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Calling any Moms in Nursing School

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Hi everyone,

I am SO excited about attending nursing school in the fall! I am a wife and a mother :redpinkhe, and I'll be commuting from the burbs to get to GSU campus downtown for their accelerated program. I wanted to hear from any nurses/nursing students that are also moms to see what your experience was like thru school. I realize it won't be a walk in the park or anything, and I'm certain it will be quite challenging. I'm going to pursue this no matter what. I just wanted to get some idea of what I'm in for.

Thanks!

anurseatlast

Specializes in maternal child, public/community health. Has 4 years experience.

Congrats on getting accepted into nursing school! Being a wife and mom while in school (especially an accelerated program) can be a challenge but it is not impossible. I did an accelerated program and several of my classmates had children. It helps if you have a supportive spouse and if you do not have to work (or not much). I suggest that you and your spouse have a talk about priorities for practical things likes housework- what things drive you crazy if they aren't done? Each pick a couple and focus on those things during busy times.

Other ideas:

* Attitude is everything. You can gripe and complain (and so will your kids) or you can determine to enjoy school because it is what you have chosen to do right now. (But everyone is entitled to complain sometimes. When your husband is tired of listening to it, this is a good place to vent.)

*Enlist support for positive people in your life. They will lift you up when you are discouraged (and maybe bring dinner when you are studying for finals!)

*Make a list of 15-20 quick meals so you don't get sick of hot dogs and frozen pizza!

*Cook extra that you can use for another meal (brown 5 pounds of hamburger, cook an extra casserole, etc) for days when no one has time to cook.

*When you shop, stock up on things that you are always running out of (tp, shampoo, etc.) so you don't have to make extra trips to the store.

*Put all your assignments on one calendar (I used a large 1yr laminated one and color-coded by class) so you can plan ahead. That way you and your family will know when you are going to be extra busy with tests, papers, etc.

*Set up some family time and couple time and stick with it - your family can be supportive but they need you sometimes.

*Find little ways to stay connected (I don't know how old your kids are) but things like notes in their lunch boxes, calling when you have to stay at school to study to find out how their day went, etc. If you don't have to be at school until later one day, can you take one or all of the kids to breakfast before school? Make a list of ideas now so you can refer to it when you feel like your brain can't remember anything else.

*Plan for what you will do if your kids are sick and can't go to school/daycare. Who can be your backup? Will your husband stay home, or will grandma or a friend care for them? It is very hard to miss classes and you may not be able to make up clinical. Obviously, if they are very sick you may want to be home with them but missing every time they have a fever, etc. would be stressful.

As you can see, really the key is planning ahead. Regardless, some days you will be overwhelmed with too many things to do. At times like that, just do the next thing (my motto when I was in school), whatever that is. You can't do it all right now but you can do something. Sometimes, it will be to read a bedtime story or sit and talk with your husband for a half hour. Sometimes it might be to take a nap:)! Sometimes it will be to study when you really don't want to. Just keep doing the next thing and you will make it through.

Keeping reading here and you will get lots of ideas.

What a great post, thank you so much for all the valuable information!!

meg816

Specializes in Labor/Delivery/Postpartum/GYN.

Congrats on getting in the nursing program. I live in Alaska (although would love to be in GA)and can't speak to GA nursing programs, but I am a single mom and just finished nursing school and got licensed this month. I'm not gonna lie and say it was easy, because it wasn't easy. Nursing instructors expect you to make school your number 1 priority and if it isn't it may not go well. My children, ages 4 and 8, definitely had to sacrifice not having their mommy around as much as they needed so we could have a better life. But I will tell you, every minute was worth it. Now that I am done and looking back, I am like how did I ever do that!!! Nursing school is intense and seems never ending, but it is sooo rewarding and you can get through it and will be glad you did. I had an aunt and my children's dad to help with the kids, but most of my study time and writing care plans and papers were done with my kids in the same room. You just have to make sure they are fed and have something to do and get to studying. If it's anything like here, getting into a competitive program is half the battle and the rest will be over before you know it! My program was 4 semesters over 2 years and now I am a labor and delivery nurse and LOVING every minute of it. Good luck and like the other post said, enlist as much support as you can. And....as my first year instructor told us...don't be afraid to say "no" when people ask you for things. If you are the kind of person who likes to do for others (which you probably are since you want to be a nurse), you have to set boundaries with friends and family and not sacrifice yourself for others. I didn't see my best friend for months at a time because nursing school and my family had to come before anything to be successful. And many won't understand unless they have been there, but keep your head up and your eye on the prize and you will be an RN before you know it and that's a priceless feeling! You go girl!!! :nurse:

Thanks for all the great responses!! I can't tell you how EXCITED I am to begin this journey. It is quite competitive to get into the program as it is, so I feel like getting in is a huge relief in itself and reason enough to push thru and finish the program. Now I have to get thru the 4 semesters in 16 months with my sanity :uhoh3:. I will have an almost 4 year old, a 2 year old, and a 6 month old when I begin. My husband is a HUGE help, and the older 2 will be in full time school when I begin. Still looking for help for the baby (I prefer to keep him with a nanny than daycare while he's so small), but there's always daycare if I can't find anything else.

