About

I am a certified registered nurse anesthetist employed at an academic medical center in a major metropolitan city. I also work in numerous private practice settings.

In 2014, I came out of nurse anesthesia school with over $100K in student loan debt. I don’t have any credit card debt and I rent. I recently stumbled across the personal finance blogosphere (e.g., Mr. Money Mustache, MadFientist, Financial Samurai, and many more) and have since been hooked since.

This site was originally developed as a guide for prospective individuals interested in pursuing nurse anesthesia as a career. However, I noticed that there is a dearth of personal finance blogs geared specifically towards the new grad CRNA. Before nurse anesthesia school, I never really thought about retirement. Sure, I saved some money in a 403(b), but could never really discern the difference between a 403(b), 457(b), or 401(k). Furthermore, I had no clue as to what kind of investment products I should be allocating my money into. As a result, I decided to detail my experience getting into school, what life was like getting through school, and what life has been like while being out of school (with a particular emphasis on managing one’s finances as a new grad).

Throughout this site, I’ll be sharing tips/advice to those interested in pursuing nurse anesthesia along with providing an in-depth, but very basic discussion on managing finances. I honestly have no idea if my approach is the correct one, but through my research, I’ve been able to gather some information that will hopefully set me on a course where I will be financially independent (sooner rather than later).

Hopefully you’ll find some of this information useful.

 

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2 thoughts on “About

  1. Looking into CRNA myself and have done quite the extensive amount of research as well as pursued shadowing opportunities to see if this is the career for me. What gets me everytime is the fact that I won’t be able to work while in school whatsoever, meaning that I would need to live off some form of government loans for everyday life expenses (rent, utilities, payments..etc) thus causing me to accrue more debt on top of the tuition for CRNA schooling. Two questions for you: is it worth it in regards to the debt? and how old were you when you started and finished? Thanks ahead of time.

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    1. You raise a very important question I feel every prospective student must ask before actually going to nurse anesthesia school. Is the amount of debt worth the time you will put in to become a CRNA? My answer is it depends. So as long as becoming a CRNA remains a 2-year Master’s program, I say go for it because anyone can do anything for 2 years. That said, I would caution against going to a school that charges over $60,000 for tuition for the 2-year program. $60,000 is a bit of an arbitrary number. I paid $34,000 for tuition alone and had to borrow an additional $40,000 for living expenses. Did I really need $40,000? No, I did not. I could have lived off of $25,000 over 2 years, but I wanted extra money to be able to splurge on things to keep myself sane during those 2 excruciating years. Everyone is different in terms of their needs. Overall, I borrowed $74,000 for a 2 year Master’s program. Do I regret this decision? Not necessarily. I’m on a 4 year repayment plan, but I’m paying $2,000 a month, so that’s something you’ll have to factor in once you’re done with school. If you decide to be somewhat aggressive like me with repaying your loans, then you need to ask yourself if you’re okay making huge monthly payments. In some ways, I’m still making the same money as an RN. The only difference (albeit a big one) is that at least now I can max out my retirement contributions (my employer offers a 403(b) + 457(b), and pension). However, that additional $2,000 goes to my student loans, so I’m left with nearly the same amount of money I was making as an RN.

      My other answer is if this is for the DNAP, I would probably think twice about becoming a CRNA because now you’re looking at accruing over $160,000 (at least at one university that I know of) in debt. That’s a lot of money especially if you’re looking to increase your income by 50-90%. Again, you have to factor in the amount of time you’ll be spending to pay back that debt and the opportunity cost (the time you would have spent working but instead you’re in school) and ask yourself if it’s worth it to you. Therein lies the dilemma. This whole time I’ve been talking about being a CRNA within a financial context. The real question here is, how motivated are you about learning anesthesia? Is this a field that you find fascinating and that you want to learn more about? Can you see yourself as a lifelong learner in this field? These are the real questions you should be asking yourself because believe me, no amount of money is worth the effort if you find yourself hating what you do.

      In answer to your other question, I started nurse anesthesia in my late 20s.

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