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Juggling School and personal life

bbpalyce bbpalyce (New) New

Hi everyone, I am transitioning from accounting to nursing. I am planning on enrolling in a 2 yr RN program. Right now, I am working on my pre-reqs and I am doing great in those classes, specially A&P I. I have a 1 year old and a four month old. I am seeking tips that would help me successfully complete nursing school with two very little children that have to be monitored every second, minute, and hour of the day. What can I do to create structure at home and school?

I don't have any advice but I'm following to see any tips. I'm finishing up my pre reqs in the spring and (hopefully) starting nursing school for my bsn next fall. I have a 3yr old, a 2yr old, and a 6week old newborn. My life is a little busy :dead:

NICUismylife, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU, RNC.

You will need some sort of child care, whether it is family that can help out, your husband, or a babysitter. You will be out of the house 20-30 hours per week, and require another 20-30 hours per week of study time at home (or library or wherever) where you will not be able to monitor your children every minute.

My kids are older, so I have made them responsible for their own laundry, they take turns doing dishes, and they have other chores as well. They also make their own school lunches, have to be responsible for doing homework independently, and even make their own meals frequently (this was hard for me as I was always one to have a homemade family dinner on the table every night, even when I worked full time), but I just don't have time for any of that stuff anymore. I can't imagine trying to survive with tiny kiddos in the house. You will need a very strong support system to help you out.

It is wise not to discuss your personal life at school with your instructors or anyone in admin. Be close-mouthed at those first meetings with your clinical groups where the instructor asks everyone to introduce themselves and talk about themselves. I am not the only person who learned the hard way that when an instructor or admin official finds out personal info, they can, and will, use it against the student. Just a word to the wise.

Thank you all for your comments. Any tip helps a lot. I'm optimistic about receiving other tips concerning this situation.

I have some tips for you. I have been a RN for 20+ years and although I didn't have kids when I went through undergrad, I did have kids for both my MSN and now my DNP.

First off, you WILL need to arrange some child care plan. I would really advise you to set a schedule for them to be cared for, even if it is FREE time for you, because you will need time for studying, grocery shopping, housekeeping, sleep, etc. By setting a schedule right from the first, you will have a better feel for how things will go, and believe me you won't feel so overwhelmed because you will always know exactly what is happening with your kids and there won't be panic about their well-being, etc. Kids are incredibly resilient and going to grammy's house, or having a babysitter is always like an adventure for them!

Second, I would advise you to also set a specific schedule for studying. as a parent, it's easy to say 'it will somehow get done' but when the realities of your entire life hit you in the face, it's easy to shove studying aside for everything else.

Third, consider your lifestyle and cut wherever you can to live as easily as possibly during school so that bills and debt aren't a constant worry.

Next, I was told during my undergraduate education to be as flexible as possible. I agree. you HAVE to be flexible. sometimes the school changes schedules, location of classes, instructors, etc without much notice. be flexible.

Learn how to do batch cooking and food storage. During my early graduate school days, I batch cooked on Saturday mornings and froze a LOT so there was always food for myself and family. this also decreased the amount of takeout that we ate AND saved money. Plus I didn't worry about feeling like I was neglecting my family if I wasn't home at night. I knew there was always wholesome food for them.

Lastly, stay as organized as possible. make a family calendar for your kitchen fridge or other area and list everything on there. EVERYTHING. every class you have, every fieldtrip, what time each parent gets home, etc. Seeing it all visually is helpful. Make flash cards for everything. Something that another student recommended to me late in my graduate studies was to record lectures on my phone and listen to them in the car. that was super helpful too.

Nursing school is tough, but it's also FUN and a GREAT CAREER. you will do great. good luck!!!

I started my LPN-RN track program (I had only gone to LPN school so I essentially started from square one pre-req wise) with a 2 & 4 year old. I graduate in April with an 8 yo, 5 yo, and 2 yo so it is possible, although it did take an additional year I wasn't planning on due to the birth of my youngest. It's hard, I am sure you expect that, I didn't realize the sacrifice my WHOLE family would make, I thought it would just be mine.

The key for me has been my supportive husband, I could not have done without him picking up the slack at home and graciously accepting 75% less attention from me during the last 4 years. Also, organization and time management. My best #1 advice is to learn how YOU study best now during pre-reqs. I went back at 26, had done well in the vocational style of education my LPN program, but had a terrible time in high school learning in a lecture format. Once I finally realized that lecture does nothing for me learning wise (unless its a hands-on skill demo) and neither did page for page book reading did I finally grasp every concept that had eluded my strange learning brain for so long. So definitely try out different techniques, even if you do not think they will work, so you can find your most efficient study habits. I just did a general google search on it and tried all of them out.

If you work, plan for that as well. I worked FT the first 3 years, my husband and I worked opposite shifts to avoid daycare and I socked away money for the last year (my actual core nursing program is only one year) when I knew I wouldn't be able to work as much.

Just keep going, do not let yourself give up, and before you know it you will be applying for graduation. Its a marathon for sure but you learn a lot about yourself and it instills a lot of confidence and pride when you realize you did something that seemed impossible at first. Good luck!

I also want to reiterate what the post said about flexibility when in the nursing program. Things are so different schedule wise from what they said, I am super schedule oriented person so that took adjustment, just be aware of that because it threw me for a loop for a hot second.

Thank you all for the advice. I would like to add that I am a FT worker. I went into work thinking that I would only be working 18 hrs, which is what I was told when I went through the hiring process. I was also told that my schedules, such as school, work, and kids child-care schedule, can be worked around, but that is not the case. I am here trying to juggle maybe 40 hours, school, and pick my children up by six o'clock. I omitted the fact that my kids, their dad, and I are here alone. So I have no other choice but to work around his schedule as well. This is stressful. On top of that my GM can never get my availability right and she does not care. I have recently called the DM about my schedule and here it is a week later messed up again. I'm in Louisiana. In some places it is not easily to get jobs. Unfortunately, I reside in one of those places. What should I do look for another job? I don't want to go through that process. Anyway, this job is taking from my studying time. My kids dad told me that he do not want me to work, but other circumstances forced me to work. This is stressful. I'm scared. If I cant make it through the pre-reqs with all of these blockers then I definitely wont be able to make it through nursing school.


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