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Work or Nursing school or both?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone...I just want to get your ideas on my dilemma.

I am in the process of going back to school for nursing. I have already applied to school and I am planning on starting to take prereqs in the fall.

I am also going through a divorce. I am going to need to work.

I have a job interview for a full time job this Thursday. While I like the idea of being employed full-time and having benefits, I am not sure how I can go to nursing school and work full time. However, if I do work full time, I would probably not have as much student loan debt. Also, I'm not sure how I would do it with my son. He would be in daycare three full days and then I would have to get a nanny to watch him if I'm taking classes at night. Would this be too much anyway?

I am also trying for several part-time jobs. If I got a part-time job and a went to school part-time, I wouldn't have too many student loans but I would have some.

So, what is more important? Working full-time or going to school. I will make more as a nurse than I would working full-time so I really feel like school is the priority but I am scared to not be employed when my marriage is ending.
post #2 of 14
I am in school full time doing my pre rec for nursing. I am a sahm but many of my fellow students work full time. Once you are in the nursing program they suggest not to work more then 15 hours per week.

Personally I think if you can afford to attend school full time and not work or work part time and part time school, do that.

Even the pre req are time consuming and hard. start slow and build up. I started with one class and now I am taking 4.

good luck

kim
post #3 of 14
Depending on which prereq's you need to take, you might be able to handle working and school at the same time. However, once you get into the actual nursing courses, you might want to try to do it without working simply because it is so demanding time wise with classes, labs and clinicals. You would probably be able to receive assistance with childcare as well. Will you be receiving any child support? The ages of your children would also factor in as well... My older children (six and eight) can handle me being gone, but my seven month old can't. For now, my education is all online. I miss on campus classes! Good luck figuring it all out. It can be so overwhelming, but very empowering at the same time. Hang in there!
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice.

I need to take A&P 1&2 plus labs, Chem for health sciences, Microbiology and Pharmocology.

I was planning on taking A & P 1 plus lab and Chem this fall.

I think I am going to see how the interview goes...for all I know, I might not get the job, yk?

I guess my big worry is that I'll overwhelm myself with school, work and divorce. I can't imagine what things are going to be like one my stbx moves out in July.

Oh, and my son is 2 1/2 so I don't know how much I want to be away from him...I've been a sahm since he was born.
post #5 of 14
Wow, I think we are the exact same person in a twilight zone or something. I am going through the EXACT same situation. I am seperating from my husband and am planning for divorce. I will be moving back to my home state, Florida, and will be starting my pre req's for nursing school this fall. So freaky. Oh and I have a 27 mth. old.

I know as for me, I am going to have to go to school full time and not work. I will be counting on child support and public assistance and grants. You do know that you should qualify for the pell grant being a single mama now, right? I would look into what you could get as far as public assistance if you don't have a big issue with that.

What part of the "sunshine state" are you in?
post #6 of 14
I worked full time in nursing school, and got straight A's. My children were 1 and 4 when I did my LPN, and 9 and 12 when I completed my RN.

The difference between my situation and yours is that I had a wonderfully supportive dh who basically did everything around the house while I was in school.

If you have never worked as a CNA, I would strongly encourage you to do so. I orient many of our new nurses. The ones who have never worked as CNAs definitely have a more difficult time. It's not impossible for them---they just have to learn things that are second nature to CNAs, too, and sometimes it can be overwhelming.

If I were you, I would get a part-time job as a CNA in a hospital. Work very part time during school. What you see at work will reinforce what you are learning. Your nurses can help you, too. If I'm working with an aide who is in nursing school, and I have unusual heart or lung sounds, I try to have them listen, too. I spend a little more time explaining my rationales for my actions to my aide if they are in nursing school. Most nurses do this. It's growing your own.

If something has to go, though, just go to nursing school. If you don't have to work at all, just work a little if you can, to get your experience. Even if it's just mainly during summer breaks and vacations.

Check out allnurses.com. They have a great student section. Be forewarned, it can get a little snarky and negative on that website. Lots of great nurses go there to vent--we're not all negative, angry, tired, and overworked--but when we do feel that way, we tend to gripe about it!

Good luck.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Wow. Thanks for the support, mamas.

Allyson B. I live in Pompano Beach. Wow, you are going through the same stuff. If you ever want to talk or meet up, pm me. I could use another friend right now Unfortunately, I don't think I qualify for pell grants because I already have a BA but I am going to look into it asap.

lorijds Thanks for the advice. I am going to look into becoming a CNA. Maybe I can take my prereqs and get my CNA and then work part-time through school. I am taking prereqs for a year and then starting nursing school next fall hopefully. This whole time I have been trying to find work in a doctors office but I am having a really hard time so I am interviewing for a retail position tomorrow. However, I don't have the job yet,yk.
post #8 of 14
Forgot to add, many hospitals have tuition reimbursement. Just FYI.
post #9 of 14
I second Lorijds on being a CNA first and allnurses.com

Also, yes, you can work full time while going to nursing school if you have to. It can and has been done. My DH and I are both going to nursing school and will be working FT. We work double weekends (7am-11pm on Sat. and Sun) and have M-F off (although we do pick up extra shifts). You can work 32 hours and get paid for 40 with the Baylor program.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ok....today I looked into it and there are two programs in our area.

