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CQU External Nursing & Baby
Study while having a baby?

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#1 cp86

Posted 10 January 2013 - 01:44 PM

Hi All,

I am a newbie to essential baby so pardon my ignorance if i havent yet found my way around the forums correctly!

I got married a few months ago and my husband & I really want to start a family. The only thing is, i really want to do my Bachelor of Nursing as well! We have stopped TTC for the time being until we sort a few things out.

I have a few questions for you all;

1. How did you manage study and parenthood?

2. I am planning on studying nursing externally whilst working part time. Has anyone else done this? or done this whilst pregnant?

3. Having never been pregnant before or had a baby im worried how to manage uni study with a newborn. SHould i decrease my study load or take the whole semester off? Will i be able to manage?

Ultimately i want to finish the degree asap to get back into the workforce and start earning good money again.

Are there any study routes that I have overlooked? Such as a combination of TAFE (EEN) & then Uni masters?

Any advice is warmly welcomed!



#2 Exhaustedbuthappy

Posted 10 January 2013 - 02:24 PM

where are you located?

Is there a reason you specifically want to do it externally?

#3 ~MakkaPakka~

Posted 10 January 2013 - 02:45 PM

Hi original.gif

I am doing  the same course (external as well)

I started the course in 2010 (so this will be my fourth year) and I only have four units to go.

When I started the course I had a five month old baby and I recently gave birth in November.  You can work around the pregnancies and births ect, I ended up pulling out of my subject (was clinical placement based) due to complications with pregnancy and I will start back in term three this year.  I was going to start back term two but the subjects I need to do are term 1 and 3.

Q1 - study and parenthood is quite manageable if you have a good support system.  I am studying with five children now, two of which are on the autism spectrum.  You need to plan your time well and again have a great support network.

Q2 - There are a lot of people doing the course that work part time, even full time, as well as some that are pregnant as well.  It is possible.  

Q3 - I had  to pull out of the semester I was pregnant due to pregnancy complications, but most people have managed it quite well (depends on when bubs is due as well).  Once bubs was born I had planned to take off the term.  I am fully B/F my bub so need and want to be around for the first six months.  You can plan to do non clinical based subjects during this time.  It all depends on how well you go with the baby.   I am glad I had taken the time off due to bubs wanting to be fed every 2-3 hours and quite clingy.

I was the same as you with wanting to get into the workforce asap.  My hubby is unable to work anymore due to health issues and is now carer to our children while I am going to be the income earner.  

If you want to do midiwfery the way to go is a dual degree where you get the degree in 4 years, instead of 3 years nursing plus another 2 years post grad, but other than that I do not know of any other ways to speed up the process.

hope that has helped

#4 B.feral3

Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:16 PM

I am an external CQU student. Not nursing though, Paramedic Science.

I have 3 kids, 2 at home and 1 at school. I am doing one subject every term including term 3 (now!!) With 2 kids I was doing 2 and 3 per term but it's too hard with a baby!! I should be working on a huge assignment now in fact but he wont let me!! I haven't taken any time off though since having my third baby. In fact, he was born mid term 3 last year and I just kept on going!!! (Studied in the NICU every day with him next to me!!)

To be honest, I find being a SAHM boring as bat crap. I like studying and feel like I am accomplishing something and will have something to show at the end of 5 years at home apart from children 5 years older.

Good luck. It can be done.  original.gif

Edited by Bek+3, 10 January 2013 - 03:18 PM.

#5 Bluemakede

Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:36 PM

This will be me this year. I'm a 3rd year nursing student (internal), baby is due during study week at the end of semester 1. I don't plan on having a break, am going to try to soldier on fulltime through semester 2 to finish. But worse case with semester 2 if it becomes to much will be dropping a 20CP (prac based subject) and completing next year instead. I'll still be trying to at least finish the other 2 non prac based subjects. Prac starts wk2 of semester 2 so plenty of time for me to evaluate if I can handle it before census date. My biggest hurdle I feel will be getting through semester 1 prac, I'll be in my 33rd week at that point, and finishing prac just after 37 weeks (it's the end that freaks me out lol).

I do have good support though, my sister and her DH live just around the corner from me and BIL is willing to babysit on an as needed basis for prac time. My parents are also planning to help out as much as possible during the semester.

