Here is an inspiring guest story submitted to us by Sharon, from Minnesota:
My entrance to nursing school was a rough one. My husband and I were going through some tough marital times and we also had severe financial difficulties. We had two little girls who were the joys of our lives (Jenna, at age 5 and Stephanie, at age 7) but they were also putting a strain on our finances. I was working two jobs as a pharmacy clerk and a night job at the local fast food restaurant. The money was barely enough for us to feed our family, pay our rent and save a little bit for a rainy day, let alone achieve any of our hopes and dreams of one day owning our own home. I thought to myself, “there must be something better out there for me and my family.”
After another late night argument about our finances, my husband was laid off as an electrician the next day and had trouble finding work. I knew that my daughters depended on us as providers, and I felt like a failure not being able to provide for them. We decided to have my husband become a stay at home dad while I pursued something that some of my friends were talking about: 100% online schools for nursing. It felt like my particular program was made exactly for me -they had flexible class times, I could learn at my own pace and it gave me enough time to see my daughters each day at home and hear about their school day.
I quit my night job and started to get into the material and felt instantly happier – I felt like I was getting somewhere! The school advisers were incredibly helpful and I even got to meet up some of my “classmates” at a nearby coffee shop once we found out that we were all nursing students living nearby. I no longer felt like I was running in a hamster wheel, but actually making progress toward a fulfilling career. Upon my third year, I found an externship nearby that allowed me to put some of my skills and curriculum learned online – they hired me right after I graduated! I am now working as a nursing assistant in a hospital near my house and not only is the money finally right, but I can go forward in my career and take it anywhere I want to.
Although it was extremely difficult to balance raising two kids, working a day job and earning a degree at night, I found that the end rewards were worth all of my hard work, persistence and stress. I made the big leap and never looked back.