Author Topic: Get a bachelors or no?  (Read 6580 times)

Murse

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Get a bachelors or no?
« on: July 02, 2016, 03:18:16 PM »
I'm just going to brain dump and get feedback. I am thinking about getting a bachelors. I am currently making 36$/HR. If I get a bachelors I increase my mobility and get a 4.5% raise. The raise would be worth about 165$/ month at my current pay after taxes. My base pay in my current position can go up to 42$/HR. The bachelors program I am looking at is WGU, they say the average length of the program is 18-24 months. They charge per term, not per credit. I have heard of people doing it in 6 months. So let's say it takes me 1 year, at their rates that would cost about 7500$. That means between 43-45 month payback. So the question then becomes why not? My answer is I don't really want to. Also my savings rate is about 75%ish so it wouldn't really speed me up much. Thoughts?

Murse

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2016, 03:33:12 PM »
The benefits are after FI I would more easily be able to find PT work, if I wanted to become a NP it's one less barrier (I wouldn't do this until after FI) I also think it'll be 10ish years for FI (SO debt+increased future expenses.)

Murse

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2016, 03:35:18 PM »
The benefits are after FI I would more easily be able to find PT work, if I wanted to become a NP it's one less barrier (I wouldn't do this until after FI) I also think it'll be 10ish years for FI (SO debt+increased future expenses.)
Preferably I would get out of the medical field in the future though.

Cyaphas

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2016, 06:56:14 PM »
I'm having to fill a lot of blanks in here. You have your Associate's nursing, theoretically want/have to go to a Bachelor's and possibly after your Nurse Practitioners?

WGU = Western Governors University?

My Fiance is going through a nursing program right now in TX. She already works for the hospital and mentioned that many hospitals aren't taking the Associates of Nursing anymore, they're requiring the Bachelor's. She's aiming for the NP. Not just for income, she likes the thought of possibly running a practice as an NP.

I'd shoot for the NP (Nurse practinioner.) Even after you FIRE you could still part time for good medical and a few bucks. You obviously will never have to, but at least you'll have the option. You'd be giving yourself a lot more options. You may enjoy having the education too.

Murse

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2016, 08:03:28 PM »
Yes I have my associates, I already have employment and don't see my job changing to bachelors anytime soon (government job). Small hospitals here take associates but do not pay competitively. Large hospitals require bachelors. I'm very on the fence about the NP, it would push my fire date back. I figure if I want it I could get it after I am FI but I doubt I ever would.  Yes, WGU=western governors. I was aiming for the NP as well, then I learned of FIRE and realized all it could do is delay me (in my situation.) sorry I am busy today so my posts are not well organized.

The real question I am looking for the answer to is- should I get my BSN even though it would not effect my fire date by much at all? The benefit would be increased mobility between employers if I ever needed to change.

Classical_Liberal

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2016, 08:23:03 PM »
Another nurse here... I think the major advantage of getting your BSN will be future flexibility.  Like you said, not a huge pay increase, but a lot of hospitals are starting to require it for new hires (it helps with magnet status, etc).  So if you are very sure you will be happy in your current position until FIRE and don't plan on working PT or travel nursing later, then forget it.  If your current job starts pushing you, try to get them to pay for it, it'll help the total cost if you wanna do the CNP thing later.    If you may want to work part time or travel in the future, then I'd get it to make yourself more attractive to the market place. SemiRE is a great option for nurses & doesn't take that long to get there, you could be travel nursing for only 3 mos out of the year and make 30-40K to live on while you let your stash grow you to FI, not a bad deal at all.

Murse

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2016, 08:31:17 PM »
Okay, I have a moment so I am going to organize my thoughts.

Pros
-a bachelors would pay for itself through a pay raise
-would allow me to more easily find another job if I ever needed it
-if I ever wanted a graduate degree I wouldn't have to jump through this hoop prior

Arguments against
- If it is the 5% I am after then I could easily work 1 extra shift/month (or more) and make more then 5% instead of focusing on online school
-I Dislike school (procrastinator)
-I have a 75% savings rate already and will get 6$/hour (+cola's) in pay raises to come over the next 3 years, it really would not accelerate my time to fire by much at all


Murse

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2016, 08:33:51 PM »
Another nurse here... I think the major advantage of getting your BSN will be future flexibility.  Like you said, not a huge pay increase, but a lot of hospitals are starting to require it for new hires (it helps with magnet status, etc).  So if you are very sure you will be happy in your current position until FIRE and don't plan on working PT or travel nursing later, then forget it.  If your current job starts pushing you, try to get them to pay for it, it'll help the total cost if you wanna do the CNP thing later.    If you may want to work part time or travel in the future, then I'd get it to make yourself more attractive to the market place. SemiRE is a great option for nurses & doesn't take that long to get there, you could be travel nursing for only 3 mos out of the year and make 30-40K to live on while you let your stash grow you to FI, not a bad deal at all.

