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Start nursing school with a newborn at home?


Hi, Thank you all for reading! I have just decided not to attend a Johns Hopkins nursing program that begins in June, due to financial reasons. Since I was intending to go there, I turned down all my other school options that were more reasonable cost-wise. This means I'll be starting school in the summer of 2010, and ending 1 1/2 years later (accelerated program). HERE'S THE CATCH: My husband and I have baby fever. We've been together for 7 years, since we were young, and we feel like we've been waiting ages already. So, I'm strongly considering trying to get pregnant now, and trying this month and next (if we failed to conceive after two months, we would stop trying until after school). This would mean I would have a 2 or 3 month old baby at home when I stared a 1.5 year accelerated program. Now, I'm not an idiot... I know this would be hard, I'm just trying to decide whether or not it would be impossible. The idea of waiting 2.5 years just to start trying makes me want to die inside, but I know it would be the smartest thing to do.

While it may seem like I've answered my own question... we're still planning to try this month. I would love to hear from anyone who has done this personally, or known someone who has. I'd obviously love to hear words of encouragement, but I know I'll be getting more harsh doses of reality than kind words. :crying2:

Thank you again!!!:redbeathe:redbeathe

Baloney Amputation, BSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Acute Care.

You may feel differently about jumping into nursing school once you have your baby. When you have a baby, the mama part of your brain and heart may well tell you that you cannot stand to be apart from your baby. Then again, it may not and say instead that pursuing a nursing degree is the best course of action for your baby financially. This is an unpredictable thing and probably cannot be determined until you have a child.

It wouldn't be IMPOSSIBLE...but I personally would probably dedicate all I had to nursing school first.


Has 6 years experience.

Hey I can understand the baby fever. I have a 5 year old and I want to extend my family with another baby before my daughter gets any older. However, my husband is not ready to jump on that bandwagon yet, he wants me to finish school first. While I understand that finishing your education is def. best. I explianed to him I still would have 9 months time to start a program and study fast-paced. So, with that said I am on an accelerated path too for my RN and hope to complete theory portion by the end of July (4 more tests) then I will have to wait for clinicals. When I get that test date and I WILL pass, then hopefully my husband and I will start trying. I haven't really gave him much of an option, LOL! My plan!

While your education is highly important so is your life decisions of bringing a life into this world. If you don't work I can see this as managable, however; new baby, work, and school is VERY difficult. It can be done, just finish as much as you can.

Make a plan, discuss it with your husband, assess all options.

Not sure If I helped at all but good luck!

Jolie, BSN

Specializes in Maternal - Child Health. Has 35 years experience.

Can it be done? Yes.

I think a better question is: should it be done.

You are proposing to undertake 2 incredibly stressful, time consuming, mentally and physically exhausting, life altering events at once. You can probably do both, but I wouldn't recommend it. Something will suffer. It may be your marriage, your health, your emotional state, your sanity or your child's best interests. Since you have a choice in the matter, I would recommend finishing school first.

Best to you.


Specializes in LTC, geriatric, psych, rehab. Has 26 years experience.

I used to work with a great nurse who had waited until her kids were grown to go to nursing school. Kids were 28 and 16. One week before nsg school started, her 28 yr old son who had sole custody of his 6 and 8 yr olds dropped dead of a massive heart attack in her front yard. She got the children (and of course, she wanted them). The day before she started classes, her unmarried 16 yr old daughter gave birth, announced that she did not want the baby, and walked away. My friend went to her first day of school, stopped at the babysitter's on the way home to get her 6 and 8 yr olds, then went to the hospital and picked up her newborn. She was 52 yrs old. Two yrs later, she had her RN, and was the top student in her class. She was a great inspiration to me. When I started, I had a 2 yr old and a 5 yr old. The next month, I got my brother's kids ages 1 and 4. Before the semester was over I got my ex-husband's neices, ages 7, 8, and 9. So at the age of 22, I was the sole support for 7 little girls. It was very hard, but somehow the kids don't remember the hard parts. They remember it as a good time. So if my friend did it, and I did it, so can you. Granted, I would not have done it on purpose, but then I do things on purpose that others would not. So follow your heart.

