Hello. I plan on starting an ADN program Fall '13. I don't want to discuss the love for nursing or other intangible perks of the job - just the financial aspects. When I tell people I plan on being a nurse, they almost always say something about making great money, but is the money really that good? It's almost like some people think nurses are rich or something, but in reality it seems like they make pretty average money without 20+ experience. I'm no financial expert so feel free to correct everything I'm wrong about.
First of all, nursing school takes about 2.5 yrs. Most people I know say its a full time job and working is out of the question. Thus by pursuing nursing, one is essentially "losing" 2.5 years of pay. If you assume it takes 6 months to find a job, that is a 3 year time investment. At 15k/yr, that's 45k. With 3% compounding interest, I think it's about $50k of "lost" money. At 3% interest this is about $125/month
Now comes to cost of nursing school. Depending on the school, it can be anywhere from $10k to $30k. My cousin paid about $22k at a local health sciences college (community colleges were almost impossible to get into). At 15k, thats about $175/month to pay back loans.
Nurses start off at ~$19/hr around here (south) - about $35,500....gross $25k?
$25k gross - $2100 ($175 x 12) loans = $22,900 net. That isnt much money to live on considering all the time invested and physical/mental stress of the job. You also don't have $50,000 in the bank due to being in school. I'm not sure how long it would take to make up the $50k difference...I guess it would depend on how much money you would be making not doing nursing.
What do you think?
Oct 6, '12
Pennsylvania government statistics for 2009 or maybe it was 2010 said that the average RN earns $63,000 / year. Starting pay here is about $22/hr. Average LPN pay was around $42,000/year. Starting pay for them was about $15/hr. But, there are some LPN nursing home jobs that pay up to $21 or $22.hr, in Beaver and Allegheny counties. And some hospitals (like The Washington Hospital) pay CNAs up to $14-$15/hr. So, what a lot of people here do is get the LPN for about $12,000 that they pay for themselves, then work that job part-time while getting their diploma RN and the employer pays for it, then bridge to BSRN, again using tuition reimbursement from the employer. And thus they do not have huge debts. Some go the CNA route, and work part time as CNAs while attending college for ADRN or BSRN. Some of those got a partial tuition reimbursement as well as promise of a RN job later. There are nursing homes here that pay you $8/hr while you train to get your CNA license, then maybe $10/hr to work as CNA (In a small town, but Pittsburgh region pays more like $12-$15.)
Based on a standard 2000 hour man-year, $22/hr = $44,000 gross
$15/hr starting LPN = $30,000/ year gross
(2000 hours is 40/week x 50 weeks, 2 weeks unpaid vacation, I guess.)
Last edit by Streamline2010 on Oct 6, '12