Nursing school & family: Now or later?

  1. I am a stay home mother of 2 girls (3&6yrs) After an 8 yr hiatus to relocate and start a family, I decided to return to school to finish my RN. I had completed all my sciences and most of my pre recs, all were accepted. I was asked to take Physiology again to prepare for fall entry...here's where it gets tricky. I've always had a 3.75 gpa and now I'm struggling to pull a "C" in this class. I'm not studying enough and my grades are showing it. I know with all my heart this is what I want (to become an RN) but maybe it's just not the right time. If I quit now, I'll have to repeat my sciences before applying again. I'm not sure I can even pull a crummy "C" out of this class right now. (there always seems to be something going on...sick child, soccer, dance, homework, Brownies, etc) I never seem to be able to just sit down and study! Any suggestions?

    I know it's only gonna get tougher during clinicals, and my first allegiance is to my children; I'm really in a bind here!

    Thanks for listening!
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  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   giftedRN
    mlfoley,

    Try to be focused. I know it is hard to do your studies with kids around. I am here with my 2 -year old and she is giving me a hard time but I am dtermined to finish all my prerequisites for the nursing college in spring of 2003.

    Just spend some more time in the books and try to summarize your notes in your own words and you will be okay. I know what you are going through right now but if this is what you want , you just have to make up your mind to put in a lot of studies. At the end of your studies you will be rerwarded.

    Hang in there girl!!
  4. by   TeresaRN2b
    I have 4 kids so I totally understand what you are talking about. I think you will regret it if you don't go now. I think that you are going to hit burn out no matter whether you go now or later. Everyone experiences that. Your motivation will eventually come back to you. It is going to be hard no matter when you go. If you put it off you are just postponing things. It won't be easier later. There will always be obstacles in your way whether you go now or later. I say go now.

    Teresa
  5. by   KristaB
    Someone once told me (I think it was on this forum!) that there is never an optimal time to go to nursing school. There is always something that will come up...

    One thing that helps me to get more study time is building it into the time I spend at school. I try to arrive to school *at least* a half hour early (I try to get there even earlier, but it doesn't always work out). That half hour is all study time. I also try to spend the time between my classes *just* studying. It is just about the only time I'm able to do good, focused studying, but the time adds up and it is far more productive than any I spend studying at home. One other thing that has worked for me is making up note cards and taking them with me when I have to go pick someone up. There is invariable some wait time, and I figured it was just wasted sitting there in the car for fifteen minutes or whatever. Now that 15 minutes buys me a little bit of study time. You can also use them in the kitchen when you're making dinner -- just think about the time you spend sitting and thinking "I could be studying right now" and use that time with your note cards.

    The other thing to keep in mind is that you don't have to have perfect grades. I'm a perfectionist by nature, and it has been difficult for me to accept anything less than a 4.0, but to be in school with three little kids (mine are 6, 4 and 1), I've had to lower my expectations of myself. B's still get degrees (and so do C's for that matter!)! I know it is hard to accept, but just do the best you can, study whenever you get a chance. You'll do great!

    Krista
  6. by   crnasomeday
    It really is hard to make it through school with small children at home. I'm in my last year of a BSN program. I have an 11 mo old, a 3 year old and a 5 year old, so I can totally sympathize. Your children are the first priority, and I understand what your saying about things like soccer games and brownies getting in the way of good study time for you. I try to plan my studying time around the time that my kids don't need my undivided presence and attention (like when they nap or go to bed for the night). I also really make use of the days that my husband has off, so he can spend time doing things with the kids while I study.

    When I need extra time to study, like when exams are approaching, well...I just do that. I just study. The thing that helps me is just remembering that I am not only doing this (nursing school) for myself. I'm doing it for my children as well. As a matter of fact, I'm doing it mostly for my children. I went back to school because I want to be someone my children can be proud of. I want to be a role model for them. I want them to have a better life. Keeping that in mind has really helped me.
  7. by   USA987
    Everyone has a lot of great ideas!

    I'm down in San Diego. I have a 6 & 5 and my hubby is in the military. I understand exactly how you feel. I also try to arrange my schedule in such a way that I just stay at school between classes and study. It's the perfect time. I've also been known to get up at 4:30 a.m. to hit the books. I'm a morning person, so it works well for me!

