Hello Everyone, I am asking for help with my pre-nursing dilemma. I have just recently graduated in September of last year with my Bachelor's degree in Business Administration for Health care Management. I have always wanted to be a nurse since I was a little girl.
I have over $40k dollars in loans right now and it looks like for my nursing it'll be another $40k due to me not having done the prerequisite course work. I am a single mother of one (1) and have been on a vigorous search for employment so that I could work and pay as much off my loans as possible before starting school again, with no luck. I have looked into Scholarships.com and not much help there since I didn't take the ACT or SAT. My college accumulated GPA is 2.95, the college I just graduated from was a 3.0.
I am to apply to the nursing program of my first choice on Feb. 1 at Mount Carmel School of Nursing. With my application I am to include a written essay answering "as a future nurse, what do I think I could I contribute to nursing" but I have writers block because I'm so worried about if this would be a good thing to do the nursing program now or if I should wait. I am 26 yrs old and my goal was to be done with school (outside of the refreshers to stay up-to-date) before my daughter started school, shes 2 yrs 7 mos. I feel like my goal will have to wait because of the financial stress I am going through right now with no job to pay on my current loans and then the loans that would come with the nursing program and prerequisites. When I had done research before choosing the degree I currently have there was a high demand in and surrounding areas of Columbus, Ohio for entry level candidates with a BS; but that was in 2010 now they want experienced individuals with my degree now. I've tried jobs that anyone with a H.S Diploma should get and they will not hire me because I'm overly qualified with my experience in C.S and education.
Is anyone else having a similar dilemma? Or ideas?
Last edit by Joe V on Jan 28, '13
: Reason: spacing
Jan 26, '13
Hi! Was just reading your message. Anyway, I have a friend who already acquired a bachelors degree and she was not allowed to get a student loan. Now she is paying her tuition out of her pocket. If you really want to go back to school to be a nurse, just go to any community colleges. It is way much cheaper. I just had an interview and I found out that the associate nursing degree is going to cost me almost $8,000.00 and then for BSN, you have to go back to school for 18 months and that program will also cost you another 18,000...University colleges cost...Hope this helps!
Jan 26, '13
Wow this is something I am going to have to look into further. I think the financial aid dept of Mount Carmel School Nursing should be able to give me some insight into if I can get fa or not for my BSN. Thanks for your reply.
Jan 26, '13
We couldn't be more similar! I have a previous BS in an unrelated field. I decided about half a year ago I wanted to go back to school for nursing. The problem: I have about 40k in debt and I'm uncertain how I would be able to get another 30k loan. I am also in the Ohio area (outside of Cleveland). From what I understand, the BSN is the degree most hospitals want, so that's my end goal.
I go back and forth between the community college and university idea.The community college is a lot cheaper, but I'll only end up with an ADN. I could always do an ADN - BSN online program and save money; however, it would be much more convenient to just do the straight BSN program. I decided that I would at least try to apply to Cleveland State University. If I got accepted I would figure out the financial mess later. If not, I would go the community college route and then do an online program.
So unfortunately, as we're in the same boat, I can't offer you much advice. My biggest advice is to at least take the pre-reqs at a community college because it's so much cheaper. Maybe think about an online ADN - BSN course. The community college in my area is about $8,000 and the university about $30,000. The online option, together with the previous ADN degree, totals around $18,000.
Have you thought about deferring student loans? From what I understand, you are allowed to defer student loans for a maximum of three years and only once. This might allow you to take out additional loans. I am personally looking into this option. Seeing as the BSN program I want is three years in length, that deferment period might give me a chance at this.
Another option: I'm guessing you maxed out your federal student loans. If you were considered a dependent at the time, as an independent now (over age 24), you may be able to tap into the independent federal limit.
Final thought: Don't give up!!!!! I know how it feels to have a change of heart in what you want to do in life. If you're passionate about nursing, then you will become a nurse one way or another.
Last edit by ruby1989 on Jan 26, '13
: Reason: typos
Jan 26, '13
Wow, your situation sounds similar to mine. I maxed out on student loans when I obtained by Bachelors so when I wanted to go back to school to pursue a career in nursing, I had to pay out of pocket. My adivce is go with the cheaper option but then again that's me.
Good luck to you.
