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NURSING DEGREE AND FAMILY BALANCE - HELP!

(16 Posts)
Mc91 Wed 21-Mar-18 15:34:04

I am 27 yrs old and I am seriously considering to apply for a nursing course starting in September 2019. It is something I have always wanted to do and always postponed for a reason or another – finished school I started working.

I am at a stage in my (young) life where I am sick of not following my dreams and aspirations. I am working fulltime in a job that doesn’t fulfil me whatsoever, I have a full time working husband, a 3yr old and im now pregnant with our second – due august 2018.

When the course starts in 2019 the youngest will be 1 and our eldest daughter will start school, I am just looking for opinions and suggestions of people that have been in this same situation.

How hard is it to juggle between lectures and family? What sort of financial help could I count on from the government/university? Are nursery fees partially covered?
I know that a nursing course is different from any other courses and requires a lot of hours between placements and studies, and as much as I want to do this and I have my husbands support I need to balance up if its worth doing it next year or waiting a little longer at least till both kids are in school?

Any experiences/views shared would be greatly appreciated as I have no clue what it will be like to have a family and doing a demanding course!

OP’s posts: |
MammaH2018 Wed 21-Mar-18 15:43:39

I started the nursing degree course a few years ago and completed the first year, I had to leave uni at that stage as I simply couldn’t afford to stay any longer. I was working weekends/evenings as much as I could fit around placement and was getting the nhs bursary but it’s not anywhere near enough to live on.

I didn’t have children and my living situation was different to you (I was in uni halls) but I know how financially difficult it was as a single person so I have no idea how you would juggle it with kids.

I would approach the university’s that you are considering applying to - get information on financial assistance, childcare etc

Do your maths - can you realistically survive on your husbands income for the next 3 years? Bearing in mind that your going to have very little time off as you will be on placements - how will this fit it with your family life?

Good luck x

MrsJoshDun Wed 21-Mar-18 15:51:10

Well afaik there’s no financial help. When I trained there was a bursary but that’s gone now. So it’s 9k a year tuition fees which you don’t have to pay upfront. I couldn’t claim for stuff like childcare tax credits because as a student I wasn’t classed as working. So had to pay for all childcare myself. Remember you’ll have to pay for childcare for 5x mornings and 5x afternoons even if you never use full time childcare because you need to save the place full time and you won’t get set days for placements, will be different every week.

When I did it I found it was like working a full time job while doing a degree. So I’d work approx 30 hours a week either on placement or in lectures and then have assignments, etc to write. So would spend evenings/days off/weekends doing academic stuff.

But I did it with a child at primary school and managed it. Dh worked full time. Remember you will work weekends and nights.

Thirtyrock39 Wed 21-Mar-18 15:57:22

I was going to apply but just could not afford it now the bursary has stopped. You'd come out with about £50,000 of debt including the loan for your fees and I just couldn't justify that
Also shifts are a mare childcare wise- 7am starts - no childminders I know would be happy me dropping off at 630 to start a 7am shift
I don't see how people with kids do nursing degrees unless they have on tap family childcare available

traumwerk Wed 21-Mar-18 15:59:13

I did my first degree and my PGCE as a single parent with one child, and I am now (several years later) doing a masters as a single parent of three children! It's hard but you find a way to cope. The financial side of thing can be tough, but you don't have to pay council tax, and you can get a student loan. There are grants out there if you meet certain criteria!

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Wed 21-Mar-18 16:04:28

I'm doing a nursing degree with 2 kids and no family help.

You won't get a bursary but you will get a loan. I wouldn't stress too much about the loan, the repayments on a nurse's starting salary are tiny - something like £20 I believe. Obviously huge amounts of debt is scary, but it's worth it if its a career you really want to follow imo.

I don't get financial help with childcare but that's because dh's wage is too high. Other parents on my course get quite substantial help.

I absolutely love it. It's not easy but totally worth it. And about 2/3s of my cohort have kids, many have babies. They make it work.

