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Career change (to an RN) and planning motherhood


Hi all,

I'm 27 and seriously thinking of changing careers to become an RN. I've applied for the 4-year program and I'm on a 1-2 year waitlist. I'm really hoping I get in the Fall 2010 intake (fingies crossed!). I'm with a serious boyfriend and we plan to get married in a couple of years. What concerns me is the timing of this career change and having a future baby.

I will be about 33 years old when I graduate and I'd also want to get AT LEAST two years of work under my belt before I have to take maternity leave (which is a year long in Canada); so that brings be to age 36 - and that's if everything goes perfectly and I get in school in 2010.

I want the 2 years of work after graduation because I don't want to graduate and then right after, take mat leave before I have any work experience. I also don't want to get hired and then a few months later say "surprise! I'm pregnant and will have to leave for a year".

I understand that having a baby after age 35, presents more risks for the baby. I'm wondering if I should rethink my steps and maybe have a baby during school and graduate a year later than planned? Or are the risks not a huge problem if I'm in my late 30's compared to early 30's? What would you do or what have you done in this situation?


Are two-year RN schools an option for you?


Specializes in Med/Surg/Ortho/Uro/Rehab CNA.

im not sure if this will help or not, i hope it gives a little insight. i am almost 23, i am entering the lpn program this fall. i'm married and we have a son who is 2 1/2. i have already gone through 2 years of pre-reqs for nursing. with a child, it is very hard & without knowing your personality at all i would like to say that it takes a very organized, motivated individual (& my other mommy-student friends joke maybe a little crazy too,:bugeyes: lol) to be a mother and go through nursing school. you have to have excellent time management skills especially if you have to throw work into the mix (which i also have to do) and still come out with good grades (or even just passing grades sometimes, depending on your course load). as a student-mommy you also have to prepare yourself for the guilt for the time that will be spent doing your schoolwork and not with your child.

i would say that my school experience would be much easier as a non-mommy sometimes for example: during finals week two weeks ago my son was teething and then developed an ear infection. without that i'm sure my stress level would have decreased and my sleep level would have increased, but i chose to skip out on the sleep and study and by god's grace i managed to maintain my grades in 3 classes and bring it up a letter grade in another (2 as and 2 bs!). on the other hand, the birth of my son motivated me to do more with my life, and has given me a great deal of insight (because everybody/every patient is somebody's baby, and i take care of them how i wish to have my own taken care of) and being in the hospital with my son premature & being around the nurses reignited my passion to become a nurse (kinda backwards right?).

no real substaintial wisdom or advice here really (im sorry), just my experience as a student-nurse mommy. i know i'm younger than you but i hope it helps, and god bless you in your journey, it's worth it!:loveya:

It looks like there's only the 4-year BSc in Nursing option to become an RN (where I am anyways - Vancouver Island). I didn't know you could become an RN in 2-years. Maybe in another city? I'll have to look into that. But moving to another city may not be an option, so I'll have to plan for the 4-year program.

Wow u sound just like me when I 28. I had just gotten married and I was waiting 2 get n2 the nursing program, but I also didn't wanna get n my late 30's trying 2 have a baby also becuz of certain risks. Well we decided to have a baby and I think a couple of weeks later I was accepted n2 the nursing program and decided to still attend nursing school. So good luck 2 u n whichever decision u make!!

Thanks for that reply DandyAndi06. Ya, I bet it would be hard to look after a baby and go to school full-time! Not to mention work too - yikes! That's why I'd prefer not to have a baby during school BUT having a baby over 35 is a little scary because I know the risks are higher for stuff to go wrong. Geez, why couldn't I be a few years younger! lol ;)


Specializes in Med/Surg/Ortho/Uro/Rehab CNA.

i can imagine the way you feel, i think the biggest thing i hoped you understand is that if you can prepare yourself for it with the mommy-guilt, the time management and what not (not to mention preparing the hubby as what to expect and what youll need from him is a huge factor), if you want it all bad enough then it is certainly do-able, more people than i imagined i am finding out go this route for the same reasons you mention.

Ya, maybe I should think about that and see if it would be doable. That option didn't even cross my mind actually until I wrote the post - so lots to think about. I just thought it would be too hard and it would prolong the "starving student" phase. But my future husband is awesome and would support anything that I do and he would be working by then (he's a student now). So it could work I guess. Hmmm, something to think about... Kudos for you being able to do it! That would certainly be a challenge!! But maybe it's worth it to lessen the risk to the baby? I will ponder this option!