    You can do it!
    Best Wishes,
    Christine
  8. by   GPatty
    All I can say here is......STICK WITH IT!!!!!
    Sometimes I get so incredibly bored with classes that I want to quit.... sometimes I am so frustrated with MY lack of studying that I want to quit...
    But deep down inside, there is that little voice that is getting louder and louder with each and every passing day that I press forward, telling me that someday, with perseverance, I AM GOING TO BE A NURSE!!!!!
    Now, I am not saying it will be easy...nothing worthwhile ever is!
    But keep pushing for your goal... in the long run you will benefit, and so will your children. Keep that in mind!
    May God bless you !
    Keep us posted!
    Julie
    PS I have also been known to study at 4:30 am and to carry books with me (and notecards) where ever I go!!!!!
  9. by   MRed94
    Amen and Amen.

    I have 3 kids, too, 16, 10, and 7. The kids go to school when I do, so we do homework together.

    My kids were much smaller when I was in EMT school, and I studied around them.

    My oldest was 5 months and still nursing when I went to LPN school.

    So, Like somebody said, you are doing this FOR YOU and FOR THEM.

    I want to give them the things I can't give them now, and when I get a normal job, I will be able to spend more time with them.


    It will all be worth it in the end.

    Hang in there.

    Marla
  10. by   pkmom
    I have to schedule in time for my husband or someone to take my kid for at least a few hours a week. I study best at home, but if my hubby can't get away, I go to the nearest library or even a fast food place. I ALWAYS carry my books with me to get a few extra minutes of studying in while I'm waiting on my husband.
    Good luck to you.
    Its comforting to know that there are other moms struggling out there. In my anatomy class, there was only one other mother and I wondered if all this school/family stuff was possible at the same time.
  11. by   Katnip
    I have three kids, 15, 13 and 11. It doesn't get easier as they get older. They're more involved in activities and need to be shuttled around a lot. And they don't go to bed very early, either.

    I had to re-take sciences because I waited. Don't do it! I regret not having done it sooner. Look into part-time if you have to. There are some really good ideas posted here. Try them.

    You sound like a real perfectionist, too. I used to have a 4.0 before nursing school. Now, I'm thrilled when I get an 86 on an exam. Lower your standards a little, and that includes the housework. (Don't get the to the point where the health department steps in, but it's okay to ignore the occasional dust bunny under the bed and don't dust higher than your tallest freind ).

    Hang in there.
  12. by   Tina Ennis
    I have to agree with everyone. I am a mother of 2 (5 & 7), and in my last 2 semesters of my ADN(not my last year, its not that long! ) You find that to get to the ulitmate goal you find many ways to do it. I hope you have a good support system with your family because there will be times you need them. Also try to find you a study buddy, I have found that we can motivate each other.

    Well best of luck to ya! I say go for it! It is not only for you, but for your family too!!

    Tina
  13. by   Jacaut
    I agree that there is never a perfect time. It sounds like you really need to reevaluate your life. I've said before that it is absolutely crucial that every woman be able to support her own family if need be. Accidents, divorce, job loss: all are traumatic and dramatic events which could see you on the streets (or on welfare). Also, if you are happy with yourself you will be a much better mom. My daughters and their friends all think I am a great role model. I'd rather have my 13 & 14 year olds look up to me than Brittany Spears.

    So: take a close look at your time. Do you really need to drive your kids to soccer and so on or can you carpool to give yourself some extra time? How much time do you sit and watch tv? Can you combine tasks to make more study time? Can your husband/ mom/ friend take the kids for a few hours each week so you can go to the library and study (I had a friend who used to take my young daughters for some time. They all loved it)?

    You have many options. Trust me- if you completly put yourself into the "least important person" catagory, you will be. Just be sure to prioritize yourself too!

    A final word- This is my first year actually in the program (why is it a two year degree takes four years? Will finishing my four year degree take six )?. Nursing school takes up a tremendous amount of time. It's a great experience- even the bad days- but you will have to put your schooling before soccer when you get to that point. Think about what everyone has said and good luck!!!! I know you can do it if you want to!
    Last edit by Jacaut on Nov 5, '01
  14. by   bsntorn
    Hang in there!!! A&P has always been a tough course. Try studying from an A&P coloring book or computer program. I know that they sound dumb, but they work AND they work quicker than some other ways of studying. I'm a full time mom too. My son has always come first.I'm now in my JUNIOR year in a four year BSN program. DOn't drop out now, because you are a mom and your kids will always have something going on. Won't it be great when you'll be an RN. They'll be very proud of you and you'll set a great example for them to follow. I hope this helps

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