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‘I have young children and am starting nursing this September – any advice?'


Can you advise this student nurse?

“I was actually going to wait another year before starting my training as I have small children and wanted to wait until they are all in school, but a friend advised me to start this year so I can still get the bursary.

“It’s been a hectic couple of months with applying, going to interviews, sorting out funding and childcare but I am thrilled to say I will be starting my course this September!

“Now the reality has hit, I suddenly feel incredibly unprepared!

“Does anyone have anything they wish they’d done to prepare? Or anything they’re glad they did?

“I’d particularly love to hear from any parents. I’m lucky to have a supportive partner but he’s at work too and childcare is my main concern. But I’m not the first parent to study nursing, does anyone have any tips on juggling my role as a Mum and as a student nurse?”

- Tracy, Manchester


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Readers' comments (5)

  • Congratulations on getting on to a nursing degree! I don't blame you for panicking. It is not easy to do nursing courses, but with young children, there are extra worries to consider. On placements, you will be providing care on a 24 hour basis. That means nights, weekends, exhausting long days. Even if they are at school/nursery, it means arranging someone to pick them up & stay till you get back. Placements may also be planned for term time holidays, which makes for interesting planning, there may also be times when your shifts will change at short notice. Make sure then that you have as strong a support network as possible, whether that means partner/family/friends/neighbours you trust or paying a registered childminder. Be aware that with the bursary, you can get an entitlement to childcare provision but it's unlikely to cover the actual extortionate cost. The childcare will also need to be registered & I have been unable to find adequate provision for the hours I do, therefore I rely on a good support network. It makes life interesting! Good luck, the country needs nurses & mothers have the ability to bring so much if the system allows for it.

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  • I do admire your courage and congratulation on your acceptance to the course. I am a mother of one with zero support from her dad. No familly support eaither! However I do have a friend to help me out at times. Now, at the end of 2nd yr! If I can do it, anyone CAN! Good luck girl and keep strong.

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  • Hi, congratulations and welcome to the mad world of students!! I am just about to start my 3rd year and it has been really time consuming. I have 6 children and although 3 of them are in their 20's they all still live at home. My 3 youngest boys were 6, 4 and 2 when i started. I have suffered terrible anxiety, trying to be perfect for everyone, guilty for training when i had more children, however, i would've been out working anyway. Do your study out of the house, I struggled thru the last 2 years trying to study at home and i have finally realised that its making my life so much more difficult. I luckily have a very good support network, although have to put up with constant criticism about starting to study with young children from my husband!! think he's just cross because he has had to step up. tough x You will be fine, it is hard work and you will be tired mentally and physically but just make sure you are extra organised with child care, be honest with your placements of the hours which would be better for you, but obviously put in to them in a diplomatic way. I managed to do a mix of nights, long and short days including weekends but planned school sports days, plays etc off. Good luck hun and try and enjoy xx

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  • You are not alone worrying about this. I start studying in sept. I have two boys (6 & 4)that live with me half the week. My girlfriend has two year old and just to top it off we have recently found out that we are expecting anouther child =-o
    The thing I am finding most concerning is that the university won't provide any timetable or even an idea of when I will be on placement.

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  • Hi, well done you! I start in January and I have a 17 month old and a 4 year old. I'm off with them now until Jan and I'm loving it, it's going to be hard in January but I have wanted to become a children's nurse for so long, it's a real passion for me and something that I have to do. I know my 4 year old has an appreciation for how much I love caring for people and I hope that I can demonstrate only positive attitudes and beliefs to my children through doing this. It is going to be tough for us but I have absolutely no doubt that in two years time I will look back and completely believe that it was well worth it. We can definately do this!!!!!! Sending much love and positive, encouraging thoughts, take care.

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