Advice needed about NP school

  1. I just need a little insight here. I work FT and make a pretty decent wage (I work 4/10hr shifts). I will be going to grad school Spring 2013 for PMHNP (psych NP) online. I am "older" and have 2 teen daughters. Ideally I would like to be a FT student, but alas, I am not wealthy. Assuming I take out student loans I could take 4-5 yrs to complete the program while I work, or ask to drop down to 2 shifts/week and get through school faster. There is a lot to consider financially and mentally. From what I understand it is VERY difficult to go to NP school and work FT. I would love some insight on this. I'm really torn. I don't know if I can qualify for HRSA as I have no volunteer experience. I work and attend my girls' sporting events, concerts, etc. I know there is no "right" answer, but I also know this forum is tremendously helpful. Thank you in advance.
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    About mtsteelhorse

    Joined: Jul '07; Posts: 1,738; Likes: 340
    Corrections Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 16 year(s) of experience in Correctional Nursing; MSN student


  3. by   BCgradnurse
    I went to NP school as an older student with teenagers. I chose to go to school fulltime, so I could get back into the workforce as soon as possible. I was able to work about 14 hours per week ( on weekends) during school. I did miss a lot of my kids' activities', or if I was able to go I always had a textbook with me. Still, I have no regrets about going full time.
  4. by   myelin
    Don't forget to calculate in the opportunity cost of going part-time (ie: lost NP income), since you're delaying your NP graduation.
  5. by   mtsteelhorse
    Thank you for your comments. I have no idea what to expect in terms of school workload/hours. It sounds overwhelming. How long were your programs?
  6. by   CPT_Charlios
    My friend complete her NP course as a part time student. Took her three years and the whole time she was working a full time job, but no kids.
  7. by   mtsteelhorse
    Quote from CPT_Charlios
    My friend complete her NP course as a part time student. Took her three years and the whole time she was working a full time job, but no kids.
    I wonder how she managed to complete clinical hours working FT? Wow...Well the no kids makes a HUGE difference. I am Mom first, student second...oh yeah, and there's work! I'll figure something out.
  8. by   fakm
    Hi, and best of luck to you! I am 56, and began my PMHNP program part-time a year ago. I have found that working full time and taking two 3 credit courses (part-time) each semester was just the right work load for me. My young adult sons live with their dad, though I see them about three evenings a week.

    I, too, was worried about managing work and the clinical time. People have reassured me that clinical time will be available on weekends as well as weekdays. My employer offers little in the way of educational assistance, but I recently found out I will *NOT* have to leave my present position to get in my clinical hours after all -- a big relief! I can do a reduced hours schedule (i.e., three days a week, in our public health dep't), which will of course lower my salary, but I won't have to lose my seniority, vacation/sick leave, etc. Personally, I am not in any economic hurry to finish and get into NP practice, so this works out just right.
  9. by   mtsteelhorse
    fakm, thanks so much for sharing your story! I feel very reassured. I forget I will be on semesters. I'm currently finishing my BSN on line and each course is 5 weeks long so there is NO time to waste! I will PM if you don't mind. Thanks again and best of luck. When do you hope to finish?