Becoming a Nurse Anesthetist is a rigorous process which often does not allow for part time employment while in school. A Stipend is an option available to many students to help pay for school. Hospitals and Staffing companies will often offer stipends in the range of $20,000-$40,000 to qualified Nurse Anesthetists. Stipends will most likely require a work commitment of several years in exchange for the upfront cash.
Employers typically publicize the availability of stipends as an important recruiting tool. With the recent downturn in the economy, stipends are more scarce due to employers being less concerned with future employment levels. The best place to start your search for stipends is to find a employer that you are comfortable with and begin a dialog with that company. Program directors for Anesthesia schools are also a great resource for stipend information. Many program directors have contact within the industry and will be able to offer advice on stipends, and your career.
The majority of stipends are offered as forgivable loans. A contract will be formed that states a loan is being made, and when certain conditions in the future are met the loan will be forgiven. Under this arrangement taxes are not normally due until the loan is forgiven. The initial distribution is not a taxable event meaning you don’t have to pay any tax until you receive written notice of the loan being forgiven. This may be good new for students as they are able to keep the full amount of the stipend, however the student will likely be in a higher tax bracket when the loan is forgiven.
Many employers will build the cost of the stipend into your compensation package. With a dollar being worth more today than in the future, an employer may value a $30,000 up front as $50,000 of future compensation. This makes it especially important to verify that your starting salary including your stipend is competitive before accepting a stipend.