Is a nursing degree worth it?


I am in the process of apply to college and have been accepted into a pre-nursing program at a 4 year university in California. My problem is that my parents make too much money for financial aid, but can only afford to pay for about a quarter by my college fees, I am possibly looking at taking loans for four years totaling approximately $80,000. Is this a good investment? I've considered community college, but those programs are SUPER competative in my area. I also considered private two year programs which would be about a total of $50,000 in loans. Any advice would be appreciated. I'm feeling more and more hopeless in California.

9livesRN, BSN, RN

1,570 Posts

Specializes in SNU/SNF/MedSurg, SPCU Ortho/Neuro/Spine. Has 2 years experience.

get an RN degree, for less money, go to work while you get your BSN paid by the hospital, and since you will be working you can start paying off your loans!

check for loan forgiveness programs, some hospital gives you about 4k per year that you commit to work with them (max of 2) and they knock a total of about 8k from your loans, while you get your bachelors for free!


267 Posts

My personal opinion - $80,000 in debt is absolutely positively NOT WORTH IT for a 4-year BSN. Apply to the cheaper, competitive community college and stay on the waiting list for a few years if you have to. In the meantime, take a 6-week CNA course and work as a CNA (which will give you valuable experience you can draw upon once you are in the RN program).


887 Posts

To the second poster: Stay on the waiting list for a few years? And then what? Pay out of pocket for classes they don't need because financial aid refuses to pay for classes that you don't need? It's easier said then done but if you don't have a 4.0 gpa, it's either you go big or you don't go at all. A CNA job is not going to make her any money in California that will put a dent in tuition that is about 20K a year.

To the first poster: Having an RN degree doesn't guarantee her a job after graduation, especially in this economy. It would depend on how long it takes them to find a job.

To the OP: It's really up to you. I'm going to graduate with 30K in loans so I can't really give much to 80. Just keep school shopping but if you absolutely have to do it, then you might just have to. My sister owes 80K on her accounting degree and no it's not going away fast but it is going.


54 Posts

You can always check out the National Guard too. It's a route I'm highly considering since I will have some hefty student loans myself. They'll pay (so they say) up to $50K of your student loans off. With things like the two wars, Somoa, Haiti, and other disasters happening nurses in the National Guard are saught after. Just my .02.


12 Posts

If Nursing is what you definitely what you want to do, then I say go for it. There are people in my class that have a higher loan amount than that, and I am close. I did not let money get in the way of my dream of nursing, and I don’t think you should either. I say get the 4 year out the way now, don’t put your career on hold.


201 Posts

Specializes in NICU, Nursery.

Yes, that's way too much money!!!

Why not try to look into scholarship grants in your program/university? In my experience, usually they are not advertised publicly, meaning, you have to know someone, like people from the academe who could advise you into getting in one. Talk to your Dean or someone in charge who may know. I should know this because I went to college (BSN) for free (full tuition waived for 3 years, the other year half.) Of course, the miscellanous like books and allowance and other expenses you have to cover, but that's peanuts compared to 80k.

Good Luck on your search.

tokyoROSE, BSN, RN

1 Article; 526 Posts

Specializes in Operating Room. Has 2 years experience.

80k is way too much for a BSN, IMO. At that rate, you'll be paying back student loans for years and years. Your location doesn't help either, because CA is on a hiring freeze and there are no guarantees you'll have a job when you graduate.