Letter to the Editor: Helping Nurses with Student Loans | Letters
During my university studies, I had to take out many loans during my two years of nursing school, whether it was unsubsidized (interest increases), subsidized (no interest growth) or a personal loan.
The median amount of student debt for nurses graduating from 2017 was between $ 40,000 and $ 54,000 (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2017). To become a registered nurse, an associate’s degree is required, and New York has passed a law that requires nurses graduating after 2017 to earn their bachelor’s degree within the next 10 years. It is difficult for a nurse who is already working full time to go back to school to continue taking on more loans, while simultaneously trying to pay off student debt.
It is important for the public to know this information because there are currently over 250,000 nurses in New York City (New York Education Department, 2021). We need the public’s support to show that it is unfair that doctors in New York City get loan forgiveness when RNs are not. Both professions are selfless and think about patients day in and day out; why is one profession favored over another?
The passage of Bill A01264 is imperative to resolve this problem. This bill provides for the granting of scholarships and loan remittances to nurses on the same terms as doctors (New York Assembly, 2021). Reducing and ultimately forgiving RN student loans can ensure higher education and better employment opportunities as we continue to have a nationwide need for nurses.