Sunday, March 08, 2009

Money honey

NewFNP has read article after article lamenting the primary care physician shortage.  Often times, this is attributed to the high cost of medical school education. It's true - med school is expensive.  It's true - physicians can make more money in specialty practice.  


Nonetheless, these articles make newFNP a little pissy.

Jut hold up, mofos.  There are nurse practitioners out there who are thrilled to be primary care providers.  Nay, they chose to be NPs because they wanted to provide primary care.  They wanted to prevent illness, they wanted to treat the whole person and not the disease.  They wanted to be part of a health care team.  They wanted to judiciously refer to specialty when the situation necessitated the referral.  

And guess what?  They have debt.  They may even have a shitload of debt.

NewFNP's fancy NP school was seven semesters in length.  The total tuition cost was in the neighborhood of $98,000.  That's just the tuition.  That's no rent, no books, no required health insurance, no specific-colored scrubs so as to identify students as students, no RN license.  That's no red wine, no haircuts, no used book cafe coffee & treats with one's lady friends.  And, at newFNP's school, there were a fair number of us who had other graduate degrees and their associated student loans.  Thank heavens for the in-school deferment!

And thank heavens for loan repayment which mercifully wiped out quite a chunk of newFNP's debt, which now totals just a smidge over $60,000.  Ah - $60,000 - it seems so reasonable.

So what is newFNP saying?  She's simply saying: yo -- NPs!  She feels your pain.  You work hard, you take good care of your patients, you pay your six-figure student loan debt.  Keep it up.  

And for those of you in fancy and pricey NP schools, it's worth it.  It's totally frigging worth it.

12 comments:

where is jenner's mind said...

i'm a very new fnp and i'm finding it hard to balance the i want to consume more cuz i just finisihed school and oh yeah 25% of my income goes to student loans. i don't think i have that much of a life style problem but its tough.

sara said...

thanks for writing about this ... i'm not an NP (still thinking about it) but i went back to a pricey school to get my BSN and regret my decision. i'll be paying off my loans for the next 10 years, an amount of time that i don't really want to think about.

T Rex Mom said...

I'm about to endeavor into the debt living lifestyle myself - I had a full scholarship that paid for nursing school but grad school is going to be pricey! I think though, from what you're saying, it is totally worth it. Thanks for the perspective.

LilSass said...

I'm a future FNP and I TOTALLY needed this today. Very rarely do I hear from any of my clinician friends that the debt is worth it. I'm embarking on my own ridiculously expensive journey in 3 months and HOLY SHIT I'LL BE IN DEBT FOREVER! *sigh* And then I'll do primary care (it's like that paragraph you wrote was pilfered from my entrance essay) and hope to get some of it paid off. *sigh* again

makeup loves me said...

i'm in expensive NP school right now! thank you for saying it will be worth it! i love it but its always good to hear something reassuring. :)

Womankind said...

I am a nurse practitioner and the editor for Kaplan Publishing's newest anthology: Beyond Borders: Nurses’ Stories about Working Abroad.

We want nurses from all over the world to reveal what it’s like to practice nursing outside of your home countries. Whether confronted with unfamiliar cultural norms, new medical language, or greater or fewer resources than you would experience at home, your story will open a window into the commonalties and cultural differences in how the art and science of nursing is practiced around the globe.

Any chance of my postng the submssion guidelnes on your post? You can email me drect at beyondborders@lve.com Thanks!

Nancy Leigh Harless, Editor Beyond Borders

FNP (hopefully) said...

thanks! I needed this too. I just signed the loan paperwork for grad. school and almost had a heart attack looking at that dollar sign. It is good to know that it really is worth it going to a pricey school.

Also, I loved the comparison between NPs and physicians... I started out pre-med in undergrad, and changed my mind when I started working in the field and .. uh... actually found out that the NP degree existed! But, when I made my decision to become an NP everyone saw it as a cop out... like I could not handle med school, when really it is because I think the prevention and education part of nursing is how you can really make a difference! grr.. I hate the naive-ness (I say this knowing that at one point, I was just as clueless about the degree... so maybe I have no right to judge)

Marty said...

I have a masters and post masters degree. I never found a job in that field and it took ten years to pay off those degrees. I will never go into debts for a degree again. I am half way through the MN for my psych NP and have run out of money. My hospital has refused to pay for the rest of the degree so I am taking the term off (no choice) and will decide whether it makes any sense (or cents) to finish this thing. With the outbreak of good mental health and sobriety I may be better off taking photographs.

Marty

BostonFNP said...

Amen, darlin', amen. Why isn't there a few more articles out there that start with "There is shortage of primary care physicians coming out of med school. Thank God there are so many willing, capable, intelligent, committed, attractive, stylish, witty, and incredibly compassionate nurse practitioners to take their place. Let's hold a protest on the National Mall to help them pay off their debt." OK, they don't have to write the attractive, stylish and witty...

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Nurse and Hospital Stories said...

Whoa! That's very costly already, huh. Indeed it is a "money honey". haha.

Thanks for the share,
Peny@eye chart

HealthPlus said...

We have a way NPs in private practice (26 states) pay off all student loan debt within 1-2 years. email camedtests@gmail.com