Nursing School and Pregnancy, Can it be done? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 03-15-2011, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi, I am new to this board. I recently got accepted into a ADN program at a local technical college. While I am completely excited, I am also super nervous at the same time.


I already have a degree in Elementary Education and Special Education but after working 2 years in the schools I found that teaching really wasn't what I wanted to do. Coincidentally I was also nearly 7 months pregnant at the time. I am currently a SAHM to my 7 month old daughter and if I decide to work in the future it will be only part-time (maybe baby sitting some kids).


In any case DH and I would like to have at least 3 more children. With me being 28 and it taking a while for me to get pregnant the first time I am nervous about having to wait until I complete this program in the next 2 to 2 1/2 years (depending on how many of my credits for things like writing and such transfer). Would it be completely unreasonable for us to TTC another child while I am in nursing school and try for a summer due date since I wont be in school then? (We were thinking of trying starting in August and if we are lucky have a due date of May, June or July 2012 and in mid August I would start my second semester of nursing classes, if I figured it right)


Please be completely honest with me is it do able with a almost 2 year old and an infant?

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#2 of 8 Old 03-16-2011, 07:15 AM
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I think it just depends on how much support you have. My twins were 2 when I was in school & I was pg with dd my last semester. With classwork, clinicals and such a huge amount of homework/studying, I would not have been successful without my parents and grandparents helping me with the kids. Also, make sure you have good backup care for your kids for if they're sick or something - if we missed 2 clinicals we were out of the program.

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#3 of 8 Old 03-16-2011, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you! I am hoping by the time that if and when we have baby number 2 my mother in law will be retired. She currently works for AT and T and they are slowly closing her department. While she can retire now she is waiting till they close her out completely. She then plans to stay home for a year before finding a part-time job. My mother and sisters are also pretty flexible with their schedules so that if in a pinch I needed them they would watch kids.


Thank you for your advise.

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#4 of 8 Old 03-16-2011, 08:38 AM
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My first trip through nursing school, I had to drop out before it even started (ie I was accepted, finishing prereqs, went through orientation, and then had to drop) because of early pregnancy complications.


You *cannot* miss any school.  Sometimes they are ok with missing a few lectures, but you *cannot* miss clinicals.  The number of clinical hours are set by the state board of nursing.  Schools compete heavily for clinical sites and times.  Most hospitals and facilities only give the schools a minimum number of dates and hours, leaving the schools no ability to schedule more than one or two make up days a semester.  Break a leg?  Out of school.  Have a baby during semesters?  Miss more than one or two days, you're out.  Usually the school allows you to add again the next time that class rolls around, as long as you left in good standing.


We had women who came back to clinicals on the 3rd day post partum.  Everyone, including the instructors, felt terrible for them.  On the other hand, they knew what they were getting in to.  Our instructors did allow new moms to bring their newborns to *class* for the first 6 weeks;  I know this varies by program, but a lot of programs will allow for newborns for the first 3-6 weeks, to facilitate breastfeeding and to ease the burden the new mothers face.


I would recommend waiting until after you are finished to have your baby, or to even get pregnant.  I know it can be done, but it was *awful* to watch these poor new moms go back to school with babies at home.


Edited to add:  By the way, many schools will have you take classes during the summer.  Don't count on having summers off, unless the program has already told you definitively that you won't be in class during the summer.

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#5 of 8 Old 03-16-2011, 11:40 AM
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It was very similar in my program, have a baby midweek and you were back the next week. Babies here were not allowed to come with moms to class.  We'd have moms pumping for a one week old during break time. greensad.gif Our summers really were off, and I know of 2 that timed a pg to happen in May/June, planning to return, but they didn't end up coming back. It sounds like you have a good support system which would be essential, like others have said, you can not miss something because baby is sick, or you are sick during pg. One of my friends in my program became pg (surprise pg) towards the end of our last year, late winter/spring, she would be vomiting multiple times a day and have to hide it during clinicals. Simply put, the schools don't care, and no special deals are made for anyone. 

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#6 of 8 Old 03-16-2011, 12:04 PM
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I would not get pregnant, intentionally, during nursing school.  The program will be really intense, and hard - even for those without children.  Since you have a baby, it will be that much more difficult.  Add in pregnancy, and I think that's really asking to struggle.  Sure, it can be done - there are students who do make it through, they may even have a baby one week and be back to school the next (because really, you cannot miss clinicals, and many programs will kick you out after you miss 2 days of class).  It could work out to have a baby in the summer, if you had consistent childcare for the next semester... but you might not be able to find much time to pump, so just know breastfeeding may not go as planned. Clinicals, at least at my school, require getting up and driving at like 4 am, after working on care plans until midnight the night before.  Nursing school will pretty much consume the majority of your time, so resting during pregnancy or getting up with a baby at night would make it crazy-hard, IMO.


Good luck deciding.  If it were me, I would do the 2 years and have a baby after, or have a baby and start nursing school a year later.  I was set to begin nursing school this fall and decided it was not for me for a variety of reasons, one of them being we do wish to have another baby (and I don't desire to be an RN anymore). 


Read up at if you don't already; there are others who are considering getting pregnant or who are or were pregnant during nursing school.  It may help to hear about their experiences. 

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#7 of 8 Old 03-16-2011, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone! I have a lot to think of. I know not going to Nursing School is not an option for me. I really need to do this, and want to do this. So most likely I will wait I guess I will really see once I go to my admissions meeting in April to see what classes I really have to take before starting the actual Nursing Classes. I so far know of 2 classes. The other pre-nursing classes I am not sure about as I don't know if they will count my credits from my previous degree 5 years ago.

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#8 of 8 Old 03-21-2011, 06:41 PM
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I went to nursing school  during two pregnancies.  My very supportive husband worked his schedule around caring for baby # 1 when I was in school soon after (and then realized I was pregnant for number 2)  I had to leave during the first pregnancy because the physical aspects of the clinicals were bringing on spotting.  The LPN program I was in (CNA's are the same thing for those of you in the States) alternated biweekly between theory and clinicals so that I didn't have the option to complete the theoretical parts of the course separately.  I pretty much had to restart the year.  Fortunately, I was able to make it through the second pregnancy OK.  Be sure to find out what your options are if you have to leave a course of study and how long you are allowed to be away from study before needing to redo completed parts of the program.  Also, should you get pregnant, be willing to be honest with yourself about what you can physically handle for the sake of your health, the baby's and the family.  If your studies take longer, oh well, better that you are healthy for when you meet the working world as a nurse and a Mom.

Busy keeping up with three children and an awful lot of chickens!

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