Turning single parents into nurses

  1. (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 workforce.

    Education reporter Art McFarland has the details on a program that's trying to make a difference.


    "I want to be a nurse because it's always been a dream of mine to make a difference in other people's lives," nursing student Marie Jean-Louis said.

    Marie Jean-Louis may never have found the road to her dream if not for the new program aimed at turning single parents into nurses. The pilot program, with only five students, began in September at the Nursing School of the Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center in Plainfield.

    Full Story:
    http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?se...ols&id=4851764
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  2. 150 Comments

  3. by   Sabby_NC
    Thanks Brian for posting this story.
    I think anyone that gets a chance at further education and changing their life's circumstances is a good thing.
    What an awesome chance these people have
  4. by   HM2VikingRN
    This shows how public policy can be used to improve the lives of people and society at the same time.
  5. by   kukukajoo
    What a great idea! I hope the program is a success for sure!! I think maybe they finally understand that a career is what they need, not a minimum wage job that does not pay the bills!
  6. by   gagezoie
    Here in Iowa, DHS will pay for single parents to go to nursing school. Helps get them off of welfare and into the work force. We had several single moms in my class that the state was paying for. They also paid for their child care and uniforms as well as gas reimbursement. (Wish it could have been me)
  7. by   rph3664
    It sounds like a good idea, sure, but the people I have encountered from programs like this (not just nursing students, but in other areas as well) almost always had such a poor work ethic, they will never be gainfully employed no matter how much job training you give them.

    This is not the same as someone who found themselves a single parent through divorce or widow(er)hood and decided to take advantage of a program like this to improve their lives and the lives of their children. I'm talking about the kinds of women who pop one fatherless child after another and think the world owes them a living because of it.
  8. by   lindarn
    Quote from rph3664
    It sounds like a good idea, sure, but the people I have encountered from programs like this (not just nursing students, but in other areas as well) almost always had such a poor work ethic, they will never be gainfully employed no matter how much job training you give them.

    This is not the same as someone who found themselves a single parent through divorce or widow(er)hood and decided to take advantage of a program like this to improve their lives and the lives of their children. I'm talking about the kinds of women who pop one fatherless child after another and think the world owes them a living because of it.
    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
  9. by   llg
    Quote from rph3664
    It sounds like a good idea, sure, but the people I have encountered from programs like this (not just nursing students, but in other areas as well) almost always had such a poor work ethic, they will never be gainfully employed no matter how much job training you give them.

    This is not the same as someone who found themselves a single parent through divorce or widow(er)hood and decided to take advantage of a program like this to improve their lives and the lives of their children. I'm talking about the kinds of women who pop one fatherless child after another and think the world owes them a living because of it.
    I've had the same experience. Certainly, some participants in this program -- and any others like it -- will make fine nurses and I am happy to see them get the chance to improve the quality of their lives. I had a friend who was a recipient of some such program many years ago who went on to be quite successful in her nursing career.

    However, my experience has been that a significant percentage of people who participate in such programs need them because they have been incapable of taking care of themselves and have made a series of bad choices in life. Unless they have "grown up a whole lot" and acquired better judgment and basic career skills, they will not make good nurses in the long run. We will have spent a lot of money, time, instructors, clinical placements, etc. on the program but not gotten much benefit out of that investment.

    I guess it all comes down to how well they screen the candidates and/or whether they enforce high standards from the beginning.
  10. by   Quickbeam
    Back in the 1970's, I was desperately poor and working as a CNA, self supporting. I applied for a CETA LPN program and was turned down because they only took applicants with children. I contacted the administrator of the program who said it had a 60% drop out rate and she'd "kill for some decent, motivated students".

    It took me 15 more years to get my BSN.

    When I read about programs like this, I often think of the highly motivated low income young person who hasn't had children. A leg up for them would be nice, too. I'm old now but I so remember how unfair that felt.
  11. by   Bree124
    Quote from rph3664
    It sounds like a good idea, sure, but the people I have encountered from programs like this (not just nursing students, but in other areas as well) almost always had such a poor work ethic, they will never be gainfully employed no matter how much job training you give them.

    This is not the same as someone who found themselves a single parent through divorce or widow(er)hood and decided to take advantage of a program like this to improve their lives and the lives of their children. I'm talking about the kinds of women who pop one fatherless child after another and think the world owes them a living because of it.
    The article specifically states that each of the students has one child. Doesn't exactly sound like any of them are out to "pop one fatherless child after another and think the world owes them a living because of it."

    Making generalizations about work ethic due to their eligibility for a program is just silly. None of us knows their background, and therefore it's extraneous to suppose that we know the logistics of the program, what type of screening is done to ensure the success of each of these candidates, and whether or not they'll make it as nurses.

    Kudos to this new program - I hope it is successful at training and preparing excellent nurses.
  12. by   banditrn
    Quote from Bree124
    The article specifically states that each of the students has one child. Doesn't exactly sound like any of them are out to "pop one fatherless child after another and think the world owes them a living because of it."

    Making generalizations about work ethic due to their eligibility for a program is just silly. None of us knows their background, and therefore it's extraneous to suppose that we know the logistics of the program, what type of screening is done to ensure the success of each of these candidates, and whether or not they'll make it as nurses.

    Kudos to this new program - I hope it is successful at training and preparing excellent nurses.
    Bree - I think their concerns are valid. If a person has no right to question how their taxdollars are being spent, then that's no longer a free country.

    I went to school(in Iowa) with some gals that I believe were taking part in a program much like the one described - and for the most part, these were decent people who needed the help, and they became good nurses.

    BUT I can give you the example of my (thank God) ex-DIL in Iowa who has been thru TWO training programs - dropped out before she was finished in both cases, wasted a lot of government money - and STILL hasn't done anything with her life.

    She called me awhile back and asked about becoming a nurse - I told her that I didn't think she should even consider it. Frankly, I believe it's a requirement that they must do SOMETHING, so they play games with the system just to continue to receive benefits.
  13. by   rph3664
    I once heard about a cosmetology school where the student loan default rate was astronomical and very few of their students passed boards.

    When the state investigated, by interviewing the students, it was obvious why they weren't passing - a huge percentage of their students, mostly single parents in programs like this, were mentally retarded.

    The school had existed solely to get student loan money (too many trade schools are like this) and was shut down shortly afterwards.
  14. by   SharonH, RN
    I hate to be a negative Nellie but I question the wisdom of this program also. This echoes the idea in Germany of turning former prostitutes into nurses. NO, I do not equate single motherhood with prostitution. My point is that there is a perception that nursing is a job that anyone can do and since it offers steady employment and a halfway decent paycheck, why not push these people into it who have lacked both? I have no problem with a program which helps people of any life circumstance become nurses if they are so motivated and if they are carefully screened and qualified. However I notice that they are not setting up programs to help former welfare recipients become engineers or lawyers, just nurses- a job that doesn't take real effort or a strenuous education. I too fear that when the rubber hits the road, a lot of money will be wasted as people will drop out and/or not be able to make the cut all because they were pushed into this. Of course some of them will make it and good luck to them.

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