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Any nursing student mothers around?

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

I am finishing my prerequisites to do an accelerated second bachelor's degree in nursing.  I am going to start applying to schools this fall, and I'm feeling a bit worried about what this is going to be like for my family.  I have three young children ages 6, 4 and 2.  I know that nursing school is intense and I am prepared to work hard.  I would just like to know what to expect. 

post #2 of 36

Good luck with your applications!

 

The hardest thing about nursing school for me was the early morning hours required for clinical assignments.  I spent about 18 months waking up at 3:15 am so that I could be to the assigned hospital by 4:20 am (the regular staff started their shifts at 5 am).  There's no amount of planning or preparing that makes waking up at 3:15 am seem okay--at least not for a night owl like me.

 

If you can find a way to have childcare for at least three to four study hours per week that would really help.  I thought I could get away with just having childcare during class times and studying at home--but those extra few study hours alone really help.

 

Before you start nursing school (as in, start this week!) develop a sustainable plan for your family's laundry and food/meals.  This blog really helped me:  http://ourmothersdaughters.blogspot.com/2009/01/can-your-new-years-resolutions-take.html .  If you can keep the laundry and food/meals under control then everything else will be okay.

 

Nursing school is hard, but it is not unbearable.  It's only twoish years (as compared to the medical education of one of my family members--he's been in medical school, residency, etc. for close to 15 years).  You can do it for two years!  However, it's extremely important to remember that it's not all fun & games after graduation.  New nurses tend to have the least desirable shifts, job assignments, etc.  It gets gradually better with time but is never perfect.  Remember that many nurses, even veteran ones with 15+ years of experience, have to work night, weekend, and holiday shifts.  Explaining to your kids that you'll be gone on Christmas morning, miss the 4th of July fireworks, and can't make it to their evening piano recital are hard things to do.  The job itself is HARD--physically, emotionally, and mentally.  Also, nurses aren't as well-paid as most people think they are.

 

All that said, nursing is a great career.  There are many opportunities for job growth and advancement.  I absolutely love my interactions with my patients and enjoy helping them find wellness again.  There are tons of little niche areas of nursing to explore if you're interested.  I make a positive difference in the lives of others every day.  I chose nursing school for three reasons, and those three reasons still ring true today.  1) It was something I could personally be proud of and feel personal-satisfaction with.  2) I can always find a job regardless of the economy or where I move.  It may not be a perfect job, but it will provide income.  3) It fit in with my desired family-life.

post #3 of 36
Thread Starter 

Wow, thank you so much for your in depth reply!  I am a CPM and will hopefully be going directly to midwifery school after nursing school.  I think once I get into midwifery school I will be very happy.  I will check out your link.  I bet it will help me out right now, since I have A&P II and Chemistry.  As it is, I have 6 loads of laundry to fold upstairs and instead I am studying for tomorrows exam.  The organization of the housework is a priority because I want to be able to spend my non-studying time at home actually interacting with the kids.  Thanks again.  You set my mind at ease a bit!
 

post #4 of 36

You're welcome.  I'm happy to answer other questions if you have them.  Have you checked with the CNM programs to see how much experience they require before applying?  The ones in my area require a minimum of five years RN experience with at least three of those in L&D, and they don't count other work experience (CPM, EMT, etc.).

post #5 of 36

I found nursing school to be more time consuming than difficult. Although, I did an A.D.N. program so the skills are more condensed. My son was 4 when I started classes. I couldn't have done it wihtout my mom and mil to help me get him to and from school etc. The schedule was only 3-4 days per week but there was always something added on like a block lab or group project etc to round it up to 5. Clinical days were the hardest because I just wasn't used to being away from my son for that long. There were many times I left before he woke up and got home after he had gone to sleep.

post #6 of 36
Thread Starter 

Hmm, this is my big fear.  I don't mind working hard but I need time with my babies!  I just keep telling myself it is just for a year and they won't remember it when they are older.

post #7 of 36

It may be worthwhile to check with employers that you are interested in working for--not as an application, but as an informal check-in on what jobs are available, their hours, pay, etc.