I have another sister who did her nursing degree external, she took about 5 years to finish it (with masters), she had 3 children during that time. Though she chose to take 6 months off after each birth. There's also a few in my cohort who have had babies, though most seem to be november/december births, so summer to recover. But it is do-able.

#6 B0612

Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:58 PM

I can't give my perspective on parenting and studying as of yet due to being on uni break however I did study whilst pregnant.

I am an on campus student but do take on online units if I can. I found studying whilst pregnant easily manageable. I studied 3 units each sem, completed 4 weeks of prac whilst 5mnths pregnant and sat my last exams at 36weeks pregant and worked part time up until 30 weeks pregnant (finished up early due to issues associated with pregnancy affecting the safety of my work).

If you have an easy pregnancy with minimal issues you can definitely manage. I needed the mental stimulation to keep me occupied, particularly when I went on early mat leave. I have deferred my next sem to have time with the baby and will go back when he is 8months old and will only be doing 1 theory unit and 1 prac unit at a time. It seems to be all mapped out now however realise things may change and need to be adjusted.
I have completed 2yrs of my 3yr degree and will spread out my final year over 2.5yrs.

Good luck op

#7 Giota_78

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:15 PM

I'm hoping to take on the combined degree (Nursing and Midwifery) externally. Is anyone able to send me the direct link as I am not sure where to look? Little overwhelmed.

#8 Giota_78

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:16 PM

Furthermore, is anyone entering into this study as a mature age student? Was your entry TER based or were other factors taken into account as a mature age student?

#9 weepingangel

Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:09 PM

Giota_78 I believe the dual degree is not offered externally.

#10 newphase

Posted 10 January 2013 - 06:00 PM

Have you ever studied On Campus or Externally before? Externally isn't for everyone, just as on-campus isn't for many reasons.

Not sure where you are at re TTC, or if you have any health or age realted factors that are making it more a necessary goal in the short term, but if not, try to get a year done before having a bub...gives you that extra motivational kick to keep on moving forward once a bubba does come, because not everyone has an easy peasy bubba, the family support and as it is your 1st it is a steep learning curve in its own right.

Many have studied with babies and young ones home, as PP have attested to, it really does come down to your head space, determination, organistaion skills and which can all be healped if you have a very supportive hubby/parnter and family and friends to help out when really needed, and as the kiddies get older a day in creche or FDC is always an option.

#11 cp86

Posted 11 January 2013 - 12:36 PM


Thank you all for your responses! You have provided great information!

Exhustedbuthappy - i will be located in WA - perth. I want to study externally as it suits work better and suits me. I studied a bachelor of business at uni full time and struggled until i balanced it with work and studied externally in my own time. Im one of those people that needs to be busy to be successfull - give me 10 hours in a day to study every day of the week and i'll just procrastinate! External study really is best for me!

Makkapakka - really great advice! Unfortantely i wont have a great support network as all our family is in QLD. but given how poor the economy in QLD is at the moment we are making the move to WA so hubby can have a better job.

Bek+3 - great advice. Im sure if you can do it with 3 i can do it with none or 1 haha

Bluemakede - Wow sounds like you have fantastic support! I feel for you being heavily pregnant whilst attending pracs - yikes! I think we might try and time our baby for the semester break! haha

newphase - yes i've studied both internally on campus and externally while working full time. I actually got better grades doing the latter. Im a wierdo! Just TTC now as i left the air force due to wanting to start a family and not feeling that i could do that there with risk of deploying etc. So it is a high priority for us, im only 27 and very fit and healthy so no health factors that im aware of. Definatly putting it off now until i've survived the first year of study. Definitaly want that under my belt!

Thank you all for your help! x

#12 Bluemakede

Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:29 PM

QUOTE (cp86 @ 11/01/2013, 12:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Bluemakede - Wow sounds like you have fantastic support! I feel for you being heavily pregnant whilst attending pracs - yikes! I think we might try and time our baby for the semester break! haha

Lol yes, try to plan for breaks, the summer one is better, though if you are able to do any subjects over summer, then winter break is alright to (and you can always drop subjects, census date is far enough away, or even just a semester off post birth. My timing was a bit of a fluke  laugh.gif unplanned pregnancy, the prac dates are horrid, but the due date is pretty good  tongue.gif

Good luck with it all, it's good that you've studied before, so hopefully will all work out well.  ph34r.gif and I hear you on the economy in QLD, nursing isn't a great field to be going into here atm lol.

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