Working as sole earner in Family: How to make the transition to nursing student?

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    Hello, well I've gotten all my preq done . I will be getting my AA degree this Spring 2012 and now have to make the plunge into applying and actually getting into a nursing program, its been a long 4 year journey getting to this point while working and taking classes part-time. I'm 35 married and got 2 kids and from florida. I am the sole earner in the family and my current job pays well enough at $17.50/hr for us to make it, however it is not a medical related field or anything. My problem is that once I get into a program I'll basically have to ensure some sort of financial stability as my family depends on me plus we got a mortgage and other bills and commitments. My wife does not work, and does not have any degrees so her getting a job is not an option and she is just a stay at home mom. I think this is a major stumbling block for men who want to get into nursing who most often have wives who do not work or earn less, unless of course if you married to a nurse.

    How exactly does one in my situation make the transition into nursing student?


    I was an EMT several years ago in the Caribbean which is where I was born,and which is why I want to be a nurse. When I immigrated my EMT credentials weren't recognized in florida and I was not financially able to get the certification, so I had to do any job that comes by and I got into cable tv work now I'm stuck in a non medical field for the past 8 years and wanting to get out.


    I was thinking first maybe try to take a short EMT or CNA course and see if I can get in as a PCA with a night shift. It will mean a pay cut but at least I'll have more flexibility as far as shifts , whereas my current job is a 8-5 with mandatory and frequent overtime, which I do not mind but its burning me out, and I know I wont be able to keep this job and go to nursing school. I know people get loans but how much ? Do you plan to take out enough for my current salary for 2 years while I complete the program without a guarantee of getting a job after? Or work part-time while going to school in the day? Advisors say once I get accepted I can apply for grants and so on but they are too vague. I dont want to get accepted then say sorry I cant do it then miss my chance at nursing school so I trying to plan ahead. I'm at a lost and need specific ideas on how one goes about this transition from working family man to nursing student. Comments from guys and gals would be most welcomed.
    Last edit by man-nurse2b on Jan 1, '12
  2. 7 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Quote from man-nurse2b
    Hello, well I've gotten all my preq done . I will be getting my AA degree this Spring 2012 and now have to make the plunge into applying and actually getting into a nursing program, its been a long 4 year journey getting to this point while working and taking classes part-time. I'm 35 married and got 2 kids and from florida. I am the sole earner in the family and my current job pays well enough at $17.50/hr for us to make it, however it is not a medical related field or anything. My problem is that once I get into a program I'll basically have to ensure some sort of financial stability as my family depends on me plus we got a mortgage and other bills and commitments. My wife does not work, and does not have any degrees so her getting a job is not an option and she is just a stay at home mom. I think this is a major stumbling block for men who want to get into nursing who most often have wives who do not work or earn less, unless of course if you married to a nurse.

    How exactly does one in my situation make the transition into nursing student?


    I was an EMT several years ago in the Caribbean which is where I was born,and which is why I want to be a nurse. When I immigrated my EMT credentials weren't recognized in florida and I was not financially able to get the certification, so I had to do any job that comes by and I got into cable tv work now I'm stuck in a non medical field for the past 8 years and wanting to get out.


    I was thinking first maybe try to take a short EMT or CNA course and see if I can get in as a PCA with a night shift. It will mean a pay cut but at least I'll have more flexibility as far as shifts , whereas my current job is a 8-5 with mandatory and frequent overtime, which I do not mind but its burning me out, and I know I wont be able to keep this job and go to nursing school. I know people get loans but how much ? Do you plan to take out enough for my current salary for 2 years while I complete the program without a guarantee of getting a job after? Or work part-time while going to school in the day? Advisors say once I get accepted I can apply for grants and so on but they are too vague. I dont want to get accepted then say sorry I cant do it then miss my chance at nursing school so I trying to plan ahead. I'm at a lost and need specific ideas on how one goes about this transition from working family man to nursing student. Comments from guys and gals would be most welcomed.


