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Student Loans and Debt

NP Students   (4,097 Views 73 Comments)
by jnniemeyer jnniemeyer (Member)

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I am wondering if there are any NPs that can advise me on student debt. 

I would like to pursue an entry level masters program to become a family nurse practitioner - however all of the options are very expensive and I would have to take out a very significant student loan. 

I have done a lot of financial planning, and it that seems worse case scenario - I would be paying the loans off on an Income-base repayment plan for 20 years. 

For those of you with outstanding student debt - how much of an impact does it have on your life? For example - does it affect things like buying a house, starting a family, and other big life decisions..?

Edited by jnniemeyer

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How much are you planning on spending on NP school?  20 years seems insane for the average cost of an NP degree?

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It is an entry level masters for non-nurses, so includes pre-licensure training and NP training. The cost of the entire program is 175,000.

Just curious what is the average cost of an NP degree? I’ve compared many programs and most entry level masters are only offered at private schools and cost about the same.  

Thanks! 

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Silverdragon102 is a BSN and specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC.

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Moved to the NP Student discussion forum 

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2 hours ago, jnniemeyer said:

It is an entry level masters for non-nurses, so includes pre-licensure training and NP training. The cost of the entire program is 175,000.

Just curious what is the average cost of an NP degree? I’ve compared many programs and most entry level masters are only offered at private schools and cost about the same.  

Thanks! 

NO NO NO and NO!!! do not even think about taking out that kind of loan if you aren't going to be an MD... go the traditional route and get your 2 year RN, start working, then RN-BSN and once you have some years get the NP.  There are many hospitals that will do tuition reimbursement along with grants/scholarships once you get started.  Taking out $175K when you'll be lucky to clear $120K is just plain STUPID! I spent $7K on my AA, my job paid for my BSN and I'm about to enter grad school with 2 different options of either $20K for a FNP program or $35K for a dual program that are both online. My hospital does a small tuition reimbursement but the loans I will need to take out are doable to pay off quickly within 5 years of obtaining my degree.  

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3 hours ago, jnniemeyer said:

It is an entry level masters for non-nurses, so includes pre-licensure training and NP training. The cost of the entire program is 175,000.

Just curious what is the average cost of an NP degree? I’ve compared many programs and most entry level masters are only offered at private schools and cost about the same.  

Thanks! 

175K? No ma'am, find another, lower cost program. That's ridiculous. Go to a community college and get your ADN/RN and work your way up from there. 

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You have to look at your projected earnings and that is going to vary by location.  However, this cost seems excessive.  You'd be better off going to PA school and it would cost less and have pretty much the same end result professionally.

In some areas, experienced FNPs can make $140 to $160K per year, so paying off the student debt you mentioned is doable, if you live and work in such an area.  In addition, if you are willing to work in an underserved area, there are federal and state loan repayment programs.  Some employers also assist with loan repayment.  You should also apply for scholarships, some of which are very sizeable.  I won a  Nurse Corps scholarship for 18 months, which covered my tuition and provided a small living stipend.  Most states also offer these scholarships to state residents.

There are much cheaper ways to become an FNP.  Look at state schools.  You could earn your RN first, then work full time and go to FNP school part time.  

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20 hours ago, FullGlass said:

You have to look at your projected earnings and that is going to vary by location.  However, this cost seems excessive.  You'd be better off going to PA school and it would cost less and have pretty much the same end result professionally.

In some areas, experienced FNPs can make $140 to $160K per year, so paying off the student debt you mentioned is doable, if you live and work in such an area.  In addition, if you are willing to work in an underserved area, there are federal and state loan repayment programs.  Some employers also assist with loan repayment.  You should also apply for scholarships, some of which are very sizeable.  I won a  Nurse Corps scholarship for 18 months, which covered my tuition and provided a small living stipend.  Most states also offer these scholarships to state residents.

There are much cheaper ways to become an FNP.  Look at state schools.  You could earn your RN first, then work full time and go to FNP school part time.  

Thanks, this is super helpful! I have explored lots of options and the ABSN is the fastest way to start my nursing career, especially considering I have just turned 30. 

Ideally I would love to work in a shortage area or commit to a loan repayment program, but there are no guarantees.

I have done a lot of financial planning and would be able to make the loan payments as long as I was working.

I suppose I am just wondering how much student debt affects your life after graduation and to what extent? I would never be able to pay the loan off entirely - and after 20 years it would be forgiven. So If you are working and making the payments each month - is it really that big of a deal? 

Any advice is appreciated! 

 

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Have you researched what type of jobs you would qualify for coming from a non-nursing background?  It might be the fastest way to get your masters, but you might end up having to work at the same level as an RN after you graduate anyway to get experience, in which case you are really wasting money.  Unless I’m misunderstanding something here?

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Also, 30 is still young enough to not be worrying about a couple extra years of gaining experience. 😉

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On 7/7/2019 at 12:17 PM, jnniemeyer said:

I have done a lot of financial planning, and it that seems worse case scenario - I would be paying the loans off on an Income-base repayment plan for 20 years. 

Are you sure you have done all the financial planning that needs to be done in this situation?

You say that the program will cost you 175K...For federal loans the most you can borrow at the graduate level is 20,500 per year.  It would take 8.5 years at 20,500 a year to accumulate 175K debt, thus how are you planning to fund the deficit amount needed each year? Private loans? 

I'm not aware of any private loans that offer income-based repayment, a 20 year repayment period, or loan forgiveness after 20 years of payments.. Also, most have higher interest rates that the what the federal student loans are offering at this time. 

2 hours ago, jnniemeyer said:

So If you are working and making the payments each month - is it really that big of a deal? 

All of your lenders will be very happy if you simply make your minimum payments each month.. but is it really that big of a deal?? What happens if you get sick, hurt, or can't work for some other reason.. those same payments invested in a Roth IRA over a 20 year period could definitely help easy the stress of retirement or some unforeseen financial crisis.. Your creditors will not care if you can work or not.. they are still kept happy when you make your monthly payments. 

Edited by 203bravo

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I did an accelerated BSN (one calendar year) program at a highly regarded state school. It was $30,000, which I was fortunate enough to be able to pay cash for. I am now working, earning enough that $30,000 seems like no big deal (meaning that even if it had been a loan, I’d be paying it off quickly). I plan to work a few years, then enter a FNP program part-time, so I will be working and taking minimal loans as I make my way to FNP. I entered the ABSN program at age 36 and still feel that I have PLENTY of time to have a solid long career. 

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