Considering going back to school-- advice, thoughts needed - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 10-18-2008, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello mamas. I'd like a rational outside voice about this-- everyone we know IRL obviously has a stake in us staying or going, so I'd like someone else's take.

My husband is in biotech. The industry? Ehh...not doing too good. He's considering going back to school to get his nursing degree. He REALLY likes having stable work-- is totally the type of guy who could work for one company his whole life and be happy.

While we were searching and calling....basically, just one place COMPLETELY fell into our laps. It is in OK, about 1.5 hours from his parents and they're offering $10k to male nursing students. (Yes, we'd still have to do loans and such for the rest of the tuition.) (Staying in TX would still require us to move to find a school that has an accelerated degree plan-- which he needs to have.)

I believe in signs and this just seems like our sign. He talked to the admissions people and they were very positive about him, his background and his transcript.

And then, we freaked out. We would go from making about $50k (in tx) to off student loans and whatever I make through my writing (it varies by month). We'd have to sell our house that we love, move away from friends. The kids wouldn't be in preschool anymore and that just KILLS me because I love their school so much.

So the rational side of my brain is saying that this school is such a blessing and opportunity and it seems like the right choice. Yes, we would REALLY have to struggle to make it, but we live simply and frugally already.

The emotional side of my brain cries every time it thinks of leaving my friends and my daughter's friends. It cries when it thinks of saying goodbye to teachers and the school.

With the economy going the way it is, I know we're all going to have to make hard choices that are right for our families. I'm just torn between what seems right and what I WANT.

Has anyone had their spouse/partner go back to school in a time like this? Have you? Are you considering it?

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#2 of 9 Old 10-18-2008, 12:39 PM
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I'm a nurse and the job outlook is excellent for the career field. I love the flexibility too. I'm home during the week with my kids and work 2, 12 hr shifts on weekend. In my mind it's the best of both worlds. If things are working out that he can go to school I think you should go for's a finite amt. of time that will offer so many things in return. Good luck with your decision.

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#3 of 9 Old 10-18-2008, 01:29 PM
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Sounds like the choice is between staying with his current job or swtiching to a nursing career/ schooling.

If the choice is nursing, you have to move either way. Either in state or out of state.

How long is the program(s) he is looking at? How long would his schooling take? Are you certain you could get the student loans necessary to cover your expenses? How much would you need to borrow? What is the average starting salary and how long would it take to pay those loans off?
What is cost of living in proposed cities you would need to move to?

Is there a way you could get more stable work to offset the amount you would need to borrow?

Nursing is a fairly stable career, almost always a need for that profession.

Has he thought about doing a job shawdow for a bit to get a feel for what that really is day in and day out.

Good luck with talking things out to determine what might be best for the family as a whole.
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#4 of 9 Old 10-18-2008, 02:11 PM
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I'm also considering a similar move. I'll probabably go back to school next year to take the prerequisites I need for nursing school (I already have a BS, but I'm missing a few of the prereqs). I'd suggest taking a good look at the programs that are close to you. Look at the programs themselves, the prerequisites, and costs. Sometimes it's more expensive to attend a private school with a scholarship than it is to attend a public university. When I go back to school I'm planning to attend a school that is about an hour from my home. Although this isn't ideal, I can commute and not worry about trying to sell a house or relocate.

Is your DH going for a BSN? If so, the accellerated programs usually are completed in 1.5 years instead of 2 years because they require classes in the summer. I'd suggest taking a hard look at the numbers and decide if the accellerated program is worth it. Your DH might be able to find a part-time job on the weekends and summers if just doing the regular (non-accellerated program).

In any case, good luck with the schooling. I've got my fingers crossed that the economy doesn't completely tank and that school loans will still be available in the upcoming years, so I can go back to school.

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#5 of 9 Old 10-18-2008, 05:06 PM
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My DH is doing almost the same switch. He was totally sold on biotech by the advisors at his university only to discover that there just aren't the sort of stable, career-building jobs he was led to believe there were -- everything in our market starts at $7-8/hour. And when you're paying $10 for daycare, well... that doesn't work. We're moving to another state so that he can get patient contact experience and go to PA school.

In your case, the $10,000 does sound like the universe talking to you. But I wonder what else you have going in the new city -- do you have friends there? Is there a similar school and quality of life for your kids? Can you find similar places to live and things to do? I know that those were some of the important ways that we evaluated our move and our feelings of conviction.

