Changing Careers - Balancing Family

  1. Hi everyone! Newbie here!
    After 7 years in the Defense Industry, I'm happy to say that I finally conjured up enough courage to switch gears and become what I have always wanted to become - a nurse!
    I begin a CNA class next Monday - a prerequisite to the LVN program at my cc. Class is M W F 7:30am-3:30pm. Of course, I will still need to work full-time to support my family (two awesome kiddies under 6 yrs and a CNA hubby). Luckily I was able to go to 3rd shift 4pm-12am.
    I am excited about school and changing careers, but nervous about the affect it will have on my family. I'm wondering if anyone else is in a similar situation? How did you balance family time and school?
    Also, is it critical to work as a CNA before becoming an LVN? An LVN before becoming an RN? Or can I complete schooling as an RN and jump into the workforce? I ask this, because my family could not endure the pay cut if I quit my job to work as a CNA (even though this is what I REALLY want to do!).
    Any advice is greatly appreciated
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   allantiques4me
    Hey!! welcome Newbie!!In my opinion its not critical to be a CNA before becoming an LPN,but it really helps as far as a lot of the experiences you receive.I personally was a N/A a treatment aide got a lot!! of experiences.Simple things such as bed baths,patient relationships, learning professional attitudes,ect.I taught myself medical terminology.That made nursing school a breeze.I was a N/a when I was a kid and was good at it.I got a promotion to treatment aide.I was a stay at home mom for a minute.Have a husband and four kids when I found the time to go back to become an LPN,it wouldnt have been possible if it werent for the support of my wonderful husband.Who even drove me back and forth to school cause I used to have panic attacks and wouldnt drive too far from home.Bottom line. LOts of family support.Im sure youll be fine
  4. by   jb2u
    No, it is not critical to work as a CNA before becoming a Nurse, unless your school requires it! It is helpful though.

    Yes, you can go directly to an RN program (ADN or BSN). I know some great nurses that never worked as CNAs. Personally, I like the hours that I work as a CNA and the fact that I can schedule myself for work, not many jobs will allow that!!

    As far as family life, well, that depends on how you are as a student. Some people must spend every second on nursing school. I, however, am a full time nursing student, father of two, husband to a stay at home mom (sole income provider), work as a cna, about to start a nurse externship besides my cna job, and I find time to help moderate this wonderful website. I have maintained a high GPA and still find time to go to the park with my kids and play our favorite family game "uno." So, yes, you CAN have a family life. However, if you are one of those that must spend countless hours "in the books", then school must come first. Keep in mind that it is only temporary!! I wish you all the best.

    Sincerely,
    Jay
  5. by   Boy_Saves_Girl
    Thank you both tremendously for your words of encouragement!!

    I've never been very good at change (initially) - so this is all pretty new and scary to me at the moment. Although, I have to admit that I'm feeling a whole lot better talking about it with you guys!
    When I was in the Army, my company had a motto "Always Forward". I think I'm gonna adopt it as my own personal little motto to keep me focused through full-time school and work.
    I picked up my textbooks yesterday for the CNA class, and browsed through them last night. I've got butterflies - I'm so excited about class!
    I do have one more question, though.
    How much different is it to change and bathe an adult vs a child? I have been poo'd on pee'd on and vomited on by my children, and it doesn't phase me. I'm just wondering if it's much different. My imagination is running wild here, and I'm preparing myself for the worst!
  6. by   jb2u
    I do remember the "always forward" motto. If you made it through the Army then you can make it. The Army was all about pushing yourself. As far as changing adults...well, yes it will be different than changing your kids. However, I have always felt that it is worse for the patient. I could not imagine laying there and having someone else clean me. I actually had one patient that refused to use a bedpan because he was on STRICT bedrest, so he just "held it in." Toileting is a very personal thing and people want to be able to do it in private. My point is...it is harder on them, believe it or not. I have had plenty of patients apologizing repeatedly while I was cleaning them. No, it is not a pleasant thing, but it is just a small, although important, part of the job. Stay focused on the patient and I think you will be fine.

    Good luck,
    Jay
  7. by   CJolin
    I am a cna, and I plan on starting some pre nursing classes in the summer. Where i live, we need to have our cna to start nursing classes. i work third shift, and i have 4 kids, two are in school all day, one goes half day and one is at home all day. My fiance is disabled, so he stays at home with them. It has taken some adjusting, and we are getting used to the routine now. i sleep mostly when the kids are at school. i dont know how it is going to be when i start school. I may just go part time. i know how you feel, but like the others say, it is only temporary. it will pay off in the long run!

    good luck in everything!
    Cari

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