Thanks again!

anurseatlast

Specializes in maternal child, public/community health. Has 4 years experience.

Thanks for all the great responses!! I can't tell you how EXCITED I am to begin this journey. It is quite competitive to get into the program as it is, so I feel like getting in is a huge relief in itself and reason enough to push thru and finish the program. Now I have to get thru the 4 semesters in 16 months with my sanity :uhoh3:. I will have an almost 4 year old, a 2 year old, and a 6 month old when I begin. My husband is a HUGE help, and the older 2 will be in full time school when I begin. Still looking for help for the baby (I prefer to keep him with a nanny than daycare while he's so small), but there's always daycare if I can't find anything else.

Thanks again!

It would be great if the nanny would agree to care for the older too on days off of school or when they are sick. Just be sure to have a backup for when the nanny is sick!

mamiekay

Specializes in Med/Surg GI/GU/GYN.

I have a few things to add that saved my sanity. I had three kids--22 mos., 4 1/2 & 10--when I started school. I started at Square 1 because I had dropped out of college many years ago, so it took me 5 1/2 years to get my ADN, going part time. I bought activity books for the younger two so they could "do homework" when I was doing it. They thought that was pretty cool. I kept special toys for them to play with & special movies when I really needed peace & quiet. By the time I was in the actual nursing program, the younger two were in school & daycare. On the days we were home together (they only went to daycare when I had classes or clinicals), they still did homework with Mommy.

As anurseatlast said, figure out what household chores NEED to be done. What drives you crazy if it's not done, what you can live with. One of the things you'll learn is that dirt & mess don't go anywhere if you don't do something with them. Can you live with a little dust or the floors not getting vacuumed every day? Does it matter if the clothes get folded the way you like them? What would happen if the floor didn't get washed & the bathroom didn't get scrubbed this week? Figure out the most important & let the rest go. I quit fretting over my kids' messy bedrooms. I figured if they wanted to wear clothes that had been sitting on the bedroom floor & were all wrinkled, it wasn't going to hurt me at all. Hubby took care of the kitchen & I took care of the bathrooms. Those were the most important things to me, and I even lowered my standards on those so that they were clean enough but not as sterile as I used to keep them. :bugeyes:

Teach your kids (as they get a little older, of course) how to make PB&J sandwiches or pour a bowl of cereal. Or pre-pack snacks for them as you have time, so they can just grab a baggie of cereal or crackers or a granola bar those times they're hungry & you're in the middle of something you don't want to walk away from.

I told my kiddos often that I was giving them the gifts of independence & self-sufficiency. It's not possible with kids as young as yours but someone reading this will have a 10+ child who wants to run to activities. If they want it badly enough, they'll figure out a way to work it out. And while they're learning to take care of certain things themselves, they're also learning the value of hard work & focus from you as you attend classes, study, make flashcards, write more notes, work on care plans & get out the door at 6:00am twice a week for clinicals. Tell them what you're doing. Let them see you work & struggle with your assignments. I think going to nursing school was one of the best things I've done for my kids.

The one thing I did just for myself was keeping light-fare reading at my bedside. I took 20-30 minutes every night & read something light, funny, mindless or otherwise non-chewy to relieve my brain. If I didn't, my mind would keep whirring a hundred miles an hour over all the stuff I'd been studying. This was a way to turn it off for the night.

