NP degree worth the investment?

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Glockenspiel
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Re: NP degree worth the investment?

Post by Glockenspiel » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:21 pm

It is absolutely worth it.

My wife did this exact thing before we had kids. She was a late 20s RN working a 0.7 FTE job, making ~$34-$35/hour, back in about 2012. Went to a very good online NP school, part-time, for 3 years to get her Master's. This online school had in-person clinicals and in-person meetings/skills tests, etc. The total cost of the school was around $40k. We mostly cash-flowed it, since she was still working part-time while going to school, but we did take out around $10k in loans.

Right now, 3 years after graduating, she works around 30 hours per week (by her choosing, to spend more time with our young kids), and makes right around $100k per year. It has helped us dramatically increase our net worth and save a lot more money.

I think the job market is still pretty good for NPs. She might have to take a job that's not her dream job, to get in the door, but after a year of experience, she'll be able to work in almost any area that she has an interest in.

I should mention, we live in a city in the Midwest, and in her field (orthopedics) and employer, full-time NPs are currently getting hired at $120-$130k per year.

Glockenspiel
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Re: NP degree worth the investment?

Post by Glockenspiel » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:31 pm

lwc5ed wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:05 am

As far as specialties go, she wants to do dermatology.
If she can get into a dermatology office and start doing procedures (wart removal, biopsies, botox, etc), she can start making significant amounts of money if she can get paid in part by RVUs instead of salary. I recommend her trying to find a relationship with a dermatologist to do clinicals with. It could lead to a job once she graduates.

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lwc5ed
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Re: NP degree worth the investment?

Post by lwc5ed » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:05 pm

Thanks again everyone.

Any thoughts on whether it would make more sense to cash flow the tuition rather than take out a loan at around 4% (private).

We definitely could cash flow it by cutting into our cash savings/cutting back on our other monthly non-retirement/tax advantaged savings.

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unclescrooge
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Re: NP degree worth the investment?

Post by unclescrooge » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:39 pm

Aku09 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:41 pm
Another route to look into would be CRNA. I am a CRNA and love what I do every day. The same amount of schooling (3 years) although you wouldn’t be able to work at all during school as it is more rigorous. Pay is considerably more. I just got a raise to 200k with 8 weeks off plus decent benefits.
:shock:
Sounds like much better investment than going to med school for Pediatrics, which has lower published salaries than that.

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unclescrooge
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Re: NP degree worth the investment?

Post by unclescrooge » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:40 pm

Glockenspiel wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:31 pm
lwc5ed wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:05 am

As far as specialties go, she wants to do dermatology.
If she can get into a dermatology office and start doing procedures (wart removal, biopsies, botox, etc), she can start making significant amounts of money if she can get paid in part by RVUs instead of salary. I recommend her trying to find a relationship with a dermatologist to do clinicals with. It could lead to a job once she graduates.
Do you happen to have salary ranges?

Arlington2019
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Re: NP degree worth the investment?

Post by Arlington2019 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:52 am

My sister in law is a PA who used to work in the hospital ED at a small community hospital. About ten years ago, she switched over to a dermatology office and will never go back. She works in an affluent suburb of Seattle and does primarily Botox, fillers and medical dermatology such as rashes and fungal infections. The physician dermatologists in the practice are busy doing cosmetic work and lesion resections, so good luck finding a dermatologist to treat your psoriasis. Due to a drop in patient census, the practice recently reduced her annual salary to $ 125K, and they all hope patient volume picks up again.

stoptothink
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Re: NP degree worth the investment?

Post by stoptothink » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:00 am

unclescrooge wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:39 pm
Aku09 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:41 pm
Another route to look into would be CRNA. I am a CRNA and love what I do every day. The same amount of schooling (3 years) although you wouldn’t be able to work at all during school as it is more rigorous. Pay is considerably more. I just got a raise to 200k with 8 weeks off plus decent benefits.
:shock:
Sounds like much better investment than going to med school for Pediatrics, which has lower published salaries than that.
Getting into a CRNA program is also just as competitive as med school. Seems like just about every young nurse I know had a goal of being a CRNA, only a few of them accomplished that goal.

