Motherhood. Something many women will have experience at some point in their lives. It may be now, it may be a few years from now or many years down the road.
But imagine having to juggle motherhood on top of nursing school. Nursing school requires a lot of effort. Each week you have exams, quizzes, labs, clinicals, papers, or projects due. On top of that you have to manage your everyday life which includes work, taking care of children, or other obligations.
“Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had… and dealing with the fears you didn’t know existed.” (Author Linda Wooten, 2019). This quote speaks volumes and are facts about motherhood.
Mickey Dunkley, 27, is a registered nurse that works at WVU Medicine on the oncology floor, specializing in adult acute care. She is also a mother of four children, ages ranging from 18 months to 11 years of age. Mickey has been with her husband for nine years and they met shortly after high school. They began their family early; Mickey had her first child at the age of 20.
Mickey is a Shepherd University Alumni, class of 2019. She says that, “Shepherd prepared me very well for the NCLEX exam. I was exposed to the content so many times in one form or another.” Mickey passed her boards exams on the first try. Mickey also says that, “Nursing school doesn’t prepare you for the real thing. Once you get into it, you learn most of everything on the job.” Mickey just signed a retention contract with WVU Medicine which ensures she will be working on the oncology unit for another two years.
After her two-year contract is up, she plans to move to the labor and delivery floor in hopes of focusing her specialty more on women’s health. Mickey says that “starting a new specialty in the hospital is like starting over as a new grad.” She plans to go to graduate school to obtain her masters and become a nurse practitioner.
“Co-parenting is hard when both parents work,” Mickey says. “What one parent cannot do, the other picks up the slack, but we manage.” Given their main focuses are work and the children, she and her husband rarely have time for just each other. Mickey works every other weekend and two times during the week, while her husband works five days a week.
Mickey’s children names are Trinity 11 (not pictured), Milliana 6, Michael 5, and Meeko 18 months. Her three oldest are back in school. Trinity is in sixth grade, Milliana is in first grade and Michael is in kindergarten. Meeko goes to day care when Mickey and her husband go to work. Milliana and Michael are both in sports aside from school as well.
Advice that Mickey gives parents or future parents going into nursing is, “make sure you have childcare set, take time to yourself because between school and kids it gets pretty overwhelming. Most importantly, have a good support system wanting you to win.”