 

Clinical days in nursing school are hard.  I greatly disliked the long hours that they required.  However, in some ways they were good preparation.  The vast majority of RN jobs in my state, especially for RNs with less than 5 years of experience, require 12 hour shifts.  A 12 hour shift actually means being away from home for close to 13.5.  For instance, for the 6am to 6pm shifts, nurses usually leave home around 5:20am to allow time to commute and park.  At 6am they get report.  Then they work.  6pm-6:30 is report for the night shift, and then they get home around 7:15pm.  For many people, this means leaving before the kids are up and getting home just in time to put them to bed.  

 

How that works with your family varies.  Some nurses absolutely love it because they are away from their family for three days (for a full time position) but have four full days where they are with the kids all-day (as opposed to a traditional 9-5 job where they are away for five days a week).  Other families have a hard time arranging for childcare, meals, transportation, etc. during those long days with mom away from home.

post #8 of 36
Thread Starter 

Thanks rnra.  I don't know about the period b/t the BSN and MSN, but after I'm a CNM I plan on working with a group of home birth CNMs that have been pushing me to go back to school for a couple of years so that they can hire me. They were my preceptors for my CPM program. I know what this lifestyle entails since I did it for years before having my babies.  Although I have not called the area Midwifery programs to see how much experience they want, I know other CPMs who went on to become CNMs without working in labor and delivery for more than a year. I would actually really like to have a set schedule for a little while and I'm really trying to be positive and open about viewing this as a big adventure.  We are good at being flexible.  I just don't want a lot of spontaneous days on end without seeing the LOs.  We will see what happens.  One step at a time.  Ultimately I want my own home birth practice with hospital privileges at the hospital around the corner :)  Big, crazy dreams considering not one midwife works in this area. I really appreciate you exploring the ins and outs with me.  It helps with the planning.
 

post #9 of 36

I am in my first semester of nursing school. Ought to be in bed right now because I have to be up at 5am for clinical tomorrow.  I am finding the whole package of working (doula and CBE), student, and mother to 5 to be very difficult.  My kids are definitely feeling neglected and I please no one no matter how hard I try.  Thank God for my mother and a dear friend who pick up the slack for me with my children. I just keep putting one foot in front of the other and counting down to holidays and breaks.  Husband neither supportive or helpful, but I have to keep going.  I want to go directly to midwifery school and the program I am looking at will likely accept my 12 years of experience in birth work so hopefully I can move fairly quickly to that program.  I am happy to see this thread and will check in occasionally.  My inlaws are coming for Thanksgiving and I have already declared I will not be cooking so we will see how that goes.

post #10 of 36

For me, as a single parent, the biggest obstacle was childcare. On clinical days, I didn't get home till midnight. When my babysitter flaked, I simply could not go, and had to drop out. My advice is to have back-up for your back-up. And maybe 2 more layers!
 

post #11 of 36

I am halfway through an ADN part time program. I have 3 kids a couple years older than yours. I already have a B.A. so we are paying for Nursing school out of pocket. I am a strong student and graduated with honors from University with a Major and double Minor, so I have good academic skills. I also work 24 hrs a week as a Lactation Consultant. 

 

I am absolutely missing out on precious moments and events in the lives of my children. Sometimes it does not seem worth it. My children are precious to me and I treasure each moment, each developmental stage and their true need to have a mom who is present for them. The money we are spending on Nursing school could have afforded us a down payment on a better home, retirement savings, savings for the kids or multiple amazing trips for our family. I have cried many a tear because I deeply miss my children as I drive off to school sometimes. But I continue because I want a lucrative career option for our family.  It is a choice and a risk that you take to go into Nursing School.

 

It sounds like you have big exciting dreams and plans of what you want to do.

I think we differ in that I do have a job I enjoy and I do not have a tangible goal at the end of school. 

 

For over 10 years I have dreamed of becoming a CNM or an NP. However, becoming a CNM is going to take a PhD in Nursing in a couple years. All Advanced Practice Nursing in the US will require a PhD after 2014 according to my first Nursing textbook. This bit of information burst a huge bubble for me.  I know that I do not want to sign up for 6 more years of school. I am losing quite enough time with them...plus Nurses are not good at staying married and I have an amazing husband who can only pick up the slack for so long!!