This is a very good viewpoint that I had not thought about. Thank you. I was on the fence about maybe doing some PT work after FI to make the SW rate a little lower, traveling is another good option. I am currently and plan to stay in corrections, I'll have to look and see what the traveling rates look like for them.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2016, 08:36:44 PM »
IIRC, you recently graduated. So there is the HUGE benefit of nursing school still being "fresh" in your mind. From co-workers, family, etc I have met, it seems to be much harder to return to the BSN once you've been in the field longer.

Best of luck with your choice!

Classical_Liberal

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2016, 12:09:57 AM »

This is a very good viewpoint that I had not thought about. Thank you. I was on the fence about maybe doing some PT work after FI to make the SW rate a little lower, traveling is another good option. I am currently and plan to stay in corrections, I'll have to look and see what the traveling rates look like for them.

I'm starting this later in life and have run some extensive numbers on semiRE.  With time on your side and a savings rate like 75%, it doesn't take long to save up enough to ensure a 4% WR later in life if you are willing to work part time as a travel nurse.  Even with low expected real returns (ie bad case scenarios).  Using the very general rule of 72 means even at only 3.5% real returns, saved money will double about q 20 years.  Save up 10X expenses by 27, at 47 you have 20X will no additional savings (just work enough to cover expenses), by 57 you are at a 4% WR.  Still 10 years before normal retirement AND you have only been working quarter time for the past 30 years.  If you get average returns you're FI in half that time.  Also, you can chose to work a bit more (like half time) in market dip years further increasing your stash building efficiency.  At a 75% savings rate you should have 10X expenses in only about 3 years!  Nursing is an awesome profession for a quick semiRE!  Plus plenty of flexibility to go back to full time for awhile if you get bored or have big changes to your life plans, expenses like kids

Other advantages; if you plan on traveling anyway, you can get some free travel costs to your destination and rack up a lot of hotel points, ect.  I'm travel nursing now, full time for stash building at the moment, but plan to cut back to 3- 6 mos a year (one or two contracts) in short order.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2016, 12:13:51 AM by Classical_Liberal »

Murse

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2016, 06:59:56 AM »

This is a very good viewpoint that I had not thought about. Thank you. I was on the fence about maybe doing some PT work after FI to make the SW rate a little lower, traveling is another good option. I am currently and plan to stay in corrections, I'll have to look and see what the traveling rates look like for them.

I'm starting this later in life and have run some extensive numbers on semiRE.  With time on your side and a savings rate like 75%, it doesn't take long to save up enough to ensure a 4% WR later in life if you are willing to work part time as a travel nurse.  Even with low expected real returns (ie bad case scenarios).  Using the very general rule of 72 means even at only 3.5% real returns, saved money will double about q 20 years.  Save up 10X expenses by 27, at 47 you have 20X will no additional savings (just work enough to cover expenses), by 57 you are at a 4% WR.  Still 10 years before normal retirement AND you have only been working quarter time for the past 30 years.  If you get average returns you're FI in half that time.  Also, you can chose to work a bit more (like half time) in market dip years further increasing your stash building efficiency.  At a 75% savings rate you should have 10X expenses in only about 3 years!  Nursing is an awesome profession for a quick semiRE!  Plus plenty of flexibility to go back to full time for awhile if you get bored or have big changes to your life plans, expenses like kids

Other advantages; if you plan on traveling anyway, you can get some free travel costs to your destination and rack up a lot of hotel points, ect.  I'm travel nursing now, full time for stash building at the moment, but plan to cut back to 3- 6 mos a year (one or two contracts) in short order.
how much is your hourly rate?

Murse

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2016, 08:13:04 AM »
I quickly glanced at rates last night and I think it would be just as profitable (based on the numbers I was seeing) to stay at my current job part-time when the time comes (if I don't take into account housing being covered) if I decided to. What further complicates this discussion is my savings rate is 75%, and I am personally debt free, but my SO has a income half as large as mine (base) with the same expenses and around 25k debt (she is working on it.) I also expect housing costs to go up in the future. In actuality my savings rate compared to future expenses is probably closer to the 40-60% range (when combining expenses, assets and income.) now, my SO is in sales so depending on how she performs her income could be just as large as mine.

MrsPete

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2016, 08:19:01 AM »
Here's what I see as the problem:  You're balancing two different thoughts in your mind, and you don't seem to know which is your foremost goal:

- Do you want to earn a second degree so you can advance in your career? 

