Gap year before nursing school?

  1. For reference, I am 20 years old and live with my parents.

    So I was accepted into a great BSN program that starts in January. It's a private university which means EXPENSIVE. This was the only nursing school to accept me because the other ones required me to have the pre-reqs (required courses for RN school) done before a certain time, which I did not. So if I wanted to apply for the other and cheaper programs, I would have to take a gap year. (most accept students once a year) I'm not sure how complicated this sounds.. but if there's questions just ask me lol.

    I also just started a new job as a pre-school tutor. This is a full time position that pays well, builds up my resume, and offers tuition reimbursement as well as a generous monetary award to help with college. I would receive this award ONLY if I work for a full YEAR. If I were to start school in January, I would have to quit this job and lose all the potential benefits. (the program is too rigorous for me to juggle a full time job). In all honestly, I'm pretty tempted to take a year off of school, save money, apply for a variety of cheaper nursing programs that I couldn't this year, and use that award to fund my education!

    **I forgot to mention that I have 4.0 GPA, lots of experience in the healthcare field, and am pretty smart (academically at least). I know I would be a great asset to any other nursing school I apply in the future.

    I'm not going to lie though, I really don't like the idea of taking a year off of school. I've been in college since I graduated H.S, and my goal in life is to get a Master's degree in nursing. This field is my PASSION and I don't see myself doing anything else. I want to be a nurse and eventually a nurse practitioner! However, it would be nice to work for a year and save $$$ so that I avoid the burden of student loans (private university = very expensive), save my parents money, get experience, and become more social since I am really shy.

    However, I'm so scared that the gap year would turn into gap years, and I will never achieve my goal of becoming a nurse practitioner in the future. I don' t know what I should do and need advice.. desperately

    Gap year? Or do I quit the job before I begin school??? I want to specialize in peds!
  2. Visit Gabriela06 profile page

    About Gabriela06

    Joined: Dec '16; Posts: 28; Likes: 1


  3. by   Neo Soldier
    Most nursing schools require prereqs including private ones. You won't be able to start CORE nursing without those. Even though you've been accepted to the private school, you still have to take Anatomy, physiology, microbiology, psychology, english etc. There's no way around it. Private schools are known for not being very honest.

    It's really generous that your job is offering you the possibility of reimbursement but would it cover a considerable portion of the private university? I think you should look into state schools, they are cheaper than private schools.

    I think you should look into becoming a CNA (at a school that trains you for no more than 4-5 weeks) if you haven't already gotten the license. You get pay and experience and the option of working part time. Also, I think it will be a better option since you live with your parents. Do you absolutely need to work full time?

    Have you looked into community colleges? They are cheaper and I don't know what you heard about them but don't be discouraged by those that tell you that "No one ever leaves community college." I graduated from a community college and there are others here on All nurses that graduated from a CC and we are just fine. And yes, if you get an ADN vs. a BSN you will still get hired.

    If you can, please knock out some of your prerequisites at a community college this fall. Don't let this semester go to waste.
    Last edit by Neo Soldier on Aug 11
  4. by   cleback
    Can you defer matriculation into the nursing school you were accepted into? Apply to cheaper schools and work? Honestly, a year isn't that long. It would probably be financially worth it, especially if you will have graduate education to pay for (it ain't cheap either).
  5. by   SC_RNDude
    No question, take a year and work on your prerequisites and try to get into a less expensive school. It sounds like you would be a good candidate at any school, and if not the expensive private school will always be there.

    Your current job helping pay for it is even more reason to do the above.

    Gap year only turns into years if you let it. Why are you afraid that would happen?

    You have have youth on your side. Even if it takes you five more years to become a nurse, you still have 40+ working years ahead of you!
    Last edit by SC_RNDude on Aug 11 : Reason: Edit
  6. by   JKL33
    You have a solid plan that makes financial sense. Anyone who aspires to become a nurse does him/herself an enormous favor by avoiding oppressive and/or unnecessary debt; this will help enable a person to make future employment decisions more from a position of advantage rather than disadvantage. You'll be more likely to be able to consider other important aspects of a potential job than just paycheck; for example it's a much better position from which to make decisions about what type of employee treatment is acceptable.

    Investigate the benefits of your current position carefully as part of your final decision-making process. Make sure there aren't strings attached that don't meet your needs (such as education dollars that must be used to pursue a degree within a particular field).

    Stick to your plan by being mindful that every day you go to work you are doing your plan. It's "in progress," not "on hold." Once you are well-adjusted in your new position, you could take a prereq or two...or three.

    Good luck ~
  7. by   Gabriela06
    I took all of those courses. I graduated with my Associates degree. And my community college also requires a year of waiting.
  8. by   ctdfmags
    If you have all of your prerequisites done and can get into the community college program, I would do that.

    You have all your life to be a nurse, and a gap year is nothing compared to the financial hardship you might find if you take out excessive loans to go to the private school.
  9. by   City-Girl
    Quote from Gabriela06
    I took all of those courses. I graduated with my Associates degree. And my community college also requires a year of waiting.
    You mentioned you have an associate's degree. Is it in nursing or another health-related field? It may make more sense to apply your associate's credits to a four year program. Keep in mind that in the end it doesn't matter whether you get your degree from a private or state university. Depending on where you live your chances of getting hired are better if you have a BSN.
  10. by   Newgradnurse17
    I had to take a year off before nursing school too, for other reasons. it wasn't planned and I wasn't happy about it. But it turned out well. I got used to dealing with people and really develop skills I needed for nursing. I was able to save money. And spend some time in the 'real' world, which was beneficial. The year went so fast, and by the end of it I was so ready to go back to school.

    Life never goes to plan. Things happen that we have no control over and we just have to deal with them. And if your situation is Working at a pre school, that pays well and will help pay for your bsn, for a year that is not a disaster.
  11. by   Jedrnurse
    You're 20 years old and have a full-time job in a preschool, but said you have lots of healthcare experience.

    What have you done? I'm very curious...
  12. by   klone
    IMO, "gap year" is no longer applicable if you're 20. You've had 2 years of "gap year" after graduation from high school.

    "Gap year" refers to taking a year off between high school graduation and entry to college (usually to travel).
  13. by   nursinglove30
    I don't understand, if nursing is your passion then why not pursue it? you are very lucky you're living with your parents and don't have many bills. Perhaps going to a community college and cut the cost. If you have healthcare experience, many places out there offer tuition reimbursement for working part time. Go get your RN degree, don't get distracted. Wish I did mine sooner.
  14. by   wishing2beRN
    I say you should wait. I'm In the same boat as you, I've been in college EVERY semester since high shcool ended. I want to be a NP, and I am anxious to knock it all out!

    I've come to the realization the past few months that if you want something bad enough like you and I do, it'll happen. Take it easy here and there, you deserve it. A year isn't that long. Knock your prerequisites out, save money apply to multiple school and watch what happens.

    Good luck !