Circa 2002: I was a nurse anesthesia student as a mom with two young daughters.
Pre-planned two years in advance of matriculating with financial management, taking graduate prerequisite courses and ensuring proper day care and after school programs. And, a lot of prayer too. So, what should you do with young children before enrolling in a nurse anesthesia program?
First, have a family meeting with your spouse or partner. Your household income will change significantly from two to one that will affect your lifestyle as you know it. Most definitely, improve your credit score in the event if you have to apply for a loan each semester. And, save money, live frugal and pay down considerable debt too.
Second, agree amongst yourselves, not to plan expensive family trips and not purchase an expensive car with a hefty note. Next, if you are accepted into a graduate nurse anesthesia program and start 6 to 9 months from now, check with your institution to see if you can take a Statistics, Advanced Pathophysiology or prerequisite course before matriculating. If so, this will help alleviate your non-anesthesia course work in the first and other second semester.
Consider renewing your RN license and or apply for license that you are enrolling into months in advance of starting the program with ACLS, BLS, PALS while you are still working and can pay for it.
Another consideration for school aged children, purchase school supplies and winter coats at the break of Spring (noticeably discounted) for the following year. By doing so months in advance, you will not have to rely on these purchases with your budget as a nurse anesthesia student. Also, with smaller children, make sure you have adequate child care and back up for emergency pick ups and for babysitting purposes when you study on the weekends as a nurse anesthesia student. And, yes…mother guilt and daddy guilt will be there always. So, know how to deal with it as a graduate student.
If you have older children involved in sports, bring your study material and when your child has the ball or running their butt off, scream aloud… “Go, baby, go”. You are physically present but developing a study regimen that is insane. But, remember…it’s all for your child(ren) anyway.
Also, while still working as a registered nurse, purchase items in bulk at Coscovs, BJs or Walmart. Again, toiletry items, household products can be expensive when you are not working.
Lastly, read to your children or have them read their books at the dining room table. Know to manage your time wisely after you get your kids settled in for the night and study at a quiet room (limit social media and favorite tv programming). And, wake up early to study before going to school too. It’s all about sacrifice, being BROKE all the time…but so worth it!
Whew! I hope this helped you!
Wallena Gould, EdD, CRNA, FAAN