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single mother returning to school for rn licence


i am a single mother of 3. I was wondering if there are any tips of how I can make it easier on myself. What area should I think about. I am 35 years old. Have been personal care provider and had cna 3 times. I had to leave an abusive relationship in order to fulfill my dreams and protect my children. Now I am in a good community, etc. I am now returning to the workforce and school. Any advice would be appreciated.

I don't have advice, as I've never been in that situation, but I just wanted to say good for you! That's awesome that you had the courage to leave a bad situation and create a better life for you and your kids. Good luck to you!


Specializes in Med-Surg Telemetry.

I recently separated from my abusive husband as well. I have three children (all under 10) and am in my second semester of a two-year RN program. I love nursing and have recently started working as a patient care assistant on a med/surg telemetry floor of a hospital. For the first time in 10 years I feel like I am fulfilling my potential and my children are so much better for it... I am so happy for you and your chance to start over after what I'm sure was a nightmare. If nursing is where you feel led, then definitely go for it!


Specializes in PD,Nxstage,hemo. Has 14 years experience.

Go for it! You can do it.:up:


Specializes in telemetry,med surg,geriatrics.

Sounds like you are on the right track with everything:D The thing that helps me most is prioritising,organizing everything in your life.So you have the time and energy for whats important like your kids.Being organized takes work but in the long run helps things run more smoothly when your trying to manage the house,bills,school,your kiddos all their activities ect.There will be times you are tired and overwelmed but dont forget to take care of you! It can be done.I currently work full time nights,manage my own home,homeschool my kiddo,run her to all her activities and somewhere in between all the maddness find time to study ;).Set goals for yourself and you will reach them.From one single mom to another I wish you the best of luck:redbeathe

I am single mom in nursing school as well. My advise would be to find people you can count on to help and accept help when it is offered (it is especially important to have a back up plan for the days when your kids are sick and you have a test, *Murphy's law and it always happens*) . Don't try to be super woman and do everything on your own. Get a study group to help you keep your sanity. Study as much as you can at school so you can spend time with your kids when you are at home. If you are not a strong scheduler, become one, practice this before you go to school so it's not a shock to your kids when it happens. Realize that nursing school is hard and different than your pre-req's, you may not make straight A's like you are used to and that is ok. that's all I can think of right now, hope that helps.

I don't know how old your children are...but my saving grace has been the help of my children and realizing what I can and can not do.

Sometimes I can not make dinner.... they are able to make their own sandwiches, chicken nuggets and fries, ramen noodles, cereal, mac and cheese, or whatever THEY think they can handle

Sometimes I can not wash clothes...they are great about washing and folding clothes. Sometimes I have to bribe them with a little money or take them to a movie afterward but even that helps.

Sometimes I can not clean the house... just deal with it...you can clean during holidays, in between semesters

Also, study in the shower, in the car, while washing dishes...ALL the TIME. It truly helps the brain retain some of the info.

Good luck!


Specializes in Med-Surg. Has 3 years experience.

I recently graduated from my RN program and passed my boards in July! I am also a single mom, with 4 kids. I also left an abusive relationship. Take it one day at a time. Remember "it takes a village". Take your friends and family up on their offers for help. Get their favorite slow cooker recipes. This is a great time for the kids to learn how to help around the house. Let the housework and yardwork go. In-between quarters I did lots of catch-up around the house.

Get a family calendar. Put all the family activities and school activities on it. Then add all your nursing school due dates and clinicals, and such. This way you can tell how far ahead you need to complete your projects and papers. Never leave your schoolwork to the night before it's due. You can count on the kids being sick that night.

If you can, look again at your financial obligations. Minimize your expenses so perhaps you don't have to also work full-time. Nursing school was a lot of work, but oh so worth it.

I made flashcards for everything. They are much lighter to carry. My flashcards went everywhere - the ballpark, doctor's appts, etc.

Take care of yourself. Get your sleep. Love your kids lots. A extra benefit of mom being in school, all my kids' study habits improved!

Being on my own with my kids was scary at first, and many times I wondered if I had made the right move. I am so proud of you. You will make it one moment at a time. The life you are creating will be so amazing.

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 27 years experience.

Will move to the pre-nursing forum....good luck.

Have like 40 back up childcare options. I've run into REPEATED cases where 3 different sitters were unable to care for the kiddos, leaving me scrambling, 3 hours before class.

BabyCatchr, ADN, ASN, RN

Specializes in OB/Gyn, L&D, NICU. Has 20 years experience.

I have 2 children and am in pre-nursing for my BSN. I got through my bachelor's, but did it very part-time so I am worried about what nursing school will be like! I'm currently trying to teach my kids to cook and clean, lol.

It's so good to read all of these replies! I am a single mom of six with four still living with me and the other two here very frequently. I am 47 and returning to school has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. My brain is on shock and stun almost constantly. I used to homeschool but have that up as a dream that went down the tubes with divorce. I have still homeschooled off and on, but with me studying I don't know how I could do that, too. All the encouragement on here is amazing. Go all of you. And me too!I'll be checking in often!!!!!

BabyCatchr, ADN, ASN, RN

Specializes in OB/Gyn, L&D, NICU. Has 20 years experience.

bon.feld, it is good to hear from you. Please please keep me (us) posted on how it goes. You are one of the few I've heard from who is divorced with children. Going to school with young children was one thing - even when my husband was in Korea for 1 1/2 years, I had his money coming home to me, only I didn't realize at the time how much different it would be as a truly single woman. Doing it as a single mom is very different - there is no "cushion" - nobody to share the responsibility of the children or finances. I would love to hear how you manage to keep your children well cared for at the same time you are in nursing school. It is easy to be a mom and go to school - it is hard to do both well. I like to make sure mine have a good dinner, rides to school, make sure they've done they're homework & chores, I know where they are at all times, spend time talking w/them about their day & what's going on, etc. Are all those things going to go out the window now???

one day at a time. Also most of my kids are pretty independent. I have been delegating them chores like dinner off and on. I also like makke large amts for left overs that are healthy. I am just worried about my youngest. I have someone for the day. but the evening or weekends I still need to figure out.

BabyCatchr, ADN, ASN, RN

Specializes in OB/Gyn, L&D, NICU. Has 20 years experience.

Thank you thank you thank you! Yes, this is a very positive, encouraging environment. I have actually been studying for the NCLEX even though I haven't even started nursing school yet and am now getting 100s on my practice tests since I have been studying pharmacology heavily! So now I am feeling pretty good about it and really enjoying it. Just want to get this show on the road!! Here is the website with NCLEX practice tests: