Author Topic: Get a bachelors or no?  (Read 4050 times)

Murse

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Get a bachelors or no?
« on: September 28, 2015, 05:16:20 PM »
Okay, here's the deal. I have spent 5 years getting an associates in nursing. Just landed a job earning 70k/year with the county, great job with great benefits. Single male. Question is should I get a bachelors degree. I don't for-see bachelors ever being required for government jobs in my state.

Pros- more options for employment
Option to become a NP at a later date
5%differential with state/county jobs
Looks better for promotions

Cons- costs-anywhere from 14-30k depending on the program. It will likely take me 2 years to complete. Also I absolutely dread school, always have. I have anxiety problems that cause procrastination problems that ends up causing more anxiety.

I feel like I could always go back if I wanted to but honestly if I don't get it now, I don't know I ever will. I feel options include
A) enjoy my life, 70k is great and don't sweat it unless I NEED (or want it) in the future. Maintain a savings rate >60%
B) get it over with and then begin to live my life. Likely would explore anti-anxiety medication to help with my procrastination (may even explore this with option A for lifestyle reasons,) saving rate likely the same.

Goals- I have no idea at all. I have always thought I wanted to be an NP but I think that is because that is the path I am currently on. If money were no object and I could do whatever I wanted I would not go to school, and I am unsure of whether or not I would work. I would likely try to find a leisurely part time job.

Feel free to ask anymore questions if they are needed.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2015, 08:05:05 PM by Murse »

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2015, 05:34:33 PM »
Obviously, this is a super-personal decision.

Keep in mind that NP jobs now require a doctorate. So after the bachelor, you would have another 4 years of school before you could become an NP.

My sister just started one of these programs; since she does not have a master's, I assume it's a BSN to DNP program. My grandfather is going to cover everything her employer does not. Her reasoning is that as a hospital nurse, she is getting nickel and dimed to death.

Weekend differential? No longer available on Fridays. Extra pay for qualifying as a transport nurse? Now only for the 20 minutes she spends incubating, rather than for her whole shift. Without changing her base pay, they managed to slash her paycheck by $400 a month. She's the main breadwinner--she had to pull her daughter out of gymnastics and her son out of tae kwon do.

The idea is that becoming an NP will insulate her a little from those ups and downs. It's gonna be rough, though. She's hardly gonna see her kids, and clinicals will mean she can't work overtime. Which is to say, are you sure you're ALWAYS going to be a single male? 'Cause if not, now might be the time.

Another thought--she's been in her field (NICU) long enough to know she loves it. Is the same true for you? If you have any areas about your area of nursing, might wanna think twice before digging in deeper to it!

Obviously I have no horse in this race--just thought that her reasoning might be helpful for a point of comparison. Congrats on graduating and landing a great job, BTW!

pbkmaine

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2015, 05:46:47 PM »
Since you don't like school, just do the job for a few years.  In a few years, you may decide that your goals and interests require more study. But for now, enjoy life.

Dee18

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2015, 07:59:19 PM »
Congratulations on finishing you Associates degree!  Sounds like you are in a great position and don't need the additional degree. If you do have to have it down the road, your employer might pay for it.

Jschange

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2015, 09:46:38 PM »
Nope! You have an awesome job at a great salary, and school will negatively affect your life. You might not be doing exactly what you wanted to careerwise, but pretty close.

And in a few years, with a giant stash, if you want to try school again, you can upgrade to nurse practitioner. Or retire and work a pleasant part time job.

Kaikou

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2015, 11:14:01 PM »
So what's your degree? Why did it take 5 years?


Sorry, nosy.

Murse

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2015, 05:25:54 AM »
So what's your degree? Why did it take 5 years?


Sorry, nosy.
It's a nursing of applied science, it was done at a community college and is very competitive to get into. It took 3 years for me to get the pre-reqs done with the grades I needed to be competitive. Keep in mind I spent my first 6 months just taking classes that didn't apply because I didn't know what I wanted to do. Anyways, then once I got into the nursing program, it is a 2 year long program. The typical applicant pool is just under 400 for 48 spots. Because I did it at a community college the total tuition cost was under 20k for all 5 years.

realityinabox

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2015, 06:30:32 AM »
You're already at $70k/year with >60% savings?  I'd stick with that unless you really hate the job. Sounds like you hate school though, so why go back when you're already at $70k/year?

If you do have to have it down the road, your employer might pay for it.

This is good advice.  I've decided I'm never going back to school unless someone else is paying me to do it. 

AlanStache

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2015, 06:51:48 AM »
You might do the numbers but given a 60% savings rate the modest salary increase and the added school debt, the financial break even point might be after FI.  60% savings rate gives like a 10-11 year carrier to FI - things change etc but if the added school takes two years do you think you will make that up with a 5% income boost?  Dollar wise you would probably do better picking up all the OT you could in those two years and investing it vs hitting the books. 

Besides the money it should like you dont want to go to more school, and I dont see a compelling reason for you to.

2ndTimer

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2015, 07:44:07 AM »
Speaking as a person who loved school and went all the way to a PhD, give yourself a year or two to rest up and do your time where you are before you think about going on.  The experience you are getting now will greatly influence your decision.  Also, it's perfectly ok if when you do revisit the decision you decide that things are just fine and you don't every want to go to school again.

Part of being mustachian is not always having to go where there's more money because you know how to save living on your current income.

FLBiker

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2015, 07:48:34 AM »
My advice: don't ever get an additional degree unless you need it for a specific job.

I had a BA and got an MA to qualify me for a specific type of job (which I now have).  Many of my colleagues are doing PhDs with no clear goal in mind, and it is a real slog.