Thirtyrock39 Wed 21-Mar-18 16:04:48

Nursing is particularly hard though in terms of shifts and hours - I'd say much more intense than a typical degree or pgce you get zilch holidays, full time shifts with coursework on top .

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Wed 21-Mar-18 16:06:35

I actually do get holidays. Xmas and Easter off and summer is our consolidation period where we catch up on missed hours etc. So if you're up to date and you pass everything first time, you get the summer off.

RhubarbYoghurt Wed 21-Mar-18 16:19:27

I'm a 2nd Year student nurse. I'm loving my course. My lecturers are kind. They understand when I'm struggling and keep geeing me along.

I have 2 kids and my husband works for the nhs. Childcare is costly. We only have each other. No other family.

I'm constantly exhausted but I think it's worth it.

We are going on holiday and I'm taking textbooks with me. This is the downside to Nursing studies. In order to do this degree you need to do large amounts of reading and I find myself reading in the wee hours.

In a year I will be qualified. This fills me with excitement and anxiety grin

Mc91 Wed 21-Mar-18 17:04:07

Thanks Everyone for your replies!

The idea of having to get the loan doesn't stress me too much really, its mainly not being able to manage my family life and uni requirements!

We dont get help from family, so we rely a lot on nursery, my husband has a flexible job so that might make things easier?

what is the household income threshold for mantainance loan and nursery help?

I really want to do this!!! wasnt expecting such a mixture of opinions!!

smile

OP’s posts: |
ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Wed 21-Mar-18 18:24:33

If your husband works flexibly or if he works office hours you'll be fine. It's couples who both work shifts who struggle, because when you're both doing 12 hour days you can't get childcare!

MrsJoshDun Wed 21-Mar-18 18:40:40

Unless things have changed you won’t get any financial nursery help no matter what your dh earns because you will be classed as not working so will be expected to be looking after the kids yourself. They do not take the fact you’ll be working unpaid for the nhs and can’t look after the kids. As far as tax credits are concerned you’re either working and paying tax or you’re not working and are at home.

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Wed 21-Mar-18 19:08:53

You will get a loan to covet your living expenses. Students on my course definitely get help with childcare costs and the reason I didn't is because of dh's income, so it's a reasonable question for the op to ask.

Bearberry Wed 21-Mar-18 19:26:59

I’ll be honest, it’s intense. The main issue is juggling placement hours and uni assignments and childcare, so you’ll need some support or some very good childcare (early starts, evenings, nights, weekends etc). I managed it with a young child (had her during the degree) but my parents live locally and were able to help with childcare and as my DH job isn’t flexible I would have been screwed otherwise. I got a bursary to train (in Wales) and a maintenance loan but money was really tight still, my bursary worked out at £400 a month and my loan at around £3k a year. If you can work bank shifts as a HCA you can top yourself up, but of course that’s more child care and time away from your family. You won’t receive any other financial support through uni if your partner earns over £14k I believe it is (it could even be £16k either way it’s a really low threshold sadly) although you might be able to get some help via tax credits.

It is doable, but the hours are long and you’ll be juggling assignments too. You’ll certainly have to make sacrifices over the 3 years, so it’s worth weighing up how much you want to qualify and what you’re willing to give for it! I know that probably all sounds negative but it’s a hard track to tread with young kids and it’s worth having the information to make an informed decision.

Dancingmonkey87 Wed 21-Mar-18 19:33:31

I did the course when had a bursary and the fees were funded with no dc and it was incredibly hard couldn’t think of doing it with two dc and no bursary.

teenmumandsowhat Tue 27-Mar-18 15:13:29

I have 2 young children, my youngest starts reception in September and I’ve applied to do my nursing degree either this September or February 2019, depending on the University. I had one interview yesterday and I’ve got my one for the other uni in the Easter holidays.

My advice do an access course first at your local college, im currently on an access to nursing course. And it’s only 2 days a week and a 1yr course, but it does help prepare you for uni by leaning how to write academically etc.

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