Newly single mom....will nursing still work for me?

  1. 0
    I'm currently a nursing student and going thru a divorce will three small children. By the time I graduate they will all be in school full time. I'm getting cold feet with my career choice now because I'm afraid it will take me away from them even more than the divorce does and I don't want that. I want to be with my kids as much as possible. I won't be able to work nights because there is no one living with me so they'd have to go to their dad and then I wouldn't see them in the morning before school either. I don't know what to do. Any other job isn't going to afford me the opportunity to buy a house in the near future. I'm just a little lost and confused. I don't know how flexible the hours are going to be.
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  3. 14 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I am so sorry you are experiencing such turmoil in your life right now.

    As you know, nursing school is very intense and unforgiving. You will need to iron out child care arrangements - complete with 'plan B' and 'plan C' so that you can meet all of the school's requirements. There is very little possibility for new grads to get a job that does not require night or "off shift" work. So, if your primary goal is to 'be present' and provide additional security to your children during this difficult transition time, I would strongly advise you to see if you can take a leave of absence from school for a while. By then, your co-parenting arrangements will undoubtedly be well established so that your kids will feel more secure.
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    I'm sorry for the difficulties you are having. I to went thru a divorce while in nursing school, but my children were already in school. I had a ton of help and support from my parents. It was very difficult but so worth it. I am now able to support my children on my own with out having to worry about whether or not I'm going to get child support this month. That is a great feeling. There are positions that will allow you to work what you feel you need and shifts you need. Mostly prn though. I'm a private duty nurse and i am not able to work nights for the same reason you are facing. I do my weekends when the kids are with their dad so I'm not missing out there. There are ways to do it. But it takes a lot of help from others and persistence on your part.
    Good luck!
  6. 0
    Quote from kbishoprn
    I'm sorry for the difficulties you are having. I to went thru a divorce while in nursing school, but my children were already in school. I had a ton of help and support from my parents. It was very difficult but so worth it. I am now able to support my children on my own with out having to worry about whether or not I'm going to get child support this month. That is a great feeling. There are positions that will allow you to work what you feel you need and shifts you need. Mostly prn though. I'm a private duty nurse and i am not able to work nights for the same reason you are facing. I do my weekends when the kids are with their dad so I'm not missing out there. There are ways to do it. But it takes a lot of help from others and persistence on your part.
    Good luck!
    Thank you! As long as there is flexibility I'm good. I do have help. Their dad is very involved so its more worrying about not seeing the kids much that is on my mind.
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    Hi nahla1204.

    I wanted you to know that I hope everything works out for you, no matter what you choose. I know this change must be hard for you, and no parent wants to be deprived of time with their children-especially if they are used to spending much time with them.

    That said, this is what the aftermath of divorce is. It sucks I'm sure, but you have to face the fact that regardless of what career choice you make, you are very likely to lose some time with your children regardless. Many women who go through a divorce have to do it alone, but in your case you are lucky enough to have an ex husband that wants to be there and take care of the children while you better yourself (despite the reasons behind the divorce).

    You also say that nursing is the only option available to you that will allow you to provide a house and lifestyle for you and your 3 children. It seems to me that your children and yourself will be best served by you toughing out your nursing degree and overcoming the included obstacles as they come.

    Also, not to be the downer of the post, but even if you will lose more time during the process of obtaining your degree than you would if you just got a lower paying job, the question is how big will that time difference be because again, you are going to lose time anyway? Lets say you spend a total of 10 hours a day at class/labs and studying vs 8 hours a day at work in a lower paying job. You really are only losing 2 hours a day by going the Nursing route. I understand that it is still 2 hours, but sometimes sacrifices have to be made today for you and your family to live a better life tomorrow. And despite what you may think, you WILL still get to see your babies You may even have to work overtime in the lower paying job to make ends meet, which will actually cause you to lose time with the kids anyway.

