Tons of student loans, pursue DNP still?

  1. 1
    hello all,

    it's been quite some time since i've posted on here. i am currently a rn, bsn that graduated last august. i have been employed as an rn for almost 9 months now. i am looking to further my degree and move into the position i've always wanted to be, that is a family nurse practitioner. so, here i am now, looking to pursue my degree and i think i'd rather just go for the dnp degree rather than the msn in fnp. i've already checked into quite a few programs and am very interested in them.... my issue?

    well, i already have a ton of student loans from when i was in nursing school to attain my bsn (it was accelerated, so i had to take out private loans for living expenses). i really don't want to add more student loans, but if i want to pursue my dream, i think i'm going to have to. yes, i've already looked into tuition reimbursement at my employer (which they don't for this profession because they have too many), and scholarships.... but none of that is guaranteed anyhow.....

    the other thing i don't know is, how much time does graduate school take per class for studies and homework? is it like nursing school was: for every 1 hour in class, there are 2-3 hours of studying and homework? i am still working full time and i will continue to work full time, but i also have two younger children that i don't want to be absent from (like i felt i was during nursing school).

    any advice?

    thanks so much!
    Joe V likes this.
  2. 18,443 Visits
    Find Similar Topics
  3. 65 Comments so far...

  4. 10
    Why don't you take a year or two break from school to give yourself the opportunity to become proficient in the staff nurse role before going back to school. You could use that time to pay down that debt -- maybe by working a little overtime now that you don't have school responsibilities. You have 2 little children you are responsible for. Don't give yourself such a big mountain of debt that it will crush you for decades. Slow down a little and pay off most of one bill before you run up another bill.

    Yes, graduate school can require as much homework as undergrad. It all depends on the particular program and course. In addition, graduate tuition is usually significantly more expensive than undergrad tuition.
  5. 8
    Hello, I am a BSN to DNP student, with a three yer old, an $45,000 in undergrad loans. I would NOT suggest someone in a similar situation go from their BSN to the DNP. get yours masters of you can, work as an NP for a year or two, the. Go back for your DNP. let me tell you that I am financially ruined bc of this. I am completing over 1500 clinical hours and can barely work. I have a negative balance in my checking account and so many loans that I will never make enough money to make this worth while. I regret my decision daily, but am too far in to quit now! I am supposed to graduate in may 2013. If you want to PM me, I can give you more details. This is not me being a big baby, this is the hard truth!
  6. 0
    Sorry for the typos... Typed that from my phone! I read it and I sound like an idiot!!
  7. 0
    Quote from llg
    why don't you take a year or two break from school to give yourself the opportunity to become proficient in the staff nurse role before going back to school. you could use that time to pay down that debt -- maybe by working a little overtime now that you don't have school responsibilities. you have 2 little children you are responsible for. don't give yourself such a big mountain of debt that it will crush you for decades. slow down a little and pay off most of one bill before you run up another bill.

    yes, graduate school can require as much homework as undergrad. it all depends on the particular program and course. in addition, graduate tuition is usually significantly more expensive than undergrad tuition.
    thank you for your response. i suppose you have a good point.... but i am already bored at my current position.... i am very ambitious and eager to learn more! i just don't want to lose my dreams just because of the student loans...... hmmmm, not sure.
  8. 1
    Quote from dnpstudent
    hello, i am a bsn to dnp student, with a three yer old, an $45,000 in undergrad loans. i would not suggest someone in a similar situation go from their bsn to the dnp. get yours masters of you can, work as an np for a year or two, the. go back for your dnp. let me tell you that i am financially ruined bc of this. i am completing over 1500 clinical hours and can barely work. i have a negative balance in my checking account and so many loans that i will never make enough money to make this worth while. i regret my decision daily, but am too far in to quit now! i am supposed to graduate in may 2013. if you want to pm me, i can give you more details. this is not me being a big baby, this is the hard truth!
    thank you. from my comparison, the msn and dnp are pretty much the same tuition... i wonder if maybe i just go part time in the beginning. i feel that i'd be spending even more in student loans by doing the msn then later the dnp route (actually, i don't think subsidized/unsubsidized will cover post graduate if i return for my dnp after already attaining my msn.)
    lindarn likes this.
  9. 2
    As some of the other users have posted, you may want to save as much of your own money as possible, assure that your kids are well taken care of(not to say they are not). But, you may want to wait until they're in school, as you can have a more set routine & not worry too much throughout the day with their success in learning and attachment needs.
    After you've saved enough to carry you through the last semesters of graduate school, which can be another 3 or 4 years added onto your MSN, you can return to school & be successful. Your main priority should be the needs of your children. Being that you have a major concern with financial ability at this time, possibly waiting it out until your employer is willing to provide reimbursement assistance is major. You're only 9 months into your current position. You have not learned enough as a Staff Nurse and have no invested enough time for your employer to be willing to offer tuition assistance.
    Being ambitious is great. But, don't be your worse enemy with your future success. Leaving a job right now after 9 months would be naive.
    sailornurse and lindarn like this.
  10. 4
    put the loans on deferral, then after graduation, or right before you graduate, put the public loans on income based repayment so your payments are super low for awhile. Just get it done and do not go to a private university DNP program. The kids and your time with them with either suffer now or later, it is best not to bring your kids up in poverty so the higher your income, the better you can provide for them. Work as long as you can prior to clinicals starting.
  11. 10
    Unlike other debt, student loans will haunt you forever. They are not erased with bankrupcy, and typically cannot be renegotiated. I've heard of cases where people have paid twice or three times their original debt because their payments first go toward interest, then toward principal. Depending on what kind of student loans you have, you may be responsible to make payments even while you're in grad school.

    Grad school may actually be worse than undergrad for the time needed to study. Think about your nursing school class, now take the top 25% or so: these are the type of people in your grad school class (or top 5% if you're in a highly competitive program... maybe top 40% if you're in a less competitive program--but you get the picture). You may find yourself at a disadvantage with only 9 months work experience, not just for the academics, but when you're applying for jobs many employers want to see years of experience along with the NP degree.

    It's likely you have $40,000 or more in undergrad debt. A respected yet inexpensive DNP program might cost $75,000 to well over $100K. Add that to your undergrad debt and it could be financially crippling. How will you help pay your kids' college tuition, buy a house, a car, or have any disposible income if you're straddled with so much debt?

    Dreams are one thing, but whether you're dreaming of a vacation in Tahiti, a new Porsche, or a different career, the reality of paying for those dreams sometimes makes them unrealistic--at least for the time, being.

    You don't have to give up the dream, but consider postponing it until you have more nursing experience and some money in the bank.
    Irish_Mist, CCRNDiva, sailornurse, and 7 others like this.
  12. 11
    Part of the reason people can't make up their minds on what to do this that people try to be multiple things in this world. For example, many people want to be "Super Parent", super student, super career-driven worker, etc. all at the same time and spread themselves thin as a direct result. You have to pick one, and the other aspects of your life will suffer. Its either the kids, money, career, or further education, you just have to pick one and go with whatever the good or bad consequences may be.


Top