- Do you want to make more money so you can retire more quickly? 

The two goals seem to be in conflict. 

Murse

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2016, 10:00:52 AM »
Here's what I see as the problem:  You're balancing two different thoughts in your mind, and you don't seem to know which is your foremost goal:

- Do you want to earn a second degree so you can advance in your career? 

- Do you want to make more money so you can retire more quickly? 

The two goals seem to be in conflict.

Retire more quickly. I am not hung up on the career, I am having difficulty because if I choose to semi ER, I would prefer to be "more advanced" in my career.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2016, 12:45:31 PM by Murse »

undercover

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2016, 10:57:54 AM »
Here's what I see as the problem:  You're balancing two different thoughts in your mind, and you don't seem to know which is your foremost goal:

- Do you want to earn a second degree so you can advance in your career? 

- Do you want to make more money so you can retire more quickly? 

The two goals seem to be in conflict.

Those goals don't seem mutually exclusive at all. Why can't one advance their career and also retire sooner? You either raise income or reduce expenses to retire earlier. To raise income, you have to advance your career.

I would definitely do it if I were you, OP. Too much schooling never hurt anyone - and that seems like a small price to pay to ensure flexibility into the future, even if it resulted in a zero increase in pay. Keep in mind that this is coming from the perspective from someone who's clueless about making it as a nurse, but still. It sounds like you just need the extra push.

mozar

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2016, 12:32:22 PM »
Quote
My answer is I don't really want to.

I understand this. I could take a test that would ensure work stability for ever, but after failing it several times I've decided to see if I can get away with not doing it. I hate studying so much. It would take me 18 months to pass the test, if I thought I could pass it. Sure I would make more money but I would hate my life for 18 months. I already hate working, although a little bit less than studying. I also want to save enough so I never have to work again. The only negative to taking the test is my mental health and I find that insurmountable.

Murse

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2016, 01:18:23 PM »
So far most people have said that it is a good idea, nobody has tried saying that it will not make much of a difference. I will continue with the application process and weigh it all, right now I am leaning towards not doing it.

Being super conservative and saying I will work on school 5 hours/week for a year would be 260hours of "work." If I worked 260 hours of OT it would be worth $14,000 gross.

Now, instead of getting a BSN if I worked 1 shift of ot/month, that would be 6.8% "differential" vs the 4.5% I would get from a BSN.

Yes, I know I could do both, and yes I know in real life I will likely work the same amount of OT regardless of whether I get a BSN or not.

I will make my final decision after my transcripts are evaluated and I see how many credits I would actually have to complete.

Classical_Liberal

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2016, 09:16:21 PM »
Hourly wages for travel gigs vary significantly (where, when, what specialty etc), a significant portion of wages also come from food and housing per diems as well.  It's difficult to know exactly what you would make.  If you are not interested in traveling and are already making 40+ an hour, a per diem or part time job is essentially the same thing.  Per diem is nice because you can just pick up when you want or take months off at a time as well.  These options are the beauty of nursing for semiRE plans, you can do one or try them all.  My personal opinion, if you plan to be an RN (even in a part time capacity for the long haul), I would eventually get the BSN. You'll never have to worry about glass ceilings or issues with not having it for different jobs in the future. I was in a totally different field (banking) and got a BSN straight away when becoming a nurse.  From what I have heard, the RN to BSN programs are relatively easy and require minimal clinical hours.  Still, see if you can get you employer to pay for it!

Good luck in whatever you decide!
« Last Edit: July 03, 2016, 09:18:08 PM by Classical_Liberal »

Little Nell

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2016, 09:22:22 PM »
Under "pros" you might put that if you study hard you will learn something.

Murse

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2016, 10:13:57 PM »
Under "pros" you might put that if you study hard you will learn something.

It would be nice if I believed it was true. All of the RN's I have spoken with who then got their BSN have told me it has changed nothing about the way they practice and that it is all managerial type coursework.

MrsPete

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2016, 07:35:38 AM »
Those goals don't seem mutually exclusive at all. Why can't one advance their career and also retire sooner? You either raise income or reduce expenses to retire earlier. To raise income, you have to advance your career.

I would definitely do it if I were you, OP. Too much schooling never hurt anyone - and that seems like a small price to pay to ensure flexibility into the future, even if it resulted in a zero increase in pay. Keep in mind that this is coming from the perspective from someone who's clueless about making it as a nurse, but still. It sounds like you just need the extra push.
While I agree that additional education is good for everyone, I still say that from a practical standpoint these two goals are in conflict.  The OP says his goal is to retire.  The main thing involved in that is the accumulation of money.  Spending that money on going back to school ... and then using that degree for only a few years and then leaving the workforce doesn't seem to be logical. 

