mom of three, how to go back to school

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Hi I am a 41 year old mother of three very very little children, one with special needs(autism) I am raising them on my own, and without family help. I can relocate, currently I live in Sacramento,CA and would like to become a nurse. I was told that most of the community colleges in California have a lotto system to get into a program can be very hard, also I have yet to find a community college that has a night nursing program. I am willling to relocate to another state midwest or south or where ever that has some type of assistance for students with children, it seems going at night is not common? I was told I should take a Lvn or Lpn program, get out and work and bridge on to a RN program and there go for a Bsn if possible. Can anyone shed light on a direction for a single mom doing this alone.. some say at my age I should just go for a 4 year program, any suggestions of schools to try? again I am willing to relocate.

THank You,



18 Posts

I'm a 36 y/o single mom with 3 children who went back to school after my divorce. I went the ADN (RN program) route through my local community college-one semester of pre-req's and 2 years of nursing program. I took the ADN route because it was less expensive than the 4 year BSN programs and allowed me to get back into the working world and start supporting my family again. I was able to get grant money from the government for school, I took out student loans to pay my living expenses...did the low income/food stamp thing for the 2 years and I did it. Graduated and pinned May 2002, now with a fantastic career as an Oncology RN making a great salary. Was it easy? The hardest thing I've ever done. Was it worth it? Most definitly. The low income housing/food stamp thing was the hardest, but I kept telling myself that it was only 2 years out of my life, I had worked hard for 15 years in another carreer and had paid into the system to use it while I was making a better life for myself and children. My program preferred that we didn't work while going to school, because of the amt of study/clinical time-that's why I took out the loans to live on. I'd suggest going straight for the RN-with an ADN you can get your RN and then bridge to BSN if you feel the need (Most bridge programs take a year, so you are really getting your BSN in 3 instead of 4 years). Hope this helps!


18 Posts

Nat-lots of creative ways to get through! My first semester I worked part-time at my children's day care. I was only making minimum wage, but my kids got to stay for free, and they worked around my school schedule. I don't think I've heard of any night-time nursing programs.


5 Posts

Help I need advice from a parent that had children, actually little children (3 for me) that decided to return to school to become a nurse, any suggestions of community college programs that offered a program at night, or had onsite daycare, is it wise to become a lvn first ?and work and go to school to further ecucation, or just go on to the RN???I live in CA but I am willing to relocate. Any advice, about night school vs Day school in terms of how you studied at night while they slept etc...


Specializes in Adolescent Psych, PICU.


There are a *lot* of moms with small kids (myself included) who are in school full time!

My kids are 1 (almost 2) and a 5 year old (neither are in school). I take all my classes in the evenings at a CC and most colleges offer a lot of classes online too (especially the gen ed classes).

I study either when my youngest is napping or at night after they are both in bed.

Good luck! And if your not sure how it will work for you try just starting off with 1 or 2 classes and go from there. I started back to school with 14 hours and made all A's my first semester back so I KNOW it can be done!



517 Posts

I'm a mom of four, ages 11 and younger. I have classmates who are single moms of 1, 2 and 3 children.

Do you have a bachelor's degree already? If so, maybe an accelerated BSN program would be best for you.

Otherwise, it can definitely be done. You get all the financial aid you can muster -- maybe work on weekends.

If you are looking to relocate, the Midwest (where I am) has a cost of living that is significantly less than the coasts. Most states have an Aid to Dependent Children program (often with Medicaid dollars) that you could qualify for in order to pay for health insurance, child care, etc. while you go to school.

Specializes in Home Health Care.

I'm from the midwest, and also a mom of three, ages: 15 months, 5 & 8 yrs.

The C.C. that i attend offers evening LPN & ADN courses, but they are part time.

Good luck becomming a nurse! Please keep us updated, I'm curious to where you will choose your studies!

Specializes in Home Health Care.

Oh, I forgot to add, that the college has on-site child care from

6 am-5:30 p.m. I think the local YMCA offers child care during the evening hours.


1,907 Posts

Specializes in OB, lactation.

My (Florida state school) BSN program allows you to go part or full time, has maybe about 30% of the program online, and has on site daycare. They got extra money at the last minute this year and were able to accept everyone who met the entrance criteria (I think our class is about 80 people). My local CC RN program only allows full time and has no daycare and from what I have heard is VERY family UNfriendly. I guess you never know.

When I was in college the first time (10+ years ago), my roomate had a toddler - they lived on financial aid grants and loans and her daughter went to the school's daycare. Sometimes the daycares at colleges are actually quite good because they use the early education students, etc. as their workers so they sort of model all the 'ideals' and theories that others may not. By the way, my roomate kept an A average and went to law school!

I would call around to places you may be interested in and see what they can offer you.

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