Hey Mystic Fish,
I just graduated from nursing school and did the ADN program. I am going to continue and do RN to BSN and MSN program. I am just taking one step at a time. I passed my state boards last week and start the new job in ICU in September.
As far as how the program works from the school I attended, we started clinicals in the first semester. We had to go to nursing homes in the beginning doing what techs, CNA's and GNA's do. But after the first semester it is on to the hospital on the medical/surgical floor. Then eventually you can rotate to special units. The ADN program has more clinicals than the BSN program, so you will get a lot of hands on experience, where as the BSN get more book work. I spent many hours with my books. You have to really study the material and understand how the disease process works. You want to make sense of it all, instead of just memorizing facts.
I worked while I was in nursing school, but if I had a choice I would rather not. It was hard to juggle everything. I did'nt have time for myself, plus laundry and dust would pile up,escpecially when it was test taking time. You have to put a lot of things to the side while attending school, but in the long run it is all worth it. I could only work two days a week because we went to class four days a week. I would have to work around my school schedule to fit in hours during the week at my job. Sometimes I would only get in eight hours at work. Luckily my boss stands behind me with school.
It will be hard to juggle everything. Hopefully you will have someone to help you with house work and child care. I did not have much help, but I also do not have a child. Many students in my class got through school successfully with children. You will be fine, yes you will be stressed at times, but hang in there because in the end, it will be all worthwhile. You will experience good times and bad, but don't let the bad bring you down. It happened to a friend of mine, who is now back in the program after I talked her into it. She will be graduating next semester at age 53. You can do it. Good Luck to you! Oh and make sure you have a good support system! You will need it. We all did!