I wouldn't do it. The first year is critical and sets the foundation for the rest of a person's life. You are proposing a scenario where your baby would be second banana to your nursing school schedule. S/he needs to be your full focus at that time - not something you squeeze in between classes and homework. So imo, not a good idea.

One consideration that doesn't occur to folks new to nursing is that, in order to be eligible to sit the NCLEX for licensure, you must have completed a specified (by the state BON), concrete number of classroom and supervised clinical hours in your nursing program, and, since nursing programs are v. intensive to begin with, there's not a lot of "wiggle room" for absences, esp. in accelerated programs. No matter how good your excuse may be (like, oh, a sick baby), if you miss too many hours (and most schools have v. limited opportunities for making up missed days, esp. in clinical), you're out of the program. The last clinical rotation I taught, students could only miss eight hours of clinical before they failed the clinical rotation -- and the clinical days were 12-hour days. So, if you missed one (full) clinical day, you flunked out of school. Most people don't realize (until they're in it) how very different nursing school is from other undergraduate experiences. Just something to think about, as you're weighing all the different considerations.


Specializes in LTC, geriatric, psych, rehab. Has 26 years experience.

The post by elkpark is very true. You miss x number of clinical hours and you're out. Can't be late either. My group of little ones was fortunately hardly ever sick, but if they were I had to leave them. My mother, a retired nurse, kept my children even if they were sick. She would not keep any of my other neices, even though 2 of them were her grandchildren too. I had to find someone else as a backup. It is very hard to leave a sick infant. And it is so hard to try to study and rock a sick baby. My 2 yr old cried ALL THE TIME! I do not exaggerate. She cried in her sleep. I used to rock her with both of us crying. I was too exhausted to do anything else. Like I said, I would not have done all that on purpose. I just had to feed my kids, and I was not living on welfare nor was I going to continue to be a burden to my parents.

LuvofNursing, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Obstetrics, M/S, Family medicine. Has 17 years experience.

I will start by saying, when I began nursing school, I had a 2 month old and a 20 month old. I found that, although it was hard, I gained much in the way of time management. I don't feel that my children suffered during this process. I did have a daycare service, which is when I did my studying, then when I picked them up from daycare, it was all about my kids. They reminded me everyday of how strong I was.

I encourage my oldest to ask questions about pictures in my book, and sometimes I would read nursing material to them. Stay at moms do have a difficult job, but I grew up in a family where my mom and dad both had to work, and I gained an appreciation for hardwork, commitment and multi-tasking. I hope to instill the same values in my children.

Here I am 7 days before graduation, and it was so worth it (GPA 3.93, speaker at graduation, statewide nursing board member, tutor). Being a rounded person is an important part of my life, and being a mommy enhances my nursing. I don't feel you should ever put your life on hold if you think it is something that will make you happy.

Good luck in the decision you make, but whatever your decision is, it is only YOURS. Don't let others tell you what you should or should not do. Have faith in your decision, and allow yourself to rely on your loved ones.


Edited by LuvofNursing
wanted to add


Specializes in Medical Surgical. Has 15 years experience.

It is your decision, but I would carefully consider that something will have to give, and it won't be school. I have seen several students have babies in nursing school, or enter the program with young children and ask for special privileges and consideration because of the needs of the child. This is not fair to their future patients, and nursing schools have their hands tied because they are responsible to get their students prepared for NCLEX and to present the future patients with prepared graduates. The faculty can speak up and make their requirements clear; the child cannot. The child will have only you and your conscience. Why put yourself in that position?

LuvofNursing, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Obstetrics, M/S, Family medicine. Has 17 years experience.

Many people commenting on this as all or nothing. I would have to say, I don't feel either one of the two aspects of life were neglected (school or family). One suggestion I would make, which is something I proudly stuck to all throughout nursing school is one day of the week was solely devoted to my husband and kids, and another day was solely devoted to just me and my kids. Like i mentioned before, time management is an important thing to learn (sooner than later).

I think it is important to know yourself as a student as well. If you have always struggled in school, then taking on a baby during the program may not suit you.

