Pre-Nursing Student in Tulsa - How To Pay Bills During Nursing School

  1. Hi Everyone!

    It's been quite a while since I've posted on here. I live in Tulsa, OK and I'm now 35 years old. Several years ago I was close to starting my pre-reqs at Tulsa Community College and then planned on attending nursing school. Let's just say life happened ( I went through some VERY, VERY hard times) and it never ended up happening. This was close to 6 years ago.

    For years I just thought it wasn't meant to be and then when I fell on really hard times, thought that again as well. What it boils down to is I truly, truly love helping people. It wasn't until I got a part-time job doing in-home senior care as a caregiver that I really again realized how much I want to be a nurse. I wish I had originally majored in this when I went to college the first time.

    Now, I'm back and trying to figure out how to gets things started again. My biggest concern right now and is -

    Question #1: HOW TO SUPPORT MYSELF DURING SCHOOL.

    Basically, I'm a single woman, live on my own, have to support myself (rent, car, food, utilities,etc) completely on my own. This was really the main thing that kept me from being able to start school before. I'm already in the process of paying off all my debts (except for my car and student loans), in a year plan on renting a house and getting a roommate (I'm locked into an apt least right now until next October) and reducing my expenses.

    Also, because of my current credit, I wouldn't be able to take out a personal loan of any kind (although, due to still having student loans from my first B.A. degree to still pay off, I I wouldn't want to). I also think many hospitals in Tulsa offer tuition reimbursement, correct?

    Any advice?

    Specifically from any nurses in Tulsa who were in a very similar situation and how they made it work? It's kind of scary, you know?


    Second question - BEST NURSING SCHOOL PROGRAMS IN TULSA OR SURROUNDING AREAS IN OKLAHOMA?

    Before, I was going to go to TCC. I had enrolled, applied for financial aid, met with an adviser and was set to start my pre-reqs. Is this still one of the best nursing programs in OK?

    Third question - for those of you like me who have a B.A. in a completely unrelated discipline (my current B.A. is in Public Relations), who do your rework your resume to apply for CNA jobs or other hospital jobs to do while in school?

    I know there is a way to do this and I know many in my situation have before, just need to figure out how to do it.


    Thank you for your advice!


    Stephanie
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   alwayslulu
    Honestly, it's rough but it can be done. Many students chose to work a CNA job on the weekends for the bills and do school during the week. It's very difficult but can be done with good time management skills.
  4. by   outriton
    How are you supporting yourself now? I transitioned to working my pre-nursing career job part-time while I was in OU's accelerated BSN program. I also worked as an SAT/ACT tutor and a medical transcriptionist. It takes a lot of discipline, prioritization, and time management, but you can work during nursing school.

    There are also nursing school loans and educational institution-specific loans you can take out. I did that as well. A Perkins nursing loan, which I did take out, can be cancelled after 5 years of work as a nurse in direct patient care. There are other loan repayment/cancellation options if you work in a non-profit setting or with underserved populations. These can be found pretty readily online.

    In addition, the Nurse Corps scholarship pays for nursing school if you commit to working a certain amount of years in facilities that primarily treat underserved populations. There are also lots of other scholarships available for nursing students, including some through the nursing school itself. You just have to look.

    I don't know about OU's Tulsa campus as I was at the OKC campus, but everybody in my class passed the NCLEX on their first try, so I consider that a sign of the quality of the education we received. Don't get me wrong though - I learned A LOT on the job, especially during my first year. OU definitely teaches you the basics and how to deliver safe patient care as a brand new RN though.

    I believe after your first semester of nursing school you qualify for nurse extern jobs. Several people in my class worked at Mercy during nursing school as nurse externs.

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