• 09 June 2021
  • 10 min read

10 Tips If You’re A Parent And Thinking Of Becoming A Nurse - By A Student Nurse And Mum

  • Marzena Filipiak
    Nursing Assistant & Student Mental Health Nurse
    • Mat Martin
    • Richard Gill
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Laura Bosworth
  • 0
  • 392
"I am due to qualify as a Mental Health Nurse in 3 months and I am a mum. I would like to share some tips for parents thinking of becoming a nurse." - Marzena Filipiak, Student Mental Health Nurse and Mum

I am due to qualify as a Mental Health Nurse in 3 months and I am a mum. I would like to share some tips for parents thinking of becoming a nurse.

Topics Covered In This Article

I’m A Mum And Soon-To-Be-Qualified Nurse

1. Planning Childcare In Advance

2. Ask For Help With Your Studies

3. Open A Student Bank Account In A Local Branch

4. Consider The Flexible Working Pattern

5. Second-Hand Books

6. Preparing Meals

7. Learn Little And Often

8. It’s OK - You Will Never Know Everything!

9. Have A Hobby

10. Remember To Keep Healthy

I’m A Mum And Soon-To-Be-Qualified Nurse

If you are reading this article, you are probably have been thinking about becoming a nurse.

However, if you are a parent you may be worried about balancing your life between family, work, and university responsibilities.

I am due to qualify as a Mental Health Nurse in 3 months and I am a mum. I would like to share some tips for parents thinking of becoming a nurse.

I would like to admit that I have been practicing those bits of advice for the last 3 years, however, at times I still feel overwhelmed by responsibilities as a student nurse and mum.

Nevertheless, I let myself feel tired, not to be perfect, and rely on the help of my support network - and try to follow my 10 guidelines as best I can. Here they are...

1. Planning Childcare In Advance

It is important to recognise that as a student nurse it will be necessary to work a variety of shifts including late, night, and weekend shifts.

In my journey, my mentors have been trying to accommodate the shifts to my needs, however, sometimes it might not be possible.

Therefore, it is necessary to have a plan B in mind, so we do not feel extremely overwhelmed when things do not go the way we expected.

Although, when I had theory blocks, I managed to share childcare between myself and my husband, placement was always difficult for me.

It was helpful to plan childcare with the nursery and a childminder a couple of months in advance.

Sometimes, I relied on my friends who helped me a lot to look after my daughter when she becomes unwell or during school holidays.

Let someone help you and do not feel ashamed about it.

It is extremely hard or even impossible to graduate as a student nurse and mom without helping hands.

You are not a bad parent, but you are fighting for a better future for your children.

This degree will not last forever, but it will help you to secure a better future for your little ones.

2. Ask For Help With Your Studies

There is nothing wrong to ask your tutor for help.

It might be a task that you are struggling to complete, you might need some time off due to unexpected changes for example sickness or guidance regarding hardship fund support.

A nursing degree is a 3-year course, although you might want to plan everything, there is a possibility that your system might need to be changed due to unforeseen circumstances which you might struggle to control on your own.

Your tutor is there to help you and give you some advice where you might seek help.

(Here’s a list of the UK’s Nursing Universities plus information about the things you will need to consider when choosing one.)

3. Open A Student Bank Account In A Local Branch

Many student bank accounts offer some goodies for students including free 0% overdrafts, railcards, or vouchers to buy books.

You might think that it might not be something you would like to use, however, a 0% overdraft could be a lifesaver when something unexpected happens.

As a student nurse, you might struggle to work any overtime hours, therefore it might be difficult to cover any additional outgoings.

You might want to compare students' bank accounts on Money Saving Expert which updates this information each academic year.

Here are some related articles you might find useful:

Do Student Nurses Get An NHS Bursary And How You Can Apply For It In 2021

How The New Nursing Bursary Works

4. Consider The Flexible Working Pattern

Many might be already aware that lots of student nurses have to work while studying to pay bills.

Student nurse bursary and a training grant more likely will not cover all expenses that students will have to cover.

Due to the nature of a nursing degree, it might be necessary to drop off some hours at work or even considering leaving the job which might have a negative impact on the personal budget.

Nevertheless, many student nurses have a chance to apply for a bank nursing assistant position at their local NHS Trust.

Basically, as a bank nursing assistant, you can pick any available shifts on any ward in your local trust.

It allows flexibility which is extremely beneficial while you will need to study for your exams, work 37.5 hours per week during your placement and manage other responsibilities.

Working as a Healthcare Assistant might be a valuable experience for student nurses as you will apply nursing skills in practice more often than only on placement.

