The Cost of PA or NP Programs and the Burden of Student Loans
How to consider a healthcare career move from a financial standpoint.
Graduates of PA or NP programs are often saddled with student loan debt as they enter the workforce. While debt can seem daunting and imperative to pay down quickly, there are a few things to consider as you begin your first job search.
The total amount of your student loan debt is not the only factor to look at when considering a career move.
First Things First
The first thing any Physician’s Assistant or Nurse Practitioner that has just completed their schooling should do is look at their overall debt to savings ratio. It’s a good idea to figure out where the cost of borrowing is the highest. We suggest working with a financial planner specializing in PA or NP graduates to help you understand the bigger picture and set some financial goals. Even our Physicians graduating from medical school can benefit from the advice of a financial professional.
Chronic stress from difficulty meeting payments, debt accumulation and student loans have negative effects on your health, relationships and your patients. Enhanced well-being for any PA or NP starts with taking control of your income, eliminating debt and being the best medical professional you can be!
Andrew Baker, PA-C, MBA|Founder, PA 4 Finance
The Debt Snowball Approach
One way many people find success in tackling their debt is by taking the “Debt Snowball” approach. Our trusted financial expert, Andrew Baker, tells us that this can be one of the single biggest ways to achieve your financial goals. The “Debt Snowball” approach provides you with clear, obtainable benchmarks. Click here to read more about the Debt Snowball approach.
Once you have an overview of your finances as they are now, you can start thinking about your future. How do you wish your financial situation to be in a year? In five years? In retirement? Once you know where you want to end up, you can begin to list some pros and cons for your ideal job. Salary is NOT the only factor when considering a career move, even in the context of your financial situation.
A Holistic Look at Your Entire Compensation Package vs. Your Cost of Living is Key to Achieving Your Financial Goals
Beyond salary, there are many compensatory items that employers might offer that can pay off for new grads ladened with debt. Benefits like 401K contributions, health insurance, loan repayment and remote pay can all have a significant impact on your financial situation. Make sure you do your due diligence when searching for a job, and don’t filter based on salary alone.
Consider Your Costs
If you’re serious about paying down debt, you will want to go further and factor in your cost of living. Vast differences in taxation and property value exist from state to state, and even within counties. Make sure you understand what it will cost you to live, going so far as to factor in lifestyle and recreation. Will you be able to afford to enjoy the attributes and amenities of the location you wish to live in?
When we onboard a new PA or NP or Physician, we love to get to know their interests and hobbies outside of the job. It’s exciting to match a candidate to a location that they hadn’t previously considered by showing them how it aligns with their lifestyle and career goals.
Lynda Gregg, PA | Team Leader & CoFounder linkPAs
When you look at job placement holistically, you can expand your options. Look at openings that have extensive fringe benefits based on their geographical location. Unique compensation packages that might include anything from loan forgiveness to greater autonomy in the workplace to an overall better standard of living.
Working with a dedicated medical recruitment team can definitely help you to align your compass and filter results. Organizations like linkPAs, founded and operated by a PA, understand the scope of financial implications facing the PA or NP, or even the Physician graduating from medical school.
Get Your CV in Front of the Right Person
Dedicated medical recruiting firms can be worth their weight in gold when it comes to finding – and landing – your dream job. Make sure you do your research and work only with a reputable firm that has a track record of success. Professional agencies will not charge you for their services. Reputable healthcare recruiters are compensated by the hiring practice when a candidate is placed, so it is definitely worth looking into.
There is no cost for a PA or NP or Physician to use our recruiting service. Our fee comes from the hiring practice. With employers getting bombarded with CV’s these days, it is crucial to have an introduction so that your CV is at the top of the stack.
Lynda Gregg, PA | Team Leader & CoFounder linkPAs
Not only can a dedicated medical recruitment firm help you launch your career with a great job, but they can also support you on the journey, working to determine what is the best job for you. Click here to read “How to land the best Healthcare job, the first time!”
linkPAs Specializes in Working with PA or NP Job Seekers
Who is Lynda Gregg?
Lynda Gregg practiced as a PA in General Pediatrics and Pediatric Cardiology. She desires to help, heal and network. It is no wonder that Lynda has progressed from practicing as a PA to serving PAs. She is a tried and true connector with a passion for the industry and for helping medical professionals flourish in their careers. Click here and connect with Lynda on LinkedIn.