Wow! I was wondering this same question!
I just finished my first semester of my BSN program. I had 4 classes (2 online & 2 in person, plus one full day of clinicals). I also worked 24 hours per week, which were broken up into three 8 hour days. I have no kids.
With some serious time management skills, I was able to pull off straight A's for the first time ever! For most, it IS possible to work and attend nursing school
. But, you'll be working your booty off trying to manage multiple schedules, making the most of your scant study time, getting use to less sleep, and having no social life. I did all of the above. I also have a boyfriend who doesn't mind making me dinner. :heartbeat
I have also talked to other students who are further along in the program, asking them the same question. I have received all sorts of opinions across the board and all of them seem valid.
Here's my personal opinion...I was laid-off from my job about 1 week before finals. I was sad to lose my job of 2 years (plus they were supportive of my educational goals), but after an exhausting semester, this gave me plenty of time to prepare for the exams. I was in such a better state of mind and felt significantly less stressed. My final exams went great and those were my highest exam scores of the semester. Of course, this might be partially because the content was review, but nonetheless I had time to study without anything else taking priority. I am currently looking for a job, but if I don't get a position that's no more than 20 hours/week and compatible with my ever-changing school schedule, I won't mind just focusing on school.
So, it's pretty much up to you! Figure out what you're willing to do (or not do) while you're in nursing school. To me, it's an enormous opportunity and worth doing what it takes to be successful in the program and passing that NCLEX! I owe it to my future patients!
Hope that helps you out a little bit!