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What Would You Do?

Posted

-I'm 24, and currently working as an RPN in Ontario (2012 grad)

-Single, no children and currently living at home with my parents

-Prior to enrolling in the RPN program, I took a couple semesters of a Health Sciences undergrad program

-With that, plus my RPN program, I owe OSAP a little over 20k

-I currently have a permanent part-time position (48 hours/pay)

I'd like to return to school and complete my RN. At this point in time, I can't go back full-time. I do have a car payment/insurance and a few other bills to maintain so giving up my RPT isn't an option.

I'd need to go back to school on a part-time basis. My options would be either attending Nippissing University, which would be a blended learning program that is mainly online OR attending McMaster University, since they offer the program on a part-time basis, but it would be in class (which is about a 35-40 minute drive from where I live) My local university (Brock U) doesn't offer the program on a part-time basis.

Given my situation, would you take out further OSAP to fund returning to school part-time?

My issue with where I am right now is that I'll likely never make much more than I am right now. If I go full-time, the difference in pay will be minimal. I also don't have many if at all travel nursing options, which is something I've always wanted to do. Ultimately, I know I won't be content with remaining where I am.

The financial issues are what keep me on edge regarding going back or not, but as of late I've been looking at it as a greater reward in the end. Yes, I'll increase my student loan debt, but in turn I'll end up making a higher income and it will pay itself off. Am I thinking in the right direction?

ruralgirl08

Specializes in med-surg, OR.

How about compromising by knocking down your current student debt at minimal in half, and then starting classes next year part-time. I think most people learn better in class, but I guess it depends how you learn that really counts. How long will it take you to complete? And what is the estimated tuition costs? I think its important that you are considering the debt issue. Once you move out and have more responsibilities, student debt can be a ball in chain, even on a bit higher salary.

Can you stay at home, keep your part time job and pay down your student loan if you do the blended program through Nippissing?

xokw, BSN, RN

Specializes in Public Health. Has 5 years experience.

I have also been debating between these options. I am graduating next week and have been accepted into the McMaster bridging program. I worked, probably too much, to complete my PN program debt free but McMaster will cost about $7300 per year plus parking, books etc. I have also looked into Nipissing and over the 5-7 years it will take to complete their blended program it will cost about $25 000. Similar cost wise in the end I guess but be aware you will not be eligible to apply for OSAP unless you are taking 60% of a course load, which may not apply for Nipissing.

Check if your employer offers tuition assistance and apply for reimbursement through the RNAO nursing education initiative for $1,500/year. Any courses that you pay for and do not receive reimbursement can be claimed as an income tax deductions. Take as many steps as you can to avoid more debt.

Daisy_08, BSN, RN

Has 5 years experience.

Id get full time or pick up a second job and pay down your debt. You should also have some savings for exam time and what not.

I was not aware Mac had a pt program. That is my local uni and everyone here who wants to bridge pt either goes to Nippissing or Ryerson.

It is possible to do ft work and ft school, like myself and many of my classmates, just difficult.

joanna73, BSN, RN

Specializes in geriatrics.

You also need to factor in the difference in pay, which is an investment in yourself, so to speak.

Yes, you will have more debt, but the debt will be paid. I would consider going full time, living at home and applying for loans, grants and scholarships. You're 24...lots of time to pay the debt.

I was 37 when I finished my RN program. 45 k in debt and living on my own. Three years later, it's paid.

xokw, BSN, RN

Specializes in Public Health. Has 5 years experience.

As far as I know the Mac program is FT, I inquired about pt and was told they do not offer it. The first couple of semesters are only 3 days/week but I know a few girls who are doing it and they said regardless of only physically being there 3 days/week it is still very much a full course load.

As far as I know the Mac program is FT' date=' I inquired about pt and was told they do not offer it. The first couple of semesters are only 3 days/week but I know a few girls who are doing it and they said regardless of only physically being there 3 days/week it is still very much a full course load.[/quote']

On the McMaster website it states you can take up to 6 years to finish the course, otherwise it's 3 years full-time. If you extend the 3 years, it can essentially be part-time. I did confirm with McMaster.

