Support Wife&Kids while attending CRNA School

  1. Hi everyone, I am currently a flight nurse completing my BSN. I hope to be enrolled in a CRNA school in the next year or 2. My biggest concern is "How does a guy support his wife and 4 kids (all under age 7) while attending a 2 year CRNA program? My wife (a saint) is a stay at home Mom, and her working outside the home is not an option.
    Can it all be done with student loans?
    I am all ears if anyone has any examples of how they or someone else did it.
    I have been an RN for over 12 years now, and I feel its time to complete what I had started to do B.C. (before children).
    Thank you!!
    •  
  2. Visit snapster profile page

    About snapster

    Joined: Jan '05; Posts: 6

    10 Comments

  3. by   darienblythe79
    Quote from snapster
    Hi everyone, I am currently a flight nurse completing my BSN. I hope to be enrolled in a CRNA school in the next year or 2. My biggest concern is "How does a guy support his wife and 4 kids (all under age 7) while attending a 2 year CRNA program? My wife (a saint) is a stay at home Mom, and her working outside the home is not an option.
    Can it all be done with student loans?
    I am all ears if anyone has any examples of how they or someone else did it.
    I have been an RN for over 12 years now, and I feel its time to complete what I had started to do B.C. (before children).
    Thank you!!
    I have a good friend that started CRNA school this past August, and he has two children, a wife and her mother in his home. His wife works as a nurse but only on weekends. His youngest child was three months old when he started school. He also has been an RN for 15 years. He depends on financial aid for the majority of his living expenses, and he drives 300 miles one way to get home every weekend to watch his kids because his mother-in-law will not while his wife goes to work. Basically, if there is the will you can find the way. I myself am trying to use him as strength because I am 3 mos pregnant and on track to start school next year. I am terrified I will not find the time or resources to finish my dream because of this baby. I hope this helps some, and likewise if you hear of someone in my situation as well. let me know. Good luck!
  4. by   catcolalex
    It can be done, I do it with a stay at home wife and 2 kids (3 and 1) the answer is student loans, stafford and private. and live without the luxeries such as cable tv, eating out etc.
  5. by   TraumaNurse
    It can be done. My wife is an RN but we still have to borrow Fed Aid and private loans as well. If your wife does not work, then you will simply have to borrow more! Live lean, borrow what you need to succeed!

    The upside of a stay-at-home spouse is that you will relieve yourself of the stress of finding child care for those late nights and weekend call shifts. Since my wife works only weekends, it is very stressful to find child care when I am on call for 24 hours. My in-laws will help when they can, but I can not rely on them 100% due to their schedule. There are positive sides to everything!

    You can borrow from private lenders through BankOne, Teri etc and it will not be affected by the Fed Aid, so you can borrow a lot of money to get yourself through. It will be well worth it in the end! Go for it!
  6. by   sproutsfriend
    Quote from snapster
    Hi everyone, I am currently a flight nurse completing my BSN. I hope to be enrolled in a CRNA school in the next year or 2. My biggest concern is "How does a guy support his wife and 4 kids (all under age 7) while attending a 2 year CRNA program? My wife (a saint) is a stay at home Mom, and her working outside the home is not an option.
    Can it all be done with student loans?
    I am all ears if anyone has any examples of how they or someone else did it.
    I have been an RN for over 12 years now, and I feel its time to complete what I had started to do B.C. (before children).
    Thank you!!
    Besides student loans and hospital sponsorships, if you own a home and have equity then try supplimenting with a home equity loan, also borrow against your 401K because you can pay yourself interest when you pay it back. Shop at thrift stores and cut corners.

    Above all else sit your family down and set the expectation early that you'll be an absentee parent and spouse then work your tail off and don't regret a minute of it. I have 5 kids, all 9 and under when I started, and a wife that's a saint. Neither of us worked and even though I was gone alot studying our family grew closer because we learned quick to appreciate and cherish those few precious moments of time we had together. I graduate in December and it has flown by quick. Wish you well.
  7. by   snapster
    Thank you all for your reply. You have given me hope to be able to take those 2 years and keep my family afloat.
  8. by   Tony35NYC
    Snapster,

    I recommend that you don't borrow against your 401k, except as an absolute last resort and only in an emergency situation. 401k loans are convenient but they're not really such a good idea. Circumstances can change at any moment and, especially as a student, an unexpeted financial development may affect your ability to pay back the money on schedule.

