employment during anesthesia school?

  1. Can anyone tell me how much I can really work during anesthesia school (if I am accepted)? I understand that the majority of my time must be dedicated to studying, but I'm a little concerned about being able to pay my rent and car payment. Any suggestions?

  2. Visit Jaybird profile page

    About Jaybird

    Joined: Aug '02; Posts: 8
    Registered Nurse


  3. by   Roland
    of us gets accepted into CRNA school FIRST will be supported by the other only to switch roles once they graduate.) However, if I had to work I would try to find a WEEKEND ONLY job. My wife knows a nurse who works only weekends (12 hours each Saturday and Sunday) and gets time and a half in the ICU at a hospital on the North side of Indy. Thus, she earns $45 per hour for 24 hours per week instead of $30.00 for 40 hours (albeit she would only have to work 36 hours to earn 40 at most local hospitals). This may not be possible in all job markets, and in some markets in which it is possible it might require going through an agency.

    If you decide to go this route you might wish to apply at CRNA schools with above average job markets for RN's (if you can combine this with average or below average cost of living then all the better). One city that comes to mind is Houston Texas I think they have at least two CRNA schools and I read that nurses there make among the best salaries in the nation. Also, keep in mind that some CRNA schools will require that you demonstrate your ability to support yourself while in school without working.

    In addition, if money is tight consider maxing out student loans while in CRNA school (if you're not already doing this to pay the tuition!) After all what is an extra $30K or so in debt (at below market interest rates) when you will be increasing your salary by MORE than that EACH YEAR after graduation. You might also consider moving to Florida after graduation where they have NO state income tax (as opposed to my ECONOMICALLY insane dream of moving to Hawaii where the state income tax is 9%! If I could only find a job in Fiji or Bora Bora....) The income tax savings could be applied to any accrued student loan debt.

    You might also consider trying to find someone who will let you live in their home for minimal rent. Given that you are an RN there are many older people who would truly benefit from this arrangement. This would probably be easier for females than males. Indeed, females might find a part time Nanny/live in position to be beneficial and easy to obtain (just make sure that the people understand that your schooling comes first). In addition, I have read on this site about future employers paying lump sums/ or monthly support in exchange for a future committment of employment (many of these have provisions where by the monies become loans if the CRNA doesn't end up working there in which case you could look at it as a way of borrowing MORE than federal loan limits would otherwise allow. In fact I think FORCING you to work someplace even after giving you money would be considered a violation of the constitutional injunction against involuntary servitude.)

    One other option to consider is the MILITARY. They will probably pay for your education outright in exchange for a four to six year commitment after graduation (that's a lot of dough in opportunity cost maybe in excess of a half million but you will be going in as an officer AND serving your country. By the way the involuntary servitude thing doesn't apply here if you play on their dime your going to do the time one way or another!)

    Hope something here is of use.
    Last edit by Roland on Aug 30, '02
  4. by   gotosleep
    Nice post Roland.

    I would like to address your comments concerning military obligation. I'm a first year CRNA student and an officer in the Army Reserve. At the conclusion of my education I am obligated to fulfill two years of reserve training for every year (6 total years of service) that they assist me with my education. My assistance consists of; approx. $1100/month stipend, $300-400/month drill pay, $50,000 loan repayment. Please note, that my obligation is reserve training only (not active duty) which consists of 2 days per month and 2 weeks during the summer.
  5. by   Othcakotcha
    In addition to what gotosleep mentions, you also might get an all expense paid trip to Afghanistan or Iraq too.....without having a say in whether or not you want to go!

    Presently, I'm a nurse in the Air Force and I'll tell you that it has mostly been a bad experience. We are chronically understaffed and we have poor leadership (doctors or career nurses just don't make good commanders). While I understand many can say that these same situations may exist in the civilian sector, remember that you are stuck in the military until your committment is up.....you just can't look for another position in a hospital across town.

    I've met many great people while being in the AF but I must say that if I had the opportunity to do it all again, I would have opted "out" of the military choice.

    Just my two cents but remember, there are no free lunches out there! So while the military may throw offers of loan repayment and stipends, examine the potential to deploy to less that ideal locations for an extended time away from family--that's also a very real potential.

    So beware of those recruiters as they are looking to make their quotas in a military nursing environment (at least in the AF) that is losing nurses by the hundreds!
  6. by   gotosleep
    Let me clarify myself.

