Feeling Discouraged


I'm working my way through prerequisites and as I get closer to being ready to actually apply to a program, I'm feeling like I may have been kidding myself to think I can pull this off.

I'm a great student and have managed to make straight As since returning to school with the dream of becoming a nurse. I'm almost halfway through anatomy, then I only have 2 classes left. I've been pacing myself slowly because I have 5 small children ranging in age 2-10.

As as I get closer to the end of what seemed like endless prerequisites when I began, I'm wondering how on earth I'll ever actually survive nursing school while having so many young kids.

The only ADN and BSN programs in my area are full time. I can't move, my husband's career is well established here and leaving that stability for me to go to school isn't an option for our family. I don't have family nearby to help with the kids and again, husband's job isn't flexible so weekday school drop offs/pick ups/childcare is about 90% on me. With 5 kids on one income in California, money is tight and so hired childcare is another hardship.

I guess this is what I get for waiting until my 30s to pursue my dream job (though to be fair to myself, I needed some life experience to realize this is what I wanted). I'm just stressing over the logistics of managing a full time nursing program while maintaining my commitments at home, if I'm lucky enough to even get into a program. What will I do when one of my kids needs to go home from school early or is sick, etc, etc? I just need to hear that it can be done.

I know I'm not the first parent to attempt nursing school and I do have the support of my husband. But we have a mortgage and babies to feed, so his breadwinning job isn't going to work around my schedule. How do parents survive nursing school?

I am a single parent of a 10 year old boy, I work full-time and I am in my first semester of nursing school. I'll be blunt- the mom guilt has already started to chip away at me. I'm very lucky in that we live right around the corner from school so he is able to walk home every day, and the crock pot is a life saver (I start the food in the morning and it's ready for him when he wants dinner). But I am at school three nights a week until 9pm, and we leave the house for school/work at 7:30 each morning, so checking his homework and helping him with homework and projects is far from what we're both used to. He plays soccer and basketball as well, but I luckily have a boyfriend who lives fairly close by and can take him to practices during the week. I'm also in an evening/weekend program so I've already missed a handful of games :(. I definitely feel like I'm robbing him of my parenting, but I also keep reminding myself that this is temporary. I know the struggle will be worth it in the end, and luckily my son does as well. He tells me, "When I'm done sixth grade, you're done school, too," and that always keeps me on track. I'm doing this for him as well as for myself- and I am so grateful every day that he is able to understand. As far as the nursing school schedule, they will not budge. Your clinical schedule is your clinical schedule; your exam days are your exam days.


75 Posts

I have two girls ages two and five.. I also am just finishing pre reqs and feel overwhelmed.. it definitely helps to write down all you've done and all you have to still do to compare and remember how far you have come. just the pre-reqs alone are an accomplishment. I work as a hairstylist and my husband works, next year when I start nursing classes my oldest daughter will go to school and my husband works 3 12s so hopefully he can work the days I do not have class and we can be there for the youngest. We may try day care for her just the days there is a conflict, with her big sis who is also her best friend gone each day she may enjoy the time with other little ones. The expense for daycare is outrageous and we have thankfully never had to do daycare but we are open to it, with more than one child and one income it would be more challenging. I say try your hardest to make it work, even just with my current classes my husband has turned down shifts, promotions, and overtime so I could get to class and take care of my clients and he has sat down one on one and talked to his HR and they have thankfully worked with him. We also have no family support around. Some nights I greet him at the street and leave immediately as he walks through the door. It's so hard but I believe it can be achieved if everyone is willing to sacrifice. It is temporary. Maybe you will meet students in similar situations and trade babybsitting. Not the students in your nursing class that have the same class schedule but maybe ones in your pre reqs or on a post on here? I know your feelings because I'm feeling them to. Good luck!


3 Posts

I'm on the same boat as you, although I haven't even started. My daughter is 4 years old and the thought of possibly missing a chunk of things with her gets me really down and makes me wonder if I can even do this. Like you, I waited until I was 30 to figure everything out, but I also didn't actually know what I wanted to do with my life until recently thanks to a previous job.

I'm a little relieved that I'm not alone in feeling this way but I also am confident that I, we can do this :)


19 Posts

I feel for you and can totally relate. I have 3 kids at home and go to school when they are in school. My husband works, but recently switched from a swing shift to day shift. It has been great, unless the kids have no school or are sick. Then I have no one to watch the kids while I have class. Add to that the fact that my 9 year old son was just diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. So now I have lots of dr appts, call/texts from the school nurse, etc. I am so worried about how this is all going to work when and if I actually get into a nursing program. But I am trying to just take each day one at a time, because this is my dream and I have waited way too long to go back to school to give up on it now!

Mrs.D., BSN

132 Posts

Specializes in Medical cardiology. Has 5 years experience.

Are you sure is HAS to be full time? My BSN was technically full time, but I didn't go full time. Instead, I took things without a clinical (like pharm & nurse research) in the summers. I only took 1 nursing class when I could, and I think that was all but the last semester. It was awesome. I was able to work multiple jobs to pay cash for school and also peer tutor in nursing for the school.

The traditional kids straight from highshool went full time because they had a ton of classes to do that I had already completed at the community college. They also couldn't take summer classes because they relied on financial aid.

Just might give you something to look into. It means that it still took the full 4 years, instead of a bit accelerated like the other transfers who were able to take multiple nursing classes at once, but if you're not in a rush...

Good luck! I'm also in my 30s.