Husband/Father Nursing School $

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I am a 23-year-old husband, and also a father of two young children. I have already completed some of the nursing school prerequisites, but still, have some to complete. I have wanted to be a nurse for almost three years now. I have always wanted to be in a position where I can serve people and make a positive difference in their life. I have stayed away from it because I felt I couldn't afford it. I am in a somewhat successful career as a payroll manager, but I have realized that I will never be happy in this field.

We are a one-income family and I am scared of the financial situation that nursing school (two-year ASN program) will put me in. We will be debt free, besides our mortgage, in Feb 2019. My main question is this: Is student debt worth the rewards of being a nurse? I know a traditional job is nearly impossible during nursing school, and most people get to work part-time at best. I am the provider for three other people and would also have to pay for school. I don't see how I will be able to study, go to school, and provide without incurring some debt. So, is it worth it? Also, any tips on how other people overcame the financial obstacle would be helpful?

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 46 years experience.

Could your wife return to work while you are in school to help ease the burden?

Piercejd

4 Posts

It is something we have discussed. All her experience is in retail, and our children are 1 and 2 years old. We think that we would have to pay as much in daycare for kids as she would make. Still researching that possibility though.

Specializes in psych. Has 7 years experience.

My ASN program had scholarships that we could apply for to help pay for the term. I had to write a lot of essays but it was worth it since there were two terms were I won a full ride scholarship. The second one I was very thankful for since my husband had lost his job at that time. In my case, my husband was employed when I started school and had found a new job by the time I was done. I would look into seeing if the schools you are looking at have scholarships to help offset the cost. I was able to go to school without taking out loans due to being at a community college, but I also had a husband who was working full time to help pay bills at home.

I personally would say it was worth. I am so much happier as a nurse than I was in my former career. I got my ASN and now the hospital I work for has a great tuition reimbursement program so I'm getting my BSN without any debt.

Specializes in Telemetry, Primary Care. Has 8 years experience.

It's only student debt if you are unable to pay for it once payments start rolling in after you finish school. If finances are a big issue and you have a decent job right now, why not wait a bit longer before starting nursing school? Wait until you finish paying off your mortgage next year and start saving up. You are only 23. You have many more years for education and nursing is never going to disappear. Nursing will always be there at any time. Of course, the earlier you start, the earlier you can make money and follow your dreams of serving people. But if you think you are going to put your family at risk by going to nursing school financial, it's not worth it. Family should always come first. If your wife agrees with your decision to go to school now, by all means, go for it and make sure you pass! Unfortunately, no one likes pulling out loans, but many of us have to and did, but it was worth it.

Aside from loans, there are also alternatives for income. I've had some classmates that had the privilege of being part of a local hospitals nursing student intern program where their portion of the program was paid for as long as they finished school and did a 1 year contract after nursing school there. Others have had won scholarships to help pay for school. Some of my closest nursing classmates moved back in with their parents to help save money while others just simply pulled out loans. If you choose your options carefully, nursing school isn't as pricey as some may think as long as it's not at a university or private school. My ADN 2 year program + books/supplies costed about 5k over the course of those 2 years (not up front). Myself and other classmates were fortunate to have part-time and per diem jobs on the side to have some extra income. If your wife can find a per diem or part time job, maybe you have family that may be willing to help for cheap babysitting? Some of my current non-nursing coworkers are waiting for their children to get older before they quit and start nursing school.

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 46 years experience.
It's only student debt if you are unable to pay for it once payments start rolling in after you finish school. If finances are a big issue and you have a decent job right now, why not wait a bit longer before starting nursing school? Wait until you finish paying off your mortgage next year and start saving up. You are only 23. You have many more years for education and nursing is never going to disappear. Nursing will always be there at any time. Of course, the earlier you start, the earlier you can make money and follow your dreams of serving people. But if you think you are going to put your family at risk by going to nursing school financial, it's not worth it. Family should always come first. If your wife agrees with your decision to go to school now, by all means, go for it and make sure you pass! Unfortunately, no one likes pulling out loans, but many of us have to and did, but it was worth it.

Aside from loans, there are also alternatives for income. I've had some classmates that had the privilege of being part of a local hospitals nursing student intern program where their portion of the program was paid for as long as they finished school and did a 1 year contract after nursing school there. Others have had won scholarships to help pay for school. Some of my closest nursing classmates moved back in with their parents to help save money while others just simply pulled out loans. If you choose your options carefully, nursing school isn't as pricey as some may think as long as it's not at a university or private school. My ADN 2 year program + books/supplies costed about 5k over the course of those 2 years (not up front). Myself and other classmates were fortunate to have part-time and per diem jobs on the side to have some extra income. If your wife can find a per diem or part time job, maybe you have family that may be willing to help for cheap babysitting? Some of my current non-nursing coworkers are waiting for their children to get older before they quit and start nursing school.

This is the only part I disagree with- debt is debt regardless of whether the debtor can keep up with the payments or not.

To OP: Start slowly knocking out those prerequisites- and then attend school when the littles are in school- thus eliminating the need for day care and allowing your wife to work.

nursemil

11 Posts

Just my 2 cents...I am not sure which state you live in but if mom and dad work/go to school, they can usually get government help for daycare. Check into that if you want. If you were to start school full-time and your wife returns to work full-time, chances are you'll be able to get some help with daycare. In some instances, I have seen some families pay nothing. I live in Florida. Just a suggestion.

SiADH135, ADN

13 Posts

You and your family can do it! ADN programs are usually cheaper than BSN, and financial aid can help if you qualify. There are also grants that only nursing schools get to help their students. My college has a on campus day care for students with children. Yes, you will struggle and money will be tight, but it's an investment for your future, and if it's something you really want to do, I have faith you'll reach your goals. Good luck!

pro-student

359 Posts

I just want to caution you, an ADN is not as good of an investment as it used to be. There are increasingly large part of the country where ADN grads are essentially unemployable. There are also places where they are still very much in demand and if you either live in one of those places or are willing to relocate after school, then it can be a good stepping stone. It would be wise, either way, to plan on earning your BSN shortly after you finish your ADN and ideally going right from one to the other. Most RN-to-BSN programs as designed with the working nurse in mind and are doable with work and family commitments.

Piercejd

4 Posts

Thanks for all the input, I really appreciate it!

StudentRN07

17 Posts

A full time job is not impossible!! I do it everyday!! It's all about time management, good luck!