Turning single parents into nurses - page 11

(New York-WABC, December 12, 2006) -- There is a unique free program aimed at filling the acute shortage of nurses and, perhaps more importantly, getting single parents educated and back into the... Read More

  1. by   BBFRN
    [FONT="]I was the recipient of one of these programs, and am grateful for the opportunity it gave me. My husband at the time took off, leaving me grieving for the loss of one child, and raising another alone in a strange town. I ended up in an emergency homeless shelter awaiting a HUD home, even though I was working full time as a home health aide at $7/hr. It was hardly irresponsible of me to decide that if I were ever going to make it out my current situation, I was going to have to go to school. I received help from the state, and from Catholic Charities, and I continued to work while I was in school.

    Contrary to what some may think, I had to plead my case and prove that not only would I be able to get into the local LPN program, but I had to show my grades at the end of every quarter in order to get benefits for the next. I passed the Nursing Entrance Exam in the 99th percentile, and graduated with honors, despite working and being a single parent.

    I am now a RN, and will be done with my BSN in May. I have remarried a great guy, and have 3 wonderful daughters. I own a house, and pay taxes. I donate regularly to Catholic Charities, so that they can continue to help women who are in the situation I found myself in. I feel honored to be able to give back to a program that helped me when I needed it.

    Personally, I know that my situation did not hamper my ability to be a good nurse. To the contrary, it helped me to be a great nurse. I was already used to having to work hard for everything I got, I was already used to having to prove that I had what it took to be a nurse, I was used to having to juggle the impossible, and I was able to empathize with my trauma patients who found themselves in physical and emotional crisis in the blink of an eye. I have also been able to empathize with students in my clinicals who everyone else looked down on, because of where they came from- all of whom have made darn fine nurses. I was able to tell them that yes you can do this, just look at me.

    I know they made a good investment in me, when others would just look down on me for being 'irresponsible.' I continue to give back every day- at work, and in my personal life.

    Truth be told, it was very hard to lay this part of my life out here in the open like this, to people who I know will still look down on me because of where I came from. My feeling is that money will not be wasted on anyone who is willing to go through what I did to become a nurse. I am a productive citizen, and a darn good nurse. That is the point of these programs.
    Last edit by BBFRN on Dec 25, '07 : Reason: Font problems
  2. by   jmwlpn2003
    I'm a single parent with a son who depends on me and me alone for everything. I go to work everyday, pay for our house, our food, our clothing and my daycare by myself. I have never recieved public assistance like TANF or foodstamps or even medicaid. I did however recieve help to go through nursing school from JTPA. I don't think that makes me a bad person or a bad nurse. In fact, I consider myself a very good nurse, and I am thankful for the assistance that I recieved to better my life and my son's life.
    i do have to say that I am very disappointed that in a profession where compassion for others is considered a neccessity, that so many here have none. If you have no compassion for your fellow man, then how can you have compassion for your patients? What if your patient is in the hospital and their bill is being paid by tax payer money? Do you treat them differently? I believe that as a society we who can should help the ones who can't. By offering those a hand up instead of a hand out will benefit us all in the long run.
  3. by   danissa
    [QUOTE=jmwlpn2003;2578818 I believe that as a society we who can should help the ones who can't. By offering those a hand up instead of a hand out will benefit us all in the long run.[/QUOTE]


