Am I going to make it??? need some encouragement

  1. I have decided to "pull the trigger" and try to get accepted into the 2nd degree MSN program starting Fall 2008. This means I have to:
    - study for and take the GRE exam
    - write my application with essays
    - get recommendations
    - take all the prereqs (A&P 1, 2, 3, Micro and Statistics)

    ALL within in the next 8 months.

    Have I mentioned I have 16 month old twins and a 9 year old with autism??? And my "4th child" is a 43 year old guy who hasn't learned to vacuum, mop or do laundry yet.

    How in the heck am I going to get through all this in 8 months? I've wanted to do this for more than 3 years now and life just keeps getting in the way.

    I actually took A&P 1 and 2 online already but my school won't accept the credits so I have to start over. :angryfire

    I'm excited and overwhelmed and filled with self-doubt all at the same time and need some encouragement. Am I going to get there??

    Karen
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   arciedee
    Congrats! That's a big decision to make. Here are my initial thoughts from what you've described.

    1) That's a lot of courses to take... are you enrolled now? If not, when will you start/what will your schedule be? You've been exposed to A&P before, so luckily a lot of this will be review, but you'll still need to put in a fair amount of study time because these are information-intense classes. You may be limited in terms of course pre-reqs, etc., so check to see whether it really is possible to complete the necessary courses in the next 8 mos.
    2) You really need a support system to do this. Is your husband at least verbally supportive of your plan? Does he know what going for a direct-entry MSN program will mean to your family? If he's on board, make sure he understands that some things (such as child care, housework) will need to change if you get into this program. Talk it out NOW so that it doesn't come as a surprise to either of you once you put the pedal to the accelerator.
    3) Along those same lines, do you have family/friends in the area who can help you out?
    4) You might not want to consider this, but what's your backup plan? Will you be okay if you're not able to finish up all the pre-reqs and need to delay your app? Are there other programs that you're interested in? I found it helpful to have a backup plan in mind.

    I hope I didn't sound like too much of a downer here. I am of the opinion that people can do whatever they put their minds to, but I think it's always good to know what you're getting into and the what-ifs.

    Good luck!
  4. by   Sarah Bellum
    Thanks for your response.

    1) My prereq plan: there's a local community college that starts a new term every10 weeks or so. The next one starts in mid-November. I plan to take A&P1 then, A&P2 will start in January and A&P3 in April. For Micro and Statistics I am allowed to take the Excelsior test so I plan to start studying now (giving myself lots of time) and take the tests in the spring. I might change my mind about micro and take that as a class in the winter or spring along with one of the A&P classes. Statistics I will def. take the test. I do very well at being self-taught and dh as well as one of my neighbors are whizzes at math so I have sources for help if I need it.

    2) Dh is verbally supportive, we've talked a lot about what my course load will entail during the program. We may need to hire household help just because he is a slob and will happily live in total chaos and clutter and it drives me up a wall. We've also agreed that the best place for me to study is someplace other than home and he agrees with that and understands that it means he'll be handling the parenting on a regular basis. He's really a good guy! His idea of sweeping and vacuuming is just pushing the kids' toys and clutter off to the edges and doing just the center part. Can you say "6 foot tall dust bunnies and fossilized Cheerios"??

    3) Yes, my parents as well as dh's all live within 20 minutes and we have several neighbors who are lovely, supportive people. One of them is my "inspiration" and mentor for going back to become a nurse. She's been a nurse for 30+ years and has been talking with me and encouraging me at every turn. We don't use babysitters regularly right now but we've been working on getting the babies to go to the nursery at church and the drop in day care at the Y. So far they don't like it but I think it has more to do with them being 16 months old and having separation anxiety. We keep trying though.

    4) I think a back up plan is a wonderful thing and I have already put a lot of thought into it. Entering this program the following fall is fine with me. I might consider getting a CNA or phlebotomy certificate and working part time for that year off but mostly I'll be a stay at home mom like I am right now. Either way, my twins will be too little to remember much of the time that mommy off at school. There's another program here (accelerated BSN) that has start ups in both the summer and winter and even though it's not my first choice I would consider going there just to get the RN part done and go back and do the MSN later.

    I don't think you sounded like a downer at all! It's great to have input like yours: real, practical stuff I might not have otherwise thought of. I tend to "what-if" myself to death though, and sometimes have a hard time taking that first leap because of all the what-ifs.

    One thing I didn't mention is that dh is going to be laid off soon and there is a distinct possibility that he will be unemployed for a while. We're getting ready for it financially and will be fine. We plan to make it work to my advantage and have dh become the promary parent so I can focus on my classes. Should happen in late winter or early spring, they're not really sure yet. He's on a project job and with that kind of work things take longer than they originally anticipate.

    Thanks again for your response! Very helpful!
  5. by   arciedee
    That all sounds great... especially the household help idea! I could use that. If it's not your husband's strong suit it's probably easier to just hire someone to take care of it, much less stress for everyone involved!

    And it sounds like the courses will work themselves out pretty nicely. The application itself (recommendations and essay) shouldn't be too bad. If you've got some people in mind for recommendations I'd ask them if they'd be willing to do it soon so you can have all your ducks in a row. And you can start jotting down ideas for your personal statement. I find it's sometimes easier to write something down, put it away for a few days, come back to it with a fresh mind so you don't get sick of it and/or cross-eyed. As for the GRE, I haven't taken it, but I took the GMAT (back during career #1). I found that getting one of those Kaplan books with the CD-ROM from the bookstore worked well. If I recall correctly the CD started with a little survey about when you planned to take the test, how much time you had to study, and it gave you modules to work through based on that. A lot of those tests is just learning how to take them and those programs are great, plus I think it only cost around $30 at the time, much cheaper than one of their classroom-based programs!

    Best of luck with everything... it sounds like you're motivated and excited and that will make the journey that much easier!

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