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Is it right to pursue nursing if the school is 2 hrs away from husband & kids?

fbanh fbanh (New) New

I have been a stay at home mom for the past two years and I finally got accepted into a nursing program for this coming Fall 2013 after 3+ years of application cycles. The school is two hours away from home. I have two kids (2 yr and 4 months). I have a science degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Prior to being a stay at home mom, I was a pharmaceutical QA lab analyst for 6 years. But in my heart I always knew I wanted to become a nurse.

My husband knows it is my goal/dream to become a nurse (and it's truly not because of the money)but he is very unhappy about me going through the program because it means we will be separated as a family unit. We would only be able to see each other on the weekends and even then I would probably be so busy with school that even weekends will be dedicated for school. He wants me to apply to other schools in our area, which I have been but I never got accepted. I finally get accepted into a school 2 hours away and I am so heartbroken that he is not supporting me in my goal. He says I would be selfish neglecting my family and thinking only about myself and my own goals. We are financially stable, if my goal to become a nurse is to make more money, then my income is not needed so I shouldn't make decisions that could potentially break up our family. I feel absolutely terrible. =(

This is something I would not personally do. If it were me, I think I would do everything in my power to find a way to be accepted into a school more locally unless my family was willing to move with me. Have you looked into online schools with clinicals nearby, even if you had to be gone on the weekends for clinicals, that is different than being gone 5 days out of the week. This is 2 years of barely seeing your children grow up and someone else raising them. I personally would/could not be away from my children that much!!! I think this is a decision that would lead to much regret later on and could potentially end a marriage esp. if you are financially stable! I do not think your husbands opinion is unfair at all!

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 40 years experience.

I guess if your children had some say in your decision - but they didn't. Nursing school will still be there when they are a little older.

And I think you calling your husband 'unsupportive' is unfair - you are talking about basically moving away from him and two VERY young children. You are making a HUGE mistake in my opinion. One that you will regret.

I'm assuming its not as option for the family to move with you?

Otherwise I would definitely wait. Maybe next year you can get in somewhere closer? If you have the luxury of waiting then don't hurry it and spend the time with the kids while they are young.

When I was really young I grew up with a nanny because my mother was constantly away working and traveling. Although my father was around and I had everything I technically needed, I regret I did not spend the same amount of time with Mom. As a result, I honestly feel it has affected my adult life in a challenging way. It wasn't easy.

I'm not a mom, so what I say is probably not going to matter at all. My only experience comes from my own mom making the decision to stay at home. I know she had plenty of other dreams and goals for her life other than raising children, but I'm thankful she chose me. Why do you need to do this now? Your kids are so young, and the burden nursing school would put on your family is huge. I would at least wait until your kids are in school. If you feel "terrible" about this than you've probably already made your decision.

Wish you the best!

I have 5 kids, ages 9, 7, 6, 3, and 16 months. I personally wouldn't be going to a program that is 2 hours away. If you are not moving near that school that is 4 hours a day of traveling time that you will be missing out on in studying. But it is ultimately up to you and your husband to talk it out. Good luck.


Has 2 years experience.

No, I would not do it.

Right now I go to a community college 1 hour away & in the fall I start at a BSN program also 1 hour away. I will be moving close to school because the 2 hour travel time is just too much. It is 2 hours less sleep & less study. I can not even imagine 4 hours.

Nursing will be there in the future. You never know, your family could even be in the position to move closer to school.


Specializes in Forensic Psych. Has 2 years experience.

Sometimes being a parent isn't all about you.

Actually, most of the time it isn't about you ;)

In my opinion, you've gotten your "chance" to pursue your dreams, evidenced by the fact that you have previous degrees. While it's sad that maybe it wasn't your super super ultimate dream, it's not really a sad tale of whoa of an uneducated woman who just wants to educated herself. It's a tale of someone who wants to be a nurse.

Which is cool. That's why we're all here. But you have a FOUR MONTH OLD. Be a patent and a wife. It's what you signed up to do. Work on getting into programs closer to you. I know you have been, but nursing school hasn't disappeared and it'll probably still be here even if it takes you another 3 years.

And really, I don't know why anyone would be "in it for the money." There isn't much money there, compared to other things you could do with degrees.

Edited by Stephalump

Yes, nursing school will always be there. But he has also said at some point in time (I guess age wise) if I keep trying and don't get in, I need to give it up and move on. From his perspective, I'm into my 30's and time is not on my side. Thank you all for your honest opinions, I appreciate it.

Edited by fbanh
additional comments

I personally know how it feels to put what I would love to do on hold since being a wife and mother to my 3 children come first. You have very young children so I would not advise you moving away from your family in order to pursue this career. If you are determined to attend nursing school, I am sure you will have an even better opportunity to do it. You do not want to jeopardize your family for a career. I pray that you get accepted to a school much closer to home. Take care.

Everyone here has lent their opinions about family and motherhood so let me throw something else out there. Just on the issue of school alone (and this is assuming you stay where you are), a 4 hour a day commute is going to be extremely tough on studying, organizing your day, fulfilling your responsibilities as a student, doing clinicals, getting to class on time, etc. You may be putting yourself at a disadvantage that will make it harder for you to succeed in nursing school. I am in nursing school right now and even under better commuting circumstances, people are failing and having a rough time. You want to have the best home life possible (if you can make it happen) and the support of your family to make it through nursing school. That's the honest to god truth.

vintagemother, ADN, CNA, LVN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Psych, Geri, LTC, Tele.

I have a different perspective from many ops.