Age plays into it too, of course.  My 21-year old daughter might choose to earn an advanced degree; she has years ahead of her to benefit from the additional salary.  I'm older and only steps away from retirement; I'd never finish the advanced degree in time to use it, much less recoup the tuition cost.  I don't think we know the OP's age, do we? 

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2016, 07:39:11 AM »
Those goals don't seem mutually exclusive at all. Why can't one advance their career and also retire sooner? You either raise income or reduce expenses to retire earlier. To raise income, you have to advance your career.

I would definitely do it if I were you, OP. Too much schooling never hurt anyone - and that seems like a small price to pay to ensure flexibility into the future, even if it resulted in a zero increase in pay. Keep in mind that this is coming from the perspective from someone who's clueless about making it as a nurse, but still. It sounds like you just need the extra push.
While I agree that additional education is good for everyone, I still say that from a practical standpoint these two goals are in conflict.  The OP says his goal is to retire.  The main thing involved in that is the accumulation of money.  Spending that money on going back to school ... and then using that degree for only a few years and then leaving the workforce doesn't seem to be logical. 

Age plays into it too, of course.  My 21-year old daughter might choose to earn an advanced degree; she has years ahead of her to benefit from the additional salary.  I'm older and only steps away from retirement; I'd never finish the advanced degree in time to use it, much less recoup the tuition cost.  I don't think we know the OP's age, do we?

Caveat: I swear I'm not a stalker, I just remember other Oregon nurses on here! And he mentioned it on another thread I was on.

He's 24 or 25. Been in practice same amount as time as me, somewhere right around a year.

Murse

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2016, 06:59:16 PM »
Those goals don't seem mutually exclusive at all. Why can't one advance their career and also retire sooner? You either raise income or reduce expenses to retire earlier. To raise income, you have to advance your career.

I would definitely do it if I were you, OP. Too much schooling never hurt anyone - and that seems like a small price to pay to ensure flexibility into the future, even if it resulted in a zero increase in pay. Keep in mind that this is coming from the perspective from someone who's clueless about making it as a nurse, but still. It sounds like you just need the extra push.
While I agree that additional education is good for everyone, I still say that from a practical standpoint these two goals are in conflict.  The OP says his goal is to retire.  The main thing involved in that is the accumulation of money.  Spending that money on going back to school ... and then using that degree for only a few years and then leaving the workforce doesn't seem to be logical. 

Age plays into it too, of course.  My 21-year old daughter might choose to earn an advanced degree; she has years ahead of her to benefit from the additional salary.  I'm older and only steps away from retirement; I'd never finish the advanced degree in time to use it, much less recoup the tuition cost.  I don't think we know the OP's age, do we?

Caveat: I swear I'm not a stalker, I just remember other Oregon nurses on here! And he mentioned it on another thread I was on.

He's 24 or 25. Been in practice same amount as time as me, somewhere right around a year.
Correct I am 24, have been in practice about a year and reside in Oregon. The thing is I am not 100% sure I want to stay in healthcare once FI. Idk, I feel like I need to be FI in order to make an objective decision on that. I do figure I am young which not only means that I could benefit from it for a very long time but also that I could afford to wait until after FI to make that objective decision. Idk what I want to do with my life other then have options at this point.

Murse

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2016, 07:45:30 PM »
Transcript eval came back, I need 37 credits, the program I'm looking at requires 12 credits done per 6 months so a maximum of 18 months. I think I could do it in 6 months but more then likely a year. Is everyone still on the go for it side?

mozar

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #24 on: July 22, 2016, 12:36:33 PM »
Depends what you mean by "everyone."

Murse

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #25 on: July 22, 2016, 04:54:35 PM »
Depends what you mean by "everyone."

>75% of opinions

SeaEhm

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #26 on: July 22, 2016, 05:43:53 PM »
This sounds like a question for a Ti-83.  Graph both incomes and see where the lines cross.  Then see if the x value is worth waiting for.





;)

LeRainDrop

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #27 on: July 22, 2016, 06:03:55 PM »
The real question I am looking for the answer to is- should I get my BSN even though it would not effect my fire date by much at all? The benefit would be increased mobility between employers if I ever needed to change.

Idk what I want to do with my life other then have options at this point.

Transcript eval came back, I need 37 credits, the program I'm looking at requires 12 credits done per 6 months so a maximum of 18 months. I think I could do it in 6 months but more then likely a year. Is everyone still on the go for it side?

Yes, go for it!  :-)
« Last Edit: July 22, 2016, 06:06:52 PM by LeRainDrop »