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Should 40 year old mom become a psych NP?

Nurses   (756 Views 12 Comments)
by HetherV HetherV (New Member) New Member

289 Visitors; 3 Posts

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Hello everyone,

My name is Heather. I have a BSN in Nursing. Most of my career has been in the mental health field. About a year ago I was accepted into a Master's program and took one class towards becoming a psych NP.

I  was studying hard and doing well. I got a B in Advanced Patho and was pretty proud of myself. Then the first bill came. Although I qualified for student aid, I was completely oblivious to the amount of student debt I was incurring. It was a bit foolish to go into this with absolutely no knowledge of the amount of money I would be paying back. I just thought "I'll cross that bridge when I come to it," because I was excited about the opportunity, and to be completely honest, part of me was scared to know how much I'd be paying back.

When the bill came I looked at in shock and then did the math. A hundred grand to become a NP and I'm 40 years old with two young kids education to think about. I felt selfish and foolish for putting my education before theirs. I started having kids later in life. My daughter is 6 and son is almost 4. I love them more than anything, and decided that the practical and considerate thing to do was withdrawal from the program - so I did.

Fast forward to about 9 months later, I have some job interviews coming up. One of them is with a hospital that pays 100% tuition for nurses working full time. Jeez Louise! This seems like an incredible opportunity.

I don't know if I'll be selected, but If I am, I'm thinking about re-enrolling in school. My question is how did you guys manage working full-time, raise young kids, and study in your Master's programs?

Kids are only little for a short while. I don't want to miss out on that because I'm closed off in my bedroom cramming for an exam or clinical every night. On the flip side, I've wanted to do this for a long time, if I were to get hired, it seems like an opportunity to good to let pass by.

Does anyone have any experience with a similar situation or any advice? What did you do?

Thank you.

 

 

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Hoosier_RN has 20 years experience as a MSN and works as a Dialysis.

186 Likes; 3 Followers; 2,039 Visitors; 1,164 Posts

Although I have no advice, I wish you luck.  Remember, there are tradeoffs to everything in life.  School is temporary and can lead to a better work life balance situation, but you have to sacrifice for it.  Just a thought: if its worth it, it's not going to be easy, and if it's easy, it's not going to be worth it!  

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41 Likes; 10,232 Visitors; 1,372 Posts

I'd go for it. Having it paid for takes an incredible amount of stress off. And youd be able to work less (theoretically) than if you had to pay for it out of pocket. 

That said, it is a time commitment. Be prepared to miss some time with family. But it's only temporary... and you may be able to be done in two years, which will go by in a flash.

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2 Likes; 15 Visitors; 1 Post

I agree with the previous posts, and I'd like to add that it might be helpful to think about what you are willing to give up to allow the time to accomplish your goals. For example, when I pursued my RN/BSN, I had to cut back on activities such as socializing and entertaining, baking, and watching TV. I learned to study while waiting for my child to finish their school activities. Instead of socializing, I studied and did homework. It was really hard. However, as it was previously stated, the time goes by and goals are met. I can look back now and feel good about it because I kept my priorities in place. I explained to friends and family what was going on and made time for them, just very infrequently compared to usual. It took some time to get closer again with some people after graduation, but those that were my true friends were just thrilled to have me back. All being said, making these changes even for a couple of years is a big undertaking, and a very personal decision. Make a pros and cons list, talk about it with close friends or family that can give you objective feedback. Wish you the best! 

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5 Likes; 9,005 Visitors; 437 Posts

Have you looked for less expensive options? I am in NC, but we have several state schools that have tuition plus books that would be 1/4 that.

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Lane Therrell FNP, MSN, RN has 6 years experience and works as a Wellness Coach, Clinical Nursing Instructor.

39 Likes; 6 Followers; 24 Articles; 9,721 Visitors; 128 Posts

I'm going to echo the sentiments here that if your employer is supporting you, go for it, and never look back. There's an incredible increasing demand for psych NPs. You'll find creative ways to manage your time for the kids and studying. BTW - Congratulations on finding your calling.

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NightNerd has 5 years experience and works as a Bedside Nurse.

122 Likes; 15,243 Visitors; 728 Posts

If you have a heart for this career path, I say go for it! That's an amazing opportunity!

The way I see it, yes, going back to school would suck. It is a time commitment, it will require a lot from you, and you're going to feel stretched a little thin. But, your kids will be okay. They will see that you're working hard to take care of them, and will have this wonderful example from their mom of setting goals and working hard to achieve them. It is so admirable that you are thinking of them with every decision you make, but you also deserve the chance to pursue education and work that you find meaningful. 

You can always try a semester and see how it affects everything. If you need to wait until they're a little older, you've still knocked out a couple more classes.

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AnnieNP has 20 years experience as a MSN, NP and works as a Nurse Practitioner.

49 Likes; 1 Follower; 2,935 Visitors; 346 Posts

18 hours ago, Lane Therrell FNP, MSN, RN said:

I'm going to echo the sentiments here that if your employer is supporting you, go for it, and never look back. There's an incredible increasing demand for psych NPs. You'll find creative ways to manage your time for the kids and studying. BTW - Congratulations on finding your calling.

Absolutely this!!!!!  Good luck.

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by eh14

3 Likes; 1,392 Visitors; 66 Posts

Think of the positive role model you will be for your kids... and by the time they get to college you will be a better provider to help them if you develop yourself.

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ThePrincessBride has 3 years experience.

35 Likes; 55,302 Visitors; 2,212 Posts

Psych NPs are one of the most in-demand specialties of all the APRNs. In my medium cost of living area, NPs are coming out with 6-figure offers doing a job that they love. Hell, I am even thinking about switching over from FNP to Psych NP for that reason. 

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Emergent has 25 years experience and works as a Emergency Room RN.

1,270 Likes; 6 Followers; 62,644 Visitors; 2,587 Posts

I went to nursing school with 4 school age kids. You can always take your study material to a park or the beach, so they get an outing and you can study. Of course, they have to learn to be respectful of your study time, but that's a healthy lesson for youngsters. 

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30 Likes; 1,226 Visitors; 119 Posts

I have a friend who got her first Master's (non nursing but she's a nurse) while active duty military, working 40+ hours a week.  No kids but also single so wanted a social life.  Got her second one in Education while working for the military, 40+ hours a week, 2 kids, pre-teen/teen though. It can be done, just have to be creative about studying.  And be ok with working later at night and on weekends.  

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