Where do I start? Some background information. I graduated high school in 2000 and initially enrolled in college as a Bio Pre-Med student. My original aspiration was to be a pediatrician. I'm originally from New Orleans and attended a very popular school there from 2000 to 2002. I took a semester off after completing my sophomore year because I was stressed and overwhelmed by the demands of the major. Before I got the chance to register for my Junior semester, I started receiving a bill statement from the school stating that I owed them 5k and had to pay that before I could register. I was confused because I had completed my financial aid, took my finals, and received my final grade report. I tried writing letters to all of the necessary people to dispute the balance and to advise that there must be some sort of mistake because I knew I didn't owe the money because I was on a partial academic scholarship and I received government assistance.
Let's fast forward a bit......2005....balance is still on the account, I can't enroll in any other school because of the balance and I didn't want to start over from scratch when I had already completed and earned 60 credit hours. Obviously at this point my chances of becoming a doctor were slim to none. I continued to fight the balance but was only told that I owed the money. Hurricane Katrina hits and I relocate to Atlanta, GA. It takes me 6 months to find a job in the Telecommunications Industry. All the while I'm still fighting this balance. 2006....find a new, better paying job....still in the telecommunications field and also meet a great guy who is now my fiance'.......March 2009...I find out that I'm pregnant with my first child...at this time...I'm 27 years old....no college degree....a fairly decent job...and a child on the way. That's when it hits me....I have to do something....I have a baby on the way....and the 60 credit hrs that I earned are about to be 7 years old! Yes....7 years later...still disputing this balance. I was never in a position to pay the balance and didn't think it was fair to me to pay such a large amount of money if I didn't owe it. Also, most schools won't accept you if you owe another instituition money. So...I made up my mind that I would give this thing one last fight...I started calling everyone I could think to call....wrote many letters...faxed over all proof that I didn't owe the balance........can you believe after 7 years....the school admitted that they had made an error and zeroed out the entire balance!....Can you imagine how I felt? Mixed emotions of all kinds!
So...I decided to go back to school.... 6 months pregnant! Major: Nursing....My heart's desire has always been to work in the medical field. I completed by first semester with a every good GPA and had my son the very next day after my last final....whew...barely made it...lol. So at this time...I'm feeling pretty good....I set the next semester out due to the baby and then registered that following Fall. I've been in school every since.
Let's fast forward a bit again. Still working the same job....I've bought a house and now my son is almost 3. Because I have to work a full time job to pay bills....it's taking me longer than necessary to complete my coursework....I'm finally at a position where I am able to take the Teas Exam and apply to a nursing school. I'm currently taking A&P 2 and Chem 2 (Chem 2 is a retake because my initial grade from the New Orleans school expired). After this current semester, I will only have Microbiology left because I've already completed all other pre-reqs and cores. I made an A in the first half of Chem and a B in the first half of A&P....and I'm doing pretty okay now in both classes for the second half.....
Here's where life gets hectic for me and I need some positive words from you guys....I'm now almost 31 years old.....tenure at my job (6 years now)....a new home (2 years)....and I have a 2 year old son who attends a Christian academy....so obviously my job has to be my priority. My fear is that I've gone through all of these battles, wars, and fights and may not even be able to attend any Nursing school. I hear all of the horror stories about how competitive the schools are, how once you are in you can't work, and how you have to have a near perfect GPA, etc...and now I'm starting to second guess myself and the decision I made to go back to school....not working is not an option for me at this time because my lifestyle won't allow that and I'm deathly afraid of the TEAS exam and my GPA is just okay (3.6). Also...I'm hearing that nurses in Atlanta are not making much money....19-22/hr...and that would not be much of a change for my financial situation especially considering the student loans I will have to pay back. I just don't know what to do and I find myself stressed out about this situation everyday! I'm very grateful for my job...but it's just that...a job....I still aspire to work in the medical field...to help people....to make a career out of something I love doing...
Can anyone offer any advice, kind words, new ideas, suggestions, insight...something....?
Sorry for the lengthy post....I just needed to get that out....thanks for listening.
Oct 7, '12
First: I am just amazed at your situation with that first school. I would have been so mad after 7 years! *Empathy*
What I hear a lot of on this site is that, if you want it bad enough, you'll find a way to make it happen. It sounds like nursing is the career for you, you want it, and you're going to do it. Your GPA is still pretty dang impressive to me, and it sounds like you're doing a really good job of keeping up with everything.
As for the work thing...I would not want to work full-time while I was in nursing school. After taking that first Fundamentals course, why not pick up a student nursing job? A friend of mine who does that is only required to work 24 hours per month, more if she wants to, and she gets paid a fairly decent amount for what she does. It's not going to make up the full-time salary, but if your fiance is able to help you out at all, or if you can supplement that income with some savings during school, that should help keep you afloat. Also, check out the kind of financial aid you can get. I know you're probably not excited about inviting chaos in again after what happened last time, but you might be able to get more help than you think.
Good luck! You can do it!
Oct 7, '12
This probably isn't encouraging...but I'm wondering why the great guy isn't in the picture a bit more.