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Single parent starting nursing course in september, any tips on how to get organised please...

(19 Posts)
witchy5 Fri 28-Mar-14 08:42:31

Very excited, I have just found out that I now have a place to start studying nursing in September, my dream! Incredibly daunting though as I will have have to relocate with my five children, all school age now, probably over the summer holidays to try and make it easier on them.
I would love to hear about others in this situation, how they coped, worst and best parts, really anything to keep me from freaking out over the big change ahead, I am under no illusion it's going to be very hard but it's something I really want.
Thank you. smile

witchy5 Fri 28-Mar-14 12:30:32


TheOriginalNutcracker Fri 28-Mar-14 12:32:32

Congratulations smile

I'd say your biggest concern is sorting out childcare for your shifts. How old are your children ? Will you have any family help ?

Sidge Fri 28-Mar-14 12:32:46


Have you got something organised for childcare?

LadyMaryLikesCake Fri 28-Mar-14 12:36:37

I did 2 years of a nursing course. It's doable but only if you have very good, reliable childcare. You'll be expected to work evenings and nights. The course was a doddle compared to this (and I only have one child!). Are your term dates the same as the school terms? If not you'll need childcare for the holidays too.

Make sure you've filled in your bursary form too as they can get delayed.

If you're cooking then make some extra and freeze it. When you get home you won't always want to cook so it's easier.

Register with Unison. If you ever find yourself in a pickle and your oven stops working/beds break/whatever they have a fund so can help.

I left for health reasons so nothing to do with the course (but the shifts and having a small child didn't help).

Good luck! smile

witchy5 Fri 28-Mar-14 12:38:12

Thank you. I have 13, 11, 10, 6 and 4 year olds, and will have little support, it's going to be hard but I'm so determined it will work. Just needed a mumsnet boost smile

LadyMaryLikesCake Fri 28-Mar-14 12:40:04

You can do it but you really, really need to sort your childcare out. Who's going to look after your children when you're on placement and working until 9:30pm? The early shifts start at 07:30am so you also need someone to take them to school.

witchy5 Fri 28-Mar-14 12:48:50

Thank you, this is what I needed to hear to help me get organised now, really helpful. The course dates run along side the childrens' holidays so that bit is easy, it'll be the placement care that I really need to sort out. The college days are from 9.30am to 3pm during the week, so again doable smile

Indith Fri 28-Mar-14 12:53:37

Congratulations smile

As others said, it is the childcare that is the main thing. I'm not a single parent so mine go to a childminder but dh picks up etc.

You will be doing long shifts. I leave the house at 6.20am and get home at 9.30pm for shifts. I'll be on ICU in a couple of months and the shifts are even longer.

Even when in uni days are often 9-5 but you need to consider how long it takes to get there and back.

Then there are night shifts.

And children get ill. Missing uni sessions can set you back massively trying to catch up on work. Clinical hours missed HAVE to be done and while it is normal for most people to have some to catch up on by the end of the course it is best to keep them to a minimum where you can so some sort of emergency child care is useful. My mum is a couple of hours drive away from me but she actually has a bag she keeps packed so she can come up at the drop of a hat. She is fabulous.

And yeah, holidays. I've just had a couple of weeks off while the dcs were at school. I don't have Easter off. Or half term. Or any of July. Or October half term........

But you can do it, just make sure you have everything in place and are organised. Half my cohort has children, some of them are single parents, they manage with support smile

Sidge Fri 28-Mar-14 12:54:29

Then you will need a lot of rock solid childcare - you need to factor in shifts, placements (not all will be at your local hospital so travelling time needs factoring in) as well as study and seminar time.

Even though university term times may be the same as your children's school terms you will not be "off" in the school holidays. And don't forget study time.

LadyMaryLikesCake Fri 28-Mar-14 12:56:37

My uni would only allow students to take 15 days off sick. Any more than this then we'd have to make time up, so it can be tough if you have 4 children.

witchy5 Fri 28-Mar-14 13:19:31

Again thank you, good to have all these factors thrown in as I really need to be prepared.

witchy5 Fri 28-Mar-14 17:01:20

Is there anything else I have to think about, be aware of?

sandiy Fri 28-Mar-14 17:39:17

You will need a study area and decent storage for your notes etc, a laptop of some description is also helpful for the essays you will need to write.As a previous poster said,your shifts may not be in local hospital,Infact depending on your area can be a considerable distance.Night shifts are horrible when you have children You need to do a certain number as part of the process Try to organise them when the children are with dad.Long days are a killer try to avoid doing three in a row.lots of nurses are lone parents so your colleagues will be coping with lots of the same issues so don't expect to much leniency for being lone mum.Take advantage of any offers of help.I trained donkeys years ago but did Scphn last year as a lone parent it was very very tough.You are wise to be preparing early.
Best of lucky

witchy5 Fri 28-Mar-14 17:46:37

Thank you smile I just want to go in as organised as possible, easier said than done I realise but will give it my best shot!

1944girl Fri 28-Mar-14 18:05:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Monetbyhimself Fri 28-Mar-14 18:44:57

Congratulations smile

I'd second having a dedicated child free study desk or corner.

Divinity Fri 28-Mar-14 18:56:11

The Palgrave Student Planner is very useful for keeping on top of deadlines and also where your lectures are.

Have a file with lots of poly pockets for each module.

Try to get as much done during the day as by the time the DCs are settled in bed you'll be really tired.

witchy5 Fri 28-Mar-14 19:00:01

Thank you all, will definitely look into the student planner Divinity, keeping note of all the things I need to consider to make life a bit easier when the time comes.

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