Help! Pre-Nursing Job advice!

  1. Hi,

    I have a plan.... sorry this will be a long post!

    i
    I over think everything and tend to try to account for every possible outcome. This is a good thing and a bad thing.

    Anyway, currently I work for a Bank. I've been with the company a little over 2 years and may almost $19 an hour plus monthly bonuses(usually $500). I've started my Pre- Reqs and will be applying to my community colleges nursing program spring of 2019 for fall 2019 admission. My ideal program is the schools night and evening fast-track program which would run from August 2019 to December of 2020.

    My plan is to save $100 a pay check starting feb. 2nd until June of 2019 which is will be about $3500, put aside $2000 each from tax refund from 2018 and 2019(thank god for my sons birth lol), and then dissolve my 401k(amount I'll be able to get unknown... I'd be quitting so I can get a hospital position so I'm sure about penalties and such currently between my 401k and pension there $8000 there... but I doubt I get to take even half of that...).

    i round everything down to leave wiggle room so with saving and tax money I'll have 7,500. With my 401k I'd say at the very least I'd think I'd get to take home $2500( low estimate) so I'm Hoping on $10,000 to help supplement income when I go part time...

    So the point... regardless of where I go it'll be a pay cut... I want to work in an ER/ED when I become a nurse. Do you think getting an EMT certification and doing that for a awhile(working as an EMT) would help my chances? Or should I look for more like a ER tech or nurse aide? I'm trying to think about finances as well and a position that will pay at least a 13-14 and hour... I'm already taking the pay cut so I don't want to make it too drastic Incase something was to happen financially. Ideally I'd want a position I could do 2 12's and have good flexibility during my class schedule while in school(evening and weekend fast track program). I know there are student nurse position at my local hospital(Pittsburgh, pa), but usually they want a semester of clinical... I want to start as soon as possible so I'm shooting to start whatever position I choose June of 2019 prior to the start of the semester.... Any ideas???
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    About Soon2beNurseSmith

    Joined: Dec '17; Posts: 23; Likes: 7

    16 Comments

  3. by   TipsyTurtle
    Well my ADN program at my community college is only $5000 so it's not that bad, maybe yours will be around the same price range.
  4. by   RainbowSprinkles
    I think its important to factor in the cost and time invested to become an emt, cna, or or er tech. I know in my state for an emt or cna program it runs over 1500 and runs about 3 months long, leaving little room for a job. If you can make that investment, I think its a great idea. Being that lots of hospitals prefer to hire bsn, this will give you opportunity to stand out from other adn nurses seeking jobs.
  5. by   Soon2beNurseSmith
    Quote from TipsyTurtle
    Well my ADN program at my community college is only $5000 so it's not that bad, maybe yours will be around the same price range.
    I'm not really worried so much about the cost of the program. The community college program here is pretty cheap too and financial aid will cover most of it. The savings is more to supplement the lost income while I go part time. My fiancé works full time but we have a 2 year son a dog, rent, utilities, credit cards, loans, etc we're paying off. So my part time pay alone won't cover it and I don't want to take out any unnecessary loans to cover living cost.
  6. by   Soon2beNurseSmith
    Quote from turtleki
    I think its important to factor in the cost and time invested to become an emt, cna, or or er tech. I know in my state for an emt or cna program it runs over 1500 and runs about 3 months long, leaving little room for a job. If you can make that investment, I think its a great idea. Being that lots of hospitals prefer to hire bsn, this will give you opportunity to stand out from other adn nurses seeking jobs.
    The EMT programs is actually only $550 here and runs in the evening and usually a few Saturday's through the 3 month course.

    Ex. Mon, tues, Thursday 6p-10pm and every third Saturday. From beginning off February's to mid March.

    The CNA program can run up to $1300-1500 unless you get the training paid for through a hospital or a nursing home, but the starting pay is usually about $12 an hour and during training it's usually only like $9-10 and training can run like a month long 8am- 4p so I'd have to quit of course to do the training.

    The good thing about the EMT training is the cost and it's in the evenings and on weekends. I work an 8-5 now and only Monday-Friday. So it would definitely work for me to do the program. I figure if I only took one class next spring that I could do work, the EMT course, and the one class... got to practice time management for nursing school anyway right! Lol
  7. by   Apple-Core
    Your call, obviously, but I defo wouldn't suggest you liquidate your 401K...you'd be far better off to take a small student loan and repay that when you start working. Apply for student aid via FAFSA (make sure it's the legit government website) - hopefully you will qualify for some kind of student grant (that's free money you don't have to repay) and then low-interest student loans. Usually they will defer interest until you graduate and start working, or the interest is super low for several years to allow you to graduate. Your repayment on, say, $7,000 might run to $10,000 based on your repayments etc....$7K in your current 401K will be worth 4X that in 20 years....wouldn't you rather repay $10K than lose almost $30K?
  8. by   Soon2beNurseSmith
    Quote from Apple-Core
    Your call, obviously, but I defo wouldn't suggest you liquidate your 401K...you'd be far better off to take a small student loan and repay that when you start working. Apply for student aid via FAFSA (make sure it's the legit government website) - hopefully you will qualify for some kind of student grant (that's free money you don't have to repay) and then low-interest student loans. Usually they will defer interest until you graduate and start working, or the interest is super low for several years to allow you to graduate. Your repayment on, say, $7,000 might run to $10,000 based on your repayments etc....$7K in your current 401K will be worth 4X that in 20 years....wouldn't you rather repay $10K than lose almost $30K?

