October 30, 2006, 12:50 pm

So You Wanna Be A Nurse?

seniornurse

It seems Nurse Kathy Martin’s class is receiving their diplomas right outside the OR suite!

It seems as though the hospital just paged overhead: “Nursing degrees will be handed out between eleven and twelve on the third floor outside OR 5. Supplies are limited!”

Ol’ Kathy seems pretty smug there.

I wonder if she was that kind of student who always had to raise their hand to argue with the professor or respond to “Any questions?” just as the class was due to end.

You know the type. There is at least one in every class.

They say nurses eat their young, but I think Kathy looks like she’d consume her preceptor!

Her cap gets a 10/10 on the Emergiblog Cap Scale, so she can’t be all bad.

******************************

I was sitting on the couch last night and I had an epiphany.

I waited five minutes to see if it would pass.

Nope.

So I informed my husband that after I earned my BSN, I could go to graduate school.

AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME!

He looked at me like I was a lunatic and said as sarcastically as possible “Okay Kim, anything you say…no problem…yes dear…let me know when you’re ready.”

Seriously. A legacy admit is where a child is admitted because their parent is an alumnus.

So…I’ll be the first reverse legacy admit! The parent goes after the kid!

Me! I could BE a Domer instead of having given birth to one.

I could get football tickets! And sit in the student section! In my mid-fifties!

One problem.

There is no nursing program at Notre Dame.

Darn! Well, then I’d have to get my masters in a different field.

Now I really would prefer an MSN. But if Notre Dame would accept me, I’ll get the dang Masters in “Aerospace Engineering” if I have to!

Oh, and the one thing you should NEVER, EVER do to a woman at my stage of life is use the word “No” or be sarcastic.

All you do is just feed the fire, and I’m already stoked!

******************************

So, you want to be a nurse!

Only you are not sure you can do it.

What if you aren’t smart enough? How will you make money while you are doing it? How do you handle it with kids? You think you’re too old. You aren’t sure you can pay for it.

So let me give some advice.

Please understand that I have not seen the inside of a nursing classroom for over 28 years, and I am just now going for my BSN via an online program.

But I think I have some suggestions that might help.

******************************

Don’t Panic!

(Yes, I stole that from “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”.)

Break it down.

(Said in my best MC Hammer voice)

Seriously. Break the process down into its component parts, keeping the big picture in the back of your mind.

What do I mean?

  • Decide what nursing school you would like to attend, either an ADN or BSN program.
  • Write for information about that school. What classes are required before you even apply?
  • Whether you want an ADN or BSN, get the schedule of classes from your local community college.
    • Community colleges are cheaper.
    • Classes are available at night, on Saturdays and even online.
  • Sign up for one class. One.
  • A class that is required prior to applying for nursing school.
    • Don’t be afraid to utilize the flexibility of an online course for your general education.
    • Some are even “telecourses” that are viewed via tape or on television.
  • Make sure that class is transferable to a university.
  • Don’t make the mistake of taking the simple “State Government” one-semester class that the ADN program wants, when you can take a comparable “American Government” class that will transfer to a four-year institution, for example.

But wait! I want to get the ADN, not the BSN! Why should I take the more challenging course when I’m not going to a university program?

  • Ah, this is where my experience comes into play. Back when I was a clueless 18-year-old, I eschewed the simple community college classes for the courses that would transfer to my state university system.
  • For example: instead of “California Government”, I took an entire year of US History. I made sure that my humanities electives all transferred. Twenty-eight years later, those classes helped fullfill my general education requirements for my BSN.
  • By taking transferable courses, you are building a foundation for any future educational plans. Plans that may seem impossible to you now.

Okay, one class at a time. It will take me forever.

  • No, it won’t. You know the old saying, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”? You just took your first step. (PS: I wonder if Lao-tsu was a nurse?)
  • Once you get a feel for how the class works for you and how you can incorporate it into your other responsibilities (family, work), you will be able to take two classes at once. Or three.
  • Yes, you can! (I can hear you.)

