Cost Of School

  1. Hi guys!

    I am currently in an accelerated 1 year nursing program and have a ways to go before I apply for CRNA school. But, I am already starting my research process.

    The cost for CRNA school is very high. Through my research I was able to see that some schools advertise that hospitals in the area can cover part of your tuition if you agree to work at that hospital after graduation.

    I wanted to see if this was something that was more common than just the few schools who mentioned it? If anyone is familiar with it and is able to shed any light on what steps were taken to make this happen that would be great.



    -Soon to be RN & future CRNA
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  2. Visit doodlegirl2013 profile page

    About doodlegirl2013

    Joined: Oct '16; Posts: 7; Likes: 3

    15 Comments

  3. by   Bluebolt
    A local hospital to my BSN program signed a contract with me for two years of service and they covered my tuition and books for nursing school. I was sure that I could get out there and hustle to work out a similar deal for CRNA school.

    That was 5 years ago and I'm sorry to say I don't think it exists. I believe the problem is CRNA school loans are crazy expensive and most employers just aren't willing to pay for all that. I've been able to find some jobs that offer a sign on bonus (maybe $15-30K) if you sign a few year work contract. That will just be a drop in the bucket towards your student loan debt. A lot of people just don't have a realistic idea of how much in debt they will be. Most programs are doctorate currently and the last remaining masters have a couple years left to transition. So you have to think about tuition, books, fees*, living expenses, accruing interest on the loans, and unforeseen costs that come up. Just go ahead and plan for $150-200K, some with families and unusual expenses may spend more.

    No employer wants to write a check for $150-200K just to get you to work for them and then have to write you a check for an annual salary that will probably be $160-200K. Everybody just says they'll maybe throw you a sign on bonus that will maybe cover the interest on your loans and let you handle the payments yourself.

    I did speak to the military about joining up. They actually will pay for your entire school expenses and write you a stipend check monthly to cover your rent, food, utilities, gas. Look up the Airforces HPSP info. You should be aware that when you graduate and start fulfilling the years back to them your pay will be much less than what you would earn as a civilian. In fact when I ran the numbers during your years paid in service you end up breaking even if you had just taken a high paying civilian job and paid off the loans over 2-3 years. It's also valid to mention if you somehow fail CRNA school they will still enforce their years of service contract (there is no paying them back the money you used) but you'll be working for them as a nurse. Now if you choose to do career military CRNA you can work your way up and obtain a sweet retirement package while also doing civilian locums making even more. You just have to make sure you're prepared for a career military lifestyle.

    TLDR: You're going to pay a lot of money for CRNA school and nobody is going to cover it for you.

    P.S. Most of my rotation sites let us eat for free in the physician's lounge. That's like $7 a day I save on lunch. When you're broke as a joke you count that small stuff as a win!
    Last edit by Bluebolt on Jan 14
  4. by   doodlegirl2013
    @bluebolt
    Thank you so much! It really is crazy how expensive the education is. But, if that's what I want to be then I'm going to just have to save up money and prepare to take the bullet on the school loans. Fortunately, I don't have very many school loans from my undergraduate programs (about 15k which in comparison to CRNA school is pennies...)
    I feel you on the saving $7 for food. If you are eating there four times a week 49 of the 52 weeks of the year that's $3,871 in savings. I would absolutely say that's worth it!
    Best of luck with the rest of your schooling and thank you again for taking the time to get back to me!
  5. by   Hobberdog
    I graduate soon and in my class of 30, only one of us had a deal with a hospital to work for them in exchange for a stipend while in school. It is not very common. Your best bet is to join the military. They will cover tuition and give you a stipend in exchange for 3-5 years of service.
  6. by   Mavrick
    I used to work at a hospital that had a CRNA school and got to interact with SRNA's frequently. Many would say they had to take out loans not only for school but living expenses as well since they could not possibly work with their crazy school/clinical schedule. They just bit the bullet and planned to pay it all back with their lucrative new career.

    Think of those loans as an investment in yourself. Best investment you can make.
  7. by   loveanesthesia
    Work a couple of years in an ICU and then sign on to do travel nursing for a couple of years. Work as much OT as possible and save $100,000 before you start a program. You'll be very competitive for most programs, the experience will make clinical easier and you can keep your loans to a reasonable level.
  8. by   ProperlySeasoned
    Almost any large hospital system (and most small) will have an education benefit. The amount varies greatly, but is generally around $5000 to $8000 a year. There are usually some kind of tenure/payback restrictions, especially when attached to a bigger reward. For someone who is going to community college, these benefits can essentially pay for college, which is great. For CRNA school? Not so much. Anything a hospital will provide will be a supplement, but you will likely have to look elsewhere to fund the majority of your education.
  9. by   Bluebolt
    Lovesanesthesia gave a great tip about going travel nursing for a few years to save up money. You can easily make six figures a year while travel nursing. Do that for 2 years and you can put away a decent amount. It's also a great oppurtunity to travel and have fun while you're still in your 20's before you settle in for the long haul of 3 years of constant pain. I did 2 years of travel and don't regret it at all. I was able to save just north of $60,000 for school when we started. Sadly I'll still be over $100K in debt when I finish but it helped. Besides it was a great experience and does make you a better healthcare professional to see how multiple facilities/states do things.
  10. by   doodlegirl2013
    accidental post...oops!!
    Last edit by doodlegirl2013 on Jan 16
  11. by   doodlegirl2013
    Thank you everyone for the feedback/input!

    @bluebolt, @loveanesthesia
    Thank you for the idea of travel nursing. I had never truly considered travel nursing as I will be 27 when I enter into work force as an RN since my nursing program was an accelerated second career program. But, it is definitely something to consider! Especially if it would enable me to be able to save up a good amount of money to help go towards CRNA school. Was it difficult to get involved in travel nursing?

    @mavrick
    You bring up a great point about the fact that ultimately the loans are all an investment in myself. Something that I will have to keep telling myself when I see how high those loans can get, ha!

    CRNA is definitely something that I want to pursue. I'm just glad that I'm thinking of it now so I can begin to save/plan myself financially.
  12. by   Julius Seizure
    The VA provides full scholarships to a small number of nurses every year. You don't have to be military; you just have to work for the VA and be willing to attend their program. There is no guarantee that you will be chosen, of course, but if you are it is a pretty sweet deal. They put you through 3 years of CRNA school at their expense, and even pay your RN salary to you while you attend. In return, you agree to work for the VA for a certain number of years (three, maybe?).
  13. by   ICUman
    Quote from Julius Seizure
    The VA provides full scholarships to a small number of nurses every year. You don't have to be military; you just have to work for the VA and be willing to attend their program. There is no guarantee that you will be chosen, of course, but if you are it is a pretty sweet deal. They put you through 3 years of CRNA school at their expense, and even pay your RN salary to you while you attend. In return, you agree to work for the VA for a certain number of years (three, maybe?).
    Can you provide a link with more information or direct me to where I can read about this please?
  14. by   Julius Seizure
    Quote from ICUman
    Can you provide a link with more information or direct me to where I can read about this please?
    Unfortunately, I don't know exactly where you would find the information. I had a friend become a CRNA this way a few years ago and that's how a know about it. Maybe speaking to HR at your local VA hospital? Might be somewhere online if you searched for VA programs and nurses. Sorry I can't be of more help.

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