Is It Possible To Work During Nursing School? - page 2

by TheCommuter Asst. Admin

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Students commonly ask variations of the following questions: “Is it possible to work while enrolled in the nursing program at my school full-time?” “Should I work while attending nursing school?” The answer is not a clear-cut... Read More


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    I have worked 3 days a week all through my first Block. It's busy, but I didn't think it was impossible. I don't have kids so that helped, but if you manage your time and do something school-related everyday, you can keep up I think.
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    I will be starting a BSN program in August and I am very nervous about not being able to work. I am an elementary school teacher now and I'm doing my best to save as much as I can to get through the first semester or two without working. Thankfully my husband is supportive but we have three kids. I just want to make sure financially we will be ok. The posts on AN really helps me to see that it can be done.
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    Thanks for presenting this as an individual decision--which it is! We've all seen questions posed on this board where someone asks if they can/should work while attending nursing school. There are a flurry of responses, usually saying, "Yes! You can do it!!!". Those cheerleaders have no idea what the burdens are on this stranger's life, what their academic capabilities are, or what their financial needs are. You pointed out the important factors to consider; what most beginning students don't know is how difficult nursing school will be. Only after a student begins the program can they really know how many hours per day is required to successfully complete it... and how much energy it requires.
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    I made the decision when I started nursing school full time to cut my hours from 35 to 20- it was enough time to bring in adequate income and do my tasks at work, but enough to cut back on all the fluff that was also part of my job. I still had enough time to study, work out and see the important people in my life.
    EmilyA likes this.
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    If you're going to work during nursing school you need to schedule out your life carefully. Remember that school is your number one priority, as you are going to nursing school to start an actual career. Also remember to schedule in homework time.
    EmilyA likes this.
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    I think, "What type of school do you want to attend?" is an important part of the discussion too. I'm in a ABSN and I saved some before and I work a 12hr shift/wk now but I still have to take out a lot of loans. I will graduate with a lot of debt even from this PUBLIC university. Some friends going to private BSN or ABSN programs will graduate with $100,000 in debt. Your CNA side job isn't exactly going to pay for that (but imagine how many CNA there would be if it did...) It is shocking how expensive school is now compared to my first degree.

    I'm primarily keeping my job for the experience, networking, and context for my nursing courses. The money helps but it wouldn't be worth the time away from studying if it wasn't related. Maybe a third of my cohort started with jobs but they are slowly quitting them. Some faculty are not supportive of needing/choosing to work, but others are.

    Good luck!
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    Of course it is possible. Many of us have done it. Whether it is wise is the real question and the answer is different for every person.

    Great article!
    Last edit by Camperhead on Jan 11, '13 : Reason: Autocorrect fail.
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    Agreed, it certainly is possible to work and go to nursing school. I continued to work as an STNA all through the PN year, and have worked as an LPN through the RN program. Going to a community college, it was possible for me to use my STNA/LPN jobs to stay clear of student loans. So, it is possible, but you may not exactly like yourself throughout the program. The experience only very marginally helps you in school, as you have to retrain your mindset for nursing school. But, having a job, and the experience from it, can certainly help someone in progressing their career once school is finally over. I enjoyed the article, and thank you for the well-thought-out breakdown!
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    This is a good article. I currently work as a supervisor in welfare center and am looking to switch careers to nursing. My first choice was ABSN programs since i already have a bs but know it would be difficult to have a job while in the program, esp. with 3 children, a mortgage, and a host of other expenses (namely childcare). My husband is very supportive but I am not sure how we would manage for 15 months with me not working at all. I would actually want to work at least p/t while in school in a related field (cna or pct) and have considered traditional programs since they are less condensed and may allow me to even work f/t, although it would take me up to an additional year to complete. A traditonal program will also allow time to "breathe." I guess i have to decide which is more important: finishing quickly but getting little healthcare experience and very little to no income, or take longer and possible get more healthcare experience and provide more financial support to my household.
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    Another important point is whether the schedule of your school allows for work. In my LVN program, we have to be available M-F 6:00am-10pm. We don't get to choose clinical time or lecture time. Times change with 24 hr notice frequently.

    The state college BSN program I was very interested in received clinical hours only days before school started. They also could schedule clinicals for AM shift or PM shift. Not sure that's conducive to working anything but weekends, either.

    Some of my fellow students work nocs and go straight to school after getting off most days. I don't really think that is healthy on a regular, long term basis, but congratulate those who do it.

    The only for sure availability I have for work (as a CNA) is Sat am's, pm's, nocs and Sun am's, pm's.


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