I actually went through nursing school part-time.

What?????

Yep, by completing every single non-nursing course prior to entering, when I did attend nursing school the number of required units made me a part-time student. This is why you get everything done prior to entering the nursing program. Nursing programs are not as flexible as taking general education.

So how do I pay for this?

  • Well, it isn’t very expensive to attend a community college, at least in California. This is why I suggest getting all general education requirements at the community college level.
  • Let me put this as diplomatically and as politically correct as I can: those who are of certain ethnic backgrounds or income levels are eligible for financial assistance through federal student loans or scholarships. If you fit into one of these categories – take advantage of it and apply.
  • On a personal note, I can vouch for the fact that there are few loans or scholarships available for caucasian females of Scottish/English/Irish/Italian descent who make a decent salary. Just in case you were wondering.
  • Start saving now.
    • It may take you a few years to get all the requirements and pre-requisites out of the way.
    • Since you are doing this part time, take advantage of this and put a bit of money away, however small, to help with expenses you will incur during nursing schoool, including child care and working part time.

But…I have to work! I’m responsible for paying the bills in my family, along with keeping the benefits because I’m single/divorced/widowed.

  • This is a tough one, but it can be done.
  • Because I was a teenager and lived at home during nursing school, I never had to do a balancing act between work and school. Now that I’m going back to school, my children are grown. But..
  • This blog is read by nursing students who are juggling the exact same responsibilities, so I will ask:

Future nursing colleagues! Please give suggestions/stories on how you coped or are coping with earning a living while in nursing school! If you have a blog that tackles this topic, please feel free to link to it in your comments so that other readers can use you as a resource!

******************************

In conclusion, you can make it through nursing school.

Start slowly and gain momentum as you gain confidence.

If you are called to be a nurse, there is nothing that can get in your way. It won’t be easy but it can be done. No matter how old you are or what you have to juggle to make it.

Take that first step.

You are desperately needed.

And very, very much wanted.

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37 Comments

  • intelinurse2b
    intelinurse2b

    October 30, 2006 at 1:59 pm

    What an awesome post! From a nursing student who is currently in the trenches, not one word of this is amiss.

    I may permanently link to this post for anyone thinking about pursuing nursing…


  • Alyson
    Alyson

    October 30, 2006 at 3:04 pm

    Great job Kim! Just one thing on the financial front, there are many hospitals that have an “adopt-a-nurse” program. They basically loan you money for tuition and books on the promise that you will work for that hospital for two years. If you fulfill your two years then the loan is forgiven. You do need to maintain a certain GPA, but it is a definate help and a guaranteed job.


  • laura
    laura

    October 30, 2006 at 5:21 pm

    i couldn’t have offered better advice.
    i intend to go back for the bsn soon as well and i am glad i took the transferrable courses.
    i’m waiting for my little man and i to get better settled into the world of short buses, iep’s and special ed….they say once a mico-preemie is school age one will know what their outcome and potential is. i wonder if that will hold true for this borderline kid who is “too good”. anyway, mama needs to learn to navigate this world first before i juggle motherhood, career and school again. i was so much younger and had only one kid when i started that wild ride.
    to the nursing students who ar juggling i say hang in there because you will do it and no one will be prouder of you when you receive that RN than those kids of yours. i still remember how my 1st born beamed and cheered the loudest an longest when i graduated.


  • d
    d

    October 30, 2006 at 5:22 pm

    Thank you for writing this! I think I’m going to start listening to my boyfriend when he tells me to go back to school and become a nurse!


  • Bardiac
    Bardiac

    October 30, 2006 at 6:24 pm

    Great advice!

    May I also suggest that folks talk to an advisor early and often, and make sure they know how to contact whatever tutoring and academic support are available at their school. Tutoring is for smart students. My smartest, best prepared students are often the ones who end up using tutors because they know having help will help them succeed even more.