    Please consider this while you decide what you will do. And again, I wish you the best.
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    I'm sorry you are going through this. I understand wanting to be near the littles at this time - but I think you have got to look more at the grand scheme of things. They need a mom who will be able to pay for a place to live, food to eat, utilities, school events, etc, on one income. Taking time now to take care of them later is worth the couple hours a day you won't be with them. I think, if at all possible, you should stay in your program. As far as flexibility after graduation, you may have to look into jobs besides hospital jobs if they can't give you the time you need with the kids. Or, hopefully by then, you and your ex will have a stable routine where he keeps them for x amt of days and every other weekend, and the days they are with him you work.
    Best of luck to you.
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    I think I couple of you misunderstood me. I am already a nursing student, in my second year. My ex and I have things worked out as of right now but that is all going to change once the kids go to school full time in September, because he will lose all of his daytime visits and only have every other weekend, which is not fair to him. Of course that means I have to decrease my time with them as well, which is devastating to me because I see them every single day with the exception of every other weekend. They live with me, and that is how I think it should be. My issue is AFTER I graduate. I am wondering what the flexibility is with positions and if there are better routes to go to get the hours I want. I will not be an absentee mother just to support my kids. Great to have clothes on their backs and a roof over their head, but if they never see their mother what is the point? They will be miserable and so will I. Also, I did not ask for opinions as far as things like what I should or should not expect as far as time with my children, but thank you.

    I have spoken to some of my friends who are nurses and they have assured me that I could work per diem or in a doctor's office. That would probably work for me because I always have every other weekend to work extra at another job and not sacrifice time with my kids. If anyone has any other advice about positions I could prepare to look into that offer flexibility, I am all for it. Thank you.
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    I once worked with a nurse who had 5 children, all under the age of 12. She worked 2 - 16 hour shifts on the weekend only so that she could be home with her kids during the week. Working in a hospital per-diem is also an option so that you can pick up hours when you have someone to watch the kids. You can do it!
    nahla1204 likes this.
  11. 0
    You can do what ever you mind to do....just keep focus on learning as much as you can and moving forward. I'm sorry this is such a difficult time for you...
  12. 0
    Quote from nahla1204
    Thank you! As long as there is flexibility I'm good. I do have help. Their dad is very involved so its more worrying about not seeing the kids much that is on my mind.
    The flexibility isn't what it once was, b/c nursing positions are not available as they once were. You have to face the fact that if you do get a position, it may well be nights--or days with night rotation. You have to be prepared for this and for working holidays and weekends.

    My question to anyone pursuing nursing is why nursing? Have you spent time shadowing? Do you truly know what it is about? I don't say this to sound harsh. I say this b/c nursing already has a problem with people going into it b/c it pays better than the Walmart or local convenience story--and they need to provide for a family.

    Make sure you look at all career opitions based on your individual talents, skills, and how your own mind works. Many people don't explore who they are and what they really would enjoy doing. There are plenty of other fields. Just make sure you don't choose nursing b/c it's faster to a decent salary than other fields. You will likely not be happy.

    I say this b/c I have worked with a great number of women that honestly went into nursing knowing a divorce was forthcoming, during a divorce, or after a divorce. They chose nursing b/c sadly, two year programs make it a relatively short path to a better income. This is tragic in my view, and it's another reason why baseline education for nurses must be set at bachelor's. Even then, now you have people from other fields with four year degrees that go through a year or 18 month program to become nurses. This is also a shame IMHO.

    I would like to see people going into the field out of a sense of a true commitment to the field and would view it as an aspiring profession. And I am not saying that you are not. If you are, God bless you and carry on. But do make sure you get some sense of what the field is about.

    Ideally nursing has many different areas; but today, many of those choices are walled off in this current economy.


    I suggest you explore your own particular strengths, weakness, likes, dislikes, talents, etc. What really gets you charged up and why? Do you have a clear view of what any particular areas really entail? Have you considered education or teaching? Counseling? Engineering? Culinary School? Software programing? Information systems management? Finance?

    Do yourself a huge favor and explore all options. You deserve to be in a field that makes you sing and makes you happy. And your children deserve a mom that's happy in her choice.

    Look at the bigger picture is what I am saying.


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