Life Expenses in Nursing School?

  1. 0 Alright ladies and gents,
    I've fumbled with my academics in the past by trying to balance work and school to keep a roof over my head. I recently lost my job and am getting back on the horse for school. I'll be finishing up my prereqs and applying for a full-blown nursing program at the end of this year. Since I've proven to myself that I do NOT balance work and school with grace, I present you all with the age old question of- how did/do you afford to live while you were/are in nursing school?
    If I want to discontinue working for my time in nursing school, and being that I don't have a degree saving up is not an option, how can I afford housing? Transportation? Food?
    Of course I have already filed my FAFSA and for state tuition funding, I'll apply for scholarships, but what other options are there that don't include a lifetime of interest payments?
    I'd love to know your experience with paying for your living expenses, just because that alone is what I stopped going to school for in the first place a few years back.
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  3. Visit  sarolarn2b profile page

    About sarolarn2b, EMT-B

    sarolarn2b has '6 years in healthcare' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Home Care'. From 'New York, NY, US'; 26 Years Old; Joined Jan '12; Posts: 99; Likes: 13.

    33 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  Slice profile page
    0
    Quote from sarolany
    Alright ladies and gents,
    I've fumbled with my academics in the past by trying to balance work and school to keep a roof over my head. I recently lost my job and am getting back on the horse for school. I'll be finishing up my prereqs and applying for a full-blown nursing program at the end of this year. Since I've proven to myself that I do NOT balance work and school with grace, I present you all with the age old question of- how did/do you afford to live while you were/are in nursing school?
    If I want to discontinue working for my time in nursing school, and being that I don't have a degree saving up is not an option, how can I afford housing? Transportation? Food?
    Of course I have already filed my FAFSA and for state tuition funding, I'll apply for scholarships, but what other options are there that don't include a lifetime of interest payments?
    I'd love to know your experience with paying for your living expenses, just because that alone is what I stopped going to school for in the first place a few years back.
    It is Very Hard to to go to school and work at the same time, i would suggest working part time, or you can file for unemployment. I dont know what state you live in but, as long as your a full time student you should be able to apply for unemployment and be able to get approved.
  5. Visit  meeep profile page
    1
    If its really what you want to do, you can take out student loans to cover living expenses while in school.
    turnforthenurseRN likes this.
  6. Visit  TheCommuter profile page
    2
    LVN program = I lived off unemployment payments for the first six months. I lived off my savings for the last six months. I did not work during that year.

    LPN-to-RN bridge program = I worked 32 hours per week as an LVN in a nursing home while attending the RN completion program. I worked two 16 hour shifts every Saturday and Sunday, which allowed me to have Monday through Friday off to attend school and study.

    I recommend working as a CNA, dietary aide, lab tech, or something while attending school. I do not recommend taking out loans for living expenses because you're going to be in a world of hurt with $50k in student loan debt and a nursing job that you might hate.
    grandpaj and GrnTea like this.
  7. Visit  sarolarn2b profile page
    1
    Of course it is what I really want to do, if I wasn't completely sure of it I wouldn't pursue it! :-P
    Unfortunately, I don't really think that paying for living expenses with student loans is going to work out. What I'm guess I will make annually as a nurse, and for the time being I am definitely single and do not have a dual income household- I just don't think taking out big money in student loans is going to be wise.
    I have not looked into LPN or CNA programs at all, simply because it is more education and more things to pay for and it just seems like another step to get to my bachelor's degree- which I'm already halfway done with.
    Right now I'm trying to find work in a hospital, home care facility, doctor's office- where ever I can, to get some kind of work that will give me some more exposure to nurses and what they do. I have worked in radiology alongside nurses and techs, and I have worked for several years in home care in the nursing department. I am not worried about hating my job as a nurse. If I do hate wherever I am or whatever department I am in, I will be able to change that. I have no doubt that I will love my profession, though. I'm just looking for the most rational way to pay for it without sacrificing my grades or my dignity :-P
    Thanks everyone.
    I'd love to hear what other people did as well
    GrnTea likes this.
  8. Visit  flying_ace2 profile page
    1
    It probably doesn't help, but my fiance is covering all our living expenses while I'm in school so I don't have to work. I've taken out federal (and 2 private!) student loans in order to finance my education, and since I didn't take any loans for my first degree, I've been able to borrow an amount to cover all my school expenses. I am extremely lucky and fortunate to have found a man that's so supportive, because believe me, after struggling to work full time and take/pay for all my pre-reqs by myself, he is literally making my life possible right now. It's not like we're rolling in cash, but I feel very fortunate!!!
    marisela.aguilar likes this.
  9. Visit  catdawg profile page
    0
    Is it possible for you to find work in evening or night shifts? I don't have the option of quitting work. I wish I did but I'm my only supporter. I have two jobs. Fortunately my full time job is 12-8, 4 days per week, and in the morning every other Saturday. So I have my mornings off for class. My part time job is strictly prn so it's easy to schedule around classes. I study on the weekends and always keep a handout of PowerPoint slides with me at my desk. I would definitely look in to alternative shifts, even if they aren't your field. Someone in my class nannies, and a few work in pharmacies on the weekends.
  10. Visit  CLoGreenEyes profile page
    0
    If you can find a job as a receptionist/admin assistant, that would probably double as work and some study time (every job I've had like that has been instrumental in getting good grades, lol).

