When I registered and started nursing school
the first time 2 years ago, I was working as a PCT at a dialysis unit. My husband and I found out that we were going to have a baby shortly there after so all of it came to a hault. I stayed on full time at the unit until I had our son. I did not return because I did not feel comfortable putting him in daycare. I am back in school now (just started pre reqs) because our son is 16 months old now and we feel a little better putting him in daycare.
Long story short, I was at home with him for about 15 months.... At about the 8 month mark I was ready to do something... I knew daycare was not something I wanted then so I knew it had to be very part part part time. My husband works 12 to 12 at a plant and gets drafted constantly, so I knew finding something would be hard. I just wanted some "me" time and a little extra cash, but enough money to make it worth my while to actually leave him. I decided to bartend two nights a week. I did not know anything about it but I had tie ins to a small bar/grill and they taught me. I work Tues. and Fri. from like 9 to 2 and make more than I was making working fulltime as a PCT at the Dialysis unit.
I can't say for sure what it would be like to work a real part time job and go to school fulltime because I did not do it, although that was what I was going to do 2 years ago....work at the diaysis unit for first shift mon-fri. from 430am to 8 or 830 depending on how quick we got pts hooked up and then go to school all day. I am sure it would have been really hard. Its hard now too because I go to school all day, have responsibilities to my husband and son, and work a couple nights a week..but where there is a will there's a way.
There will be pros and cons to whatever you decide to do, nursing school is tough and learning to balance everything else with it is even tougher. I would recommend getting started in school and seeing exactly what it will endure for you and how well you can handle it and then adjust your work schedule accordingly, but if working even part time is too much and you need to make a good ammount in less than part time hours, bartending has worked for me. If its getting out of the med. field while you are in school that you are worried about..I wouldn't. Once you get into your clinicals you will have plenty of practice so you shouldn't get "rusty", and RNs are needed so having worked in the medical field isn't going to be your shoein (at least in VA they are needed badly... Here all you need is the completed school and the license to find a job as a nurse)
Anyways, finances and jobs and family have been my biggest struggle through it this far, and unless you are fortunate enough to be able to do it before you have family, and bills, and responsibilities, well it just makes it a little more difficult. Good luck through school and with whatever you decide!
p.s. There is the benefit of some healthcare places helping you through nursing school while you work there. (That was an option for me as a CNA through a nursing home about 3 years ago.)