Average School Schedule Requirements

  1. Im an older non-traditional returning student. Retired military.

    I am the primary stay at home parent for my 5 year old daughter, with a spouse that generally works out of town Monday through Friday. I have applied to two BSN programs for this Fall, UNF and JU.
    Since I am the primary parent for my daughter I am trying to decide:
    1. Do I really have time to devote to nursing school? Am I being realistic?
    2. What are the typical class times? Will I need morning care, before she typically leaves for school? Will I need afternoon care typically after her dismissal time?
    3. Which semester do clinicals start? Because I have read that some students are having to be at the hospital by 0430 for days they have clinicals. Is this true?

    Basically for the first year or so, what are the typically class times each day?
    I've asked both schools but only gotten vague answers thus far. I need to have my childcare situation set and ready to go for this fall when the school starts.
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    About broughden

    Joined: May '09; Posts: 375; Likes: 894

    13 Comments

  3. by   verene
    The specific schedule will vary nursing program to nursing program. Expect variability in schedule from term to term as well. You may need either early morning or late evening childcare depending on clinical schedule.

    I did not attend either of the schools you listed, but my own experience in an ABSN program was lecture classes could be anytime between 8am-5pm and clinicals were usually day shift (7am-3:30pm) with pre-brief and post-conference (so really more like 6:30am-5pm) but schedules could vary; I took evening shift clinicals as well which meant ending at 11:30pm, though I did start later in the day. During senior practicum you worked whatever shifts your preceptor worked.

    The program you attended should let you know the schedule, but may not be able to give much advance notice prior to the term due to placements still being finalized. My program could usually give us a good sense about 4 weeks prior to a term and final schedule a week before start of term.
  4. by   Apple-Core
    Every single college/program will be different, so you would be wise to contact the schools that you plan to apply to directly and ask about their schedules.
  5. by   broughden
    Quote from Apple-Core
    Every single college/program will be different, so you would be wise to contact the schools that you plan to apply to directly and ask about their schedules.
    As I said above, I did ask them. I just got vague "daytime college class" typical hours.
  6. by   idkmybffjill
    From what I have heard at the information workshops and such, UNF's schedule tends to have lectures in the early morning, such as at 7:30/8:00 a.m. Some of the students said that sometimes you have to be there by 7 a.m. though to take a test before the lecture. They also mentioned leaving by like 1-2 p.m. I think? One of the students mentioned picking up her kids if I remember correctly.

    The exact number of days or what days you have class or clinicals varies by semester to semester. Clinicals can be on Saturdays, and they start during the first semester, though it doesn't sound like it's a bunch of hours in that first semester.

    I also remember them saying it's more like 5:30/6:00 that you have to be at the clinical site by. You meet up at like 6:30, but you also have to give yourself time to shuttle from the student parking at some hospitals here.

    But really, check to see when the next informational workshop they have for UNF nursing. There's a section where you can ask some of the nursing students questions, so you could probably get some better specifics from the students. I imagine the actual program doesn't want to give you specifics because they may change.

    I have no idea about JU though since I decided against applying there.
  7. by   Apple-Core
    Quote from broughden
    As I said above, I did ask them. I just got vague "daytime college class" typical hours.
    My apologies - I didn't see that in your post. Typical daytime class will be 8-4, and will be a mix of lecture and lab. Then you'll start having clinicals thrown into the mix...again, times will vary depending on where you are, but my clinicals run from 5.30 to 5.30, so actual time for me is 4am (shower, get ready, drive there) and home by 6pm, so I am gone for 14 hours. On top of that I spend hours and hours working on classwork/homework.

    At my school, we have a big exam every 2-3 weeks. They form the basis of whether you pass or fail the Block, so they are really important, so I also have to set aside study/revision time.

    I'm not trying to put you off - I think anything is do-able, but for me, what was overwhelming was not the actual understanding of the concepts (because a lot is drawing from your pre-req knowledge, A&P stuff etc) but the shear volume of work that is thrown at you. I think that is pretty standard wherever you are too, and is certainly not unique to my school.

    For example, right now, I have: 4 group projects on the go, each with different groups, which takes a heck of a lot of coordinating and communication, (not to mention the work itself), 2 careplans (each takes about 12 hours to complete), a psych class, 2 SIMs coming up I need to prep for, and an exam to revise.....and that is all over Spring Break. Once I return to class, I will be back at clinicals, and will have lectures to attend, plus about 20 case-studies to complete (not due until the end of the semester, but still...), plus a bunch of online tests to be done.