You see, I took all of my Prereqs to get into nursing school according to the needs of my children and husband. I waited until my youngest was 4 1/2 and about to start kindergarten before i pursued the dream to become a nurse that took root when he was only 1. even then, I only attended class part time, took my classes in the evenings when my husband could (unhappily) care for them after he got off work. not until my children were all in school did I attend day classes during their school hours. Classes are hard to get into and fill up quickly in my area, so this scheduling was no small feat. I wanted to continue to be the best stay at home mom as possible even when I started Prereqs for nursing school, so I still dropped off my kids at school every day, picked them up, took them to practices, attended every single sports game-- books in hand, still volunteered in their classes.

This slow pace allowed me to meet the needs of my family and pursue my dream. I continued working from home during this time.

I thought I was doing the right thing for everyone until my husband got tired of the extra work he had to do because I was in school. He threatened to throw me and the kids out of our home once I was no longer able to support the family financially with my business income. I spent what little money I had paying household bills and trying to stay in school at the same time, which angered him.

Because of my subsequent experiences: being kicked out of my home, having no money to be able to fight in divorce court, living in a shelter, living house to house with family members, I do wish I had pursued my own dreams more selfishly because I would be in a better position to take care of my kids in the case of the "what ifs?"

So, my own BIASED opinion is to "do you" because taking care of "you" may enable you to take care of your kids better in the future, so it's not really selfish to "do you".

P.S. I used to feel like the OPs. I thought moms were selfish to leave their kids unless they really had to. I don't regret being there for my kids in every way for so many years. However, I no longer think its wrong for moms to choose to pursue their goals. Because I've seen some of the most unbelievable scenarios that can result if a. On doesn't out herself and her kids needs first.

/just my 2 cents/


Has 1 years experience.

I have to agree with vintagemother. I think you should work out a plan with your husband. Maybe you can give nursing school all your attention Monday to Friday. Then Saturday to Sunday you can dedicate to doing everything around the house, watching kids, you can even study with your kids and making sure your husband gets to relax. With the divorce rate at 50% I think all women should have a degree as a backup plan. Even if there is no divorce, stuff happens, people get laid off (my dad was just laid off TWICE in the last 5 years) and bad things happen (death, disease, disability, etc) so doing it now while your husband is still healthy and employed works out better. It is sad that woman are always expected to drop years of her life when she has children, but this would never have even been brought up with a man. This is why if my boyfriend of 2 years moves here (were long distance) I will be on birth control until after nursing school lol. It is such a tough decision and I hope you choose what works best for you. Please give us an update when you decide. :)

I know it had to be so exciting to get accepted into a nursing program. I can't say what you should do but I would never attend a program 2 hours away from family. I have three children 14, 8, and 2. I can't believe my sweet baby boy is 14 yo now. Time flies by so fast with your children and going to nursing school so far away with young children would be extremely taxing on all fronts. Have you thought about what everyday would look like for you and your family. What time would you have to wake up? When would you get home? When you get home how much time would you have if much with kids? 2 hours away is just a deal breaker for me.

My dad completed a masters and PhD with 3 kids, all under 5 years old. His commute was 3 hours to school. Mom went back for a career change years after, when she was 35 with 4 kids, all of us teenagers and younger. Both were supportive of each other and EVERYONE made sacrifices-- we knew it was important that everyone was happy with what they are doing. Now, nursing is my second career and my fiancée and family are incredibly supportive.

Take a look at the class schedule before making decisions! See what time of day your classes are, how long, etc. Are any classes online? We had the option to take 2 classes online at my BSN program. Also, talk to the person in charge of clinical placements. Can they place you close to where you live? Do they offer a part time option?I'd like to think there may be ways to have your cake and eat it, too! Remember that this is a decision between you and your husband, not everyone else. But, come armed with information so you can try to compromise. If you cant get him on board, maybe you can defer acceptance until the timing is right for everyone. Good luck!!!!

I'm 38, my littles are 9, 7 and 3. I am just about done with pre-reqs and (fingers and TEAS scores crossed) will start nursing school Spring '14. Time is still on your side. You're asking for advice so here it is: keep applying to your local schools. One of the cycles will work out for you. Some of the ADN programs where I live see applicants go through 5-7 cycles before admittance. In the meantime volunteer or use your hard earned prior degrees to find a job in a hospital - which will only help you when you are applying for nursing jobs after graduation. Don't give up, allow the situation to work itself out. But please don't think you are running out of time.

Like other posters have said, time is not running out. I have 3 kids, ages 10, 8 and 5. I have painfully taken one class at a time while my kids were little, with the plan my husband and I came up with of hopefully starting nursing school when our youngest was in kindergarten. Those first few years with your children are priceless, and there are so many things that I think would be heartbreaking to miss. Nursing school will always be there. I still believe you can have your dream of being a nurse, but sometimes what turns out to be a delay becomes the best thing that can happen.

Thanks everyone for your support. It means a lot to hear encouraging words. Should I decide to pursue the program, the kids and I will most likely move to that city so i will see them everyday. My husband and I both have family there and my mom has already offered to babysit the kids full-time. My husband will be two hours away by himself at home when he gets off work and that's the hardest part for him, not being able to seeing us everyday. He himself travels lot for his work, at least 30% of the time throughout the year, so he won't have time to watch the kids. I don't want to feel regret if I decide not to go and i dont want to feel resentment towards him for not supporting this. I also don't want him to resent me if I do go through with the nursing program. My family and friends all support me except for my husband. And yes, nursing school will ways be there but at the same time, we all know how competitive it is to actually get into a program. Ahh, very torn.