Another newbie looking for advice....

  1. Hi everyone I'm new here and found this forumm as I was looking into nursing schools in my area. I was so relieved to find many people in situations similar to mine.

    I'm a 33 yr old single mom and have 9 yr old daughter. I've been in a long term realtionship but haven't gotten married because it would kill us on taxes, we're married "in spirit". I have no college education, my family didn't have the money to send me and honestly I was too immature to realize the value of an education. Now as an adult I'm stuck in a low paying, mind numbing job as a secretary. My company is unstable and my brain is turning to mush from lack of use, the writing is on the wall...time to move on.

    Two very close friends of mine are RN's and they absolutely love their jobs and find them challenging and fullfilling at the same time. Their hours are flexible so they get to be with their kids. After thinking seriously about it I've decided to go to school to become a nurse.

    I have some questions that I'm hoping some of you can answer. Because I have no education, I'm starting at the bottom and would like to attend a local community college. I'm fairly confident that I can test into college level English and with some tutoring I think I can test into Algebra ii. 12 years of all-girls catholic school wasn't entirely a waste

    My questions are:

    1. Should I apply to more than 1 school?
    2. How realistic is it to work fulltime and go to school?
    3. If it is not feasible to do both, do you have any suggestions on income opp's?
    4. LPN or RN? Is it advisable to start as an LPN and test for RN later?
    5. How long did it take to finish school?

    I have a distinct advantage with community college because my boyfriend is the manager of the bookstore (can you say FREEBIE?) The college I want to go to offers an LPN and is THE place to go for this program in my area. My concern is that I have heard the program is difficult to get into, any tips on improving my chances?

    I'm sure that this board gets posts like this all the time, if there is a particular thread I should refer to to have my questions answered please let me know.

    Thank you all so much.

  2. Visit snoocharoo profile page

    About snoocharoo

    Joined: Sep '03; Posts: 7


  3. by   Katnip
    Good for you! Education is never a waste.

    1. I would. It seems that at least in some areas, schools are filling up.

    2. Not both fulltime. Even during prereqs it can be tough. Especially with kids. It has been done, but I think most people burn out very quickly with that route.

    3. If you can, try to pick up your CNA or work as a tech in a hospital. That way you get a good feel for being in that environment. Or you could work fulltime, take your prereqs part time.

    4. Entirely up to you. But if RN is what you really want, I'd go for it right away.

    5. Took me 6 years to get a BSN, but I went part-time for my prereqs.

    Usually to get into a nursing program you have to start the prereqs then apply to the nursing program separately. Do the absolute best you can on those courses. GPA will count. Also, they'll look at other things, like the fact that you work, have a family, and if you can, do some volunteer work. They seem to really like busy people.

    Good luck, Stephanie.
  4. by   snoocharoo
    Bouncing around the boards and reading everyone's experiences has really helped me to better understand the requirements and how to make them fit into my life.

    After talking to my bf last night we concluded that the best course of action would be for me to do get my pre-req's out of the way thru part-time school and still work my full-time job. If I get accepted into the program my bf said that I could quit my job and just go to school. He knows how demanding the program is and agrees that I cannot do it all. I have no idea how we'll pay for everything but where there is a will there is a way.

    I plan on enrolling for my pre-req's in Jan. At this point I'm terrified, excited, optimistic, nervous and full of dreams. What if I fail? What if I hate school? What if I hate nursing? It's always those damn "what if's" that get in the way.
  5. by   Nusss
    You sound like you our off to a great start. Dont let the "What Ifs" stop you!!! You can do it. I started out the same way in school. I have a boyfriend and two great kids. I had at fulltime job im now working partime and i attend schooL. I am just about ready to be a nursing student!! Just say to yourself everyday you can do it. I know you will be great!

    JoAnn,prenursing student
  6. by   l_ann
    I am only 22, I am a single mother of a 2 and 3 year old. I dropped out of school in 11 th and recently took my GED and am beginning classes for my pre - req's in january I say go for your dreams.....sounds good to me.....I am heading for RN (and scared to death.)
  7. by   ainz
    I am very glad to hear both of you are planning on entering nursing as a career. We need good nurses, not just warm bodies with a nursing degree but good, profesional nurses.

    For prerequisites I don't think it really necessary to apply at several schools, just make sure the quality of education is good. For nursing school I would suggest applying to at least 3 schools and go for the RN right away and if you can afford it go for the BSN right away. There has been much debate about the associate degree nurse versus the BSN and which is better and so on. A very recent study was published in the NEJM that looked at outcomes of about 250,000 patients and the hospitals with a higher percentage of BSN and MSN nurses had beter oucomes thus reinforcing the belief that higher edcated nurses produce better patient outcomes.

    As far as working fulltime and school fulltime or parttime etc., I would say you have to evaluate your economic situation, your ability to deal with stress and lack of sleep. With the possibility and probability of life circumstances changing unfavorably I woud say get the degree as fast as you possibly can and get it over with.

