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Working to get loans paid off?

Nurses   (2,202 Views 5 Comments)
by ChocoholicRN ChocoholicRN (Member)

ChocoholicRN has 4 years experience and specializes in Med-Surg.

5,103 Profile Views; 213 Posts

First off, i'm not sure if this is in the right forum, so any administrators please feel free to repost it in the correct place. So here's my main reason for starting this thread (sorry if it's long).

I got a call today from a loan company and one thing that they mentioned to me was that nurses can work in a rural hospital or one in a poor area where nurses are in very high demand. You sign a contract for "x" amount of years and once you complete those years, your student loan is dismissed and you no longer have to pay it off. Hopefully some of you have heard of this type of work. If so, what are the hospitals generally like? Is the pay equivalent to those in surrounding areas or lower? Did you find the conditions of the hospital "bearable" for the duration of your contract or was it a lot worse than you expected? I would love to not have to pay off these student loans, but it seems too good to be true. I would love to hear from a nurse who has gone through this type of experience and how it worked out for you. I will be graduating in about 2 months and will soon begin applying for jobs. I would like to work in the new york area - manhattan, brooklyn, almost any of the 5 boroughs, but I would also consider certain areas in new jersey. Any help or advice would be much appreciated. Thank you!!

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Halinja is a BSN, RN and specializes in L&D, PACU.

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There are state and federal programs that will forgive/pay student loans if you work in underserved areas. The only trouble is...it isn't automatic. Its something you have to apply for, and in the case of the feds, there are a LOT of people who apply, and not everyone gets it.


You get paid whatever the hospital is paying, as the hospital isn't really involved. If you explore that website there are lists of the kinds of hospitals that qualify, and the areas.

There are also state programs, depending on what state you are in. There are time commitments involved.

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MikeyJ is a RN and specializes in Peds, PICU, Home health, Dialysis.

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I personally will walk out of school with a hefty amount of loans (roughly $60,000). However, I have been warned that taking a position where your loans are forgiven in return for a few years of service may not be the best bet. These locations are typically very rural areas (not always though - some of them are inner-city county hospitals) and many of the locations are also Indian Tribal Reservations. Before you apply to one of these programs, make sure you ask lots of questions and really read the contract.

I have been told it is probably much easier to just work your butt off for the first year as a nurse (working full-time at a hospital while doing part-time or per diem at another or working a lot of overtime) and you can make a big dent in you loans if you don't adjust your living style too much.

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If you were to choose between inner city and rural, take the rural.

I live in an area that is rural as it comes, and the standard of living is so cheap, taxes on a $150K house would only run you about $275 per year. Groceries are cheap, everything is cheap.

The hospitals here are paying about 30% more than what major cities pay for new grads.

Now, here is the catch: Unless you plan on living in a rural area forever, my advice is to rent. Average time a house is on the market is about 1 year before it's sold. Don't be suprised if your "rental" is a trailer. With rural areas, comes extreme poverty, so most of the apartments you see are Section 8, and the conditions are deplorable, because drug use is rampant in these areas.

However, in exchange for the hardship, you can leave your house unlocked for a week if you forgot, when you were on vacation, and come back to find it perfectly intact.

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