Glockenspiel
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Re: NP degree worth the investment?

Post by Glockenspiel » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:44 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:40 pm
Glockenspiel wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:31 pm
lwc5ed wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:05 am

As far as specialties go, she wants to do dermatology.
If she can get into a dermatology office and start doing procedures (wart removal, biopsies, botox, etc), she can start making significant amounts of money if she can get paid in part by RVUs instead of salary. I recommend her trying to find a relationship with a dermatologist to do clinicals with. It could lead to a job once she graduates.
Do you happen to have salary ranges?
I would think between $120-$200k, depending on location, how busy the clinic is, the patient population and their needs (cosmetic vs medical derm), etc. Dermatology is also quite difficult to get into because everyone wants to do it. Derm NPs typically have great hours, great pay, a wealthy patient population, and everyone wants to "do procedures".

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goodenyou
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Re: NP degree worth the investment?

Post by goodenyou » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:04 pm

If she wants to do Dermatology, I highly recommend that she get certified by the Dermatology Nursing Association (DNA). It requires 2,000 hours of dermatology clinical hours and sitting for a difficult exam. It should be required for all medical "providers" holding themselves out as "experts".

My wife was one of the first NPs in Texas certified in Dermatology. Dermatology is a field where a lot of the practice is giving people what they want (cosmetic), so they will line up and pay for it.
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goodenyou
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Re: NP degree worth the investment?

Post by goodenyou » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:14 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:39 pm
Aku09 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:41 pm
Another route to look into would be CRNA. I am a CRNA and love what I do every day. The same amount of schooling (3 years) although you wouldn’t be able to work at all during school as it is more rigorous. Pay is considerably more. I just got a raise to 200k with 8 weeks off plus decent benefits.
:shock:
Sounds like much better investment than going to med school for Pediatrics, which has lower published salaries than that.
Paying close to $400,000 for medical school (private) and 7 years of your life to become a Pediatrician is not a wise financial decision. Your job is also being taken over by people with a lot less training.
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" | "The best years you have left are the ones you have right now"

txbabe
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Re: NP degree worth the investment?

Post by txbabe » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:39 pm

I know where there is a glut of NPs due to the high number of online NP schools. I know several FNP (specialized in family medicine) that cannot find a job. Job prospects for Psych NPs are much better as there is a real shortage in that area. I also would make sure the school arranges the clinical rotations - there is a real problem with the schools leaving the students high and dry and scrambling to find their own preceptors.

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dm200
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Re: NP degree worth the investment?

Post by dm200 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:41 am

txbabe wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:39 pm
I know where there is a glut of NPs due to the high number of online NP schools. I know several FNP (specialized in family medicine) that cannot find a job. Job prospects for Psych NPs are much better as there is a real shortage in that area. I also would make sure the school arranges the clinical rotations - there is a real problem with the schools leaving the students high and dry and scrambling to find their own preceptors.
Very interesting.

One of the NPs at my former PCP office also worked part time elsewhere doing flex-sig colon exams. I also dealt with an NP at Kaiser a few years ago when she conducted my treadmill stress test.

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celia
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Re: NP degree worth the investment?

Post by celia » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:56 am

dm200 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:02 pm
If she were to not move forward with the the degree she would likely leave the hospital and try to find a job at a doctors office. My understanding is that this would likely entail a pay cut, though I am not sure how much.
A pay cut from being a BSN, RN to an NP?

I have never seen or encountered an NP in a dermatology office.
I think the OP meant a pay cut for an RN going from a hospital setting to a doctor's office.

Our dermatology group has two doctors (one is now semi-retired) plus an NP. This group is very busy (in the suburbs) and one day a week is scheduled for in-office surgeries where a plastic surgeon is also there to do the closings (since Medicare won't pay for all services if the same doctor does everything in one day--if I understand the rationale).
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