 

My family said they would babysit and support my efforts with working and school but that really translates to not expecting much time with me and a willingness to listen to me and encourage me when I say it is soooooo hard. 

 

Things that have helped me get above passing grades (my class started with 32 students 12 have failed out already)

1. my husband is incredible and has picked up so much of the love and care of our children

2. getting a reliable babysitter

3. studying for tests outside of my home...Panera, cafes, library

4. giving up social commitments and exercise/fitness goals

5. letting hobbies go such as gardening, cooking, arts, spiritual pursuits etc  Nursing school fills all your free time and if you buy into the Nursing philosphy you might find it fulfills some of these needs.

6. when my courses got VERY hard this fall (Pharmacology) I hired a cleaning lady and a lawn guy and I put my 4 year old in full time childcare :(- I would have lost my mind and flunked out without these adjustments. Before finals I saw my kids about 4 hrs per week for 2 weeks.

 

Good luck, sorry to be such a Debbie Downer.

I do enjoy a lot of my Nursing Program but as a pretty crunchy individual it is not bliss and rubs me the wrong way a lot too.

post #12 of 36
Thread Starter 

So high everyone! Thanks for replying.  I have not checked back in awhile.  Right now I am in the process of filling out my applications.  I am looking for childcare for the little guys.  My daughter will be in second grade.  I need to spend some serious time on the personal statement and write a resume.  Hopefully during spring break I can get those done and send out the apps.  How is everyone doing?
 

post #13 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by olliemi2005 View Post

I am halfway through an ADN part time program. I have 3 kids a couple years older than yours. I already have a B.A. so we are paying for Nursing school out of pocket. I am a strong student and graduated with honors from University with a Major and double Minor, so I have good academic skills. I also work 24 hrs a week as a Lactation Consultant. 

 

I am absolutely missing out on precious moments and events in the lives of my children. Sometimes it does not seem worth it. My children are precious to me and I treasure each moment, each developmental stage and their true need to have a mom who is present for them. The money we are spending on Nursing school could have afforded us a down payment on a better home, retirement savings, savings for the kids or multiple amazing trips for our family. I have cried many a tear because I deeply miss my children as I drive off to school sometimes. But I continue because I want a lucrative career option for our family.  It is a choice and a risk that you take to go into Nursing School.

 

It sounds like you have big exciting dreams and plans of what you want to do.

I think we differ in that I do have a job I enjoy and I do not have a tangible goal at the end of school. 

 

For over 10 years I have dreamed of becoming a CNM or an NP. However, becoming a CNM is going to take a PhD in Nursing in a couple years. All Advanced Practice Nursing in the US will require a PhD after 2014 according to my first Nursing textbook. This bit of information burst a huge bubble for me.  I know that I do not want to sign up for 6 more years of school. I am losing quite enough time with them...plus Nurses are not good at staying married and I have an amazing husband who can only pick up the slack for so long!!

 

My family said they would babysit and support my efforts with working and school but that really translates to not expecting much time with me and a willingness to listen to me and encourage me when I say it is soooooo hard. 

 

Things that have helped me get above passing grades (my class started with 32 students 12 have failed out already)

1. my husband is incredible and has picked up so much of the love and care of our children

2. getting a reliable babysitter

3. studying for tests outside of my home...Panera, cafes, library

4. giving up social commitments and exercise/fitness goals

5. letting hobbies go such as gardening, cooking, arts, spiritual pursuits etc  Nursing school fills all your free time and if you buy into the Nursing philosphy you might find it fulfills some of these needs.

6. when my courses got VERY hard this fall (Pharmacology) I hired a cleaning lady and a lawn guy and I put my 4 year old in full time childcare :(- I would have lost my mind and flunked out without these adjustments. Before finals I saw my kids about 4 hrs per week for 2 weeks.

 

Good luck, sorry to be such a Debbie Downer.

