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Any mothers out there who have been through CRNA school with young children at home?

SRNA   (5,650 Views 7 Comments)
by 6xblessd 6xblessd (New Member) New Member

583 Profile Views; 6 Posts

Hi,

I am currently in the very early phase (and I do mean baby-step-stage!) of considering entering a CRNA program. I have six children at home (ages 14 down to 3), have been working as a staff nurse on a busy med/surg floor (as well as floating to orthopedics, eldercare, and geri-psych) for five years, and have an interview for a position in the ICU in a few days. Basically, my youngest is getting ready to enter preschool, and after five years of a job I have very much enjoyed, I realize it's time to move on before burn-out sets in. I have actually wanted to make a move to the ICU for several years now but have been hesitant about making the change due to scheduling/childcare challenges while I was still having babies.

Babies behind me (God willing! ;) ), I am now starting to think about what I want to do with the rest of my life. I am having my transcripts (have a BA in Liberal Arts and an ADN) sent to a CRNA program and plan to visit the school later this summer to speak to faculty and to find out what classes I need to take (I'm sure I'll have to basically take whatever I would need for a BSN) to put me into a position of being able to apply for entry in a CRNA program in a few years. I have also talked with human resources at our hospital about the possibility of a tuition-paid in exchange for years committed upon graduation (I actually did this for my RN degree and never regretted it), and it is a definite possibility. Before I actually take any classes, I also plan to shadow a CRNA for a day or two to make sure it's something I can actually see myself doing and loving.

How many of you have managed to pull off going to CRNA school AND taking care of a family? I'd like to hear some honest answers from some women (and men!) who have been there and done that. I am quite familiar with the challenges of going to nursing school, having a family (I actually delivered my 5th child during my first year of nursing clinical and had to be back in clinical rotation when she was 12 days old.......dragging the old breastpump along with me and all......if I hadn't made it back to clinical that soon after her birth, I would have lost an entire year of time as far as my schooling went), and working part-time during the process. However, I fully understand that CRNA school might be a completely different animal.

Finances will be a concern, as I am currently the primary wage-earner for our family (husband makes just under 40K/yr, I make about 60-65K/yr depending on how much OT, etc, I pick up). I am hoping I could work some weekends during the didactic portion of the program, but I realize even that may not be possible. This means I will have to take out A LOT in student loans to be able to pull this off without being thrown in the poorhouse.

I'm 37, have a very supportive husband (and I do mean VERY supportive---he is every bit as involved in the care and raising of our children as I am, if not more), and am in reasonably good health. I'm fairly intelligent and could probably pull off decent grades (4.0 in nursing school, I think I had a 3.3 or so for my BA, due to just being TOTALLY not interested in what I was studying and due to being completely in love at the time , was valedictorian of my class of 300 in high school). Of course, I do feel like bearing all these children has sucked out more than a few brain cells along the way!:lol2:

I greatly appreciate any insight from CRNAs (or current SRNAs) with young children going through the process. Can it be done? Is/was it worth it to you?

Thank you,

Lauren

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japaho41 specializes in MICU & SICU.

280 Posts; 4,091 Profile Views

I don't have any children but I have been exposed to the strugles that those in my class face that do have children. They have compare this experience to basically creating a single parent home for there wife or husband whom is not attending the program. This is truly a life-altering experience even if you don't have kids. My advice is 1) make sure that this is the right time for you to do this because there maybe times when you will have to miss an event/function of you child's in the time you are in school. 2) Prepare your husband for the challenge that you will encounter in your life with him even aside from the interaction of your children. I compare this to at least an 80 hour/wk commitment at times.

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dtrmnd2sccd specializes in ICU.

175 Posts; 3,431 Profile Views

hi Lauren,

Thanks for posting your question--I'm currently just doiing pre-reqs for ADN programs at age 36, with a 2 & 4 yr old, but I'm hoping in about 6 yrs to be applying for CRNA programs. Kiddos will be 8 & 10 then, which I think will be much more doable. I'll be watching this thread to see what other moms have to say...

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jkw_83RN is a BSN, RN and specializes in Telemetry, ER, SICU.

31 Posts; 1,300 Profile Views

I am in the process of applying to three schools with the high hopes of being accepted into at least one of them for next year. I have a 6 year old and I am expecting twins anytime now. My husband has a good job, but I am still pretty sure that there will be some type of unexpected financial challenge with three kids. Basically, we are doing our best to plan ahead and save as much money as we can. I am completely aware of the challenges one can face with kids and school because with my first child, I was a single parent and had to work while getting my ADN. :uhoh3:

Anything is possible if you truly want it and believe it. Sacrifices will have to be made, but the rewards are well worth it. I say keep up the research to make sure this is something you want and just go for it. My husband and I decided not to have anymore kids for 4-5 years so that we can achieve these goals.

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9 Posts; 802 Profile Views

Hi Lauren,

I have completed 5 months so far and have 3 children. It's very tough, demanding, but doable (as long as you have the strong desire to do this, lots of support, and the brains). You have to really want it because it isn't easy. Good luck!

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12 Posts; 900 Profile Views

I would just like to pass on the advice I got from a counselor I got from my local college who used to recruite for a CRNA school in lower Michigan. She said that while they don't look down on students who have families they will look at the single no children applicants with much more interest. She said to me they want full commitment from the student for them to do nothing but school and studying. She said they would also like for their students to look into maids for house cleaning and laundry service. This counselor told me that several wives and husbands actually left their families in a different state for 2 years because they knew that was the only way they had a chance of being accepted into the program.

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23 Posts; 1,050 Profile Views

I'm just about done with my first year, which has been all didactic, and I am married with three children ages 10, 5, and 3. My husband travels weekly for his job and has basically become a "mother". I totally had to step back and let him handle everything, thank God he was willing and able to do it (I don't even grocery shop anymore!). I think that CRNA school is tough no matter what situation you come in with. If you want it badly enough you'll do what it takes to make it happen. Just be sure that you have support at home and line up others that can help your spouse out when he needs a break. Your spouse can make or break you while you're in this kind of a program. Overall, it's totally doable with kids. As for programs favoring single people or people with no kids, I'm not so sure about that. Typically, CRNA students are older and come in with some "baggage". As long as you express to the people that interview you that your spouse is on board with your decision and is willing to help you along there shouldn't be a problem. Good luck with your decisions. I hoped this commentary helped.

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