Single Parent Student Nurse

(14 Posts)
delday1 Sat 06-Sep-08 14:10:18

Hi, i'm a single mum of a nearly 11 year old child. I'm looking into doing a nursing diploma. Does anyone have any experience of this? I have family that can help out from time to time with childcare but i need to get an idea of what shift patterns i will be expected to follow in my practical months. I also have no idea of how much money i will be able to get in bursaries etc or if there are any other financial resourses i can claim? Any advice or experiences would be greatly appreciated. I am wanting to go into Mental Health nursing.

Ta x

3andnomore Sat 06-Sep-08 14:20:31

not really know that much about it....as I did my training in Germany, many years ago....but I think Studentnurses, when on placement, are expected to work all shifts...not sure if any allowences would be made.
If you do the Diploma, there is better financial help for you, so, that should be good
Why don't you ask this question on the Student Parents board...there are plenty of Nursing students about
Good luck!

Hi, I'm a single mum starting the nursing diploma in Jan so can't help properly but can tell you what I know up to now.
Moneywise this site will give you an idea of how much you can get in bursaries. There is a childcare allowance which will pay about the same as tax credits will for childcare (slighty more I think) and is income assessed. You will still be entitled to child tax credits and council tax is not payable for students.
As for shift patterns etc, this may vary on which Uni you go to but i have been told the year is 44 weeks, 22 wks lectures and 22 wks placements, they are split up so its one block of lectures one placement etc. The placements are for 40 hrs over 5 days and I may need to work a max of 1 wkend in 4 and 3 nights in 6 wks.
HTH

retiredgoth Sat 06-Sep-08 14:43:48

...shift patterns will be negotiable with the clinical area. It would be a rare and harsh manager that would begrudge you flexibility. If you show enthusiasm you will be given almost limitless flexibility as a student, you are not included in staff numbers so it makes little difference (certainly in my department) when you are there.

...as for cash, I think it is reasonably well rewarded, but DO NOT allow yourself to be talked into the degree course. You will be told that this smooths your career path. I was told this in 1990, too. Mercifully I ignored the advice and have never yet been asked for this useless qualification, nor does it make any difference when new staff are appointed.

...in addition, you will find that taking the PT training of 5 years will cause almost as much disruption to your personal life as the normal 3 year course, so why extend it....

Just my experience and opinion, hope it is of aid....

tiredemma Sat 06-Sep-08 14:54:33

I am a student nurse and can echo what retiredgoth said. I have been fortunate to work on teams that have given me a great degree of flexibility with regards to my clinical hours, however on each occasion it has been stressed that its because im an 'enthusiastic student' who is 'willing to learn'

I dont think that I would have been treated the same if I turned up on shift everyday and spent the most of my time clock watching.

Im doing a degree so cannot answer any bursary questions (apart from I get bugger all!!)

However, I am doing mental health so would gladly answer any q's you may have in relation to studying this branch of nursing.

retiredgoth Sat 06-Sep-08 16:50:40

....another reason to avoid degree courses. No bursaries, just loans. Frankly, it's a con.

3andnomore Sun 07-Sep-08 08:40:01

I suppose a degree makes sense if you want to go into management....

delday1 Sun 07-Sep-08 17:00:34

I think the biggest worry for me is the financial side of things, i currently work full time and have a mortgage, but i'm sure the end will justify a few years of relative hardship.

Another thing concerning me is that somebody told me that people who had experienced mental health problems themselves should not go into mental health nursing. In my mind i would have thought that people who had experienced these things first hand would have more emphathy with patients? I have had a few months of severe anxiety over the last few years caused by 2-3 stressful situations happening at the same time, i have recieved counselling and CBT for this and am well at present and feel confident if it happens again how i should deal with it. Does anyone have any advice on this, would be much appreciated.

clairelin Thu 15-Jan-09 19:13:52

HI, I am hoping to start my nursing diploma in September but am really concerned as I am on my own with a 4 year old and have no family near to help. Has anyone had similar concerns and how did things work out

zoe99 Thu 15-Jan-09 22:37:08

Hi, I am a qualified nurse and experienced mentor for student nurses. Firstly all students are supernumery throughout their whole training so you cannot be counted 'in the numbers'. Secondly you only have to work 2 shifts per week with your mentor, the other can be with your buddy who acts as your mentor in your mentors abscence. The shifts I work are early 7:30-15:00hrs, late 13:00-20:30hrs and a night is 20:00 till 08:00. There is a student on my ward who is worried about Octobers half term with childcare, I have suggested either do an extra shift the week before and after and to work that weekend then she only has to find childcare for day day in the week. What I am trying to say is that always let your mentors know about your concerns and then they can be resolved. There is nothing written in the NHS about working every other weekend but it seems to be habit as we do that anyway. I personally do not make my students work nights unless I feel that they would really benefit from it or they want to do it.
As for completing a degree, if the NMC gets their way and England goes all degree in 2010 then those without degrees will get left behind. I am now doing my degree in health and social care only have to do 2 modules. Personally I see more jobs being advertised wanting degrees, I think we will go back into 2 tier nursing, like before we had the enrolled nurse/ registered nurse it will be degree/diploma.

twinklytoes Thu 15-Jan-09 23:04:07

claire - i'm the same as zoe and am very flexible towards my students, but at same time would want them to experience the full 24/7 work pattern - especially in their final year.

to make life easier for you i would:
1) contact the uni you are using and check how placements occur - i trained in blocks in college, then blocks in placement but my students do both in the same week all year. this will make planning childcare easier.

2) guess your dc will be starting school in sept? i would find a school friend or after school cm or after school club that you can use. you are going to need cover from 7am in the morning if on earlies and cover after 3 to allow for you to get home.. late shifts are going to incur evening cover - this will be hard to come by if relying on paid care.

3) lectures will not always be between the hours of 9-3 - I know our local course will have lectures between 5 and 6.

4) you need to see whether you can build up placement hours in school term weeks so you can be at home during school hols.

5)you also need to consider whether you need childcare so that you can study.

6) whatever happens, good luck smile

fledtoscotland Sat 24-Jan-09 22:11:08

i echo all everyone else has said about placements and showing enthusiasm. keen students are worth their weight in gold and nurses tend to warm to them.

re the degree, i got my bursery through all 3 yrs (did the degree option in yr 3) so am not sure they the others didnt get funding. I have found the degree useful as when applying for jobs the criteria has been "study at degree level or working towards it".

good luck and enjoy!

just wanting some info really as i was looking in to this, with regards to help towards childcare costs, i get no help from working tax credits, would this be the same for the childcare allowance as i will have a 1yr old and 3.5 yr old when i want to start. if i get no help i cant do it!

saggyhairyarse Wed 04-Feb-09 22:41:10

Really interested in this thread as I am in a similar quandry.

When I was 19 I did 2 years of the Project 200o training but left the course as I had personal issues and a car accident that meant I could not attend a placement which put me behind my original cohort.

I have regretted leaving ever since and think that when I return to work (SAHM) it would be the best time to retrain. However my DH is self-employed and I could not rely on him to help with the children but have no family to call upon.

I am thinking that although the course is only 3 years long, it will be a long 3 years if it is a logistical nightmare and I don't want to start something i'm not going to finish.

Ho hum, decisions, decisions....

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