Sell off any cars that carry loans and drive something used. Retire the credit card debt. Consider getting a roommate. Minimize your insurance. Your medical insurance may be problematic because you may find you need COBRA which is insanely expensive. Look into the cost of a private major medical plan. Some schools have health centers where you can get low-cost basic care and then use the major-medical for serious stuff.
  6. by   MidLifeRN2012
    Quote from gnadaa
    Did you look into Governor State University's BSN program? It's in University Park - about 30 minutes from Chicago. They have a part-time program and cater to working adults.

    Sorry about multiple post.
    Thanks for the info, however, this is an RN to BSN program--part time and flexible only if you alreay have an RN. I am an accountant. I need to start from scratch.
  7. by   kcalohagirl
    I don't know what your debt situation is from your first degree. I was really lucky to get my first Bachelor's degree debt free. So I qualified for loans. No grants, but loans. I worked part time while I was in nursing school. I do know people who worked full time. I give them a huge standing ovation, because I don't think I could have done it! I was able to pay for my year of prereqs at a community college out of pocket while working full time as a bartender/waitress. Nursing classes were more challenging, so I took out approx. $10,000 a year in loans, got some scholarship $$, and worked part time as an aide once I finished my first semester of nursing school.

    If you can work as an aide, sometimes there are some decent options. One coworker worked 3pm-3am shifts 3 nights a week, qualified for benefits, etc. Some hospitals will give you a stipend while you are in school if you commit to work for them after graduation.

    There are a ton of options out there. Explore everything you can. You can find a way to finance this. Good luck1
  8. by   MB37
    First of all, figure out what all the programs are in your area. Know that with a previous bachelor's, you can apply to an accelerated 2nd degree BSN program if there are any around you. Where I am, prereqs are fairly easy to fit into your schedule - you can take almost all of them online, and even if you had to change jobs you could probably work full time while taking them. Now, micro and A&P are very demanding time-wise, so if you need to work full time for a while longer to save some money you might want to spread your prereqs out over a few semesters since grades tend to be VERY important in getting into any nursing program. Start cutting costs, eliminating debt, etc. while you're getting your prereqs done. Try to put away a certain % of your paycheck each month, as much as you can afford, so you'll have something for emergencies.

    Next, look into paying for school itself. With a previous bachelors, you are completely ineligible for any type of government grants. You can apply for private scholarships, but many want you to already be a nursing student. I'm paying for my ABSN program with all loans, although I paid cash for all my prereqs since I went part time and worked full time. I am married, which even limited the amount of loans we could get - you won't have that problem - but I do have more money coming in from his FT job.

    Something you really ought to look into is whether any of the hospitals in your area offer tuition reimbursement to employees. Many here will pay your entire tuition (CC or public school), plus a small amount towards books, in return for a 16 hr/week commitment in any capacity at the hospital (aide, janitorial, unit clerk, whatever). I believe you have to agree to work for them after you graduate though as well, so you'd want to get that aide job and try it out for a while before you accept any money from them. One hospital by me offers a great scholarship program - it's competitive, but they give it to 2 employees (6 mo. minimum) each year: they pay 100% tuition, 100% books, and PAY YOU for a 40-hour work week, plus full benefits. You work 16 hours/week for the hospital, and agree to work for them for one year for each year you accepted the scholarship. I didn't know about it until our orientation, and you had to already be an employee to apply.

    There are tons of options out there to finance school. If you need to take out loans, take out loans. Many hospitals will also offer to repay some/all for you, again for signing a contract to work there for a certain amount of time. What program you choose makes a difference too. CCs tend to be more willing to work with adults who have jobs, and ABSN programs are the hardest to work at all in. However, with an ABSN, you may be finished in as little as a year. Despite what they tell you, a lot of my classmates work part time and a few work full. I just gave notice at my job, but I worked all through first semester. My husband is making more money now so I could afford to quit, but if I needed my job to make rent I'd still be doing fine. I'm quitting so I can get more sleep and save my sanity, but you can always worry about those when you graduate. Start looking into all options now, and you'll be able to figure something out. Keep us posted!

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