There is always the issue of when you would go to school; are there even any schools nearby that offer a nursing degree? Is there anywhere that is flexible to be there for a parent trying to gain a degree? The good news is that there are educational establishments that offer online courses, such as Maryville's master of science in nursing. The flexibility of these courses means that even those of you raising children on your own have a way to find a good fit for your schedules, as hectic as they may be. So you can continue working your side job to raise your child and take your classes online while your child is at school or asleep, and when you get your degree you can decide on working hours that suit you.
There are different nursing degrees you can go for that can also decide when and where you work because the degrees themselves focus on different patients. As far as ideas for places to think of working at, being a school nurse means you can be close to your kid while you can also be a home care nurse to look after the elderly. Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) require the least amount of training compared to Registered Nurses (RN) who need to pass a two-year program and Nurse Practitioners (NP) who receive the most training. NP's can then decide to focus on different concentrations, such as being a Certified Family NP (CFNP) or a Certified Pediatric NP (CPNP). Parents will find they will most likely relate to the CPNP since this certificate focuses on kid's health. Both of these concentrations would allow a working parent to find a job outside of a hospital easily if it is more doable for the parent to get the job done during the day instead of at night.
Downsides? Of course, there are some; especially given the hours you may be studying and working while your child is sleeping or going to school. Another mom talks about her love for her work but also feels worried over how her daughter is unable to attend sports activities because she helps so much with her two youngest daughters. She appreciates it greatly, but this is still a big sacrifice. However, she also feels that nursing has taught her to be a better mother as well as the reverse being true. Her family understands that you cannot take anything for granted, a lesson she has learned from this job as well.
As a parent, and single parent especially, this choice is very difficult to make, but there are some great pros to come out of having this career that go even beyond the higher salary. However, it is a decision that is truly up to you, so consider all the elements carefully.