I've heard people recommend trying to secure a nurse tech / CNA type position while in Nursing School in order to gain experience with patient care. I have a couple of questions regarding this. I have a 1 1/2 year old at home as well as my husband. If I were single, the option of working part time as a CNA while in school might seem plausible. However, balancing the demands of a full time nursing school course load option, family time, and a part time job might cause either my grades or family life to suffer. I know that sacrifice is required in the first place because Nursing Programs are very demanding. I just don't want my daughter to grow up the next couple years wondering why mom is always too busy to spend time with her. I plan on getting A's if I can because I'd like to go on from my ADN to BSN and then finally NP. I'd do the BSN in one shot, but financially it isn't possible. I'm eligible to apply for an Accelerated ADN program because of my previous BA (not in the sciences, boo), however the demands of this program are extreme and I don't want grades to suffer because I'm in a hurry to get it all done quickly. My second concern with wanting to get into the medical field as a CNA / Nurse Tech is whether or not you are able to secure health insurance and the rate of pay. I understand that it's pretty taboo to be thinking of things such as these when discussing entry into a field, but necessity drives me to do so. My current job has a very flexible schedule, great health coverage and a livable pay range. The pay range for a CNA in my area is just not a living wage, even with supplementation from my husband's employment. Also, the gap in health coverage (usually 6 months before you can be covered under a new employer's health plan - IF they offer one) is not an option for us. I'm sure COBRA would be available to bridge that gap if a new employer (hospital, whatever) were to offer coverage after a period of time, but it is entirely unaffordable to us. My daughter has pre-existing conditions, so a private policy wouldn't be an option either. I really want to jump into the field, network and gain patient care skills before I hit clinicals (I'm being optimistic about getting into my program), however I also need to do what's best for my family. Those of you who have families and are in Nursing School, does PT work seem plausible with your program? Any advice?