    I am also an older student, but my kids are older too. I think your hardest challenge will likely be juggling childcare and making sure you are able to carve out the time needed to get everything done and keep your grades up.
  8. by   nursinglove30
    I think traditional child care will not work for you as you will have to commit a lot of hours commuting to class and most programs have 2 lecture days starting 8:00 am plus one clinical day start at 6:30 so students can be ready to take report at 7:00 Am. Factor in lab hours as well which the average is 10-20 hours of skill practice per semester. Keep in mind the hours you will have to get ready and commute. So if you absolutely must get someone to care for your child, I would recommend either a live in nanny or an Aupair. The good thing about Aupairs is that they live with and you can pretty much schedule their hours around the time you need childcare. Their pay is typically low but you will be required to pay their living expenses including food, driving, health insurance, and other things. Keep in mind it's a long process to get matched with an Aupair as they are coming from overseas so start the process soon.
  9. by   elkpark
    Also keep in mind that, whatever a particular school tells you about the general schedule, there will be additional times for lab practice, clinical prep, and other kinds of activities that don't appear anywhere on the official schedule/curriculum.

    You should expect nursing school to be at least the equivalent of a full-time job.

    Best wishes for your journey!
  10. by   kkbb
    Quote from broughden
    I am the primary stay at home parent for my 5 year old daughter, with a spouse that generally works out of town Monday through Friday.
    Just something to think about, but what are you going to do after you graduate and are working 12 hour shifts (possibly at night)?

    As for childcare needs/scheduling while in school, my best advise is to make sure you have back up childcare. My lecture/lab days typically started around 8 and ended by 4. Clinical days depended on the site and course. We had some that were 8 hour shifts, and some that were 12 hours. As someone else pointed out, time in clinical depends on the semester. Heck, my schedule changed almost weekly a lot of times.

    Nursing school with kiddos takes real family commitment. But it can be done (I am sure proof of that). I wish you the best!
  11. by   Apple-Core
    That's a good point that was raised - the "set schedule" is one thing, but there are tons of things you have to do outside of that such as Open Lab and Group projects and so forth. That's a lot to manage without having a partner around to look after your little peanut!

    That being said, I am sure if you are determined enough you will make it work.
  12. by   hurricanekat
    Quote from nursinglove30
    I think traditional child care will not work for you as you will have to commit a lot of hours commuting to class and most programs have 2 lecture days....
    I actually had a live in nanny when my daughter was small. I wasn't in school then, but I was managing a restaurant with crazy hours. I had a garage apartment I gave to a college student I trusted in exchange for nanny services. I knew her schedule and was able to work around her classes and we made agreements for her "time off". We honored each other (I requested no fellas in my house, but it was her apartment and I wouldn't enter or ask questions if she wasn't "on duty") and it was a great relationship. She picked her up from school, took her to school, fed her, bathed her - put her to bed, got her ready for school - it all depended on what shift I worked as to what she had to do.

    School is rough. I can't imagine trying to negotiate this with a child that needs attention. I would not trust this situation to traditional daycare - I'd make sure I had a trustworthy person that could and would be available, early and late - all the time - especially for emergency study situations. Someone like a mom or sister that you could sort of "abuse" as necessary - the I need you NOW thing. I'm glad that my fella feeds himself, does laundry, vacuums and cleans toilets - because I certainly don't do it! My kid is home from college today and she and I are sitting next to each other both doing homework.
  13. by   broughden
    Thanks for ALL the input.

    I have thought of the Au Pair option but not really comfortable with an additional person I dont know living in my house AND having to buy/lease them a car to use. So thats out.
    As for what I will do after I graduate, hopefully her granparents will be living nearby by that point. They are only living out of town right now to deal with one of their own parents with severe dementia, who is still clinging to life. Once that parent passes, they are planning on moving nearby.

    It looks like I will most likely need to find some local nanny help almost immediately though, so thank you for at least letting me know what to expect!
  14. by   Christian96
    i believe traditional child care will work for you. i attend a school in south Florida and the hours are reasonable. We have class 9-1 twice a week. We have 2 options for our clinicals, weekdays or weekends. See if the school you will attend has different clinicals hours. My school tries to accommodate everyone. If you happened to do weekend clinicals, maybe you could find someone to watch your daughter, or enroll her in a weekend program.

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