  • Stephanie
    Stephanie

    October 30, 2006 at 7:04 pm

    Hey! What a great blog! I hope you don’t mind, but I put this on my blogroll list. I just started my BSN career last may. My hospital acutally pays for it, as long as I agree to work there for two more years after graduating. (Carondelet Tucson)
    I have my ADN, and am anxious to go onward…even to my MSN, which my hosp will also pay for..
    -stephanie


  • Kathleen Weaver
    Kathleen Weaver

    October 30, 2006 at 8:43 pm

    I third the advice on the courses — you never know.

    And by the way, it took me 12 years to get a Master’s but I finally did it.

    And I occasionally kick around the idea of becoming a CDE through the Nursing route — I’ve got the education part down (teaching for 14 years).


  • Carol
    Carol

    October 30, 2006 at 8:52 pm

    I have a friend who is 38. She’s worked in admissions at a special needs school for many years but since she was a teenager she has wanted to be a nurse. This fall she got accepted and is going after her dream. What a great post! All you potential nurses out there – the only thing stopping you is your own doubt!


  • S. R.
    S. R.

    October 31, 2006 at 12:14 am

    Nurse Kathy Martin – must have been in the day when all nurses got their accreditation thru hospital diplomas. That must be what’s being handed out.

    You make good points and I agree with them all. I was in the army so I got the GI Bill to put me thru nursing school. When the Bill ran out, I received the State University Grant. So, the four years of Army $$ put me through the five years it took me to complete college.


  • TC
    TC

    October 31, 2006 at 7:32 am

    In my part of the country(and I’m sure in many other places) the waiting list to get into a nursing program after you’re accepted is up to 2 years d/t the nursing teacher shortage. I was able to take all my prereq’s like you did so I only had to do my nursing classes when I got there-cause they’re hard enough without having to take A&P at the same time.

    And I went to nursing school @24 w/a toddler. We were pretty poor at the time, so I got some grants and scholarships, took out loans and cleaned houses to get support myself. If you want it bad enough you can do it!


  • Wendy, S.N.
    Wendy, S.N.

    October 31, 2006 at 7:54 am

    As a working mother who is also a part-time nursing student my word of advice is this:

    If you have to work during the day, seek out a part time program. My program has lectures at night, and clinicals on the weekend.

    Rely heavily on your support system. You will feel guilty every time you have to ask your friends/relatives to watch your kids. You will hate having to sacrifice so much time to school. But it is the only way you wil make it through.

    Cleaning staff, if you can afford it, are great. If not, get used to becomming blind to dust and clutter. Because there are just not enough hours in the day to get it all done.

    Know that in the end you are doing this for your whole family, not just yourself.

    W. :)


  • Jenn
    Jenn

    October 31, 2006 at 8:15 am

    On the how to pay for this: Check for state nursing scholarships. I had one that paid 100% of my tuition as long as I agreed to work in Maryland one year for every semester I had it. Sweet deal.


  • DisappearingJohn
    DisappearingJohn

    October 31, 2006 at 8:42 am

    I second the “part-time program” thing. Or, as my ADN program was called, and “alternative schedule program”. We went all day Friday, all day Saturday, and had computerized testing on Sunday afternoons. We didn’t get summer off, but we still finished the program in the same 21 months it takes a traditional ADN program; and I could still work full time, which I needed to do to support my family…


  • Julia
    Julia

    October 31, 2006 at 10:18 am

    Awesome insight ! Keep on keeping on. I ‘m applying for my BSN with added inspiration! THANKS!