    I have 24 years of healthcare experience and a masters degree in nursing/administration. It took 7 years of college and I went fulltime while working fulltime and it almost killed me. I did not have children but did have a house, car notes, etc and my wife was a nursing student as well, we both did it.

    I went back to college after being in the army for several years so I was out of practce and I did it. You can do it!! It's like the old sayng, where there is a will there is a way. God luck and beleive in yourself and your ability!!!!!!!
  8. by   Noney
    You've gotten some good advice from Ainz. I just want to add that some nusing school admit on a first come first in basis and have long waiting lists so I would apply right awy to the school you want to get into.

  9. by   amyslater
    Go for it. Go for it all. Nursing school is very demanding as far as time is concerned. I hope you will be able to go straight for the RN license and work enough to keep your head above water. I was going through some very simialar circumstances and now it is four years after getting my PLN license and I am finally going back to school. Being an LPN is great but in this area we are VERY limited as to what we can and can not do. I have been basically limited to long-term care and although the money is'nt too bad there is absolutely NO room for advancement. I can't imagine working at the same job for 20 years but thats just me. I am gearing up for an eventual travel-nurse career. GOOD LUCK.
  10. by   Sherrigillis
    Hello Snoocharoo, I can realte to much of what you're going through. I'm a mom of an eleven and a nine year old, work full time, and working towards my Nursing degree, the only difference is, is that I'm married, so I have some help. I would definatley look into the different colleges in your area, not just a single one, there are alot of options for the kind of program that you're looking into, as well as financial help as well. The only thing I would recommend for you is know what you're limitations are, don't do what I did and try to do it all at once. I had to realize my limitations the hard way by failing 2 classes, and making myself sick. Now instead of taking four classes, working, and homelife, I only take a couple of courses at a time, while making ends meet. I wanted my nursing degree yesterday, I'm 33 years old , I'ts never to late, and it won't happen overnight. If you have patience, you'll have no problems. That goes for anyone looking into getting back into school. One thing to remember is that if you go into Nursing, there is always job security. Hope I helped a little, and good luck in whaterver you choose to do. Sherrigillis
  11. by   DaniGrl
    questions questions and more questions!!!!!

    I am interested, really interested in becomming a nurse. But I am scared to death. And these are my reasons why:
    1) I am 24 and have been out of highschool for quite sometime
    2) I HATE math (with a passion) and am afraid that the schooling will require lots of it!
    3) I was un-motivated when I was in HS and did not aquire the necesary amount of credits to graduate, so now I am going to refresher courses to take my GED, and I am scared nursing schools will look down their nose at this.

    All this said... let me know what you all think. I am really serious about starting, hopefully, next fall.


    Last edit by DaniGrl on Oct 13, '03
  12. by   DaniGrl


  13. by   leogoat
    1. Should I apply to more than 1 school?
    --- absolutely. But do research into the different programs. Each school has a different "personality". (Nursing schools)
    ---- Prereq's can be completed at ANY community college. They are most likely to SAME as any university.

    2. How realistic is it to work fulltime and go to school?
    --- Only if necessary. The better you do in prereq's, the more you learn, and the better you'll do in nursing school. The science courses are very demanding. Most people fall flat on their b-tt, underestimating how much studying is involved.

    3. If it is not feasible to do both, do you have any suggestions on income opp's?
    ---- Community colleges are the cheapest. Books are the major expense, and since you wont' have that, you're very lucky.

    4. LPN or RN? Is it advisable to start as an LPN and test for RN later?
    --- LPN only to get working experience and make money WHILE GOING FOR YOUR RN. Schools will look very favorably on that experience.

    5. How long did it take to finish school?
    -- depends on how many classes you can complete each semester. DON'T OVERLOAD. Also, different schools have different pre-req's. There's the basic sciences (Chem, Anatomy, Physiology, Biology, Microbiology. Some want organic chem and a few even want Physics). The other pre-req's vary but again, you'll usually see: English (1 to 2 semesters), Sociology, Math, Psychology (Intro and often Developmental Psych), some want Nutrition, too. has a comprehensive listing of nursing schools all over the country, with links to their websites. THe National League of Nursing is the main accrediting agency. You can find out the prereq's AND the nursing programs of each school, by going to the school's website.

    Good luck-
  14. by   Stitchie
    Go for the RN. You won't regret it, and I can tell you that I worked while I went to school at a boring, mind numbing secretary job too and realized that I was going nowhere fast. I had the advantage of having a degree already, but in Political Science b/c I wanted to go to law school. I had many of the prereq's already but had no science or math. School was difficult to manage in that it was time consuming, and my school was DISORGANIZED, but i did very well on boards. I worked part time in the ED/Critical care as a care tech and it made a huge difference.

    Don't let anything hold you back. And get your BSN; it's literally your ticket to a whole new career if you decide you do "hate nursing". There will be days and patients that drive you nuts, and you hate it; other times it's the most wonderful feeling in the world when someone kisses your cheek or tells you how kind you are; there will be days when you're hanging IV's or charting and just letting the tears run down your face...I've had them all!