Just looking for some cheering up...
Tonight I went back and read my first post on this website from 2009. I had just transferred to a 4-year college and my GPA was terrible and I had very little healthcare experience, but I did have a dream of someday becoming a nurse (not a FNP--getting into any nursing program at all seemed impossible at the time!). Fast forward 'til now...I've been accepted to three incredible, top-ranking schools; two of the best in the world.
Yet, when my first financial aid package arrived I realized that as hard as I've worked and as far as I've come, this will likely be an impossible dream. I simply cannot afford to attend nursing school. As other accepted students in my cohort received their award packages, they've had similar reactions. I have been in shock for the past week. There have been many tearful conversations with my family, as we are all struggling.
I'm feeling silly and foolish for getting so far ahead of myself, for dreaming big, for applying to programs with huge price tags and thinking that things would just...work themselves out. I know that if I keep trying, eventually I might get there--maybe not those schools, maybe not any time soon--but right now I just want to give up on that altogether.
Guess I wanted to post here because my friends and family who haven't been through the ringer applying to nursing school are trying hard to be supportive, but they can't relate. I could use some words of wisdom and encouragement, and a "chin up! Keep trying!" from someone who's been there before.
Mar 1, '12
I feel you, AniLMT. All the DE programs have a hefty pricetag, and anyone who decides to attend one (myself included) is taking a risk. I don't think there's anything wrong with stopping to reevaluate and consider cheaper options. They certainly are out there! There's always ADN programs, in state ADN-BSN or ADN-MSN programs, etc.
While I feel somewhat okay about my decision to attend a DE program, it's only because I know psych NPs are in high demand. I'm also attending a program that will allow me to have in-state tuition after one year. Still, I'm certain my debt be 100k+ by the time I'm through. Since I'm relatively young (mid 20s), I'm willing to do this. I am hopeful that HRSA loan repayment will exist when I graduate. Honestly, I think you're very wise to stop and consider other options, seriously.
Mar 2, '12
Have you looked at your state schools? I know it may be a longer process, but you can get there a lot cheaper.
I realized my chances of getting financial aid were slim to none when I decided to go into nursing. Which is one reason I have been saving money like mad. I only applied to one school for the Fall, which I didn't get into. I figure it is a chance for me to continue saving and also apply to other programs, many of which are much cheaper.
Mar 2, '12
Loans are OK - if you manage them correctly. And there are good loan repayment options out there. I work FT to support a family of 5, go to school part-time, and am doing it... it's not always easy, but it can be done
Even at a private school (sometimes the state DNP programs are similar in cost). I have a coworker who sacrificed for 3 years, but saved and paid for college out of pocket through a payment plan.
Mar 19, '12
Do not give up! I will be paying the rest of my life....no kidding! Putting my MSN, and PhD together, I will owe > 100K when I graduate
It is worth every penny! Maybe the government will excuse our loans (just wishing). With the nursing faculty shortage, they should forgive our loans. I do love teaching, unfortunately, the pay is terrible.
Mar 19, '12
The debt may be large, but what would your monthly payments be? Ask your creditor to calculate it out for you. Even with very large debt, your payments may be relatively small. You may be paying on it forever, but if it's manageable and will make for a better quality of life, it may be worth it.
And could you clarify your post--you've gotten your BSN recently and want to go immediately for your FNP? It sounds that way if you just transferred to a four year college two years ago. Try working as a bedside RN a little while longer--is there a reason you're in such a hurry to be an FNP? Once you get more experience and know what your tolerance levels for work are, maybe you can pull a ton of overtime and save up for grad school. Or, other options might for flexibly earning money might present themselves in the workplace and through networking with other RNs.
Have you considered working for a hospital that's affiliated with a good school? I teach at a university hospital, and they offer a two-thirds tuition discount for employees who are at least 60%. The best nursing schools are typically going to be affiliated with highly regarded hospitals.
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