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Nursing salary vs. tuition repayment

Students   (3,864 Views | 31 Replies)
by Ngav1206 Ngav1206, LPN (New) New Nurse Student

Ngav1206 has 3 years experience as a LPN.

369 Profile Views; 9 Posts

Hello, 

I am wondering if the tuition is worth the pay and career in the end. Currently I work as a LPN. Program was very inexpensive and already paid off. I am currently in my BSN program and am looking at about 68k in student loan repayment at the end. Needles to say I am really freaking out about this. My payments with private loan included will be at almost 1k per month! I did the math and I will technically be making almost the same amount working at a typical RN salary vs. a full time LPN salary due the the 1k on payments every month for at least 10 years 😞 Have any of you been able to find any extra financial assistance programs or Scholarships without high GPA’s? I need help!

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1 Follower; 300 Posts; 850 Profile Views

If you haven’t considered it, there are federal loan forgiveness programs for particular employers. One obvious choice being the military. Good job, good pay, great experience, and you wipe out your loans. Reserve, guard, active duty, etc. options. 

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Nurse SMS has 9 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

7 Followers; 6,407 Posts; 49,925 Profile Views

68K??? What school are you going to? I did my ASN for less than $8K and my BSN for less than $10K and my MSN for less than 8K.

Yes, that is far too much money to spend on a nursing degree.

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It's going to depend on your situation.  I'd look into an affordable financial advisor and talk to them about repayment, because there can be ways that you can lower what you pay every month, or make it way easier to manage.  If you have high interest loans on there, there's ways you MIGHT be able to exploit your repayment options to get rid of the highest interest loans VERY fast.

And even if you're not netting more money as an RN, eventually that loan is going to be paid off.  Then you're making more money than you would if you stay with LPN.

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10 hours ago, Nurse SMS said:

68K??? What school are you going to? I did my ASN for less than $8K and my BSN for less than $10K and my MSN for less than 8K.

Yes, that is far too much money to spend on a nursing degree.

My guess is they are doing an accelerated program. Cost becomes a non-issue if it gets you working a year earlier. 

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Ngav1206 has 3 years experience as a LPN.

9 Posts; 369 Profile Views

11 hours ago, Nurse SMS said:

68K??? What school are you going to? I did my ASN for less than $8K and my BSN for less than $10K and my MSN for less than 8K.

Yes, that is far too much money to spend on a nursing degree.

Our school has three campuses in my state and each session we have 200 new students starting at my campus alone. I’m not the only one. Just saying. They are private for profit. Some of the big name Universities here charge $1000 per credit hour. When did you complete your nursing degrees? Even for our community college ADN programs they charge about 25k. I am in Illinois. 

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Nurse SMS has 9 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

7 Followers; 6,407 Posts; 49,925 Profile Views

I attended my local community college for my ADN and WGU for my BSN and MSN. $25K for a two year degree with resident status is outrageous. Most universities doing RN to BSN are charging around 10K-12K for the whole program. "Big name" universities do cost more due to people thinking the name of the school gives them an edge. That hasn't been my experience. 

I have heavy opinions regarding private, for profit nursing schools. As you are already enrolled and committed, there isn't much to be done. Given that as a new nurse you won't even earn that much on a yearly basis, that loan is going to be heavy for a long time to come. I honestly and sincerely wish you the best of luck. Most employers do not do tuition forgiveness. There are a few programs out there, but as you can imagine, they are intensely competitive, people have trouble collecting on the benefit and generally you have to move to an area that has a huge demand, such as rural areas, Native American reservations and along the Mexico border.

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136 Posts; 1,597 Profile Views

What each person is willing to pay for a nursing program is a very personal decision, but since you’re asking, that debt for a nursing degree is steep and it’s probably going to hurt real bad once  you begin repaying it.  That’s money that can be going toward your home or swim lessons for the kiddos or vacation.  Have you considered a community college?

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You need to do a cost benefit analysis of your various options. Use Wisconsin my state as an example.

Cost of ADN ~$10,000 at 65 credits. Assume 2-3 years to completion depending on your diligence factor. Let’s assume two years. You begin making 60k a year and work in your BSN. Let’s assume you have the other general credits and spend an additional year finishing the 30 required BSN credits at a state university. Cost ~$10,000, net positive right now $40,000 at year 3. Then you do your MSN-np program followed by advanced practice np cert, again at the state school. Tuition will hit you for $12,500 a year at 2.5 years if you haul tail while working. Assuming you got a salary bump between t he ADN and BSN and picked up some extra shifts let’s say you make $70k a year. During this period of time you walk out net positive 197k at year 5.5 and start working as an np making $125,000.

Compare this with the "expensive" demsn program at one of my local private non-profits. I walk in and in 18 months I’m an RN and net negative $60,000. I start working at the VA with a starting pay of 65k due to the MSN with no previous experience. Immediately start the post masters np cert (there is more than one locally that don’t require prior bedside experience, again, private and expensive.) Cert runs $40,000 or so assuming roughly 40 credits and can be completed in a year and a half. Net negative $2.5k at year 3. Work as np years 3-5.5. Net positive $310,000 and you have been an np 2.5 years already.

The "cheaper" path cost you $113,000 in salary and 2.5 years of np experience and 401k matching. Likely cost you to the tune of $140,000 to save money. 

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llg has 43 years experience as a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

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Can you find a job that offers at least some tuition reimbursement?   That's how most people I know reduce the cost of furthering their education.

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And paying it back... $65,000 in student loans is buying a Camry out of school, then buying another one in 5 years when that's paid off.  Your challenge is the interest.

If you just stick with pre-owned cars instead of buying a new car, which is financially smart since cars lose value FAST.  It's doable.  Just don't use graduating and starting your first job as a nurse as a reason to run out and buy a house.  Live responsibly and it's really not that hard to pay off loans.

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13 minutes ago, TheDudeWithTheBigDog said:

And paying it back... $65,000 in student loans is buying a Camry out of school, then buying another one in 5 years when that's paid off.  Your challenge is the interest.

If you just stick with pre-owned cars instead of buying a new car, which is financially smart since cars lose value FAST.  It's doable.  Just don't use graduating and starting your first job as a nurse as a reason to run out and buy a house.  Live responsibly and it's really not that hard to pay off loans.

^^^^ This. Best advice. 

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