School 1 - CNA which is a 4 week program and costs 300.

School 2 - Patient Care Technician/Cna which is a 6 month program and is 2500.

I spoke to the advisors at both schools and the one at the second school said that I would have a hard time finding a job as a cna. I called a local staffing agency and spoke to the placement agent and she agreed. So, now I am confused.
post #11 of 14
The Patient Care Tech must be a CNA with advanced skills. It still shouldn't cost that much though!

I don't know about your state but I know here CNA jobs in nursing homes are VERY easy to get.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodygumdrops View Post
Thanks for the advice.

I need to take A&P 1&2 plus labs, Chem for health sciences, Microbiology and Pharmocology.

I was planning on taking A & P 1 plus lab and Chem this fall.

I think I am going to see how the interview goes...for all I know, I might not get the job, yk?

I guess my big worry is that I'll overwhelm myself with school, work and divorce. I can't imagine what things are going to be like one my stbx moves out in July.

Oh, and my son is 2 1/2 so I don't know how much I want to be away from him...I've been a sahm since he was born.
Hi there! I've been taking nursing prereqs and getting divorced w/2 very young children for the past year and a half! I started nursing school this week.

Working f/t plus A&P & Chem (with labs for each?) is going to be ALOT. It's sort of doable if you've got no children and have no major life upheaval (read: divorce) going on. As a really on-top of things student (my prereq GPA was 3.9+) who ended up crying in the A&P prof's office the week my X moved out, and occasionally begging professors for compassion, believe me when I say it's stressful.

There can be a number of mitigating factors - how demanding the school is - there are more and less challenging versions of these prereqs, how well you either have to or want to do in the classes, your commute, your childcare situation and emotional/logistical support, your class schedule, your background/interest/aptitude in the sciences, etc. I worked very part-time (usually 2-3 hours/week) while taking my prereqs, and honestly, that was more than enough, with my 2-3 math or science classes per term. However, b/c of my dismal undergrad GPA, I put myself under a ton of pressure to basically get straight A's at a tough school. This definitely isn't necessary for everyone.

You'll do what you have to do (and survive!), financially and otherwise, but if you can possibly find p/t work that is not too terribly stressful, while taking prereqs, I would go that route. You can figure out what to do in nursing school once you're there - your son will be significantly more mature, and your circumstances may be quite different.

Oh, my experience is that of a mom with full physical custody, minimal financial help from the X and zero practical help (I asked him twice last year to help in a pinch with childcare b/c I had exams, he bailed both times, I no longer ask - he simply won't do it) from my X. I do have family help, but it has it's limitations. With a helpful and cooperative co-parent, I imagine things would be much easier.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodygumdrops View Post
Ok....today I looked into it and there are two programs in our area.

School 1 - CNA which is a 4 week program and costs 300.

School 2 - Patient Care Technician/Cna which is a 6 month program and is 2500.

I spoke to the advisors at both schools and the one at the second school said that I would have a hard time finding a job as a cna. I called a local staffing agency and spoke to the placement agent and she agreed. So, now I am confused.
I am confused as well. In my state there is ONLY a CNA. If the facility wants you to have a higher level of training, they provide it.

I would call the local hospitals and nursing homes and ask the requirements of getting a job as an aide. Ask them if there is any difference in their hiring between CNA and Patient Care Techs. I would also ask the nursing schools what they have as a prereq. Most nursing schools around here require one at least complete the CNA program prior to entry. If your nursing school requires it, then at least take the CNA course. If your nursing school requires or looks favorably on the PCT course, I'd consider it.

I'm always suspicious of courses that provide more than the minimum. I'd ask around at local employers, ask your nursing program, and also get more detail as to what the difference is in the school curriculum. If you can't get a job as a CNA, why does the school offer it? What is so different about them? I'd get more detail before you shell out over 2K for an aide program.
post #14 of 14
I was in the midst of pre-reqs when my divorce proceedings started, DD was 15 months. XH didn't contribute to our home at all, either financially or physically for the majority of time that I was in school. I managed to work full-time as a home health aide while I did my pre-reqs, two classes per sememster in the evenings, while my BFF watched DD. Once nursing school started, though, I was unable to work at all after the fist semester. Between classes, clinicals, studying, skills labs, and projects, there just wasn't time. I managed to get by on student loans, a couple of measly scholarships, and state assistance. Ten years later, I still owe over $50K and will probably never pay it off. But I got through school and that was the important thing.

The real tough thing is getting accepted to a nursing program. It is very competitive. You may find that you complete your pre-reqs and still don't get in based on GPA and entrance testing. Your best bet is to contact nursing schools and find out what their requirements are and if they recommend either the CNA or PCT classes.

BTW, I'm in Jacksonville.
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