getting my BSN at 43, scared and misunderstood...help!!!

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    I am a single mother of 3 small children and 43yrs old. I spend close to 8 hours each night studying to maintain my 4.0 GPA but this quarter has been the toughest yet. It's bad enought that my kids can't understand why mommy has to study so much, but my friends don't understand either, nor do they understand why I get so excited when I get an 'A' on an exam. I don't have anyone to talk to about the good and bad of going back to college and sometimes I wonder if it's all worth it. I chose to go back to college to be able to provide a better life for my children and be able to send them to college...it's all on my, their daddy doesn't help at all, we haven't heard from or seen him in 2yrs. Anyway, I want to be a Registered Nurse badly and I enjoy the challenge. My friends discourage me when they tell me I won't get a job because of my age. That is my biggest fear! I don't have any support financially or emotionally and although I am hungry for this, the negativity is beginning to take its toll on my. Any advice?
  2. 5 Comments so far...

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    I am attending a direct entry, accelerated NP program. I am 38 and the single mom of a 2.5 yr old with no support from her dad either. I have set some boundaries for myself so I can be both mom and student. I will be in this program for 3 years so I can't just suck it up for one year, I have to pace myself.

    I'll share what I've been doing, You can take it as it is....advice from another overwhelmed mom. But maybe some of it will be useful for you.

    Let go of the A's. I actually fist pumped and did a little dance for my B+ in pathophysiology. I carried 20 credits of coursework this summer alone. My brain hurts most of the time. I study and go to classes like it's a 40 hour a week job while my daughter is in daycare. Occasionally, I would find someone to spend an afternoon with my kiddo if I had a big test coming up.

    Get sleep. Don't cut it too short too many nights in a row. Lack of sleep makes you slow and less-productive. I need to be as focused as possible when I am studying so I get the most out of it.

    Use study groups! If you can find the time to get to one. Try and start one in some down time between classes, even 45 minutes helps. If you can't get together in a group, share study guides on google docs. This has been a HUGE help for me.

    Eat. Even try to eat well.

    Use Kid time as a stress reliever. Chase them at the park. Climb to the top of the slide and giggle on the way down. I let Ruby eat ice cream with abandon. Being completely in the moment with Ruby makes her less angry with me when I am studying and I don't have some ugly mantra running through my head telling me I'm a bad mother for neglecting my kid. I try to avoid studying while she's with me and awake. We are both happier when I do this and my grades have not suffered.

    Ask for help. From anyone who has offered help in passing. Afternoon play dates, Babysitting if your sick. I don't have a large support system...not really any family around and her dad is not able to contribute to childcare or much of anything else. So I'm creating a system. People have been amazing and I've found support from the least likely places (like my auto mechanic).

    Make friends with other students. Even the students that are young and untethered have been supportive. They often get together for study groups or social events but I am not able to go. Instead of being envious or feeling trapped, I reframe it to be happy and supportive of them for having fun at this point in their lives. I remember being in my 20's. I hope they have nearly as much fun as I did!

    It's hard. Cut yourself some slack. Keeping your type A personality in check will help you out in the long run
    Good luck!
    TnRN43 likes this.
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    Welcome to allnurses, ccheckawhiz! You've come to exactly the right place to find people who do understand you, -- as exemplified by the really excellent post above. Hang around the student forums here, I'm certain you'll feel less isolated. You know you're doing the right thing, but sometimes the slog is just harder and the goalposts seem farther away. It will get better. Best to you.
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    Hang in there. You are doing great and so often sacrifices are not known by our children until they are grown. I am 41 and understand your excitement of A's on exams! Your decision to get a BSN will benefit you in giving you opportunities for a nursing career. I wish you the best, and even at our age we grow out of friends and into new ones.
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    I understand...a little bit. I'm not single, BUT I have 5 children, am pushing 30, and my friends are ALL stay at home moms who think i'm nuts for doing nursing school with 5 children. Guess what? What they think DOESN'T matter. My husband is supportive, as is my family, somewhat. My mom thinks a clean house comes first, HA! I don't know where you live but I'm in Spring Hill, TN. I'd love to be a supportive friend if you need one, feel free to PM me your e-mail address and maybe we can chat!

    Oh, and NOTHING feels better than getting an 'A' on something you study so hard for!!!!
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    Quote from WantToBeMidwife
    I understand...a little bit. I'm not single, BUT I have 5 children, am pushing 30, and my friends are ALL stay at home moms who think i'm nuts for doing nursing school with 5 children. Guess what? What they think DOESN'T matter. My husband is supportive, as is my family, somewhat. My mom thinks a clean house comes first, HA! I don't know where you live but I'm in Spring Hill, TN. I'd love to be a supportive friend if you need one, feel free to PM me your e-mail address and maybe we can chat!

    Oh, and NOTHING feels better than getting an 'A' on something you study so hard for!!!!
    I live in Columbia TN! Lol. Where are you going to nursing school at?


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