    :yeahthat: Well said honey!!!!
  4. by   Weeping Willow
    Quote from angel337
    i am all for people improving their quality of life, but this whole thing about going into nursing to do it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. nursing is not a technical job. it is a CAREER. i know some people don't agree with that but its true. i worked very hard for my degree. no one gave me special considerations. i was ambitious and motivated. i have personally known people that had their whole education provided for them by the government and still managed to mess it up. housing, food stamps, child care and still some how, some way could not pass one class. i am not making generalizations just going off of personal experience. i don't feel single parents are any different than those that are married. there are some married people that are doing worse financially than anyone can ever imagine, but because they are "married" they get limited resources. i just get the feeling that as usual nursing is not taken seriously enough. people going into this field need to know that they could potentially kill someone if they don't cross all t's and dot all I's. i can't stand the casual "i'll be a nurse" attitude that some people exhibit when they think they can just make a quick easy buck. where are all the "be a doctor" or "be a lawyer" prgrams for single parents??? you'll never see it.
    I agree wholeheartedly.
  5. by   Weeping Willow
    Quote from jmwlpn2003
    I'm a single parent with a son who depends on me and me alone for everything. I go to work everyday, pay for our house, our food, our clothing and my daycare by myself. I have never recieved public assistance like TANF or foodstamps or even medicaid. I did however recieve help to go through nursing school from JTPA. I don't think that makes me a bad person or a bad nurse. In fact, I consider myself a very good nurse, and I am thankful for the assistance that I recieved to better my life and my son's life.
    i do have to say that I am very disappointed that in a profession where compassion for others is considered a neccessity, that so many here have none. If you have no compassion for your fellow man, then how can you have compassion for your patients? What if your patient is in the hospital and their bill is being paid by tax payer money? Do you treat them differently? I believe that as a society we who can should help the ones who can't. By offering those a hand up instead of a hand out will benefit us all in the long run.
    It's not a lack of compassion. It's knowing that only those who, shall we say, broke the rules now get a free ride, while those who followed the rules have to pay their own way and it is very painful for those who play by the rules to see that those who broke the rules get their rule-breaking rewarded. furthermore, those who work and pay taxes are paying for those who break the rules. I think we all want them to succeed but it is a bitter pill to swallow for those who have to pay for them.

    I applaud your own hard work and hard-won success.

    I used to be more liberal and think those more fortunate should help those less fortunate and I still do but I now think that there are plenty of people who seem like they "can't" but it is actually a case of "won't" and of milking the system because it is easier than working hard and because they can.
  6. by   BBFRN
    I think that most of those who don't work hard won't make it through nursing school in the first place.
  7. by   kukukajoo
    Just think about Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It so rings true. When you are struggling to provide food and a decent home for your kids and working long hours for little pay, little rest and very little support, it is very hard to get a leg up at all. Just ask any single or two parent family who has had to struggle, as you can see from above posts.

    Programs like this provide for the needs to be met, and for otherwise very capable people to finally excel and get out of their current situation, which I promise you NOBODY wants to live in those circumstances. It is just that many don't see a way out and give up before they do figure it out or get the help and support they need. Others don't try because they think in their minds they got what they deserved or they just feel they are not worthy anymore from the way life has treated them.

    I see nothing wrong with finding and utilizing every resource available to do this.

    I applaud programs like this and I also applaud EVERYONE who has faced adversity and figured out a way out of it.
  8. by   banditrn
    Quote from jmwlpn2003
    I'm a single parent with a son who depends on me and me alone for everything. I go to work everyday, pay for our house, our food, our clothing and my daycare by myself. I have never recieved public assistance like TANF or foodstamps or even medicaid. I did however recieve help to go through nursing school from JTPA. I don't think that makes me a bad person or a bad nurse. In fact, I consider myself a very good nurse, and I am thankful for the assistance that I recieved to better my life and my son's life.
    i do have to say that I am very disappointed that in a profession where compassion for others is considered a neccessity, that so many here have none. If you have no compassion for your fellow man, then how can you have compassion for your patients? What if your patient is in the hospital and their bill is being paid by tax payer money? Do you treat them differently? I believe that as a society we who can should help the ones who can't. By offering those a hand up instead of a hand out will benefit us all in the long run.
    jmw - there is a difference between 'compassion for your fellow man' and being blindly manipulated by those who just want to take and take.

    I went to school with a few whose stories sound a lot like Baptized by Fire's, and they did turn out to be great nurses. I don't see why she would think that she needs to be ashamed to tell her story - it's quite inspirational.

    But to believe that every single person out there who is living off the government is a poor soul who is just being held down, is wrong too. I have more compassion for the poor souls who are trying to work and keep it all together, while paying taxes to support some of these people.

