The average cost of attending a brick-and-mortar public nursing college has risen by 31 percent since 2006, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (though WGU has kept rates much lower). To help offset this cost and attract and retain the best nursing talent, many healthcare employers now offer some form of education assistance.
Though education assistance can be tremendously helpful, many of the benefits attached to these nursing job opportunities come with strings attached. Learning about your assistance options is the best way to determine whether accepting financial help from your employer is right for you.
Who benefits? Everyone.
You might be wondering why an employer would offer education assistance as an employee perk in the first place. After all, if your employer helps you pay for an education that increases your knowledge and job skills—thus making you a more marketable commodity—shouldn't they be worried about the competition luring you away?
Further Reading: 7 nursing technologies transforming patient care.
Not necessarily, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Offering perks such as tuition assistance helps employers hire better educated and more productive employees, the National Bureau of Economic Research argues. And in many cases, employees who take advantage of tuition-assistance programs exhibit more company loyalty and typically stay with the company longer. When employees stay longer, turnover is lower, and that helps employers save on searching for and hiring new employees.
Types of education assistance for nurses.
Many nursing job opportunities offer some type of education assistance. And what's best for someone else might not necessarily be best for you. Some forms of assistance may require you to commit to several years of service with one particular employer. To get the benefit from others, you might have to relocate or start in a nursing specialty you don't necessarily want to stay in.
For many nurses, the benefits of tuition repayment outweigh the negatives, such as moving expenses. It's important to review all the options and potential drawbacks so that you can make the right choice for you and your career.