  • Peggy
    Peggy

    October 31, 2006 at 11:14 am

    When I decided to seek my BSN, after 7 years as an LPN, one comment a friend made really stuck in my mind (and in my craw, as my grandfather would have said): “but you’ll be 30 when you graduate from college.” My answer: “I’ll be 30 no matter what I’m doing”.
    It’s never too late, you’re never too old. And I’ll join you in the student section, two 50-something students, because back then, working part-time/taking classes part-time, I was too busy to take advantage of Ohio State University games when I had the student discount. I’m not gonna miss out again.
    Another suggestion: check with your state nurses association for scholarship & loans — many of the American Nurses Association (ANA) Constituent Member Associations have education programs for members.


  • TuxBaby
    TuxBaby

    October 31, 2006 at 12:59 pm

    Not sure if what I did would help anyone reading, but I managed to work full-time while going to nursing school full-time. I took advantage of my other career field as a paramedic. I worked two 24-hr shifts on the weekends (pulled a “48″ for my full-time working) and then went to nursing school during the week days. It was not that bad. But back then, I didn’t have kids yet, either! I had no one to fend for but myself and my pets.

    Kudos to anyone tackling nursing school with some other job, or with children. It’s not easy! But it’s well worth it.

    ~TuxBaby


  • Dawn
    Dawn

    October 31, 2006 at 2:15 pm

    Kim, here’s what I’ve done while going to nursing school (7 weeks left!)

    The house doesn’t need to look Martha Stewart Perfect.

    There’s something to be said for Stouffer’s Mac & Cheese Family Sized frozen dinners. Hot dogs are an option.

    Laundry? What’s that?

    Get a decent printer, and plenty of paper. You’ll need it.

    Find a study buddy, even if they’re in Portland, Maine.

    Good luck Kim! You’ll do great!

    Dawn


  • Audrie Bethe
    Audrie Bethe

    October 31, 2006 at 2:18 pm

    First. There is ALWAYS a solution. I got my LPN as a divorced single mom. I had no money, no family support, no car and no job when I fled to a friend’s house to hide from soon to be ex-husband. I used 1 year of state ADC benefits and a scholorship plus PELL grants to pay for school.After that year, I said goodbye to my caseworker and her much valued help and got a FT night job as charge nurse in a 3 floor 84 bed nursing home.I slept when my son was in school. The Nuns who ran the nursing home allowed me to keep my son in a vacent room of the facility. LOL LOL. I was very afraid( it was my first job as a licensed person) but my staff of 5 CNAs, and a Catholic nun RN on call for any emergencies I could not handle. It helped that all during HS I worked as a nurse aide. 2 of the floors were self care so it wasn’t so bad. This was in the late 70s before NH pts acuity became too high for such staffing. During quiet times I studied for the day classes I was taking to earn my BSN. During this time I met and married a man with 2 kids. With their help in cooking, cleaning, shopping and other essential parts of running a home I was able to get a job in a level 2 NICU where I worked 4 -12 hour night shifts on Fri, Sat, and Sun. During the week I accelerated my class and clinical work and obtained my BSN in 2 years of very hard work in a satellite program for LPNs who wanted their BSNs. LOL LOL. Looking back at age around age 60, I shake my head and wonder why I did not keel over during this process. All in all it took 1 LPN school and a total of 3 college campuses to get that degree. My family were my best cheerleaders all that time. I always tell my family that they are co- owners of the degree. GO FOR IT!!


  • Tatiana, RN
    Tatiana, RN

    October 31, 2006 at 3:30 pm

    I did nursing school part time myself. On a Nights/weekends program.

    Also anyone who’s working full time my look into if thier employer offers 529 educational savings account. This is about like a 401k, but for educational expenses not retirement.


  • ChiaLing81
    ChiaLing81

    November 1, 2006 at 12:29 am

    An excellent, excellent post!

    I realize that direct-entry master’s degree programs are still somewhat of an anomaly and are controversial. However, if you know what you want to specialize in and can afford it, this can be a viable entry path to nursing for some.

    It’s not without its hurdles, but I honestly believe that going to nursing school was one of the BEST decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve learned more about myself in the last year than I ever thought I would have.

