Thinking about grad school

  1. Hi everyone!

    I'm new here but this site seems like such a valuable resource! So, I am a junior BSN student at Case Western and I'm starting to think about grad school. I want to do either an FNP or CRNA program. Ideally, I would like to work full time for a year or two to gain some experience first. But, I would like some insight on working during grad school. However, I realize that working during a CRNA program may not be possible. Could I still get tuition assistance if working part-time? If I go to school full time, what kind of financial assistance can I get (grants, scholarships, benefits)? Basically, I'm just really confused and not sure how much I'd be able to handle. Thanks for your help
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    About smb84

    Joined: Feb '10; Posts: 54; Likes: 1
    from US


  3. by   Spacklehead
    Hi! Just wanted to help with your questions. If you choose to go to school full-time, you are able to get Stafford loans which you are eligible for no matter how much money you make (as long as you are at least half-time status during grad school). You might also be eligible for grants/scholarships depending upon your yearly income and your EIC which will be figured out once you complete the FAFSA form. I went to FNP school half-time and was able to obtain student loans.

    Some employers will provide tuition assistance if you only work part-time; however, it is usually a lower amount than you would be able to get if you worked full-time. This would definitely vary from employer to employer.

    Working is definitely something you can do while in an FNP program, especially in the beginning. However, once you need to start your clinical rotations you might want to cut back on some hours, because clinical will take up a several days per week. I know all of the full-timers who were in my class either used up their vacation time while in clinicals, or dropped to part-time or per diem status. I worked per diem while in grad school because I was lucky enough that I didn't need any benefits (I used my husband's).

    If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask! I hope I helped answer some of yours.
  4. by   MomenTs
    So, will it be difficult to work 20 hrs/week - 40 hrs/week while taking your grad classes as full time student (let's say 9-12 cr hours)? Is a student having an unrealistic expectation out of himself/herself? Thank you for your answer.
  5. by   Spacklehead
    My close friend worked full-time and took full-time grad courses during his first two semesters (these were not clinical courses). He said it was very, very difficult. Once clinicals started, he went part-time - worked only two days per week. He had a difficult time keeping up with all of the written assignments and readings while working full-time.

    I'm sure it can be done, and I'm sure others have done it - but I can only imagine that it's very difficult, especially if you are married and/or have children. I'm sure if anyone has enough determination, they would be fine.
  6. by   BCgradnurse
    I went full time for my FNP, and was able to work 20 hours a week during the first year, but had to go to per diem while I was doing my NP clinicals. It just wasn't possible to work more between clinicals, classes, and my family's needs. I was still eligible for Stafford, Perkins, and private loans as they are not income dependent. You can also investigate the National Health Services Scholar/Loan Repayor programs if you decide to go the NP route and are willing to commit to working in an underserved area (rural or urban). I am in the loan repayor program and they paid back $50,000 of my loans . It's a nice deal....