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Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert Nurse Verified

Can Single Mom of Twins Make it Through School?

Nurse Beth   (1,218 Views 2 Comments)
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Dear Nurse Beth,

I am a single parent with twin 10 year old daughters. I have a bachelors in another field so I am going to enroll in the accelerated nursing program after I have taken the required prerequisites. Unfortunately that will take me 3 semesters to do even though its only 5 courses.

I am divorced for over 5 years and also unemployed. I planned on returning to work full time at the end of 2016 and a month later I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I fought cancer the entire year of 2017 and now am in remission. Cancer changes a person. Financially I am in debt and receive minimal child support. I have applied for low income housing. Its temporary, a means to an end if you will. My daughters said that me pursuing this dream that I always wanted to has inspired them and they are proud of me and I am strong.

There's nothing better than hearing things like that said by your children! I am scared. I am scared I won't be able to get through the next two years financially. Anyone who I have shared this decision with in my family completely discourages it. But they don't have to be inside my head wishing I could pursue a passion rather than a mundane job that simply pays the bills. I am not that person! I've done it before and it makes me completely miserable, worthless and depressed. My ex-husband said he will no longer help me out financially other than what the court mandates.

Do you know of any programs, loans, grants, aid, anything that would benefit me to get through this financially? I'm determined and its ok to move to a smaller place to accomplish and fulfill my dream. My kids are completely on board but they will have to switch schools which makes them so sad. But the reality is the reality. It breaks my heart that they have been through some much in their young lives but I always show them unconditional love and try to raise them right. I feel old and alone and scared despite the determination. Anything that you can suggest that's positive would be beyond appreciated! I thank you in advance.

Dear Feels Alone,

So glad to hear you are in remission and now healthy.

Your family is no doubt protective of you and concerned about the challenges you face. You are in debt, unemployed, and a single parent of twin ten year old daughters.

Here's another way to look at it- by the time they are teen agers you could be a practicing RN with a wonderful future.

What you have going for you is your determination. Determination trumps most everything when it comes to realizing your dream. If you have both the aptitude and the want-to, you can do this.

I know because I too, was a single Mom with three children, no child support and very little family support when I decided to become a nurse.

There is nothing wrong with low-income housing, no cable, and top ramen when you are working towards a goal. It's really tough but it's temporary, and it all becomes part of your story. When the going gets hard, keep your eye on the goal. You are teaching your girls that education is important, and that they can achieve their dreams as well.

Make an appointment with your school's financial office to look at your options. You may qualify for a monthly Pell grant, which doesn't have to be paid back. You will find part-time job opportunities along the way and trust me, ways to save and stretch your money.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

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Hey mama, you can do this. I did it too, with 3 girls around the age yours are now. I did have help with childcare (my parents and best friend kept them before school those early clinical mornings). I had nothing from my ex. I took out student loans to live on- we lived in a 900 sq foot apartment and got food stamps and Medicaid for the kids. I took advantage of a program through the hospital where they paid 80% of my tuition in exchange for 2 years service. I graduated and I love my career. Best of all I know I was a great example to my girls. Look into scholarships and grants.... Beth mentioned the Pell grant. A friend in the same situation a me was a recipient of the Answer Scholarship (in NC) which awarded her housing and other benefits. Good luck. You can do this!!

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