Thinking about nursing school while raising a toddler



I know this question has been asked before but it was posted quite a while ago. I am seriously considering going back to school for nursing. Currently I am a stay at home mom, my kids are ages 10,8 and 2. I was wondering if there are any of you out there who have stayed at home for almost a decade and have decided to return to school for nursing while raising a two year old. Is it doable and what strategies have you found helpful? I will have college credits counted toward some of my prereqs and plan on finishing up my prereqs before starting my nursing classes. I really want to move forward with my schooling on nursing but want to be sure I am doing the right by my child. My older

kiddos are in school all day but my toddler is with me all day every day. My thinking is that I will finish my prereqs now so that when he does start K I will be ready to enter the program and start my nursing courses.

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VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

142 Articles; 9,981 Posts

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 26 years experience.

I was a SAHM who went to college when my kids were 11, 9, 6, and 3. We were as poor as church mice, but thanks to a great support system I made it through pre-reqs and then the nursing program itself. Took me four years to get a two-year degree, and I missed some of my kids' open houses and school events. But all in all, it was well worth the investment of time and effort. It's hard to study when you're raising kids, but we made it fun because we studied together a lot of times. My sixth-grader even went to class with me sometimes during summer term, and she learned more anatomy & physiology than I did!

Yes, this is very doable---tough, but doable. Go for it!

Specializes in ICU.

I'm a single mom. Raising an 8 year old boy. I went back to finish up my prereqs last year when he was in second grade. I had been a stay at home mom since he was born. I waited due to many circumstances beyond my control but what was nice about his age was I could schedule my prereqs while he was in school all day. I would drop him off and be done in time to pick him up in the afternoon. Now I am in the program and my schedule is longer so I have to have lots of support to pick him up and take him places when I can't. Just make sure you have that all in place ahead of time.

Just an example of what happens when you get super busy. I forgot to call the school and redirect where my son was going after school. No one was going to be there to pick him up from the bus. I went one place to pick him up and he was on the bus. Fortunately, I have a fabulous bus driver and live in a small town. The bus driver did not let him off the bus and radioed the high school where my friend is the principal to pick him up. Otherwise I would have had a scared 8 year old boy alone at a house and me at the wrong place. It happens, but things have been crazy and I always try to have my ducks in a row but some things fall through the cracks.


26 Posts

I was a SAHM since 2006. My kids were 6 4 2 when I started last year and are now a year old obviously lol. But just graduated last week. Accepted a full time job and takes boards in a few weeks. IT IS POSSIBLE


4 Articles; 10,428 Posts

Been there, did that, got the t-shirt :)

BUT (and here's where I put a really big BUT in there)-- you must have a, make that network in place. Backups for your backups.

Say you have a reliable sitter to cover classroom times, etc. Ok, now what happens when sitter isn't available at the last minute? Make sure you have that backup in place. And then when THAT person isn't able to pull through for you.....have a Plan C.

I think you'll find that those of us who did it (or are currently doing it) managed by being ultra-organized. "Stuff" happens, but it happens a lot less to those who are prepared with contingency plans :)


184 Posts

I have an almost-5 year old and an 18 month old. I have been going to school part-time for the past several years to get through the pre-requisites that I needed. I am finally all done with them, and will hopefully be accepted for nursing classes that start in January. Acceptance letters go out next month.

I have found that being really, really organized is the only way to do it. I have a planner that has three sections for each day. I have one section for schoolwork, one section for kid-related stuff, and one section for everything else. I meal plan, and try to get all of my errands for the week done in one day. I have had to really lean on my husband, and my mother-in-law has been great about watching my 2 girls periodically when I had a lot of schoolwork on my plate at once. I also do all of my housework first thing in the morning, then when my little one naps, I do schoolwork. My older one watches more TV than I would like, but I know it's not forever. I also stay up until 12-1am every night and do the rest of my schoolwork (I'm now full-time, so I can't get everything done in one nap per day). I'm tired, but coffee gets me through!

Satori77, ADN

516 Posts

Specializes in Med Surg/Ortho. Has 5 years experience.

The biggest thing is to make sure you have a great support system. I first started thinking about nursing school when my kids were little. But my husband was on the road, and I didn't have anyone around that I trusted to always be available when needed. I also didn't have the money for full-time childcare. So I waited. Stayed home when they were really little. When my youngest started school, that is when I went back for my prereqs. I now have a neighbor and several sitters that can help me out when needed. And next year, when I will actually be in nursing school doing classes and clinicals (clinicals will be any time), my dad will have moved up here. He just recently retired. So I have several back-ups, and no more excuses for not doing it.