Moreover, this experience might help you to find out if you could consider working as a Staff Nurse in a specific ward area. Here are some related articles you might find useful:

Working In A Helping Profession Helped Me Prepare For A Career In Nursing 

Student Nursing: Health Related Jobs You Can Do With Little To No Experience 

I'm A Healthcare Assistant Studying Nursing - Here's What I Know 

Nursing Apprenticeships: How To Begin Your Nursing Career

5. Second-Hand Books

Nursing books are usually expensive which might put a lot of pressure on students’ finances.

Although many books might be available in e-book format or from your local university library, you still might want to choose a paper version of the specific book.

There are many websites and groups where you might want to browse any second-hand books- for example, Amazon (new and second-hand books), Facebook (Marketplace), Royal College of Nursing Students, Student Nursing Books for Sale UK), Vinted, Shpock, or World of Books.

This prevents the destruction of still good and valuable books while saving you a lot of money.

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Are you a parent and thinking of nursing as a career?

Ask Marzena your questions below

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6. Preparing Meals

As many might be aware, thoughtful nutrition keep us healthy and aids concentration - which is essential while studying for a nursing degree!

Sometimes, we might get busy and tired which can result in eating junk food.

However, a little bit of planning help us stick to a more healthy plan. It might be a good idea to cook for 2 - 3 days or freeze some food, so there is always something healthy which you might prepare for your family when time is tight.

7. Learn Little And Often

For most of us, learning smaller chunks of knowledge might make it easier to process information and reduce the cognitive load.

There is a lot to remember during your nursing degree which also will have to be applied into practice.

Therefore, a deep understanding of knowledge is key to be a safe and successful practitioner.

It is very unlikely that studying only a night before the exam will give you satisfactory grades as usually there is a lot of material to process.

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It might be effective to study in shorter stints of 1 - 2 hours and make some notes more often, rather than studying all night in one sitting.

If you study all night you will probably become very tired and unmotivated. Moreover, your concentration will be reduced.

The key is to become a more frequent learner who can train memory.

8. It’s OK - You Will Never Know Everything!

It might take you a while to realise that it is impossible to know everything related to nursing.

After a while, you will feel more confident in your specialty, but there will be always something that you will learn in practice.

Although, sometimes it might resulting in losing your confidence, however from the other side it is the beauty of nursing.

You will always keep expanding knowledge about the human body, physiology, and nursing skills.

9. Have A Hobby

Although nursing is extremely interesting for many student nurses, it is important to keep a balance in our lives.

We need to have a break from anything that we do in our lives.

If you learn anatomy every day, work on your placement, watch YouTube clips about nursing skills, watch movies about diseases, and so on - it is likely that sooner or later you might experience nursing burnout.

It is impossible to look after people 24 hours a day 7 days a week without a break.

We need to have that time off when we can focus on our hobbies and pleasurable activities.

For some of us, it might be arts & crafts, a long bath, meeting up friends, or sports massage.

10. Remember To Keep Healthy

Although you might feel that you walk lots of miles during your placement, it still might be beneficial for you to have some exercise during the day.

Simple stretching, walk in nature, or going on a bike might make you feel more relaxed, reduces your fatigue and stress, lower your blood pressure, and so on.

Moreover, it might be used as your time off to focus on your family life.

Despite the fact that at times you might feel that there is nothing else in your life than your nursing degree, it is necessary to remember that this difficult time will be over in 3 years, and working as a Staff Nurse will open many new career possibilities for you.

It is also important to highlight that a healthy sleep pattern will help you to survive your nursing degree.

Most of adult needs between 7 - 9 hours of sleep per night, however a specific person might need different amount of sleep based on other factors.

Without good quality sleep, you might struggle to focus on your studies.

Moreover, your reaction time is worsened which might result in higher risk of accidents.

Ask me any questions below.

You might also be interested in my other article:

Why I Chose To Be A Mature Student Nurse And What It's Meant To Me

About the author

  • Marzena Filipiak
    Nursing Assistant & Student Mental Health Nurse

I hope to become a qualified Mental Health Nurse in a few months. I have worked in the healthcare sector since 2016. I currently work as a bank Nursing Assistant in my local trust and volunteer as a Befriend among elderly people. I am passionate about the connection between mental and physical health. For me nursing is not only a paid employment, but also a passion of my life which I love sharing with others.

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  • Marzena Filipiak
    Nursing Assistant & Student Mental Health Nurse

About the author

  • Marzena Filipiak
    Nursing Assistant & Student Mental Health Nurse

I hope to become a qualified Mental Health Nurse in a few months. I have worked in the healthcare sector since 2016. I currently work as a bank Nursing Assistant in my local trust and volunteer as a Befriend among elderly people. I am passionate about the connection between mental and physical health. For me nursing is not only a paid employment, but also a passion of my life which I love sharing with others.

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