Jan 26, '13
Thank you to all for helping me know that I am not the only person in this financial boat. I'm honestly unsure how my loans work I must still be able to receive fa they sent me a request to update my fasfa for this year. I am very passionate on becoming an RN, plus I had made a promise to my grandfather I would become an RN. He knew how much I have always wanted to be a nurse. I'm just wondering with how things are right now with trying to find work with my current degree how hard it will be for me to find a job with my RN in my area. Jobs are so scarce here in Columbus, OH; unless you have some experience but not to much or they won't hire you cause they'd have to pay more. I think I'll contact the company I have my current loans for and see what they say on how much more I could borrow. Then the major question once that's figured out and if I can continue my education to receive my BSN is once I graduate would I be able to find a job that will help me support myself and my daughter along with paying all that money back in loans. They never really did prepare me in High school for the burden people carry just to continue there education and the toll it can have on you.
Thanks again for the replies and someone else to talk to that understands.
Good luck to you all on your furture plans and endeavors.
Jan 26, '13
The financial aidissue isn't the fact that you have a bachelors, but how many credits you have.
Look up the Satisfactory Academic Requirements of Fed financial aid. You can only receive aid if you have less than 150% of the number of credits required to graduate with the degree you're pursuing. So if you go back to a community college for an ADN that requires 60 credits, you can only receive aid if you have less than 90 hours. You cannot have less than 90 if you have a bachelors, so you probably wouldn't qualify if your school is following the rules.
A 120 credit BSN opens you up for financial aid up to 180 credits, so there's more flexibility that way.
Grants have their own limitations ( not available for 2 year degrees once you have a 4 year, etc).
Jan 27, '13
I don't understand why you earned a degree in HCM if your goal was to become a nurse. You must be under a lot of financial stress as an unemployed single mom. It's going to be really hard to find a decent job if they think you are a short-timer, and only staying till school starts again. And do you really want to have $80k in debt that you Will have hanging over your head for the next 20-30 years? But, if you are going to go back to school, consider an entry level MSN.
Jan 27, '13
There are schools in where you can earn your second degree when you already have a BA in another field. There might be a few pre-requisites but not as bad. Look that up and compare it to just an ADN at a CC. See what better fits you. Good luck!
Jan 28, '13
I would definitely take cc courses instead of university and take enough hours to defer current payments. Pay for your new schooling out of pocket with the payments you would have been making to loans. Then when you have paid for new schooling, keep paying on your loans by "applying to principal". That way you can reduce loans while in school. If you get decent grades you can still qualify for CC scholarships and such.
Jan 28, '13
Hate to be Debbie Downer here - - but...
Withe the OP's GPA, it may be a struggle getting accepted into a reasonably priced nursing program.
Wouldn't it be horrible to take out additional $40k in loans, struggle through your BSN, and then find yourself in exactly the same boat (unable to find a job)? Only now, you'd have doubled your student loan burden. That is definitely a probability unless the job outlook changes dramatically in the next couple of years. The poor job outlook just does not justify this level of financial risk, especially for a single mom.
My advice - secure employment with your current degree. Pay off some of those loans and build up some economic security for yourself. You can take nursing pre-requisite classes at a local CC during this time. Later on, when you have improved your GPA and have some savings, you can take another run at nursing if that is what you really want to do. The job market may have changed by then.
Jan 29, '13
I have a bachelor's degree and decided to go back to school to become a nurse. I decided to do the community college route since I have about 40K in student loans too. I decided that the student loans I took out in undergrad were the last student loans i was going to take out. EVER. That's one of the reasons why I didn't go straight to grad school.
I was going to do RN at a local community college, but the waiting lists here are beyond ridiculous. I decided that I would do a LPN program first at another school (I'm going to start that in August. Right now I'm finishing my pre-reqs.) I get lottery assistance (I'm in SC) and I'm paying for that out of pocket.
I will continue my nursing education after I complete my LPN diploma. A lot of people question my decision, but until they maintain the bills in my household, and finance my education, I'm going to do what fits my life journey and my finances.
I wish you the best, and hope you find a solution that is good for you, your child, and your finances.
Jan 29, '13
My recommendation would be to find a job and start paying down your present loans before taking out any more loans. There is no immediate date in which you need to be a RN; we have students in our Master's Entry program who started college in the 1970s.
The general rule of thumb is that you should not owe more than what you can expect to earn as your first year annual salary.
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