    Hooray for nursing! (And yes, I include ALL diploma, ADN, BSN, and direct-entry MSN RNs out there.)


  • Jennifer
    Jennifer

    November 1, 2006 at 10:40 am

    Kim, coming from an Aerospace Engineer who keeps thinking about a nursing degree, step away from Aerospace Engineering Grad School. :)


  • MandyHamm
    MandyHamm

    November 1, 2006 at 8:11 pm

    Ive got a really great riage blog from awhile ago…would that be appropriate for grand raounds, ’cause I’ll copy and paste it to this…let me know if that’s cool…and…how do do ti…computer illiterate I am…


  • SSFB
    SSFB

    November 2, 2006 at 6:08 am

    I am about to start a part time nursing program in January (I’m very excited). I will be working full time during the entire program and my words of advice are this:

    Go ahead and struggle through it now, because in time this will pass.

    There is some great advice posted above, take as many classes as you can before you start a nursing program (this is what I have done, allowing me to start a night and weekend nursing program) that will allow you to work full time & support yourself during the whole thing. I’m a little unique because I have a BS in biology already so I already work for a hosptial lab with good benefits. Many hospitals have arrangements with nursing schools that will pay for your FULL TUITION if you will agree to work there for a year or two after graduation. To my experience many nursing school advertise this, but ask around the different nursing schools in your area because it’s likely one of them will have this same concept. Also I know pennsylvania has a loan forgiveness for nurses who work in PA after graduating that will erase any student loans you need to take out along the way.


  • Audrie Bethe
    Audrie Bethe

    November 2, 2006 at 11:36 am

    Kim, your site is essential for aspiring nurses. I wish I could have had access to it during those long years of juggling, wife, nurse, mom, student, mechanic, and gardener hats. Nursing is the most hallowed profession of all. I believe that . ALL of us are nurses who care for sick people. “nurse: to cherish,foster, care for, tend to a sick person, assist the infirm, to inspire health.” In these definitions, that would include all of use who provide care from CNAs to MSNs, we are all nurses. I admire a sharp CNA as much as a multi degreed nurse. The best nurses all seem to agree that being a nurse from one’s heart to another person’s heart and soul can make the critical difference to a person teetering on the edge of the abyss. Kim, your work is critical. I have sent your link to all my friends in and out of the profession. God Bless.


  • Amy
    Amy

    November 2, 2006 at 7:19 pm

    HI Kim,
    I am in tears right now!!I needed this post so badly!
    I am 34 years old and just finished all my pre reqs(it took me two years)and am starting nursing school in January. I have been a little nervous about starting. Asking my self questions like ,what if it is too hard and I fail, or what if I cant find time to study with having to taking care of the kids, the house, and our business. You have just given me that little boost and reminded me that I have made it this far and nothing can stop me from finishing.
    Thanks Kim,
    Amy


  • Shannon
    Shannon

    November 3, 2006 at 4:27 pm

    I am a senior BSN student. Nursing is my second degree (the first was a BS in Biology and Chemistry) and my second career (the first was as an officer in the Marine Corps). I am fortunate to be able to go to school full time and not have to work. Due to a couple of deployments to war zones, I was able to pay for school and living expenses through my savings and some student loans. I thank God everyday for that! I have the utmost respect for anyone who goes to nursing school and works and/or raises a family at the same time. But there are many students and nurses out there who are living proof that it is all possible! In fact, one of my fellow students just gave birth to her 2nd child this week – she still came in and took an exam in our Psych nursing class – HARDCORE!

    As far as financing your schooling, there are always Stafford Loans (unless you make an obscene amount of money and then you wouldn’t need loans!). If you are a second degree student make sure you read the fine print about whether or not the loan or scholarship you are apply for allows for that, many do not. Also, a great resource is the many hospitals that offer tuition reimbursement for signing a contract with them, as well as many states offer money to nursing students who agree to work in the state afterwards.

