Ugh... I need advice please.

  1. Hello everyone. I am having some home "issues," and I was hoping you could give me advice.

    I am currently an Art History student at a four year private school. I am a 23 year old single mother, and I live with my parents. They are helping me out until I get done with school. The school I go to only has daytime courses. I am new to this area and my daughter is only 1. My babysitter has been going through a lot lately (divorce, too many kids to watch, etc.). I have been having issues lately with her neglecting my daughter. (she keeps getting bitten by her son, and she locks my little girl in another room by herself. My daughter is always crying when I pick her up and lately she has been having nightmares, and I have a terrible feeling everytime I drop her off) The babysitter has lied to me on a few occasions and she doesn't tell me when my daughter is hurt. I just don't trust her anymore.

    I have to finish this semester with her (It is way too expensive to take dd to a full time daycare), but after this semester I am going to take a year off until my daughter hits 2 so she can go to the church daycare.

    I have been having such a hard time because my degree has required me to be away from my daughter so much. This whole babysitter thing has gotten me so upset. I want to spend more time with my daughter. My art history degree requires me to go straight through graduate school to get a phd. (about 6-7 more years of school) After I finished I basically wanted to be an art professor.

    However, before I was an Art History major I was a pre-nursing student. I changed my mind because my prerequisites did not transfer over to the local community college and I didn't want to have to retake the same classes. Now I am thinking, maybe, instead of taking a year off I could take these nursing prereqs. The community college has night school and online courses (unlike my current school). After I take my prereqs then my daughter will be old enough to go to daycare, and I can start clinicals.

    So what to do? Art History vs. Nursing

    I know they are so different. I really have a passion for both, and that may seem crazy to you all. I love the arts and I love health and sciences.

    Some pros and cons for both:

    Art History: Starting salary for a phd graduate is the same as a newly graduated rn. I might have to move to where the job is. Salary does go up to 100k, good retirement, free college for kid, opportunities to make money for speeches and publishings, tenure. Hours are ok. Commute is terrible if I get a local job. A LOT of school to go. My daughter will be around 8 when I finally get a job and I might have to live with my parents until I finish!

    Nursing: I can be independant sooner. The local hospital is hiring, and they work with mothers on the hours they want. Clinicals will be tough but I will graduate sooner. Possibly more time with my daughter. The nursing program is a night program so my daughter won't have to go to daycare. There is also a day option. Cons... well you all should know the cons. My mom was getting really excited about having a daughter with a phd and I don't want to dissapoint her.

    I know you all can't tell me what to do, but I need some guidance.

    Thanks
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Sapper41
    uh nursing... You can get a phd in nursing, also if you don't just be a nurse and go higher in your education you'll clear 100k.

    "Starting salary for a phd graduate is the same as a newly graduated rn." to me this is a CON you'll have gone to school for ??? years just to get paid as much as a rn.

    Just my 2 cents but i'm bias.
  4. by   arciedee
    Hm, that's a tough one. I'm sorry for the babysitter situation with your daughter. Do you think that art history is something that you would enjoy as an avocation only? Would you be satisfied if that was just a hobby of sorts? If it's truly your passion, I would encourage you to keep plugging away. I'm a big believer in following your heart.

    On the flip side, as the previous poster noted, pursuing nursing does not mean that you need to put off the PhD dream. We definitely need PhD nurses to educate the next generation(s) of nurses.