Specializes in Med/Surg/Ortho/Uro/Rehab CNA.

Well good luck in your journeys hun! If you ever need someone to talk to you are welcome to message me. Mommy-students live in a different world than "traditional" students, fresh out of high school and what not. A support group you can relate to is essential! Hope you the best.

Oh thanks lunden, for the reply ! (missed it at first). How was going through school with a brand new baby? Did you also have to work? Are you glad you decided to do it that way? How many years was the program?

welllllll, like i said i had just gotten married, gotten into the nursing program, i had been working as a dialysis tech when i got fired for putting a pt on the wrong dialyzer, so i collected unwmployment while going to school and failed nursing 101 by 2 pts.:cry: needless to say i was very disappointed. there were 2 other girls who were also preg. i know one successfully graduated the other i lost contact with, but the whole process with being preg. in school was actually fine i just think it wasn't my time. so anyway i believe i tried to get back in the next semester (forgot, this was back n 2002) didn't work out so i gave up nursing. couldn't never fully forgot about nursing because i have a passion 4 it. so after about 4or 5 years decided 2 give it another try, since it had been longer than 5 years of being out of school had 2 take path. received a B and by this time they had added med.math and nutrition, took those two classes and received a B in nut. and a C in med. math along with 4 C's and one B in prereq. well i got denied becuz my gpa was still to low, was told to take those 4 C classes over, did that and received 3 A's and 1 B, applied again and denied again becuz they were taking a lot of transfer students from the universities and the lowest the school took was a 3.7!!! talk about ****** off and this site being a godsend. i reapplied again thinking this is it becuz i am not taking another class over. (they had wanted me 2 take my B class over) and low and behold i got accepted for as an ALTERNATE for the fall 09 class. whew!!! well needless to say i gladly accepted and was sent another letter saying that if a spot does not become available the i WILL have a spot for spring 2010. sorry for the long post but i guess i just didn't give up. my son is 6 now and can't wait 4 mommy 2 finally become a nurse. soooo thats my long journey and i hope u have a BLESSED one 2!!!

oh 2 year program, but i guess in all those years of trying to get n a 2 year program i could've gotten my bsn by now. lol

I would have the FIRST baby before 35 but that is just me.

A good number of the women in my class have children. If you have job right now, are you prepared to be a mom? Personally, I'd have a baby now (assuming I had a job, thus qualify for mat leave) and enjoy that for a few years before going to school.

I'm sort of a baby fanatic, though :p I

Thanks for all the replys, lots to think about! I plan on having only one kid and I'm not ready now. I want to be married first and we aren't planning that till my BF is done school in 2 years. So having a kid before school is probably out of the question, unless I put it off for a few years. Hmmm... Wow, all these new options that I had never thought of before. Then I would qualify for mat leave, where as, if I got pregant during school I wouldn't qualify....hmmm. Ok, this is great, it's really got me thinking! Now I'll lay this all out and get my BF's opinion, lol!:yeah:


Specializes in Oncology/Med-Surg. Has 10 years experience.

I went through 2 1/2 years of LPN school with one child already. At the end of my first year, guess what, found out I was going to have another child. I had several complications through out the pregnancy but did deliver a healthy, beautiful, little girl. She was born a month early which was while I was on Summer break. When the program started again in the fall, I had a one month old and a 7 year old. It completely wore me out but I graduated that December and am going back this fall to start on my ADN. My children are now 17 and almost 10. If you wait until it is easy or convenient, you won't ever go. Go for it and take life as it comes to you. I wouldn't take anything for it.

Wow beckylpn1, that must've been tough having complications and going through school! Yes, I do really want to just get going and start school asap, that would be ideal. I'd prefer not to wait but it would be tricky. Maybe between 3rd and 4th year would be a good time. That way, most of the schooling would be done and I'd just have a year of schooling left to do and I'd be able to get back into the learning process before getting an RN job. Although there would be no mat leave pay... much to mull over!


Specializes in none.

It appears that you are making unrealistic goals for yourself! You are not super woman and everything is not picture perfect. Honestly, I think you should look into the medical field more closely and reevaluate to see if nursing is the right career change for you. I strongly believe that nursing is "Not" something that you just stumble across one day and decide to try out. Maybe you should become a CNA first to see if this is what you truly want to commit yourself to. Unfortunately, you have to stay focus in preparation for the nursing program because it is highly competitive to even get accepted into a school or program. Focusing on having a child and maintaining a realationship is not going to help you get where you need to be..

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