    My last plug is for all you experienced nurses to go back to school and become faculty! Thousands of qualified students are turned away each year or put on wait lists because there are not enough faculty to teach them. Please write your Senator and ask them to support Senate Bill 3588 which provides additional funding to Schools of Nursing in order to increase faculty and student enrollment.


  • Mike Eldert
    Mike Eldert

    November 5, 2006 at 6:36 pm

    Kim, awesome post! I started my trip down RN Lane this past January. I am a 31 y/o male and nursing is my second career choice (used to be an Environmental Chemist) but have been and still am an EMT. I goto a full-time diploma/hospital system based program in Virginia. I started taking my pre-requesites online and going to A&P Labs in the evenings. This worked great while I worked on the ambulance as in my downtime between calls, my A&P brick (book) was in my lap while my partner was sleeping in the back. Anyways, I know work full-time (36hrs a week) as an Emergency Room Tech on the weekends and going to classes and clinicals during the week, daytime. My wife and family are my biggest cheerleaders to keep me going. Granted, I am going 7 days a week, I still have time to read, do my course work and still maintain a ‘B’ average. The downside…I am missing my 3, soon to be 4, year-old girl growing up during these 2 years.

    Like someone said earlier, “I don’t think I can do this!” YOU CAN! I said the same thing and now I am HALFWAY thru this…it’s all downhill from here! And trust me…I DO UNDERSTAND how difficult it is, full-time job, full-time school, mortgage, wife, almost 4 year-old and the two dogs.

    The wife knows I am coming home, sometime soon; my daughter misses me terribly and breaks my heart everytime I hear her say, “But Daddy, please don’t go!”; but the dogs always wake up with me and goto sleep with me. My advice…to quote Stephen Covey, “Keep the End In Mind!”…and remember who/what/why you are doing this each and everytime you think you can’t go on!

    Goddess Bless in your Journey!


  • [...] 2. I loved your post advising people how to become a nurse step-by-step. But before they take that first step, how do you think we could encourage people to consider nursing as a career? [...]


  • maggie
    maggie

    March 12, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    what is the oldest person that you know that started from “0″ to fulfill a dream of becoming a nurse. can it be done at at 54? or am i kidding myself?


  • killjoie
    killjoie

    April 15, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    Wow! Thanks for the inspiration! I’ve been freaking out more than a bit, but you’re helping to calm me down!

    I just picked out my gen eds last week, and am starting classes this fall. My goal is to get them out f the way before I start clinicals. I too will be working full time- or close to it (I’m a patient care assistant in a critical care unit) and going to school full time. I know the next few years are going to be extremely stressful, but I know that the payoff is going to be worth it.

    Thank you!


  • Nancy McNally
    Nancy McNally

    May 8, 2007 at 8:17 am

    Hello. This blog has been extremely helpful. I work full time in mental health field, for over 10 years now. All prerequisites are satisfied for my ADN. I am married with a newborn and a two and a half year old. How am I gonna do this? Are there specific loans for living expenses? My husband is concerned about the cut in pay if I cannot work, and my work will pay for me to attend school.. what can I do? I know I can do this but I am so stressed! Please help :)


  • gypsygrrl
    gypsygrrl

    June 30, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    kim,

    this post is AMAZING!!! i jumped here from Nurse Ratched’s Place – because she quoted something on the Nursing Cap Scale ;)

    anyway, this was awesome. in a little less than two months i will be starting the RN program at my local community college. it took me two years to complete my 5 pre-reqs (the other 6 transferred in from my BS in mental health) and it only took me two full years because i had the death of my dad in there, and dropped A&P I and restarted it.

    the biggest thing i think was just to keep GOING! i cannot believe i am going to be IN nursing school, when for the last 4 years i have been talking about it happening “in the future” and now…the future is HERE! i am so beyond excited to start.

    i am lucky, my hospital gives us $3K/yr if you work full time for school, and i havent paid one penny for my prereqs. they give $1500K for part-time emps. i am fortunate to live with my mom, so i am able to go down to part-time enough to get benefits and i am getting a nursing state scholarship (for twice what i was expecting!!!) and between that, and the money from work, and loans, i will have enough to pay my living expenses and be OK. its gonna be tight, but WOW. it is very doable.

