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NP school, did you pull a loan or paid in cash?

Posted

Has 7 years experience.

I am debating myself. I could work some shifts and pay the tuition in cash, or I could just pull a loan because I see job posts saying tuition reimbursement, is it really reliable? The loan interest rate is like 6.8%, for $650 x 48 credits, and some books and other service fee, it could be a lot. How hard is it to find a NP job that would reimburse my tuition? I would not mind relocating to a small place. But where should I go as a new NP would be a better choice? Thanks!

Edited by wongshuwei

babyNP., APRN

Specializes in NICU. Has 13 years experience.

Depends on where you live and what your specialty is. My guess is that a lot of this may go away with large budget cuts due to Covid-19. If you can swing it to pay in cash and keep decent grades, I would go for it. You'll be in a much better financial position and have flexibility with your job. If you're not tied down in tens of thousands of dollars in debt, you don't feel "trapped" in a job to pay the bills or can take a lower paying job like a residency for a larger pay off later in terms of experience gained and potentially better salary.

Edited by babyNP.

sleepwalker, MSN, NP

Specializes in Occupational Health. Has 17 years experience.

Don't forget to account for living expenses while not being able to work (e.g. rent or mortgage, food, insurance, gas, utility bills, child costs (clothes, etc.)...never just as simple as paying for tuition

ArmaniX, MSN, APRN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 8 years experience.

I paid out of pocket as I worked and went to school. Graduated with no college debt. Was the right choice for me as I do not really care to have to be “tied” to a job in order to get/fulfill reimbursement rules.

Numenor, BSN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Internal Medicine. Has 9 years experience.

9 hours ago, wongshuwei said:

I am debating myself. I could work some shifts and pay the tuition in cash, or I could just pull a loan because I see job posts saying tuition reimbursement, is it really reliable? The loan interest rate is like 6.8%, for $650 x 48 credits, and some books and other service fee, it could be a lot. How hard is it to find a NP job that would reimburse my tuition? I would not mind relocating to a small place. But where should I go as a new NP would be a better choice? Thanks!

Some jobs might have nominal loan repayment but unless you go to a Native Reservation or SEVERELY undeserved are you will be footing the bill.

I paid out of pocket, no regrets. My work has done an educational reimbursement for both by MSN and DNP and I do take advantage of that, but otherwise I pay cash. I remember when I was at school for my MSN and the tuition went up. I mentioned it to some other classmates and everyone's response was that they had no clue what our tuition was because they just take out loans. That seemed crazy to me.

My close friend went the other route and took out loans and then got a job at an underserved area. 6 years later, a lot of her loans have been reimbursed through her job but it has been a pretty big headache and she is still having to pay some of it back anyway

Neither route is wrong.....but I like that I haven't had to worry or bother with this issue. That is worth an awful lot to me. I am also married, so there is another income that contributes to our bottom line and we live simply. I make a decent wage as a NP and did decide to get the DNP. While I don't have to, I have taken on other gigs to pay for school such as teaching clinicals. I have never felt burdened paying for school and would have not done graduate courses if it required taking out a loan.

Mae_W, BSN, RN

Has 7 years experience.

26 minutes ago, babyNP. said:

If you can swing it to pay in cash and keep decent grades, I would go for it.

Thank you so much. Thanks everyone.

umbdude, MSN, NP

Specializes in Psych/Mental Health. Has 4 years experience.

I paid some out of pocket, took some loan, and got a bit of scholarship money. I also still have BSN loans. I don't spend much money.

I ended up taking out around $30k loan for my $70k NP education, but having an NP in my field will raise my yearly earning by $50k to $80k per year. Also, the NP scope is much broader, more interesting and intellectually challenging, and opens up more doors, I would've taken out much more loans if I had to.

There's NHSC loan repayment program if you can work in rural areas for a couple years. Like another poster said, I don't want to be limited to working only for certain facilities.

sleepwalker, MSN, NP

Specializes in Occupational Health. Has 17 years experience.

For some reason I thought OP was talking about CRNA school...thus my original post

In any event...yes you can work and attend NP school. I worked as did the majority of my classmates. I used the tuition reimbursement program from my place of work...ended up paying $2000 out of pocket

Edited by sleepwalker

KatieMI, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 8 years experience.

Paid out of pocket. Calculated that 1 PRN shift in agency was equal of roughly 0.75 of contact hour, and I just kept doing them till I had enough cash set aside, took about 1,5 years.

I worked my tail off during school and paid cash/out of pocket. I had zero life for three years but it was so worth it knowing I wouldn't have years of indentured servitude for years on end.

I would imagine most NP jobs would not pay off your tuition unless it were for Indian Health Services or something of that nature. And you would have to be wiling to move to a rural setting to do this, which it sounds like you are.

The military is an option. Enter as an RN and either attending NP school while active duty or use the post 911 GI bill after separation. AD nursing is an experience you cannot get anywhere else.

Uroboros, APRN

Specializes in Advanced Practice Critical Care and Family Nursing. Has 17 years experience.

Student loans are the worst. They are government owned, and you cannot default or even chapter 11. And good luck trying to prove "undue hardship" with the land of the free to get out of one. Students are given very little guidance on this critical issue. Seriously, with a few FAFSA screen computer clicks you're eligible for nearly 100k. Of course everyone in healthcare thinks they will be rich so this is chump change to pay back. Or the loan repayment options look enticing, but are insanely competitive and appear to good to be true because they are.

Take it from someone with a lot of credentials, who just payed off their loans finally. Don't do it. Not a single dollar. You'll pay enough to the government in taxes during your long and successful career.

Check out Dave Ramsey's take on these. He's old and opinionated, reminds me of my mean uncle in many ways, but helped my spouse and I alot on this matter. Wish you the best.

Mae_W, BSN, RN

Has 7 years experience.

On 5/7/2020 at 10:29 AM, umbdude said:

I paid some out of pocket, took some loan, and got a bit of Scholarship money.

I ended up taking out around $30k loan for my $70k NP education

How much was a credit for your NP program? I was thinking my $650 x 48 credits is too much already. Now I feel lucky, it is also face-to-face classes only.

Edited by wongshuwei

Mae_W, BSN, RN

Has 7 years experience.

5 hours ago, OllieW said:

The military is an option. Enter as an RN and either attending NP school while active duty or use the post 911 GI bill after separation. AD nursing is an experience you cannot get anywhere else.

I applied for Air Force couple years ago after I had my BSN. They flew me to MO to have an interview with a colonel, but I did not impress her I guess. HAHAH. the recruiter told me in the end that he sent in 5 applications and none of us got picked. After NP school I will be 43..........

Edited by wongshuwei

Mae_W, BSN, RN

Has 7 years experience.

3 hours ago, Uroboros said:

Student loans are the worst. They are government owned, and you cannot default or even chapter 11. And good luck trying to prove "undue hardship" with the land of the free to get out of one.

I did not have much clue of how does student loans actually work when I borrowed alot for my ADN and BSN, then I ended up with $64,000 loan, good thing is that usually my husband pays all the bills, and I worked my butt off and paid all my loans back within 26 months. Now I am like can I do that again? Or I should use up my savings to pay cash... I think I will pay cash now.

Edited by wongshuwei

umbdude, MSN, NP

Specializes in Psych/Mental Health. Has 4 years experience.

1 hour ago, wongshuwei said:

How much was a credit for your NP program? I was thinking my $650 x 48 credits is too much already. Now I feel lucky, it is also face-to-face classes only.

I think it was around $1400 per credit. Not cheap, but all the programs in my area cost around the same or more.