    Thank you for your rely. Definitely something to look into and think about... I've been thinking about the short and long term and I know a good amount about loans from my banking background but not much about 401k's. My mindset has been "I'm 23 and will be 26 when I graduate providing at least 40 years (most likely more) Prior to retirement so I can rebuild that quickly plus I plan to get to the doctorate level in nursing and hope to be making pretty good money allow for a good savings potential... again just how my mindset has been, but you have a point and I'm always open to better ideas. I'll keep looking into all avenues 401k versuses Loans to try for the better financial outcome for the future. Thanks again!
  9. by   Apple-Core
    Quote from MurseSmith2020
    Thank you for your rely. Definitely something to look into and think about... I've been thinking about the short and long term and I know a good amount about loans from my banking background but not much about 401k's. My mindset has been "I'm 23 and will be 26 when I graduate providing at least 40 years (most likely more) Prior to retirement so I can rebuild that quickly plus I plan to get to the doctorate level in nursing and hope to be making pretty good money allow for a good savings potential... again just how my mindset has been, but you have a point and I'm always open to better ideas. I'll keep looking into all avenues 401k versuses Loans to try for the better financial outcome for the future. Thanks again!
    Your other option is you can take a loan from your 401K, (but you have to repay it to yourself, so to speak). I urge you not to liquidate your 401K. I know 23 is young, but all the more reason to keep that money where it is. In 40 years, you will be astounded at how much that money is. 401Ks should only be used in absolutely dire circumstances....and this isn't a dire situation. In fact, it's a great situation - you're heading back to school!

    I definitely suggest the loan instead. Go to FAFSA.gov and see what you would qualify for - you might be surprised. The Pell Grant is currently $5960 a year (free)! If you can work part-time while you are in school, then just cut back on spending, that's great too. Although - fair warning - working while in nursing school is very tough. Do-able, but tough.

    Best of luck to you!
  10. by   Soon2beNurseSmith
    Quote from Apple-Core
    Your other option is you can take a loan from your 401K, (but you have to repay it to yourself, so to speak). I urge you not to liquidate your 401K. I know 23 is young, but all the more reason to keep that money where it is. In 40 years, you will be astounded at how much that money is. 401Ks should only be used in absolutely dire circumstances....and this isn't a dire situation. In fact, it's a great situation - you're heading back to school!

    I definitely suggest the loan instead.

    The only thing is that I will be leaving my current employer all together in June of 2019 to start at a position within a hospital. The options I've seen when leaving an employer have been to transfer to new employers 401k plan, rollover into an IRA, or liquidate. I will have to do more research but I'm not sure what they offer for 401k's for part time employees and I'm not sure if I can take a loan from an IRA... can I? Or if I was able to transfer my 401k to another employer is there a certain amount of time I have to be there prior to taking a loan?
  11. by   Apple-Core
    Quote from MurseSmith2020
    The only thing is that I will be leaving my current employer all together in June of 2019 to start at a position within a hospital. The options I've seen when leaving an employer have been to transfer to new employers 401k plan, rollover into an IRA, or liquidate. I will have to do more research but I'm not sure what they offer for 401k's for part time employees and I'm not sure if I can take a loan from an IRA... can I? Or if I was able to transfer my 401k to another employer is there a certain amount of time I have to be there prior to taking a loan?
    Your 401K company should have a customer service number you can call. Check all the paperwork that you should have received when you opened the account. From my understanding, you should be able to simply leave your money where it is until you start a new position. Admittedly this means the money is kind of stagnant because you're no longer contributing (or getting employer matching), but it will continue to gain interest while you decide what to do.

    However, every plan in different and also it may be based upon your tenure with your current employer...these are all questions you want to ask the CSR at the company you invest with.

    As an example, when I left a job about 3 years ago, I moved to a part-time position with a company that didn't offer a 401K. I made the move to part-time so that I could study more for the pre-requisites for nursing school. I contacted the 401K company and explained my situation, and I was able to leave my money in the 401K. It had continued to grow over those 3 years, even without any additional payments from me.

    Had I liquidated the account, there is a 10% penalty (I think that is Federal law), plus you have to pay all the taxes on the amount because it is considered income. Remember that when you pay into your 401K at work, it is tax-free and reduces your taxable income. You do not pay any taxes on the deposits or any interest accrued until you start to draw on it in retirement....and hopefully by then there will be a hefty sum in there.

    Hence, you will lose a lot up-front if you liquidate, not to mention how much you would lose out on in the long-term.

    I would suggest contacting your HR and also talking with the 401K company to gather all your options. Every place of employment will have their own rules and you need to know what they are in your place of employment so that you can make an informed decision. For example, what are the implications to your 401K if you go part-time at the bank? Will you still be able to contribute? Will the bank still match your contributions if you are part-time? Will you no longer be able to pay into it at all?

    If it was me I would keep the account open and contribute a nominal amount every paycheck - even as low as $25, for example, and then when you start at the hospital you can roll it over once you get a 401K established there.
  12. by   Soon2beNurseSmith
    Quote from Apple-Core
    I would suggest contacting your HR and also talking with the 401K company to gather all your options. Every place of employment will have their own rules and you need to know what they are in your place of employment so that you can make an informed decision. For example, what are the implications to your 401K if you go part-time at the bank? Will you still be able to contribute? Will the bank still match your contributions if you are part-time? Will you no longer be able to pay into it at all?
    Great tips! And thank you for the insight and example from your personal journey. All the information definitely helps. I'll keep you updated on my decisions. Hopefully I'll be able to keep the 401k intact.
  13. by   Fingers are crossed
    It may be different here in California, but to become an ER Tech you have to have previous experience as an EMT-B, EMT-P or CNA.
  14. by   Soon2beNurseSmith
    Quote from Fingers are crossed
    It may be different here in California, but to become an ER Tech you have to have previous experience as an EMT-B, EMT-P or CNA.

    I think it's preferred here too, or at least to be enrolled currently in one of the courses.

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