    I know exactly how you feel as I went through some of the same things. I have heard many say that they were not able to work through nursing school. I had to have some sort of income. I feel that is makes us better students because we learn to manage our time better. Take a CNA course and find a hospital that will allow you to work on their weekend program. Most of us worked 2 14 hour shifts and an 8 hour shift. The hospital gave us the remaining 4 hours. Many of the nurses were really nice and showed me different things because I was in nursing school. Good luck and keep us posted on how things work out for you!
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    I did not mention my wife does have a CNA license but she has not been able to land a job because of the economy and they do not want to hire someone with zero experience. All I got is EMT experience i did that for 4 years but it does not really count as hospital experience especially since it was all overseas. I do not know if my chances at being hired as CNA will be better than hers. My wife been trying for 2 years. But it seems like getting some sort of toe in the door at a hospital is my first step.
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    You can do this. It's been almost three years since I returned to school and I'm in my final semester of an ADN program. I worked in the construction field, and continue to work weekends and through breaks. Financially, returning to school hurts... alot. I've received scholarships and grants and will still have accumulated $23k in student loans as of graduation. I'm also the sole provider for the family, and simply paying the bills here means needing a take home income of $30k/yr. So in the last three years I've educated myself in a great field, and accrued some debt. Things could be much worse. See where you can eliminate unecessary bills in your monthly budget, and put some money aside if you can. I would have benefitted much from postponing this one year and paying off an auto loan, but I've still made it this far. You really can do this, just know that you and your family will have some challenges over the next few years, and that you'll benefit much from living very frugally. Good luck!
  6. 1
    I am also in the same boat. I am seperating the military after 17 years with out a retirement. I just turned 36 and ready to start a new career away from what I have been doing. I am an aircraft mechanic on the A-10 in the Air Force. I have no medical traing except for CPR training that the military gave us (American Heart Assoc.) and self aid buddy care. I am sgined up to begin my community college pre-nursing program, I should be complete with it in a year and a semester doing an overload of classes, then hopefully I can transfer to the university and do the next 2 years there for the BSN. With the Gi Bill tuition will be paid 100% and a monthly housing allownce during classes- not between terms- and a book stipend. I also applied for FAFSA. My wife has been a stay at home mom for the last 5 years and we have 4 kids 3 hers prior to our marriage and a 2 year old. I plan on applying for WIC, and foodstamps if I have too. I scheduled my 4 classes to only be M/W and T/TH 2 classes per night for 2 hours per class. Homework will be done when I get home from class and/or the next morning. My wife will be getting a job somewhere soon I hope she just started applying, although it will be whatever minimum wage job she can get. I will stay home and do childcare for my 2 year old (cant afford day care). If wife is home and I dont have class, I will probably also get a job. We also have 2 car payments to make on top of our mortgage. It will be tough and very tight budgeted, but if everything goes to plan (which it never does) we should be allright. If all else fails and cant afford to pay mortgage we sell the house and move back in with my dad, transfer schools and try again. Before that happens though I will try to get student loans and load em up. Trying to do this loan free as possible. I have been researching grants to apply for which is the free money that dont have to be paid back but unfortunately theres not that many out there for me.

    (Hint to Highschool students- there is a grant that pays you for wearing duct tape to your prom--No Kidding)
    CPN82 likes this.
  7. 0
    Have you tried the Pell Grant?
  8. 0
    What I would recommend is taking a loan out.
    It might be hard to have the prereq loan and the nursing school loan and everything.
    Try going to a local bank and see if you can get a 5-10k loan.
    Go sparingly with the money and try not to spend more than what you need each month.
    Also try to keep the same job only working part-time and that may still bring in enough.

    You could also check with a friend to see if you can borrow some money.
    If you end up being $500 short each month see if you can borrow what you need a have it written up to pay them back at a given time.
  9. 0
    If your income will be that low, see if the Health Profession Opportunity Grant is available in your state. It's a fairly new grant that's a bit difficult to find info on, but if it's available in your state could be well worth your looking into. It's often also called HPOG or HPOP for Health Profession Opportunity Project.


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