Is nursing school a good idea if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant?
This is a great question that pops up a lot of times. The fact of the matter is that yes, there are a lot of wonderful nursing students (and current RN nurses) who were pregnant during nursing school.
However, I don’t want to paint a picture of roses and butterflies. There may be a few challenges and things you need to consider, so in this article I’ll try to address some of those issues.
Here is a question we received:
I’m in my first semester of nursing school, and I just found out I’m pregnant. I’m not sure what to do. Is it realistic that I can continue in nursing school with a newborn? I’m really frustrated right now because I want to be a mother, and yet I also want to be a nurse.
Nursing School While Pregnant
Thanks for your question Jessie.
Nursing school is absolutely possible if you are pregnant or hope to become pregnant. I had a friend with a couple of children while in nursing school, and mid-way through, she had her third child. She now currently works as an RN manager at a local hospital, and her family is doing fine.
In addition, my husband always likes to joke that he went through the nursing program too, because his mother (a retired LPN) was pregnant with him during her program.
So yes, if you are pregnant or if you are reading this and think you may become pregnant, just relax and take a deep breath. You can still do nursing school. However, you will have to consider that you will have a few challenges to overcome that the average nursing student will not have.
Here are a few challenged you can expect to face:
1. Costs. Having babies does cost money–both directly and indirectly. My friend, though she had insurance, did have to pay a good chunk of change to the hospital. So you should take steps to make sure you will have the funds for both nursing school and the birth of your child. Also, you’ll have to consider that you’ll need to care for a newborn almost around the clock. So it will be very difficult for you to work outside of the home when the baby first arrives.
It helps tremendously to have a good support system in place during a time like this (working husband, supportive family and friends, a local church, etc.).
2. Nursing School Curriculum. My friend was lucky in the fact that she had her baby right before the end of the semester. She had to schedule to take the final a bit early with her professor (who was very nice about it), and she gave birth and had the entire break to enjoy her new baby. If a baby is born mid-semester, this could create some issues. Especially since we now know how important it is to breast feed new infants and bond with them when they are first born.
Therefore, you should expect to have to work with your professors and find out what can be done to help you with the birth of your child. I assure you that you probably aren’t the first woman to give birth during nursing school.
Plan to talk with an adviser to see how having a baby may affect your nursing school program. Also, I’d talk with all of the professors you will have in the semester in which your baby is due.
3. Don’t Be Upset If You Have to Fall Back a Semester. Nursing school pregnancies happen all the time. In some cases, it won’t throw off your nursing school program at all. In some cases, you may fall back a semester or so. Don’t worry. You’ll have your whole life ahead of you. Stay positive, work hard, and things will work out.
As I said before, my friend wasn’t phased by having a child. We still graduated at the same time, and now she is a manager. In other words, having a baby, while maybe a bit more challenging at times, didn’t impact her career one iota. She did sometimes have to get help with daycare, but she didn’t have any major problems at all.
4. Choose Life Over Careers. As nurses, we must be advocates for the life of the unborn. Children in the womb are people too, and I would encourage all women who become pregnant to avoid ending that precious life. If you decide not to keep your baby, at least consider one of the many wonderful adoption agencies out there.
Conclusion: You Can Succeed In Nursing School While Pregnant
You may have a few added challenges, but you absolutely CAN succeed in nursing school while pregnant. I wish you the very best of luck with your new baby!
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