I was in the exact same position as you a little over a year ago. I was working FT at my hospital as an aide, carried the insurance for my family (husband & 4 kids) all while going to school. The last year of school I was dangerously close to not passing. I was missing classes because I was just plain exhausted from working 12 hour night shifts, doing homework and taking care of my family. I asked my manager if I could go PT but there were no positions available. I ultimately had to go PRN so I could focus on school. We lost our insurance, my income was next to nothing and to top it all off, my husband was laid off. We were in dire straits! I even thought of quitting school so I could go back to working FT. But, I decided I had worked too hard to throw it all away. We took advantage of free clinics when the kids or we were sick, had to go to the food bank a few times, cut back on any unnecessary expenses, shopped at thrift stores etc. It was rough! We certainly struggled to make ends meet on a daily basis. But, it all paid off in the end...my grades improved, I got free counseling from school (I have depression and being that poor and struggling made it worse...besides the fact I couldn't afford my meds any longer) and I graduated in Dec 2012! Passed NCLEX Feb 4th, got hired back at my hospital as an RN full time Feb 12th, started working Feb 19th and now have been off orientation for almost 3 weeks. Couldn't be happier!!
I. Love. My. Job!
If you want it bad enough, you will make the sacrifice. Believe me, that year was the toughest of my entire life...financially, mentally and emotionally. But it was totally worth it in the end and I couldn't be happier. Good luck in whatever you decide to do. I wish you all the best. If I could do it, so can you!!!