Also, in this housing market how much of an obstacle is selling your house likely to be?

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#6 of 9 Old 10-18-2008, 05:14 PM
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Does he want to go into nursing because he thinks he would enjoy it, or is he just picking something that is in more demand now?

If he is passionate about nursing and doesn't feel satisfaction from his current job, I would say to make the move now. Your kids are still young and changing preschools is a lot easier than changing elementary schools or middle schools.

Honestly, as much as you and your kids might like their friends and teachers, will it REALLy matter 30 yrs from now? Or would having your dh find a fufilling and stable work environment make more of a difference? I think the answers to these questions will vary for each individual, and there is no right or wrong answer, so you need to think about your own families priorities. Honestly, I had some teachers and friends I really liked when I was a child, but I probably would have found new teachers and friends I liked too if we had moved. I grew up fairly poor, so if my mom had found a fufilling stable career back then, it probably would have a more positive influence on our lives now.

I guess what I'm saying is try to imagine the effects each choice will have on your family several years from now, not just the immediate effects of sadness of leaving, etc.
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#7 of 9 Old 10-18-2008, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all,

I'll try to answer the ?s but sometimes I forget (or get distracted by pretty, shiny, things). There aren't many accelerated programs in our we'd probably have to move to a less-desired city, anyway. The place we're moving to is closer to his family, so that is helpful. He's going to have to take out loans no matter what-- and spending 2 years at a lower rate and 16 months at a higher one just pretty much turn out the same. We'd both much rather he just GET IT OVER WITH already, ya know?

We'd have no problem selling our house-- it is one of the cheapest you can get in this area and our housing market is still going strong. As long as you price it right, you can usually do ok.

I know, in the long run, loving teachers is a really stupid reason for staying. I just get so attached to things...almost every house I've ever moved out of (my parents moved us all the time growing up) had me crying the last few days.

I'm thinking we'll probably end up moving. He was interested in nursing/healthcare a long time ago (before me) and was called away by the "future" in biotech.


We'll be in OKC this week and he'll go and check out the school, talk to people and I'll look at the area. I'm feeling positive right now....hopefully I can make this feeling last.

Welcome to the Real World she said to me, condescendingly, take a seat. Take your life; plot it out in black and white.
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#8 of 9 Old 10-18-2008, 07:29 PM
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Just wanted to echo...don't make decisions based on your attachment to people and places. While it can be difficult starting over, you can't limit yourself because of sentimentality. I am an EXTREMELY sentimental person, so I know how hard it can be...but going back as far as my own high school years...if I had opted out of AP classes because my friends didn't qualify for AP classes, I never would have gotten into the colleges I got into. If I had based my involvement in activities on what my friends were involved in, I never would have had the experiences that I had. OK, so high school is not "real life", but whenever I'm faced with a decision and "people" and relationships factor into it, I remember back to when things were not so complicated and I remember the decisions I made and how happy I am for the chances I took.

Sounds like a career jump at this point is a good one. It's never a good feeling to be living off of loans, but it's with a goal and an end in mind. Good luck!
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#9 of 9 Old 10-18-2008, 08:26 PM
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One thing to consider, those "accelerated" schools are often a huge waste of money. You only save 1 semester and while they may give a good sales pitch they very often have very very low graduation/completion rates and students are having trouble getting a job becasue employers know the school is not very good and raced the student though the program so fast they don't retain the information and there a liability. I went through one program like that and they ended up having a 90% drop rate (that they do not admit to!) and the 10% who completed were not any where near ready to take the certification tests. I went though the program TWICE and out of both groups NONE got certified. That was $10,000 down the drain and the school lost there funding becasue the state wised up.

Last year I looked into one of the accelerated schools for RT training. Was going to end up costing me I think it was $20,000. By now I had gotten a bit smarter due to my previous experience but the school skirted around the issue so I went and googled the stats and discovered they had like an 80% drop rate and the ones who finished ran into the same problems, were not ready for testing and had trouble getting jobs and NO ONE who went though the program was happy. I found tons of complaints from students online about the school.

In the end I found it was far cheaper to go the community college route and get a BETTER education and do it in 2 years vs 18 months for a fraction of the cost.

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