    Its one thing to think of it as paying yourself back with interest, but the other way of looking at it is that, depending on prevailing interest rates, over the long term you'll more than likely be losing out on higher market yields on the amount you took out of your account for the loan. This means the higher the loan amount the more money you'll likely lose over the loan period, and you'd end up with less money when you retire than you could have had. You also hurt yourself in an even bigger way when you take out a 401k loan because you must pay back the non-taxable principal with taxed income. Therefore, the IRS ends up getting more of your hard-earned income than they're really entitled to. And, there's more... If anything (except for a medical emergency) happens and you don't repay the loan amount within the stipulated time period you'll be facing a double-whammy financial penalty from Uncle Sam, which includes 10% of your retirement savings plus you must also pay income tax on the loan amount. Depending on your income tax bracket and the amount of money you borrowed this could make a huge dent in your retirement savings.

    My situation will be very similar to yours when I start grad school next year. The advice I've gotten from people I know in the CRNA program is:

    1. Go on the cheap. Cut back on EVERYTHING. (No cell phone, high-speed Internet, designer clothes, vacations, eating out, etc.). There's one guy I know in CRNA school who quit his full-time nursing job, gave up his apartment, and moved back into his parents' house with his wife and his son. His motto is "whatever it takes".

    2. Look for scholarships and grants. I've heard these are easier to get at the graduate level because there are fewer people applying for them. This may or may not be true but it doesn't hurt to start looking around from now to see what might be available.

    3. Hit up your employer (or a potential employer) for a sponsorship. Many places have programs where they will pay some or all of the costs in exchange for an employment commitment after you're done with CRNA school. A two or three year employment commitment is a tad better than paying back a $150,000 (or more) loan.

    4. Finally, look into getting the lowest possible interest rate loans from the federal and state financial aid programs first, and if that isn't enough then you can apply to a private lender. There's a lot of them out there competing for business so the money is there, its just up to you to look around for the best rates.

    You should start getting used to the fact that you'll probably need to take out some major loans for CRNA school. From what friends in the program tell me, there's no way you'll be able to hold down a full-time job while you're in CRNA school, and you'll need a lot of money to cover your day to day living expenses for the entire time. These loan amounts sound kinda scary, but its an investment that pays off BIG TIME in the end.

    Regards.
  9. by   mwbeah
    I attended the US Army's Program and while in school I received an officer's salary, medical benefits, and the program was paid for. You are on active duty and there is a payback requirement of 4.5 years after completion and certification.

    During school, my wife did not work and I had two children during the program. Just threw this out there as another option. If anyone need more info give me a buzz.

    Mike
  10. by   movinsouth
    It can be done!! I am in my second semester of CRNA school. I have three children ages 4 and under. My husband and I made the decision early on that he would stay home with the children. The cost of sending three children to day care would consume a good amount of my husband's salary and the whole family dynamics would be so stressed with both parents home so little. This situation is working out so well for us! I have the freedom of studying as much as I need to (which is pretty much all the time). The children are happy and content having daddy home with them. Yes, we have a lot of loans...but it will be worth it in the end! It is a good investment for our future. We are learning to live very frugally and we will continue that lifestyle for a couple years after graduation to pay off some of the loans. Also, I hope to find a job that will offer a sign on bonus or loan repayment. Best wishes with your decision. I say, Go For It!!
  11. by   KimberRN1
    Quote from snapster
    Hi everyone, I am currently a flight nurse completing my BSN. I hope to be enrolled in a CRNA school in the next year or 2. My biggest concern is "How does a guy support his wife and 4 kids (all under age 7) while attending a 2 year CRNA program? My wife (a saint) is a stay at home Mom, and her working outside the home is not an option.
    Can it all be done with student loans?
    I am all ears if anyone has any examples of how they or someone else did it.
    I have been an RN for over 12 years now, and I feel its time to complete what I had started to do B.C. (before children).
    Thank you!!
    I don't know where you're from.....but one of the girls I worked with who started last May signed a contract with an anesthesia group....they pay for her school as well as give her $1000 a month to "live" on...I don't know if you can get more but a lot of the hospitals and groups here offer a stipend...Of course you have to give them 2-5 yrs of work when you're done...but I'd think it would be worth it to have the help with living expenses plus no school loan to pay back....
  12. by   DaFreak71
    This may sound obvious, but nobody has mentioned it yet, so here goes:

    Instead of scrambling to make ends meet while you're in school, and stressing yourself out about money, why not do all the "cutting-back" things (999 cable channels, eating out, etc.) NOW, and grab yourself some overtime while the getting is good?

    Everybody is mentioning things like loans and taking stipends for job commitments, and these things may well be necessary, but to everybody out there who (like myself) is planning CRNA school down the road a little, I'd suggest you tighten your belt NOW and start stockpiling overtime cash as much as you can stand to do so. It sure can't hurt. Some of us already owe the feds enough as it is.

    Just another option to consider.

    Druid

Must Read Topics


close