    Nancy McNally: the federal stafford loans can be used to living expenses!!! i was concerned about this too – and i spoke with my financial aid person and she said it can be used to anything related to living expenses (including a computer which is a school expense). i intend to take out the maximum, and leave it in my savings account, as in *in case the car breaks down* fund since i own a 6yr old car and it has to last two more years! :)

    Good Luck to EVERYONE whatever stages you are in!!! we can do it!

    OH and Shannon, The Marine – i’d love to talk to you!!! email me at kissesandcompliments AT gmail DOT com, if you want. [i come from a military family and am a Marine at Heart ;) ]


  • nina brown
    nina brown

    August 25, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    as i look back at 50 years of dreaming of becoming a nurse, i now realize it’s too late.

    i started the pre-reqs years ago and now some have expired. i have a bachelors in another subject, but the accelerated programs require much money and support — i am a single mom with a teenager.

    so take it from me:
    if you are younger than 45 go for it NOW. the years go by fast and before you know it you could be in my shoes.

    live your dream NOW.
    don’t let it die as mine has.

    nina


  • shylajane
    shylajane

    February 7, 2008 at 5:23 am

    there is a call from those can heed
    fear and sorrows, echoe everywhere
    a gentle hand is what they need…
    who can say…and take the heed

    grant us strenght oh God to do our task with humanity
    make us worthy of ur trust as we serve humanity

    with Youre compassion, we give care
    our emphatic heart we share…
    with Your mighty guiding hand…
    we’re impart to do Your command…with love, with joy, we share…

    as we reach out for the needy hearts and care for the weak and needy souls, we may share and feel Your love, brightly reflected in ouR heart…

    …i just want to share our batch song…im still studying…a junior nursing student…dreaming to be a nurse!


  • Kate Cross
    Kate Cross

    April 8, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    So I returned to community college after finishing my bachelor degree in business and thought I could take 3 classes at the same time and work part time. If you can aviod taking more than one class to start out do it. Granted I finished my bachelor degree in business while working two jobs and didn’t have too much of a struggle but when I entered community college taking chemistry 130 anatomy 201 and nutrition it is just too much memorization to take in one semester while trying to work. These classes are whole different animal. I assumed a bachelor degree would be way more difficult than community college, I didn’t really think that through the difference in studies before I jumped in. Hope to save you the strife because I am thinking I will have to re-take anatomy next semester to keep my gpa up;(


  • Babs in Ohio
    Babs in Ohio

    April 30, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Kudos-Excellent information-it may take 10 years-but the 10 years will pass whether you go for your dream or not!
    I am a 44 year RN (Diploma Program)-Worked 34 years fulltime-and loved it-Nursing is what I was put on this earth to do, DON’T become a nurse for any reason except that you feel you “must” be a nurse.
    I retired 10 years ago-stayed home 18 months-KNEW I wasn’t done-went back to work in a small community hospital-and may never retire again.
    There are grants, scholarships, loans and hospital support programs out there-as the writer said-one step at a time.
    Nursing is the hardest job you’ll ever love.
    As someone said “Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”-That is what my career has meant to me
    Blessings
    Babs in Ohio


  • future neonatal nurse
    future neonatal nurse

    February 6, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    I’ve been struggling trying to get through college I just got a job at wal-mart taking this semester off,going to save up & I’ll take your advice taking one or two classes at a time. I wanted to go for lvn theb bridge over from lvn-rn but i think i have what it takes to go for my associates . I’m 22 23 this yr. & It’s a ways before I finish but as long as I get there! RIGHT? Thanks


About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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