    How close are you to completing your art history degree? If you are fairly close to graduation you might want to consider taking nursing pre-reqs during your year "off", return to school to finish your current degree, then apply to accelerated BSN and/or direct-entry MSN programs. That way you'd be able to complete your art history degree and leverage it for your new career. Just a thought.
  5. by   Sarah LnDHopes
    Hi, I also have a degree in Art History, undergrad. I personally regret not sticking with my original path in a degree in the sciences, but I understand that you may have more of a *passion* for Art History than I do. I enjoyed studying it, but I realized as I was finishing up the degree that I did not want to continue on, and as you stated, a PhD is almost required to do anything the the field. I think the decision between the two will ultimately be a personal choice, but like someone else mentioned, you'll have to invest a lot more money and time in AH just to get the same chance at earning potential as nursing. Also, a PhD won't guarantee you a 100k tenured faculty or curator position (and my university published the salaries of all faculty, and I don't think very many made 100k esp. not in Art History dept.)
  6. by   shippoRN
    Why not both?
    I know a nurse who is an RN, and she went back to school to get her masters in history. She is not using it of course, but it was something she really wanted to do. I say pursue the nursing degree first. That way you have more options at your finger tips. Easier access to jobs, and better finances, that way you can afford proper day care for your daughter. Then if you get to a point in your life where you still want to pursue Art History you can still do that if you want, but at least you will have a solid nursing career.
  7. by   Sugarcoma
    If the situtation with your daughters care is a bad as you described you need to get her out of that situation ASAP, especially if it has reached the point where she is having nightmares!!!!! If you can't afford another day care perhaps there is a friend, relative, anyone who would be willing to watch your daughter for the short term until the semester ends? Perhaps you could swap care with another mother who does take night classes? If not i would withdraw or take an incomplete until you can resolve the day care situation because your little one is at risk. I have 2 kids myself and i know how hard it is but it sounds like your daughter is in a unsafe situation and you need to fix that immediately.
  8. by   llg
    My thoughts on your situation is pretty much along the same lines as the other posters.

    1. Make sure your daughter is safe before you continue to leave her in that daycare situation.

    2. Where is your passion? Let that be your primaray consideration in choosing a career. Life is too long (hopefully) to not pick a career that makes you happy.

    3. If it is the academic career that you find most appealing about the art history career, don't forget that you can have an academic career in nursing. Nurses get MSN's and PhD's and work for universities and get tenure and have opportunities for publication and consultation, etc. just like academics in other fields do. There are a few differences in the details, but the big picture is the same if that's the type of career you want. One important difference for you is that you can begin a nursing career with an ADN, start earning a decent salary, and get tuition assistance from your employer for graduate school. But you can still end up being a full professor with a PhD if that is what you want. There is a serious faculty shortage that is expected to continue for several years and jobs should be plentiful for the forseeable future.

    llg, PhD, RN
  9. by   justme1972
    Quote from Sugarcoma
    If the situtation with your daughters care is a bad as you described you need to get her out of that situation ASAP, especially if it has reached the point where she is having nightmares!!!!! If you can't afford another day care perhaps there is a friend, relative, anyone who would be willing to watch your daughter for the short term until the semester ends? Perhaps you could swap care with another mother who does take night classes? If not i would withdraw or take an incomplete until you can resolve the day care situation because your little one is at risk. I have 2 kids myself and i know how hard it is but it sounds like your daughter is in a unsafe situation and you need to fix that immediately.
    I totally agree with this post. This woman is clearly abusive, has too many children, and your daughter not only needs to be pulled from her care immediately, she needs to be reported to the state!
  10. by   caliotter3
    I believe that your decisions concerning your education should take second priority over the safety of your daughter. When you are a single mother, you have to remember first things first. There is only so much of you to go around, so you need to put your priorities in place. You are so lucky to have your parents to support you at this point. Ask for their assistance in helping you find appropriate care for your daughter.
  11. by   cappuccino
    As a working mom I love the options that nursing gives me. I have the opportunities to work several different shifts(therefore being able to accomadate my children). Good Luck in making a decision.:smiletea2:
  12. by   Pumpkin1621
    Thank you so much everyone. My aunt has agreed to watch my daughter for the remainder of the semester. After I finish this semester I am going to stay at home with my daughter and take an online summer course, and when fall gets here I will start taking night and weekend courses for nursing. You are all right, nursing has the best benefits, and I can always do both if I want to later. I can also be a professor of nursing if that is what I want. Nursing is really the best option for me right now. Thank you again.
  13. by   caliotter3
    I wasn't going to give you my opinions on nursing vs art history as a career choice, but I'm glad you see the practicality and have made that choice. Furthermore, if you so choose, you can use a nursing job to finance your way through finishing your education in art history. Many people pursue two or more separate professions. I am more pleased to see that you have found a solution to the problems with you daughter's care. You have a good head on your shoulders and will make a good nurse! Good luck.

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