Quote from TangoDeux
Thank you for posting this and for the great tips and reminders. I am in the process of hearing back from the NP schools that I applied to and the cost is something that has been weighing on my mind and the mind of my fellow applicants. It is good to remember that there are good jobs out there and there are institutions that can help you pay back those loans once you start to work as an independent clinician.
Like you, nursing is my second career and I echo your sentiments about being flexible and to be open to moving around to other locations and cities. I have lived in Europe and Asia during my first career and it was both a great learning experience and a wonderful adventure that I can look back upon and also talk about to both the schools that I applied to and the future patients that I will meet.
Good luck with your job search and congratulations on becoming a NP.
Thank you for your kind wishes.
With regard to the cost of an NP education, please apply for the Nurse Corps or NHSC scholarships
. I wish I had done that sooner - it would have saved me a lot of $. A lot of people don't even apply, just assuming they won't get it (a mistake I made). The application process should be starting soon, so check their websites. The scholarships are full-ride, including a $1300 living stipend! In return, you have to provide public service in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) for 2 to 4 years, depending on the length of your scholarship
. These are rural areas, but also many small to medium size cities.
In addition, the federal government, as well as many states, have loan repayment programs for working in underserved areas. For example, California will repay up to $50,000. Alaska has a very generous program - $20 to $27K a year for NPs.
My other tip is to talk to your professors about scholarships and grants, as well as the financial aid department. My last year of the MSN program, I was chatting with a professor and it turned out she had a bunch of $25,000 scholarships that financial aid didn't know about! It was a grant she had won for the school.
Finally, go to the best school you can get into. This has been a topic of contention here, but so many of the employers and recruiters that have contacted me have said, "I saw you went to XYZ school! Great school, so I wanted to talk to you!" This is especially true for MDs that are hiring NPs - the school is very important to them.
Good luck to you!