Working as a CNA and Nursing School

  1. Hi!
    I am finishing my pre-reqs for nursing school, just taking 6 credit hours at school and 6 credit hours online. I start a CNA class at MoBap in Missouri next month, and it will be 40 hours a week for 5 weeks. I am taking easier pre-reqs right now, so I am not very worried about that, although I know it may be challenging.

    After the 5 weeks, I don't know if I should work 36 hours a week full time, or 24 hours a week part time.

    Next semester I will taking only 13 credit hours; A&P1, Nutrition, and 2 online humanities classes. I am debating on if I could handle the 36 hours a week or not with these classes. It is a little less then most people take, but I also live with my boyfriend, and my relationship needs some time too.

    After this semester I will take A&P2 over the summer in a 6 week course. This again scares me because it will be Monday-Thursday for 4 hours a day. I think I could work part time during this class, but I will also have the rest of the summer open. I have been told that I can pick up extra shifts almost any time, which I have kept in mind. And I also have earned time off, that I thought maybe I could use through the 6 weeks just to maintain my full time status.

    Then in the fall, I will start clinicals. I know that most nursing students take 16-18 credit hours, and that is why they are told not to have a job. I will only be doing 12-13 credit hours through all my clinical semesters, taking 3 classes about, and I am wondering if I will be able to possibly work full time then since my course load is left, or if I could work full time, and maintain my immediate family.

    The reason I am asking is because I owe 13,500 in loans, and have already paid about 5,000 towards my tuition. The hospital where I started working will give 4,500 tuition reimbursement for full time, and 2,250 for part time. They also give out loans with loan forgiveness for 4,500a year if you are full time or part time, and they will match your savings for up to 500 dollars. If I worked full time, the benefits would pay for my school year almost in full. If I worked part time, I would have to pay about 2,000 a year out of pocket.

    I do not want to gain anymore debt then I already have. I can pay the 2000 out of pocket, but I would rather use it to pay the loans I already have. But, on the other hand, I am very confused on how do-able this can be. Can taking 12-13 credit hours a semester and keeping up with my family work without an incredible amount of stress? I have no children.
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    About nmagfc

    Joined: Jul '11; Posts: 6


  3. by   anakin322
    I just started the nursing program a couple of weeks ago and work full-time as a CNA. I also am married with a 2 year old and 6 month old. It is extremely difficult, but doable. My wife stays home and takes care of the house, so that's one thing I don't have to worry about. You'll find yourself losing out on sleep and/or study time most weeks. If you can get by with minimal studying, I suggest going for it. If you're one of those who must study for several hours a day then you're going to struggle working part-time or full-time.
    Just some food for thought... good luck
  4. by   AppalachianRNstudent
    It's doable, but, to be completely honest I would try to work as little as possible. Working as a CNA in a nursing home can be incredibly stressful. You have to balance what you want with what you need (i.e. your desire to become a nurse vs. your need to pay rent, bills, so on and so forth).

    Best of luck to you.
  5. by   ASD3187
    sorry to bust in your convo, but they have cna classes at mobap?? im trying to finish my pre-reqs for nursing school, but cannot find for the life in me a cna class!! they all fill up so fast!
  6. by   Staragate
    I suggest start out with full time and see how it goes. You can always reduce your hours once you get your foot in the door. The $ doesn't hurt either.

    Here's a tip. Get GOOD shoes. I thought mine were good, but my feet are killing me.
  7. by   canigraduate
    It really depends on you. Go ahead and work as much as you want, but keep an eye on your grades and your relationships. If they start to suffer more than you can handle, then cut back on your hours.

    It really depends on what you want and what you can handle.