Your Daily Life-Schedule

Nursing Students General Students



I will be applying for the Nursing Program at my local college but I have a lot of questions and concerns about balancing my school, future nursing job schedule, childcare for my daughter, and my family life. I am married and we live out-of-state from our family. My daughter's school has before-school care and after-school care from 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Besides this care, myself, and my spouse, we have no other child care. I am wondering if this is going to be enough? I am concerned that if I would be working three 12 hr. days a week (correct?) as an RN, will I have enough childcare support?

Also, I feel a bit upset that I won't be around my daughter and spouse as much since I will be working long hours. I will miss maybe waking her up for school and getting her ready, or not being able to pick her up from school. It really brings tears to my eyes, but I'm sure that's how the rest of you feel, right? Will adjusting to this new school and work schedule be tough on me? Do you feel that the hospitals/clinics work with you on setting up your work schedule, or is it their way or no way?

Please comment.

Thank you,

Specializes in New Critical care NP, Critical care, Med-surg, LTC.

I don't have exactly the experience you're looking at because my husband is home with our kids so child care isn't an issue. However, I can totally relate to missing out on time with the family. I work full time in addition to my ADN program and this first semester has been adjustment for everyone. My children are 7,5 and 3 years old. When I put them to bed on Monday I often don't see my youngest until I get home from work on Thursday because I've got evening clinicals on Tue/Wed. I work from 5am-1pm on those days and then have clinical at the hospital. I get home in time to read books to my older children and tuck them in on Tues, but I don't see them at all on Wed. Then, when I am home, there's often studying to be done and I get a lot of comments about how I never see them and I'm always studying. I just remind them that this is something important for our whole family. They're sad at times, but it will all be worth it in the end. And these two years do not define my parenting years with them. I get quality time now and there will be quality time in the future, so I just make the best of it.

As for the child care issue, I could see your set-up being problematic depending upon your clinical assignments. Most of our morning shift people have to be at the hospital by 6:30am, and things can always change. They expect that you're completely available for school and it's a priority. You might try to make some other community connections so you're not left without any help. Other students? A co-op moms group? A high school neighbor that you'd trust to babysit?

Good luck.

You will need to find alternative child care for sure. There are many ways to do this, most states have lists of licensed in home child care providers, and daycares. I know leaving your child with a stranger seems wrong on so many levels, but it can be done properly it just takes patience to interview potential sitters.

And always have a back up plan or three in place. If your daughter is sick and cannot attend school, likely she will not be permitted to attend a day care center either. In that case you will need to have someone who can watch her while you are in class/clinicals/working. In my nursing program insufficient child care is not an excused reason for missing school or clinicals.

I would also make it a point to know the attendance policy at all times, it will save you a lot of heartache in the long run. In my program 2 absences automatically get you dropped from the course, you can appeal the decision and continue on, but there are no guarantees.

I do miss out on a lot of the kids school functions, and just normal everyday stuff. At the same time I make it a point to keep a calendar so that I can keep my time organized! If I work hard when they are at school, then when they are home I can be devoted to them! :)

I don't know how much longer you have to go until you graduate and become an RN. But for now, I would focus semester by semester instead of adding more stress to your plate. One thing is for absolute certainty, you will need back-up child care while in nursing school.

You didn't say if you are working. If you are, well simply put: that's tough to do, and more power to you, because I could not, nor would I, work while going to nursing school.

Our schedule changes every semester. We have no way to predict what our schedule is going to look like until about one week after our very last class. So basically, you have about a week to scramble for child care and other adjustments.

But one thing that is for certain with our program, we do not have night classes or night clinicals. It's good to know just HOW flexible you must be in your own program.

And yes, I absolutely miss my family. Even when I'm home, I'm really not. It's not fun for my kids and they are learning a lot skills that require some independence -- not a bad thing!

Keep in mind that it's only temporary -- you're not hurting your kids, your husband, or anyone else by being mostly consumed by school.

After some time, it all settles into place. It's definitely overwhelming at first, but with the support of your husband and some back-up support, you will be ready for anything.

Specializes in None.

I agree with the previous comments, take it one semester at a time and ALWAYS have a back-up daycare.

I'm married with 2 small children (5, 2), my husband leaves the house at 6am and my school is a 72 mile one-way commute. I also spend the night in the town that my school is in on the night before clinicals so I don't have to get up and drive at an ungodly hour on clinical days. Oh, and the kids stay the night at my moms on Monday nights to help us out. Here's my daily routine for this smester:

Sunday night:I get everything together that I'm going to need for Monday and Tuesday since I don't come back home on Monday nights. This includes school stuff (books, papers, laptop, etc), clinical stuff (name badge, pen light, steth, bandage scissors, notebook, pens, etc), iron my scrubs and lab coat, pack my bags (jammies, socks, tank top under my scrub, undies, hair dryer, shampoo, makeup, etc).


5:15-Alarm goes off, up to get dressed, hair, makeup, load the car. 6:15-I get the kids up, dressed, fed, backpacks together, etc

6:45-Oldest gets on the bus headed for school

7:00-Load the youngest in the car and I take her to my mom so mom can take her to daycare (daycare opens at 7:30)

7:15-I'm on my way to school for the hour and a half drive.

9:00-I'm in lecture class until 11:00

11:00-Out of class, 2 hour break to study and eat lunch

1:00-Lab until 4 or 5:00

4 or 5:00-I head to the hospital to pick my patient for clinicals the next day, I stay here and get all my info that I need (allergies, history, meds, etc)

6 or 7:00-Leave the hospital and go back to the library on campus to write up my careplan and do my med cards for clinical.

8 or 9:00 pm-Leave library, go find food, go to friends house and crash on her guest bed.


5:00am-Alarm goes off, get up, take shower, get dressed, get all my crap stuffed in my pockets for clinicals, get my clipboard and all my careplans and stuff together

6:30am-On my way to hospital

6:45am-Wait in the lobby for the clinical group and have a little pre-clinical day conference

7:00am-Get report from nurse and am on the floor for the day

3:00pm-Report off, go to post conference

4:00pm-Drive home

Wednesday-No class, I spend all day running errands, housework, etc or if it's a test week, I spend from 8-5pm in the llibrary studying

Thursday-No class again, I spend most of the day in the library studying


5:15-Alarm goes off, up to get dressed, hair, makeup, etc

6:15-I get the kids up, dressed, fed, backpacks together, etc

6:45-Oldest gets on the bus headed for school

7:00-Load the youngest in the car and I take her to my mom so mom can take her to daycare

7:15-I'm on my way to school for the hour and a half drive.

9:00-I'm in lecture class until 11:00

11:00-On my way home and done for the day

We have a back-up daycare just in case daycare is closed. We also have back-up people (friends) to take the youngest to daycare just in case my mom isn't in town or is sick or something. I am away from my family ALOT. I miss ALOT of things. However, the weekends and evenings I'm home, we make up for it. It's a sacrifice, but it's one that will pay off in the end. I LOVE what I'm doing, it feels very very right. We take it one semester at a time.

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