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Can You Help Me?


Guest SarahB

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Hello. My name is Sarah. I am very interested in becoming a neonatologist. I feel that it is my passion and what I was put on this earth to do. The desire to work in this field hadn't come until my baby girl was born. When she was just a month old, we were quickly initiated into a world apart from the normalcy most parents of newborns experience. It only took a day in the neonatal intensive care unit for me to uncover my passion. I was wide eyed with wonder about these special people, compassionate and skilled in their duties. Their knowledge was far beyond my comprehension, but I wanted to know and understand their "second language". I could surely say that is where my journey started. Thankfully, my baby's stay was short, but the longing to care for these sick infants invaded my mind daily. I wanted to start school immediately, and for once, I knew exactly what I wanted to do! My marriage fell apart shortly after she was discharged. It was damaged from the start. I was forced into single-motherhood; but not unfortunately. I love my baby girl. It is amazing what these free spirits can teach you! School had to be put off until I could get on my own two feet with just my daughter and I. She continued to have medical problems and has been in and out of the hospital for almost two years. She has had two surgeries and is fed via G-tube. So the "second language" suddenly started to come naturally. To kick off the start to my carreer, I was hired to work for the mentally retarded in a group home. I LOVE that job, but with my daughter's constant battle for life, I have had to take so many days off work to be with her by her hospital bedside. She requires ongoing therapies and continuous medical follow ups. Finally, she has been labeled disabled, therefore, I took advantage of the programs the state has to offer and applied for her to be on a program called IHSS. I can stay at home and care for her and get paid (acting as her caretaker).

My issues now lie in our future. I started school this fall. I am currently taking my general education at the local community college, but I really want to move on to a University ASAP. I researched a little about what it takes to become a neonatologist. That carreer path is my ultimate goal, but while reading about the requirements and amount of time it takes, I discovered that my residency and fellowship will come at a critical time in my daughter's life. She is almost two right now. By the time I start my residency, she will be between the ages of 12 and 14. She will need me during this time. I can't bear to be away from her for so long at such a harsh age. So I am currently researching other carreer paths, with the long-term goal still being to accomplish my dream to become a neonatologist.

The barrier that I am encountering now is the crossover from P.A. or N.P. to neonatologist. I figure that in order for me to be there for my daughter, I need to achieve a less demanding goal first. I plan to continue my education after my daughter is graduated from highschool. Which way is better for me to go? P.A., or N.N.P? I have yet to find any programs where I can go from PA or NNP to Neonatologist without having to go back to school for an additional four years before starting my residency. I think it would be about seven more years of school after I get the PA or NNP in order for me to make it to a neonatologist. No questions asked: I will become a neonatologist. The problem is finding the best path to take to get there.

I have been looking into attending the Loma Linda University in Southern California.

It is time for me to pick my spring courses and I am faced with a dilemma on which path I need to go because the path to become a neonatologist and the path to become a NNP is far different from each other.

So, can you help me?

Thanks!

-Sarah

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Hi Sarah!

I guess my Swedish perspective won't help much when it comes to specific advice, but I hope you can get input from our US members.

But, you should not feel discouraged by a long educational journey, whatever will be your ultimate goal. Motherhood and academic achievements are not contrasting issues, you just need to be more organised than the average student.

Maybe you could also post your questions at one of our partners: www.studentdoctor.net

BW, Stefan

PS. I moved your thread to the forum for education.

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  • 7 months later...

One alternative route you could take is to get an associate nursing degree and take the courses need to reach a doctorate level NNP which will be the highest most respected level of NNP. The advantage of this would be you take the in class courses to get your ADN and then the rest of the courses can be mostly online so you can work on it at your convenience. You can get a job as a nurse intern in a NICU while in school for ADN and then progress to work as an RN as you go to school for NNP. Alot of community colleges in CA will get you the ADN in 2-3years, then you can go from there. You need the experience of working in the NICU to go to most schools for NNP so that is why I suggest you get into one as soon as you can, there are tons to choose from. I hope this helps.

Media

NNP student/Traveler BSN, RN

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  • 1 month later...

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