Looking back, there are some things I'd have done differently. I'd have gone for more walks, taken a few more naps & settled for a B average rather than keeping up my A average. It would've been a LOT less stressful. And when it comes down to it, your GPA isn't going to matter as much as your skill level. :nurse:

Good luck! Have courage & keep the faith! It sounds like you've got good support from your hubby. It'll be hard but it WILL be worth it. And on those days you're wondering what the heck made you think you could do this and you're ready to just chuck it all, remember: Nursing is not just a job. Nursing is a calling & sounds like you've been called. :twocents:

Well, first of all, congratulations are in order for being accepted in the program!! Now..., how many children do you have and what are their ages is important because that will give you an idea of what you have to anticipate as far as daycare of aftercare goes...I have three children 8, 6, and 2 1/2, and I can tell you that it was VERY chalenging to care for them and study continuously!! You have to make sure that you have all daycare/aftercare lined-up before you start school! Then, you need to let your family know that they are going to HAVE TO help you all throughout school....You will need time to study hard for exams, so, it will help if someone can entertain the kids for a few days (in the daytime) before each exam so you can study...Also, my advice is, keep up with the studies, don't let them get away from you and than have to cram right before exams...!! That's about it, you'll need lots of help - all the help that you can get - and take one step at a time, don't think about next week, think about tommorow rather...and just take it one day at-a-time, one exam at a time, it will not be easy by no means that is for sure...but, you have to hang in there...That is what I did...and now I'm graduating in May...:) woohoo!! It is do-able if you just stick at it and don't let anything get you down....Just remember that every kick in the butt is a step forward!! :) If this is what you want and it is your calling, do not give up no matter what....don't get discouraged, and keep on going!! GOOD LUCK!!

I am actually graduating from an accellerated program at the end of April and have two young kids at home (just turned 5 and 18 months). It is doable, but you need to have good support. It has been challenging, but well worth the effort. Let me tell you I am looking forward to being done! There have been times that I feel like I haven't given my kids the attention that they need, but I fortunately have a husband who stepped up and really jumped in and has been there for them. It has been good because he has needed to do it and we now share the care more so than we did before.

Here are some tips that I can offer:

  • Make a schedule that includes time to get your school work done, but also to spend with the kids.
  • Realize that you won't have time to get everything done (my house is not spotless, like it once was)
  • You really have to prioritize what is important, for me school and family and the rest was little stuff.
  • Dedicate days when you can to just spend time with the kids, it may be difficult, but it does help.
  • Know it will be difficult and you will want to give up, but YOU CAN DO IT! (I am living walking proof that you can do an accellerated program with young, needy kids. And we have people in the program that have 5 kids and are sing

Hope this helps a little. Good luck, you will do great! I'm new to the site so not sure if you can contact me, but feel free to get in touch throughout especially if you feel discouraged, I would be happy to be a sounding board and offer suggestions since I've been there :)

edrn66

Specializes in E.D.,ICU Acute Care,DSU,OR, PACU,. Has 13 years experience.

I think that it is awesome you are going back to school for your nursing degree. In all actuality, I was more prepared and more dedicated as a mom and an adult. I knew that my son was watching me while I was in my school. My other motivation was my wonderful husband who supported and encouraged me. It is important to have a support system through family/friends. And, meet with/make new friends in school who you can encourage, as well as, be encouraged by. They will make great friends and study groups. Once I decided to return to school, I sat down with my son and explained that mommy was going to go to school like him, just in a different BIG school. He was pretty cool with mom going to school. And, I made my schedule for studying, homework, and preparing for school/clinicals around my family time. I got early and went to bed late. Stay focused, know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and close your eyes to envision walking across that stage to get your degree. Your motivation will shine through in your studies and work ethics. Though, I did miss out on some things, it was well worth it in the end. Make out a schedule/calender for the fridge and post it. This way your family knows when you have classes, clinicals, studytime/studygroup, etc. Try to stay focused and organized. Keep a pocket calender with your clinicals, classes, etc in it. You can do it! Nursing school is hard and time consuming, but, it will pay off and is a very rewarding job. I wish you well. Good luck, best wishes, and blessings to you during your journey. I really believe you will be happy with your choice. And, you will do fine. :nurse

Renee, RN, EMT-P

I am a 43 year old married mother of 3. I will graduate in May from an Accelerated BSN program in Eau Claire, WI. You can do it!! You will be great. The fact that you are already seeking input and networking says it all.

I won't lie, it is extremely time consuming and not easy! 58 credits in a year is nothing to sneeze at. I am not sure how long your program is or how many credits, but I am sure it is comparable. How long ago was your first degree? For me it had been 20 years. My first degree was in Biology. I wrote a few papers for my lang/lit classes, but nothing like this. The best part is, you will have a wonderful support network in your classmates and instructors. How large is your class? Is it mostly in class or online.

I wish you the best. I am happy to help in anyway I can!! That is what nurses do... stick together and lift each other up.

Cheers!

Sherri in Wisconsin

texashyles

Specializes in Med-Surge, ER, GI Lab/Scopes. Has 2 years experience.

My best advice is to make friends with some students slightly ahead of you. They can be a huge resource when you want to pull your hair out. Good luck!