Single parent & CRNA school

  1. Hello to all, I am a 30 year old single parent (my son is 10). I am already an RN and will be working on my BSN this year -I also plan to get some ICU experience. Going to CRNA school would require me to relocate and i would really prefer to bring my son with me instead of leaving him with relatives. My concerns are being able to pay for school and take care of my son at the same time-not to mention living expenses. As crna programs are expensive, and i have heard that it is near impossible to work while in the program. Is there anyone here in the same boat and how did you manage?
    Last edit by ~FloridaCCRN~ on Mar 6, '05
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    About ~FloridaCCRN~, APRN, CRNA

    Joined: Aug '02; Posts: 251; Likes: 43

    7 Comments

  3. by   Athlein1
    I am not in the same boat, but I am a senior SRNA, and I know a few students who have been single parents and made it through. These students deserve so much credit, because they have worked so hard to make it through. Hats off to them for making it! Every time I get disgruntled, I think about what others do to make it through, and my sacrifices seem very, very small.

    So, here's what they told me:
    1. You have to have a solid financial plan, because work is not an option. Take this to heart, because it is true. I know a few students who do work in their senior year, but it is very sporadic, and they view it as "bonus bucks", not as a part of their financial plan.
    2. You have to have a very reliable plan of childcare. Whether that's family, or someone you pay, you need to be able to count on someone to look after your kids while you are gone. And you will be gone - a lot.
    3. You have to accept that you are not entitled to special treatment. You are coming into a program with kids, and you should be well-apprised of the demands of school by reading this board, so it's not a blind decision. Don't create tension in your class and at clinical by asking to be treated differently because you have commitments to your kids. You will really p^&s people off if you expect to get off at 3pm everyday because your babysitter has to leave by 4.

    For what it's worth, one of the students told me that if she had to do it over again, she would have gone earlier, while her kid was younger, or waited until the kid was in the later teens, when she could drive. She went when her kid was a pre-teen, and it caused a lot of problems.

    Also, another single parent told me that the best decision she made was to move several states away to go to a front-loaded program, and then move again to go to clinical. That's very smart. Alternatively, you could find a program that does everything in one location - classes and clinicals - with little or no rotation. It would be very, very difficult to be in my program as a single parent, when you rotate to different clinical sites every month or two, 10+hours of daily clinical time is typical, and a 2-3 hour daily commute is not uncommon.

    Best of luck with whatever you decide.
  4. by   Oldsalt
    When I completed my studies in the Mid 90's - My thesis dealth with the overall cost of school -

    I was able to obtain information from about 13% of the student population at the time (so the numbers generated were very reliable)

    Most of all - virtually everyone Underestimated all costs and the total bill (living expenses - the whole enchalada - everything) came to a shade under 100K...... in 1996 dollars - for someone going alone - this does not add in if you have to support someone else at the same time.......

    pretty expensive even for today ...in money and in effort-

    Less than 9% had any scholarships (primarily military - which may or may not be a viable option)

    So the take away point is to over save or over borrow ...or maybe both...- dealers choice

    Hope this helps

    Oldsalt
  5. by   ~FloridaCCRN~
    Thanks for the input Athlein1 and Oldsalt, I have been putting back $500 a month and plan to save even more once my car is paid off this summer. I know I will need student loans, but I don't want to borrow more than I have to. My family has been great and I could not have made it through the RN program without them, but if I relocate I realize I won't have that support readily available.
  6. by   johnsoty
    I am a 25 year old single parent with a 21 month old daughter who is currently a SRNA. While it is difficult, I have found ways to successfully manage school and care for my daughter. I rely heavily on my family for help. They watch my daughter while I am away at school, clinical, or studying. As far as for money, I saved up money prior to beginning anesthesia school. I also took out loans to help me with my expenses. If you have any more questions, send me a personal message. Good Luck to You!!!



    Quote from graduate_2002
    Hello to all, I am a 30 year old single parent (my son is 10). I am already an RN and will be working on my BSN this year -I also plan to get some ICU experience. Going to CRNA school would require me to relocate and i would really prefer to bring my son with me instead of leaving him with relatives. My concerns are being able to pay for school and take care of my son at the same time-not to mention living expenses. As crna programs are expensive, and i have heard that it is near impossible to work while in the program. Is there anyone here in the same boat and how did you manage?
  7. by   deepz
    Quote from johnsoty
    I am a 25 year old single parent with a 21 month old daughter who is currently a SRNA. ..........

    She is?!?! So young?! Wow. My compliments to your little prodigy!

    Oh the confusion those wild little dangling dependent clauses can cause. Hard to control. My favorite is from the novel True Grit : "The storekeeper was a man named Bagley with an Indian wife."

    For those who were never English majors, I suppose none of this is at all funny..... In that case, never mind. Most of us do get our murds wixed up now and then.

    But in all seriousness, you folks have given the OP some GREAT advice. Best of luck to graduate_2002 ... and to johnsoty and daughter.

    deepz
    Last edit by deepz on Mar 7, '05
  8. by   tcrn
    The loans are out there just do not be afraid of taking out too much...having a cushion is a good thing. I know the money thing is scarey but, its nothing compared to your time commitment. I was a single mom for 9 years before I got remarried prior to crna school. I have to share with you that this by far more challenging than anything I have ever done.
    Plan that your days will consist of living and breathing studying and anything that can be done to make this easier MUST be done! If its having your laundry done for you or eating frozen meals.
    Not to scare you ....just to make you aware of the commitment....my husband and daughter came to texas every weekend while I was there. Our time together was about an hour or so a day. Just hang in there and know it is temporary.
  9. by   ~FloridaCCRN~
    Thanks, for the words of encouragement tcrn. I will be taking out loans to get through school. I know school will be very time consuming, but I know it is only temporary and will be worth it in the end.

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