just looking for some advice on becoming a nurse. I am 26, married, with 2 young children (5 and 6 mo.), and I have a fairly decent-paying job working in a factory ($32k/yr). However, I only started working at this factory in the first place as a temporary source of income until I figured out what I wanted to do. That was almost 6 years ago. During that time, I got married, and my wife and I had 2 kids. As much as I wanted to go back to school, it just didn’t seem possible, at least not for what I wanted to do (I really wanted to be a music educator, music is a big part of my life). Over the last few years, this has become really depressing for me. I am intelligent, and I care about my family, so when I work hard at a job that requires very little thought to bring home a paycheck that barely pays the bills, it kills me when my daughter or wife gets upset because I can’t afford to buy my family things that they want, or even sometimes things that they need. I have finally let go of the music education dream (for now!) because I feel that it’s really holding me back from doing something great with my life, and something great for my family. I haven’t given up on school, I’ve just decided on a different career track. I would like to go into the nursing field.
My family is full of nurses. My uncle is a charge nurse in the ER at a major metropolitan children’s hospital. Another uncle is a retired Director of Nursing, and his son is nurse in the ER at another big hospital. Even my step-grandmother is in nursing… she’s the nurse administrator at a nursing home. They all tell me that they worked full time while going through nursing school, and that I can do it too… the only difference, though, is that they were not the breadwinners of 4-person families while they were in school. I have been told to get a job in a hospital or nursing home as a CNA before I attempt nursing school, or at least while I’m in nursing school. I am deathly terrified of quitting my current factory job. I put in a lot of work to get hired there as a full time employee, and even with my decent pay of $17.50/hr, we barely scrape by. From what I understand, CNAs make about $10/hr, at best… that’s not possible for me. Plus, my schedule at work is M-F, sometimes Saturdays, unyielding hours. It’s shift work. I have to be there for my shift, exceptions only being for vacation or sick days, or temporary layoff. I know that there has to be a way… but how? I’m tearing my hair out.. I can’t be stuck at that factory forever, but I can’t put my family in the poorhouse, either! What can I do?
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