Stay-at-Home Moms Going Back to School to Become a Nurse

The scenario often goes that a couple, upon having children, re-evaluate their situation. Where both were working full-time, they mutually decide for one of them to quit their career and become a full time stay-at-home parent.

5 min read

Both parents have been working for some time, however it is traditionally the mother who takes on this role.

The scenario continues with the mom giving up her career in the workplace for PTA meetings and boo-boos only to find herself out of a job, again, after 16 to 18 years. Now the kids are all grown up with their own lives. They don’t need 24/7 access to a parental figure. As a stay-at-home mom, you’ve done your job and have successfully emptied your nest. You’re now faced with the next chapter in your life where you don’t need to spend so much time at home and you can start thinking about being one of those stay-at-home moms going back to school to become a nurse.

These moms are going back to school because there aren’t many professions that would quickly hire someone who has been out of the office for more than a decade. Getting a second bachelor’s degree in nursing can be a great way to open doors into a new profession and a new career.

Why Did You Quit Your Job to be a Stay at Home Mom?

Now that your days, which used to be filled with making lunches, scheduling after-school activities and helping with homework, aren’t nearly as full, it’s easy to look back and question why you made the decision to become a stay-at-home mom. Remember all the valid and logical reasons why you chose to become a stay-at-home mom all those years ago.

  • Financial Reasons. Maybe the cost of child daycare outweighs the salary you would be making if you continued to work full time. This is often especially the case if you have more than one child.
  • Kids Come First. Maybe the reason you want to be a stay-at-home mom is because you want to give your child’s/children’s upbringing your full attention. You want to always be there for the soccer games or play recitals and not have to worry about other time commitments that could come from late nights at the office.
  • Equally Dividing Parental Responsibilities. Rather than having both parents trying to do it all—raise children, keep house and work full time—sometimes it’s easier to split parenting responsibilities up by one parent taking the home life and one working full time.

It’s Never too Late to Go Back to Nursing School

Just because you’re not in your 20s doesn’t mean you can’t go back to school. Age has nothing to do with higher education. In fact, more and more studies are showing that the mind of someone in their 30s, 40s and 50s have more improved cognitive abilities than someone in their 20s, which allows them to retain information better through learning and memory.

So if you’re a stay-at-home and already have a bachelor’s degree, you could become a nurse by finding an accelerated BSN program and complete your degree in 12-20 months. While your high school student is studying for finals, you could be studying for exams and working towards an online nursing degree. By the time your child is graduating and heading out into the world, you can be a stay-at-home mom going back to work as a registered nurse with a BSN.

5 Ways Nursing is Like Being a Stay at Home Mom

There are several ways being a stay-at-home mom is just like being a nurse. Your background as a full-time mom will provide you with patience and understanding, not to mention these five repeating experiences to draw from:

  1. One-on-one patient care. Whether it is kissing a boo-boo in your own family room or stitching up a patient’s wound in the ER, you are providing one-on-one care for your patient and helping them through the pain.
  2. Caring for patients more than they care about themselves. Stubborn kids and stubborn adults can make for difficult patients. But you know patience will win out, and nothing can keep you from caring about your patient’s health.
  3. Making a difference in the world. Nurses impact lives every day, affecting the world around them. Not unlike mothers who raise children and prepare them for the endless possibilities of what they will do in the world.
  4. There isn’t much you haven’t seen. Mothers see and hear it all, just like nurses. From dirty diapers to mysterious injuries and broken bones, there isn’t much that will surprise a seasoned mother or nurse.
  5. Self-doubting. Not glamorous and not fun, but self-doubt plagues many stay-at-home moms and nurses every day. Wondering if you did the right thing or made the right decision is not a weakness, but a strength. It means you’re questioning and therefore challenging yourself to always improve. This is a strength nurses and mothers both experience.

Financial Aid for Stay-at-Home Moms Going Back to School

For many, higher education can unfortunately come with student loans. But you can offset the cost of nursing school by applying for nursing scholarships and grants.

Finding Nursing School Scholarships

For those willing to put in the time to look, there are a lot of scholarships available for nursing students. Sometimes the school you’re interested in offers scholarships specific to a program could qualify for, so make sure you ask when you’re going through the admissions process.

There are plenty of other nursing scholarships you could looks into as well. Find Nursing Schools offers a list of 20 nursing scholarships to get you started.

Grants Specifically for Moms Going Back to School

You might be surprised to learn that there are grants specifically for women who are going back to school. These grants are not program, school or industry specific, so they could be applied to almost anything. Federal Pell Grants would be a great place to start your search. They offer financial assistance based on need, tuition costs, if you’re a full-time or part-time student and how long you plan on being in school.

When it comes to financial aid and finding nursing scholarships, never be afraid to ask or submit an application.

Still not convinced you’re one of those stay-at-home moms going back to school that shouldn’t become a nurse? Check out our free nursing career guide to learn more about the profession.