I am interested in a pretty specific demographic here: single mothers wishing to go to nursing school (or already in nursing school).
I am a 26 year old single mom who passed up many opportunities to attend nursing school in my BC days (Before Child). Now that I am getting older, my son is starting kindergarten soon, I feel like it's now or never. I am ready to go back to school to complete my Bachelor's degree and I've decided to try to get into a nursing program.
I am terrified! I don't know how I'm going to (1) afford it and (2) work out child care.
I would love to speak to other women in a situation similar to mine. Care to share? Offer advice? Stories?
Jan 6, '06
Hey there! I am a single mom, 27 as of today, with a 4yr old son. I am in my second term of nursing school and have done two years of prereques. Childcare is always a huge headache with me, but so far this year it has gone pretty smooth. The first two years were tight because he was at private daycares and I paid all out of the pocket. Then I finally recieved student childcare throught the state after being on the wait list for over a year. You have to jump through a lot of hoops but it is well worth it. My son goes to a preschool now that is open from 6AM to 6PM and I have a copay of $25. If I have a early or late clinical then my sister will pick him up for me. I actually found this program online by accident. I had applied for daycare through the state and have been denied because they will only help with daycare for work not school. I get grants and loan that pay all of my bills if I budget very wisely. I also work on call durring the school year at an Assisted Living Facility. It is tough but it can be done!
Jan 7, '06
Wow, we are in a very similar situation (age-wise).
What state are you in? (Curious about that program you mentioned).
When I begin my pre-reqs he will be in regular school (kindergarten), so I will have him covered from about 7 am - 6 pm (with the after school care program). I will be doing my pre-reqs during evenings and weekend. I have to work full time as well and I have a really great, really flexible day job (not a career, but it's a job). The school I'm going to offers evening and weekend drop off care for student (can you believe that!). So, I'm taking advantage of that.
He will be about 7 or 8 once I start a nursing program. That's the part I'm not sure how I'll work it out. I have to work to pay for living expenses (rent, electricity, car insurance, my son's school expenses, etc. etc.). I'll have to take day time classes since nearly all nursing programs here are offered during the day (unless I can find an evening program that also offers child care, fat chance, but I'll keep trying). I'm trying not to let it stress me too much because you never know what my situation will be like 2 or 3 years from now. There's no telling what new resources will be available to me at that time. Maybe I'll befriend some parents at his elementary school and I'll find child care help that way.
I don't think financial aid and loans will cover all of our living expenses. We live in NYC. It's super expensive to live here. Hell, a good paying job barely covers minimal expenses in NYC!
I'm terrified, but confident.
Jan 7, '06
I am in Oregon, so it is probably much cheaper here! Although in the summer I still have to work 2 full jobs to pay the bills. At the end of this year I will be able to sit for the LPN exam, so hopefully I will only have to work one job! When doing my pre-reqs I tried to work and do 17 credits and it was insane. Personally I couldn't do it. I never saw my son unless he was asleep, I only got three or four hours of sleep a night and my GPA started to drop. Now, the job I have is really understanding and let me go to on call. They are okay with me telling them I can't come in if I have a test and when I do go in I carry study cards with me ( such as Med. Terminolgy) so I don't feel guilty for not studying. It's nice because some of people I have worked with are doing pre-reqs or are thinking of going into nursing so they will help me by quizing me while we work.
Anyways, I am getting totally off topic, sorry! If you talk to your advisor or some schools have program for low income or first gereration graduates that will help you coordinate all aspects of your life. We have TRIO. They will help you try to find solutions for your daycare and may even know of the programs in your area.
It can be done!!
Jan 8, '06
I was reading your post and just had to reply. I am a 34 year old single mother of 2 sons (16 and 10 yrs old). I am a first year nursing student in an ASN-BSN program in Phila, PA. Previous to this year I took prereqs for 2 years at another local college. And going back to school has been the best thing that I could have done for myself and my children. I am not going to lie and tell you that it has been easy but my entire outlook on life has changed. I used to feel discouraged about my future but now I know that I will be able to provide for my family. I have never once regretted going back to school. Fortunately I do live with my mother. I do not know if I could have supported myself if I had my own place while in school. But I am sure it is doable if necessary.
Although I do not need childcare services since my boys are older now I do know that there are numerous federal services that can help low income parents (especially if the parent/s is in college) pay for childcare.
I have received many federal grants and loans over the past few years that have helped finance my education. Help is out there! I would assume that New York has an array of financial resources available for you.
I really enjoyed my first semester of nursing school and am beginning my second semester tomorrow!
I wish you the best of luck and feel free to send me an email if you have any other questions.
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