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ABSN Loan Considerations and Advice

Students   (308 Views 4 Comments)
by jleegato jleegato (Member)

38 Likes; 161 Visitors; 24 Posts

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Hello everyone. First off, thank you taking the time to click and read through my post. I would imagine that the title of my post resonated with those of you who have either had similar concerns (and met them head on while working as RNs presently) or are going through those concerns at this time in preparation for your schooling! Congrats, by the way 🙂.

Anyway, I am preparing for several kinds of programs - basically whichever one I get into and will prepare me for the richest experiences and opportunities post-nursing school. I've applied to (1) ADN programs, (2) accelerated BSN programs, and (3) entry-level/direct-entry master's level nursing programs. 

As the title of this post suggests, my concern is in regards to money, and more specifically, loans. I live in California, and the majority of the programs I've applied to reside in or near greater cities in our state, save for two schools which are out-of-state. Anyway, my top two choices are in California. One happens to be an ABSN, while the other an entry-level MSN program. The schools will set me back 50,000 and 85,000 in private loans, respectively. These values nominally-speaking include virtually all expenses (tuition, extraneous educational costs, rent, board, gas, insurance, unforeseen emergencies). 

I don't feel particularly young anymore at 30. And while I've enjoyed an exciting and non-linear job path thus far in life, I would definitely like some advice from my fellow students and/or RNs who could give me some realistic advice.

50,000 in loans is no joke. But I've also read it is manageable. Your thoughts on the matter are most appreciated!

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21 Likes; 32 Visitors; 7 Posts

That's a substantial amount of debt.  You shouldn't pay more than 1/2 year's salary for the education that it takes to obtain it. It also depends on your CURRENT financial status. If you have no nest egg and need to borrow everything for school, then you should choose the least expensive program possible that gets you to RN.  You have to also account for the time lost NOT working while you're in school, this is where the major debt lies for us non-traditional students.  I left a $45K/yr job to pursue nursing. I was fairly confident that I could get into my local state university's program and not have to pay for a private college. I did, and my tuition is around $3K/semester plus books/expenses times four = roughly $15K for the program but $90K in lost wages. I have some savings, though and working husband. It's hard to answer your question without more information- but figure out what your monthly repayment will be in the future (say maybe $500/mo) and then figure out what sort of lifestyle you want to live until you pay it off.  Then, make sure you're committed to both finishing the program and also getting licensed and working. I'll be honest, I'm not going into nursing b/c I'm passionate about it. I'm going into nursing because I'm intelligent and was stunted in professional growth with my previous career.  Nursing offers good pay and room for growth, as well as a challenge.   

Edited by BSNbound21
grammar

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206 Likes; 2 Followers; 5,519 Visitors; 936 Posts

My experience is that people who borrow money for living expenses as an adult student end up regretting it. The hole is too deep.

As a second career person around 30, I did the community college ADN. Very cheap to get RN after my name.  During most of that program, I worked 25 hours a week. After becoming an RN, I did borrow some money for school, eventually getting my Psych NP, but I was always working at least enough to provide for myself minimally, 30-40 hours at different stages. 

It helped that I was married and my husband carried the insurance. It helped we knew we did not want children.

My loans were never horrendous. But I know people who still have not dug out after taking 2 years off from work almost 20 years ago to get an MSN.

The living expenses will eat you alive

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mimibrown has 4 years experience.

9 Likes; 1,094 Visitors; 37 Posts

It's a lot of debt. I wouldn't do it. I also think it's a really bad idea to take out loans for living expenses. I would suggest saving money and trying to work your way through school. Maybe get a few roommates. You can also get an ADN and go for the BSN after. It's considerably cheaper.

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