I do enjoy a lot of my Nursing Program but as a pretty crunchy individual it is not bliss and rubs me the wrong way a lot too.

 

Just wanted to say that the requirement for a DNP after 2014 is misinformed.  That is what there was a push for, but it still has not been put into practice.  Also, it is definitely not a minimum entry requirement for the CNM degree, and the ACNM (American College of Nurse Midwives) has issued two statements stating they do not intend to change or back a DNP degree for a minimum requirement now, or in the future.

 

Also, her in the states, if a person did want to finish their DNP, it is not a 6 year program.  The schools I have seen offering it, it is only about another 1-1.5 years after the completion of the masters degree.  There are a very small handful of programs that offere a straight DNP course, instead of finishing masters first, which will also shortern the time.

 

 

As for me, I'm also on the path to CNM.  Currently a pre-nursing student, just finishing up pre-reqs.  I currently work full time and go to school part time, as well as doula work on the side and various non-profit group involvments.  I just do it.  I have no idea how I do it some days.  I guess in some ways I'm lucky to be a single Mom because my kids are with their Dad every other weekend and that gives me a big chunk of time to really study and get homework done.  I'm going full time student come January, and I actually expect that year to allow me a bit more freedom to spend more time with my kids than I have now.

post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix~Mama View Post

 

Just wanted to say that the requirement for a DNP after 2014 is misinformed.  That is what there was a push for, but it still has not been put into practice. 

 

 

Yes - this.  Another bit of advice I can offer is don't rush to start your BSN or MSN program.  The experience you'll gain in your first few years as a nurse is invaluable.  I graduated from my ADN program in 1999, and finished my BSN in 2012, which was longer than I had expected to wait, but kids & family came first.  I'm now in an MSN program (WHNP) and it is ten times harder than I had anticipated!

post #15 of 36

As someone who is interested in applying to an accelerated program after my completing my BS in Bio, could anyone enlighten me as to the prospects of finding a good job as a nurse working in insurance from home?

post #16 of 36

mamamayhem--Such jobs do exist, but they are very rarely available for new grads.  From what I've seen, most non-clinical positions (like those for insurance companies) require 3-5 years of clinical nursing experience prior to the job.  Much of your nursing knowledge will come from time spent working as a nurse, and not from school.  Typically, they want to make sure that you have a good solid educational base AND a suitable amount of on-the-job skill and experience.

 

I know two nurses who work for insurance companies.  Nurse #1 worked in a hospital for 7 years after graduation.  She then switched to an insurance company, but worked in an office and not at her home.  She did that for about 4 years.  After that, she was given the option to work from home 75% of the time.  Nurse #2 worked in a hospital for 10 years, took off 5 years to be home with her kids, and then started at an insurance company (again, in the office--not at home).  After about 18 months working with them, she started to work from home about 50% of the time.  Neither of them have 100% work at home jobs.  

 

Jobs like the one you are describing are definitely out there--just don't expect to get one right out of nursing school.

 

Good luck!

post #17 of 36
I'm glad I asked then. Now I know what to expect. Thanks for the information.
post #18 of 36
I am due with dd #2 in late Sept. I will start BHSc Nursing in Jan 2014 and be done April 2017. My placements won't begin until Sept 2014. It's nice to hear other mama's experiences!
post #19 of 36
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone,

Just found out that I got accepted to a nursing program and I am so happy and relieved!  It is an accelerated 11 month BSN, so short and intense, but it gets great reviews online.  Unfortunately, I don't start until April 2014, so I have quite a wait.  I also need to take a computer application course.  Yuck! That sounds like a big old waste of time and money to me, but what ever.  I am just jumping through hoops.  I also have to figure out how I am going to finance this adventure.  Lots to do, but I am very excited to start!
 

post #20 of 36

olive&pimiento congrats on the entry to nursing school.  

 

This thread has had lots of great information. 

 

I am working through the pre-reqs to apply for nursing school at my local community college. Next semester I finally start a class that isn't just a general ed class. (microbiology).  I expect the next couple of years to be sort of crazy with calm breaks between semesters.  

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