And if I were able to earn 70K a year doing something I liked with my BA, I would never have done my MA.

fitfrugalfab

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2015, 09:29:33 AM »
I also hated going to school and found that my Bachelor's wasn't really worth getting. BUT since you are a nurse, you might want to rethink getting one. I know it depends on your state or the hospital you work at but I have a lot of family and friends who are nurses or trying to be nurses. A B.S.N is now a requirement for most hospitals in my area and even nurses who have been in their field for 20+ are required to go back to school and obtain their Bachelor's, and most of them have to do it within a timeline, such as 2 years.

Easye418

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2015, 10:43:03 AM »
If I could go back and really think about a career, I would consider the ASN to RN life.  However, that being said, my wife did it and theres a reason she only works in the OR or OB/GYN/Labor and Delivery.  Not to mention, the programs are demanding as hell.  I coasted my way through BS Fin and MBA and I'm doing just fine.  Also, it is a reality that community college ASN programs are extremely selective, demanding, and competitive. 

Back on topic tho, my wife is wrapping up her BSN right now (3 weeks left, thank god, no more additional student loans EVER!) and yes, it would be best for you to get your BSN as it opens a lot of different openings and you will most likely be required to get one anyways.  But let the employer pay, unfortunately, I had to pay.

That being said $70k is stellar for ASN right out of college with no experience.  I assume you are working graveyards and that has built in overtime.  RN pay in TX is $28 an hour.  Tough gig, don't get burnt out. 


Also, don't get drugs because you are lazy.  I would think someone with your background, you would understand not to toy with them unless its a medical necessity.  For example, someone taking ADHD medicine  who does not really have a problem can cause big time side effects.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2015, 10:46:20 AM by Easye418 »

lizzzi

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2015, 11:41:24 AM »
I was an associate degree RN who got the BSN ten years later, using my GI bill to pay for it, and not working (although I had two pre-schoolers to care for) during the time I was working on the BSN. And it was miserable. An 18-month stretch of fatigue and tension while I took overloads to get finished because we were waiting for military orders overseas. In the short term it probably wasn't worth it, but it did open doors for me six years later, when I got into a job I loved with much better hours and a pension attached to it. (Stopped hospital work, and went into county employment on straight daytime hours-- a lot of nursing case management--a cushy paper pushing job that I kept for 19 years.) So I'm glad I got the BSN, but my circumstances were different than yours and the GI Bill funding was available...I actually would have been crazy not to get the degree at that time. And the nursing school was literally around the corner from my house.

So here's the thing. I'm a big fan of education, and don't think it's ever wasted. But you are in a great position job-wise, and you are tired and burnt out from a long slog in school. Just work at your new job and live your life. You can always go back for the BSN later if need be. Try to get somebody else to pay for it, if you have to get it...and drag it out as long as possible to help keep stress levels down. You didn't say how old you are, but the number of years until retirement  is also something to look at. Life is too short. If it looks like you can have a successful, lucrative career without the BSN, then I'd wouldn't worry about getting it...at least not at this point. I wouldn't make yourself nuts worrying about becoming an NP. Good Lord, there's plenty of work out there to keep you busy as an RN. Just give yourself a break. Do your job, enjoy the moments, don't get too antsy. It sounds like you're in a pretty sweet position in life right now. Just live.

Murse

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2015, 05:18:48 PM »
If I could go back and really think about a career, I would consider the ASN to RN life.  However, that being said, my wife did it and theres a reason she only works in the OR or OB/GYN/Labor and Delivery.  Not to mention, the programs are demanding as hell.  I coasted my way through BS Fin and MBA and I'm doing just fine.  Also, it is a reality that community college ASN programs are extremely selective, demanding, and competitive. 

Back on topic tho, my wife is wrapping up her BSN right now (3 weeks left, thank god, no more additional student loans EVER!) and yes, it would be best for you to get your BSN as it opens a lot of different openings and you will most likely be required to get one anyways.  But let the employer pay, unfortunately, I had to pay.

That being said $70k is stellar for ASN right out of college with no experience.  I assume you are working graveyards and that has built in overtime.  RN pay in TX is $28 an hour.  Tough gig, don't get burnt out. 


Also, don't get drugs because you are lazy.  I would think someone with your background, you would understand not to toy with them unless its a medical necessity.  For example, someone taking ADHD medicine  who does not really have a problem can cause big time side effects.

I chose to respond to this one but will attempt to answer a few of the questions/responses
1) starting pay in my state is around 28/hr for state jobs and Long term care jobs, 31 for small hospitals and the big hospital pays 33.50/hr. However the county job got permission(idk why) to start the pay for this position at the 7th pay step which is around 33.50/hr
2) the only the big chains/hospitals are requiring bachelor degrees in my area. It makes you more competitive at the smaller hospitals but not at all required. Not required with governmental jobs at all but pay is increased for the additional education.
3) I am not working graveyards, 33.50 is my base rate and I will be working days or swing, unsure which yet. Also in addition I want humblebrag about how powerful the nursing Union is. Overtime is calculated at >8 hours/shift not >40/week, meals are provided by the jail, pension eligible, free gym as a benefit and much more.
4) currently I am loving the job but it was only my second day. I will get 10 weeks training. I love that the population is much more independent and I am there to do a lot of high level nursing, not much/any daily living tasks.
5) I am 23 years old

Easye418

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Re: Get a bachelors or no?
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2015, 08:44:32 AM »
Keep doing what your doing, don't get the BSN unless you absolutely need too.