This will be a long post, so I appreciate in advance anyone who reads it through. I think I've thought this through. I decided to post this here to get any feedback anyone with more experience might have.
My ultimate goal is to become an RN.
I want to be in the medical field and I've always wanted to be a nurse but, for a variety of reasons, never took the plunge (regretfully.) I'm in transition now and this is the time for me to make my move, if ever.
Right now I am 32, unemployed, with an AA degree in communications from about 12 years ago, with a professional history in office management and advertising/marketing sales.
Recently moved to CT with my child (single parent, no support from his father) - 10 year old, just got him started in his new middle school here and he loves it (thankfully.)
I'm living back at home with my parents and I am on unemployment. I discovered a program via unemployment that will (possibly) continue my benefits while I am in school but this is limited to programs that will be completed within 24 months. I've applied - waiting to hear back.
I am currently scheduled to begin a Medical Assistant Certification Program
on the 24th. I will also be volunteering at the local hospital
beginning about the same time, hopefully for the duration of my program. This program also features an externship that I hope will help me find a job. Ideally
, I'll work as an MA for a few years, pay off some of my loans, and then when my son is in high school and even more independent, I can go back and get my RN. I'll have the time to fully commit to the rigors of an RN program the way I'd like too.
- .This will get my foot in the door in the medical field
- .The program is 1 year long, within the requirements of the unemployment program
- .The program fits around my son's school schedule perfectly, allowing me to be there as he transitions into middle school and into the new area (plus, I've been away from his for years working 70+ hours a week in downtown Manhattan!)
- .The program is 5 minutes from my house (again, schedule bonus)
- .If approved for the unemployment program, I won't have to work while I am in school (helping me do better in school, volunteer, and raise my kid)
I've considered going for an LPN
- .This will max out all my available student loans (I used most of it up trying to complete my BS after my son was born, unsuccessfully, and fully used up my pell grant)
- .I still won't be a nurse
- .I'll be quite a bit older than most nursing students, probably late 30s before I can even start the RN program
. The LPN program, while slightly more expensive, is also a year. A few issues with this:
I considered going into an ADN program
- The closest program is about 50 mins away. This commute, plus the clinical hours required, will cause a child care issue and, honestly, I'm afraid of the weather keeping me from getting to school! (the snow gets pretty insane up here)
- There seems to be problems w/ LPNs getting jobs here in CT, other than in nursing homes (correct me if I am wrong)
, for obvious reasons, but the issues with this are:
There is a BSN program nearby,
- .I do not have enough loans left to cover this (absolutely cannot pay out of pocket)
- .I can't use the same amount of loans for a 2nd AA (unfortunately)
- .The nearest program is also about 30 mins away
about 10 minutes away, however, I am pretty sure I can't afford it. It'll be a much longer program, longer than the unemployment program will allow, and I can't be out of work that long nor expect my parents to support me that long. I am pretty sure I can't also work while completing this program. And, well, again, my son needs me. (I am going to meet with an advisor, just in case, but it's a long long long shot.
I basically have 1 year and $x to make this transition happen. I feel like I have an opportunity here, but there are real restrictions. I need to make a decision. I'm just not sure I'm taking the right path.
Any feedback is appreciated.