First off, I
you all! I don't know what I would do without this thread
With that being said, I could really use advise/opinions/suggestions/WWYD, etc.
I am married with a 21 month old daughter. My husband and I live in a different state than both sets of our families, so we do not have any help with childcare. Currently my husband works for a University making $14/hour (with his degree!) and I am in school. I was pre-nursing, but I just want to finish with my Bachelor's and I do not want to do the University program for Nursing because I cannot do the schedule, and I have heard poor things about it. Anyways...I do online, hybrid classes, and have minimal care for our daughter. I am studying a combination of Health Education and Psychology, but have completed all Nursing pre-requisites aside from Biomedical Ethics.
I am very interested in women's health, particularly preconception, pregnancy, and childbirth..newborn care also. I originally wanted to be an RE or OBGYN, but Med School is just not an option. Eventually I want to pursue CNM or WHNP. Currently I am working on my Doula certification through Childbirth International. Through some inquiries and being blessed with meeting folks, I spoke to a manager of one of our local Doula hospital programs. She *seemed* to like me on the phone. I called just for general info on hospital doulas vs. private doulas and she told me they are hiring right now, that the current posting does require experience (which I do not have) but that they will soon have an opening for a Labor Support Specialist level 1 which does NOT require experience. She told me she is going to pass my name on to the hiring manager, told me to touch base with her in a few weeks and let her know if I don't see a posting for an opening soon. She explained they are establishing Labor Support Specialists levels 2 & 3, and than if I grow with the program I could earn my IBCLC through them. I don't know if she was just being nice, but she said this last week and so far no postings for a level 1 yet...but it can take time.
NOW (sorry this is SO long!) my SIL is in nursing school in Colorado (Regis University) and I love hearing about her clinicals, what she is doing, etc. And yes, I have to admit I am a little jealous
She does not think she will have any problem getting a job. She plans to find a CNA job and is confident she will be hired soon after graduating. She also wants to pursue L&D. However, after my research I have learned that it is very hard to find a job.
I can go to the community nursing program here probably next year, and it is a very good program. But these are my concerns:
1.) My daughter. Nursing school is vigorous, and a lot of time/effort/work. I want to enjoy her while she is young, because I will never get these years back. My SIL (same one in school) lives with her parents, my MIL takes care of her daughter, so she can afford school...but she also gets little time with her 3 year old and my neice does call my MIL "mom" sometimes. I feel that if I wait just a few years, perhaps the economy/market will improve and I can go to school when my daughter is in school
2.) The economy. I would hate to go through all the stress and work, only to be unable to find a job and watch my skills go downhill. Of course I could land a job, but the reality is that it is not guaranteed and even if I do get a job, it will probably be in an area that I don't love.
3.) If I am right that I do have a chance of working for this hospital as a Doula (maybe the lady on the phone was just being nice, I don't know) than I could work part-time (it is a PRN job, I understand the Doulas take shifts of being "on call") and I would be doing something I love. I can work my way up to IBCLC, the hospital may pay (at least partly) for nursing school when I do decide to go, and I would have the Doula experience and get to know several of the nurses, docs, etc.
Of course, I may not get the Doula job and so I can finish my BA in HealthEd, maybe get a job as a CNA or tech (I am CNA already but am hoping to get into pregnancy/labor stuff) and than just decide from there. I am 23, 24 in April, so I have time..
Whew, this is long...but what would you suggest? Would you just go for the nursing school full steam ahead? Would you go the Doula route? Am I delusional in thinking this manager liked me and may help me get my foot in the door? And if I do work, our neighbor will watch our daughter. I just feel working part time would allow me much more time with her than full time nursing school. I don't want my fear of unemployment to hold me back, but I want to be realistic. And I want to do something I love. Doula work would allow that, but just not with a very good salary. (I honestly don't even know how they are paid)
If you made it through my novel, thanks so much. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!!