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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  4. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
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    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. 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. 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.


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