I have 2 children, ages 5 and 8, plus a hubbie who works shift work (7pm to 7am, three to four days a week). I did not work the first semester of school and actually found myself with extra time on my hands. So I applied and was accepted for a position as an apprentice nurse at one of the hospitals. For the second semester, I worked one 12 hour day shift and one 8 hour day shift per week. It wasn't bad at all and I made good grades and didn't go crazy.
After my second semester, I applied and was accepted for an apprentice nurse II position (much more hands on with the patients...we do all patient care, assessing, charting, giving meds except IV, etc.) and worked three 12 hour night shifts per week through summer. When school started, I went down to two 12 hour night shifts. It was HORRIBLE. I felt like I was chasing my tail and to top it off, we found out my father in law had leukemia and my hubbie's ex wife was suing him for full custody of the kids (he has custody now). I also had to have 2 round of oral surgery. I was drained by Christmas break and almost didn't want to go back to school.
I decided to cut down to one shift per week now and am enjoying it. I still get the experience but I'm not as stressed. The money is a little tighter, but at least I see my family now and then! Plus, when an exam comes up or I have a care plan due, I actually am able to work on my school work instead of wanting to sleep.
I am in class with many who not only work full time jobs, but one gal has a hubbie with a severe case of MS and 4 children. Another woman has 5 children and works a part time job. There are several single mothers in the class, all with full time jobs. It's been hard on all of us. But I figure, it will be such a RELIEF to be done with school and ONLY have to concentrate on working.....it will actually be nice to go to work!
All of that being said, I'm really glad I did work because the experience I've received has been priceless. I've learned more at work in one month than I did in an entire year of nursing school. I'm looking forward to beginning my career in the ICU where I currently am employed now and I feel like I have a little bit of a headstart on some things. I have recommended our hospitals program to all of the first year students because I feel it's a godsend.
Melanie = )