Daisy_08, BSN, RN

Has 5 years experience.

On the McMaster website it states you can take up to 6 years to finish the course, otherwise it's 3 years full-time. If you extend the 3 years, it can essentially be part-time. I did confirm with McMaster.

Its not really a part time program. If you get sick, fail, have a baby, can no longer afford it, its too stressful or some other extenuating circumstances, you can take time off or cut your load down and then must finish with in six years of your start date. Your last year will be full time regardless of what you do as all courses must be done concurrently. All you can really do is take your electives all before starting (or take a year off to complete them like myself). Your at a disadvantage to try and make it into a part time program as the courses are designed to compliment each other. They only offer year one semester one courses in the fall, so if you take 1/2 of them you must wait a full year to take the rest, meaning there is no way to finish in 6 years doing it part time

Its not really a part time program. If you get sick, fail, have a baby, can no longer afford it, its too stressful or some other extenuating circumstances, you can take time off or cut your load down and then must finish with in six years of your start date. Your last year will be full time regardless of what you do as all courses must be done concurrently. All you can really do is take your electives all before starting (or take a year off to complete them like myself). Your at a disadvantage to try and make it into a part time program as the courses are designed to compliment each other. They only offer year one semester one courses in the fall, so if you take 1/2 of them you must wait a full year to take the rest, meaning there is no way to finish in 6 years doing it part time

Thanks for the info. They definitely didn't specify all of this when I inquired.

Well, I guess I can cross Mac off of my list. I can't attend school full-time due to financial obligations which require me to at the very least maintain my regular part-time position. It looks like Nipissing is my only option at this point, although I'm not a fan of the idea of a nursing program being predominantly online & I've never heard of Nipissing until now, so I'm not sure what type of reputation they have.

The options seem to be few and far between, this is becoming depressing.

Daisy_08, BSN, RN

Has 5 years experience.

Thanks for the info. They definitely didn't specify all of this when I inquired.

Well, I guess I can cross Mac off of my list. I can't attend school full-time due to financial obligations which require me to at the very least maintain my regular part-time position. It looks like Nipissing is my only option at this point, although I'm not a fan of the idea of a nursing program being predominantly online & I've never heard of Nipissing until now, so I'm not sure what type of reputation they have.

The options seem to be few and far between, this is becoming depressing.

I really hate to keep bringing you down, but in order to do it with nippissing your work place must sign a contract with then for you to do all clinicals with them.

Look into Centenial (I think I have the right name) they offer a pt program that sounds very flexible. One day a week in class, with some online stuff. A coworker was talking about it. They have a number of satellite site where they broad cast it in (the Woodstock and Stratford hospitals do it). That might be an option for you.

I know, the fact that it takes three years is ridiculous! My first year the only useful thing I did was patho. And the skills they had us "learning" I could easily do all and then some in an afternoon at work

Fiona59

Has 18 years experience.

Be thankful you have these options. Out west we only have Athabasca or applying to the local university and getting lminimal credits.

id say start working for a bit until you have some debt paid off and then start. You're only 24. I'm 27 and I just graduated as an RN.

I've heard stories from friends about wanting to pay off their OSAP loan (from their undergrad and second degree) and all I can say that it is not looking good for them. Yes, it's important to get your RN degree but it can wait. Plus you have no kids so there's no rush. I do understand that ideally you'd like to do it now since you have no kids. But would you want to accumulate that debt? Honestly I am so lucky that after I graduated from my undergrad BSc degree (paid for by my parents), I worked for 2 years saving enough money before I went back for a 2nd degree in Nursing BscN. Yes, I delayed a few years but I have NO STUDENT LOANS. I am proud to say that I am DEBT free but I am also very thankful that my parents paid for my first degree. I paid for my second degree with all the money that I saved up!!!