I wouldn't risk it. Had I been pregnant with my son and planned on starting a nursing program I would have been in for a rude awakening as my son was born with complete bi-lateral cleft lip and palate, which equaled three surgeries his first year, a TON of dr. visits and a TON of dentist visits (pre-natal tooth removal his third day of life :( and several fittings for an obturator). There would have been NO WAY to complete any type of school in that year. My son is now 2 1/2 and I'm hoping to get into the fall semester but things have calmed down, a lot!

My situation wasn't very common but life can throw curve balls at you from directions you can't even possibly see coming. Not to mention that every newborn has many demands on a new Mommy. I would decide on one or the other - baby or school - what is more important to you?

Okay I have alot to say about this topic since, I got a suprise.

In fact, my boyfriend sitting her actually thought I posted this thread when he first glanced at it.

I am not able to take birth control of any form because my body reacts inappropriatly and I have severe adverse reactions.

We used other methods foam, condoms, and the morning after pill. We used these as directed but apparently I was very fertile. The condom broke to make a long story short. I had the morning after pill within 12 hours and another 12 hours later.

Don't get me wrong I am glad to be having a little boy soon but my emotions and guilt are starting to get the most of me.

I hate to think I would have to be gone for school and work all day while he is so little.

I also have a hard time imaging when I will be able to sleep. Since I will have classes all day, work all evening, and a small child at night. Not to mention finding a daycare I feel safe leaving my child with.

I feel once you made this decision and are expecting the fears you should have now will finally set in.

Wait until you have half a year left then start trying. I will saying doing school and work while in the early stages of pregnancy is not as bad as it seems.

Nurse Beachbum

Specializes in Med Surg, Peds, OB, and ER. Has 2 years experience.

You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength...Phillipians 4:13, that's how I got through school with two small children! Good luck with what you decide!

Sterren, BSN, RN

Specializes in L&D.

Of course you CAN do it.

Personally, I would not. A tiny baby at home takes up a lot of time. If you want to breastfeed, you need to consider where and when you would pump in clinicals and at school. You need to consider the (lack of) sleep you'll be getting at home, and whether you'll learn at the pace required in an accelerated program. You need to consider the choices you'll have to make between spending time playing peek-a-boo with your baby or studying for the exam you have tomorrow.

My advice is to have a baby and wait a year to go to school. Then you'll have a toddler, which is still crazy difficult in nursing school but way more sane than having a newborn in nursing school.

Good luck. This is a really hard decision to make, I know.


Specializes in GU/surgical, Bariatrics, Endoscopy. Has 1 years experience.

I had a 8 month old when I started pre req's and she was three when I started in the nursing program. It has been very hard. I was gone all day at school and clinicals, but when I was home I had to study. I never got to spend time with her. Thank the lord I had lots of help from my husband and mom, but a newborn is a lot more demanding than a 3 year old. She is now 5 and I am officially a graduate nurse today!:D I would def wait until after school, but that's just my two cents.

LuvofNursing, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Obstetrics, M/S, Family medicine. Has 17 years experience.

I had a 8 month old when I started pre req's and she was three when I started in the nursing program. It has been very hard. I was gone all day at school and clinicals, but when I was home I had to study. I never got to spend time with her. Thank the lord I had lots of help from my husband and mom, but a newborn is a lot more demanding than a 3 year old. She is now 5 and I am officially a graduate nurse today!:D I would def wait until after school, but that's just my two cents.

congratulations linz09!!

School is not bad if your pregnancy goes well, but it is kind of hard to concentrate on un-baby related things. Once you have the baby it's going to be a whole different ballgame! Having a support system like family and friends you can rely on will make a huge difference. Life will be much less demanding without a baby. You may find that you never want to leave the little bundle! It kind of depends on your situation, ie, whether or not you will need to work, who can help you out. I will say this: neither of my children were planned and they are 6 years apart. My baby just turned 6 mos and I am (planning) NS in the Fall. While I dread putting him in daycare, I know that school is temporary and this is ultimately to better our lives...BUT, even if you have perfect angel children like I do, they still are incredibly needy, and there is a good chance your husband will be needy, too, and may be resentful when you need to study. You might feel guilty about pawning off the baby on others yet again... The important thing is that you set yourself up for success. Stress = bad. Get your support network of family and friends together and put it out on the table for discussion. Good luck!

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