    I saw too much of it while I was working - the folks with a cell phone, nice clothes, jewelry, etc., yet they throw a fit when they are asked to pay a $2 copay for their meds. I could go on and on. These folks have no intention of getting off the system, and frankly I consider it irresponsible to reward them.
  9. by   BBFRN
    I think the best programs like this are the ones where you have to show your grades, and show that you're making progress toward your set goal periodically. Hopefully that helps to assure accountability.
  10. by   ShortStackRN
    Quote from lindarn
    I also would like to know if these single mothers realize that nursing is a 24/7 kind of job. Who will watch their children when they have to work evenings, nights, weekends, holidays? 24/7 affordable day care in most areas is more than likely unavailable. This is an issue for many parents, not just single mothers. I question the decision to push these individuals into a career like nursing. I think they will just trade one set of problems for another. And I agree with the above poster. Take someone who has a questionable work ethic and force them into a situation that may have no solutions.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Spokane, Washington
    I agree that it would can be difficult for single mothers to find people to help watch their children. I also agree that no single mother should be "pushed" into a job like nursing...you have to really want this to do it. I'm a single mother of a 6 year old daughter who CHOSE to go to nursing school. It's something I have always been passionate about doing. I actually think that my being a mother (single or not) has enhanced my desire to become a nurse. I agree with the welfare to work thing...you are looking at some poeple with shoddy work ethics for sure...but not ALL of them. One thing about most single mothers I think that you might find is that a majority of us are busting our tails to be good nurses, work those hours, and maintain a healthy work ethic for the benefit of our children.
  11. by   MAISY, RN-ER
    I'd like to know where the single parents who are being schooled and have committed to education will work....NJ is laying off nurses, closing hospitals, and there are tons of new grads with advanced degrees and nurses with tons of experience who will be more like to land jobs. Too little, too late.
  12. by   ShortStackRN
    Quote from Born-In-The-USA


    And while driving home he was saying....... may be if we have a child, we both can get help!!!! SO TRUE but both of us knew it was not right thing to do. Now i am in my RN-BSN program and I have about $50K in student loan.

    My question is why you have to be messed up to get help or have a child???
    There is no respect for responsibility these days.
    I hate to inform some of you of this (who obviously don't know much about single mothers other than the ones ON Welfare). Like I have stated before I am a 27 year old with a 6 year old daughter...I do NOT qualify for welfare, food stamps, special loans or tuition reimbursement. I'm going to school on a loan AS WELL and I get no help whatsoever for being a single mother. I'm so sick of all of these deluded posts about this ONE article about 5 single mothers who were afforded an opportunity in ONE state! As nurses, aren't we taught to be unbiased and not judge people that we don't know? Or do I only believe that because I haven't graduated yet and I'm just a "baby" in the nursing world. It is very discouraging to me reading all of these holier than thou, judgemental comments! When it really comes down to it, we all got where we are for a reason -parent, single parent, or not even a parent. Those of you without children needn't believe that just because some of us have children we are just being "helped along" through school. I'm busting my tail, taking out loans, taking care of my child and making good grades...as for the above post...your grades are your grades. I know your pain with C's as I made a C in Fundamentals...right along with a lot of people who do not have children. Can we please just stop thinking that single mothers are stupid, selfish, or undeserving of nursing school or the nursing profession?? I know a lot of really stupid, undeserving people who DONT have children! We are all students or already nurses...we all are busting our butts, we all deserve to be here not matter what it took.
  13. by   rph3664
    Quote from JAK2010
    I agree that it would can be difficult for single mothers to find people to help watch their children. I also agree that no single mother should be "pushed" into a job like nursing...you have to really want this to do it. I'm a single mother of a 6 year old daughter who CHOSE to go to nursing school. It's something I have always been passionate about doing. I actually think that my being a mother (single or not) has enhanced my desire to become a nurse. I agree with the welfare to work thing...you are looking at some poeple with shoddy work ethics for sure...but not ALL of them. One thing about most single mothers I think that you might find is that a majority of us are busting our tails to be good nurses, work those hours, and maintain a healthy work ethic for the benefit of our children.
    Not just single mothers.

    Single fathers have the same challenges - often worse, because if a single man has custody of children, oftentimes the mother is deceased or not in the picture. They also have to deal with the vilification society has for them - after all, he must have killed her, or just didn't want to pay child support.

    I'm very aware that many single moms also have fathers who aren't in the picture, for whatever reason.

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