    I am not a military recruiter. If fact, I agree with othcakotcha about recruiters. I've found most of them to be less than honest. I've been in the Army Reserve/National Guard since I was 17 (I'm 26 now). First as a infantryman, then as a combat medic, and now as a nurse. I'm not here to feed anyone a line of BS. I cannot speak as to the Air Force but I can tell you a story or two about the Army. Yes, you may be called to mobilize for your country. Yes, that may be quite inconvenient. Yes, it may be dangerous.
    I've been in the Army Reserve/National Guard for 9 years and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I had my entire undergraduate education paid for. I have met some remarkable people. And yes, I met my share of idiots.

    The scenairo and figures I provided previously are for the Army Reserve only. I am not familiar with ACTIVE duty obligations.
    If anyone is interested in military service I recommend that they investigate it thoroughly before making any decisions. Don't just talk to the recruiter. Find someone who is the branch of service you're interested in. As for myself, I have not regretted once the decison I made nine years ago.
  7. by   Othcakotcha
    Sorry gotosleep......didn't mean to assert that you were a recruiter. Just thought I'd point out some of the experiences I have had in the AF. While the military may be a great option for some, it won't be one that I will consider. Glad to hear that you enjoy the Army Reserves.....Army of One right?
  8. by   Jaybird
    Thanks for the suggestions. I have considered the army reserve, but I'm not sure the military is right for me. We'll see what happens. Too bad I couldn't have found a rich husband to support me!
  9. by   gotosleep
    No offense taken othcakotcha. I appreciate your thoughts. Good luck Jaybird.

  10. by   Qwiigley
    It is pretty difficult to work during school, but if you have to, try to take off the 1st semester. That is when you are learning all of the basics, pharm, A&P, biochem etc.
  11. by   Roland
    similar ambitions (to be a CRNA or to attend other graduate school) and make a deal with them (but not necessaryily MARRY them) to support YOU in school. In turn, YOU would support THEM while they went to school after you graduated. Of course there is a risk here that the SECOND person to go to school could "get burned' (of course even with a marriage there IS that possibility) so you would have to find someone you really trusted (and who trusted you).

    You might also consider working like a "fanatic" for an extra year before going to school. If you are currently an ICU nurse you should be able to earn at least 40K at your current full time job. IF you find an agency to work with and work an additional twenty hours per week you should be able to add AT LEAST an additional 20K to that figure. Combine, working AT LEAST sixty hours per week with living an extremely austere life style for the next year (after all you will be working so much you will hardly notice) and you should be able to sock away 30K or so in the bank before starting CRNA school. Now, if you max out loans in school to pay tuition you should be able to LIVE for the 27 months or so that CRNA school lasts on your "booty". If this is not sufficient then consider working TWO years before starting CRNA school in the same fashion.
    Last edit by Roland on Sep 5, '02
  12. by   gotosleep

    Don't be afraid to go into debt to get what you want. I know that sounds strange but your sacrifice will pay off after you graduate. Almost every lawyer, dentist, and physician have astronomical debt after they graduate. Much more than a CRNA will have. Your professional happiness and excellent salary are your rewards for 2-3 years of sacrifice and misery.
  13. by   New CCU RN
    My plan for when it comes time to go back to school is to work for at least a year as a traveler. While I may go a few places far away, I intend to request to stay w/in an hr distance of where I currently live. I have a few friends who have done the same, and the travel agencies have had no problem w/ this arrangement. This way you can stay whereever you are currently paying a morgage or rent and just have ur housing allowence go towards that while you are taking in much, much more than a staff RN. I plan on working a few shifts prn at my current job just to keep my foot in the door. Yes, you are def working like a madman, however, it seems to me to be worth it in the long run. In addition I do have the luxury of having a supportive bf (soon to be husband) who will help out if needed, but I am trying to do this all on my own personally. Of course most likely w/ the help of good old student loans. They can be paid off in no time upon graduation! Best of luck to you.
  14. by   CRNA wife
    My husband is in CRNA school right now and he works 1 12 hour shift every weekend. He's getting burned out as we just finished our first year of school. It is tough, but we are almost debt free. Living off savings. If staying out of debt is a priority, it is possible. It just takes discipline. I pack a lunch for him-- he never eats out. We don't buy or do a lot. Besides the fact that he doesn't have time, we are just trying to be more frugal. Did I mention I don't work, I'm just home full-time with the kids.

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