    Are you able to find a roommate or live with a friend/family while you're in the program? I am living with my mom, still paying my side of the bills, but it is shaving off a good amount of what I'd be paying to live on my own. It's not my favorite arrangement, but I appreciate that she's giving me the chance to get through school without the headaches, and it is a temporary situation.
  11. Visit  sarolarn2b profile page
    0
    catdawg, I am in the same boat as you- I'm the sole provider for myself, I can't really just quit my job (unless I get crazy good financial aid that extends into my living expenses- HA!)
    It's a really good idea to look into alternate shifts, I hadn't put too much thought into it. I would do nannying, but I don't have much in the way of legitimate childcare experience, so I don't really think I'd get hired for it (I did create a sittercity account just in case, though)
    What do your classmates do in a pharmacy?

    carakristin1- if I lived closer to my family I'd definitely stay home, but when I moved away to college back in 06, I never went back home! My life is in another state now, so I'd rather try to stay here than move back- I have spoken to a few school back home though, so it IS an option. A backburner option, but still on the table.

    flying_ace2- thank your lucky stars, girl! You're doing something right :-P good for you though, you drew a good straw with him
  12. Visit  Adele_Michal7 profile page
    1
    It sucked. I, unfortunately, had to work during school. Usually on the weekends, and I remember working at Dunkin Donuts a few hours a week to make ends meet. It was horrific... I remember never having money even for a cup of coffee. I made it work though... If you have to work, try to get shorter shifts that won't tire you out as much-think retail.
    pmabraham likes this.
  13. Visit  flying_ace2 profile page
    0
    Thanks, he's definitely one in a million and I make sure I let him know how amazing he is everyday! It is a drastic change from what I had before we moved in together - I did all my pre-reqs over about 2.5 years and worked full time while doing so. I had to take classes part time, one or two a semester including summers, because there was simply no way for me to go to school full time and still make enough money to support myself (was working in a doctor's office and living by myself at the time). It was tough to have to space the classes out like that, but I am proud that I paid for the vast majority of it myself and only had to take out two small private loans to help with my last semester of pre-reqs. Have you considered going to school part time so that you can still work more hours while doing so? It won't go by as fast as it would for others, but in the end it will still get done.....
  14. Visit  chibiRN profile page
    0
    When I first started nursing school I was working 3 part time jobs (about 50 hours/week combined). I very quickly realized that I was going to do poorly in school if I didn't make some changes. I ended up going down to just 1 job, about 25 hours a week, and in the last 3 semesters i started only working weekends and accepted federal student loans to supplement my income. I graduated with less than 8K in debt and the interest rate on my loans are pretty reasonable (2.5% i believe). My point here is that if you want it bad enough, you'll figure out a way to make it happen that works for you. It won't be easy & you'll be pinching pennies like nobody's business, but it can be done!
    A few of my classmates got unemployment while we were in school, which is fine if that's what you need to do to get through school. I do think that it will help you land a job after school if you can show that you worked at least a part time job while you were in school. Shows good time management and all that jazz. And Bonus points if that part time job is a PCA or something in healthcare!
    Good luck! You can do it!
  15. Visit  sarolarn2b profile page
    0
    Thanks everyone! I think this is only a big deal because I know I've struggled in the past with balancing work and school, I'll really have to cross that bridge when I get accepted (keep your fingers crossed for me), but by the sounds of it, I'm hoping to have a part time job in a hospital by the time I do start nursing school. I really like the idea of alternate shifts or what someone else said about just working mega shifts over the weekends. If I get really lucky with picking my classes and rotations maybe I can even manage to work a day or two during the week. @chibiRN AWESOME that you have less than 8k in debt! That is nothing these days!
    I definitely don't think I'll have enough in savings by the time I start nursing school to be able to live off of it (by which I mean I definitely won't), and I'd rather keep doors open to make a name for myself in the workforce as a reliable employee, hopefully keeping opportunities to land a job after graduating. I live in the NY metro area right now and I know it's near impossible to land a hospital job as a new grad! I'll definitely consider relocating if I can't get work here out of school, but I'd rather do what I can to ensure that I do.
    I don't have a family or a husband or anything to take care of right now, so working and school should be doable, and you're only young once, right? No rest for the weary lol
    Thank you all for your input


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