Working while in nursing school...

  1. Hi everyone, I could use some advice. Do you think a person should work while in nursing school. I attend college at night..4 nights a week. I am also a wife and mother to 3 children.....yeah...I have my hands full. I ask this question because I want to get some kind of experience in the health care field.....I want to get my feet wet so to speak. I was thinking about looking for something part-time at night...after I get out of school. What do you all suggest? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


    ~Fatima
    "RN to be in 2004"
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   moni rn
    i currently work from 7a - 4p monday - friday, and i attend school every week night. i am completely booked! saturday & sunday are my days to "veg"! *lol*

    in my humble opinion, you may be taking on too much. don't get me wrong! i think your idea about getting experience in the health care field is great, but with a family & attending nursing school is enough.

    that is just my opinion! good luck! with whatever you decide to do!
  4. by   Michelle_nurse
    I worked 30-35 hours a week, while in nursing school b/c I had to, to survive. (I was working at Sears),

    I ended up getting a job as a nurse's aid, which paid more then double that Sears paid me.
    I worked only weekends, since I was getting paid more, so I was able to get by. I did a lot better in school once I started working less, plus I was getting hospital experience.

    I am now working at that same hospital, but as a nurse

    Good luck! If you decide to work, don't work too much, or your school and/or family might suffer!

    Congradulations, on all your achievements!
  5. by   RNIAM
    I am a PCT at a local hospital. I went part-time to have extra time for school. I am taking two classes but one has a three hour lab. I am at school three evenings a week and I work 32 hours every two weeks. I work nights so I can be home for the kids and I do evening classes ,so my husband can be home with them. I have many friends who have worked full-time raised their kids and went to school.I can be done you just have to be very organized. It also helps to have a good support system in place.I also make more money working as a PCT so that helps alot.
    hope I helped a little.
  6. by   Hopilynn
    Our nursing school frowns on anyone that is employed while in the nursing program. It would be hard to work as class starts at 7:30-4:00, homework can
    run until 1:00am in the morning. I know every school is different, our school is very strict as it was 1 of the top 10 in Calif.
  7. by   delirium
    This is a question that has been asked a lot and the answer is totally up to the person.
    I am in a very competitive and difficult ADN program, I work 32 hours a week out of necessity, and I carry a 4.0 GPA. It can be done. It depends on your level of commitment and of course your priorities.
    I don't have kids. My priority is my mortgage payment, currently. Chase Manhattan doesn't care if I'm in nursing school.
    My opinion is that a community college program is geared towards working people, and they shouldn't expect people to drop their paying jobs just because they are enrolled in the nursing program. Its totally unreasonable and unrealistic.
    Not to say I'm not a bit envious of people who don't have to work while in school. They are always more relaxed than me.
  8. by   askater11
    I'm an R.N. When I graduated I had no kids. I worked part-time while in school. It was the best thing I could do to prepare myself as a R.N. I worked as a PCT then a N.T.

    My recommendations are to get a job in the speciality you're interested in. That I regret, started out in Oncology/Medical Surgical step-down. I didn't start where I wanted to ICU or E.R.

    3 kids and school keeps you busy. I would recommend that you wait until summer to start working. That way you're out of nursing school or at least in school less, more time to adapt to working and work orientation.

    Hospitals are very flexible. They are in need of help. Once you get in and you're in school F.T. I'd work in the hospital as little as possible. In my hospital contigent has to work 2 day's a week. Work that or a little more. You don't want to "over do it."
  9. by   live4today
    IF you can afford to put off working for now, enjoy just being a student, wife, and mother. I would think that three children and studying to become a nurse would be plenty of "work" for one person. You will have plenty of time to be abused as a nurse, so why rush it?

    I went through college while raising three children, and in my final year of school, I worked part-time as a Junior Nurse Asst. (a program for graduating senior nursing students). I only worked during the hours my children's father was home with them, so I didn't really NEED the money, just wanted the experience. Looking back, I would not opt to do that again, but every person must do what fits their family life the best.

    What works for one family, one person, may not work for another family or person. Talk it over with your family, and make a decision that is comfortable for you all to live with. If you take the job, and the job interferes with your home life and studies, give it up. Follow your heart according to what works best for you. Best of everything to you!
    Last edit by live4today on Feb 1, '02
  10. by   AngelicNurse2B
    Hopilynn, what school do you go to? I am in Southern California too.

    Angela
  11. by   Franca
    I'm not in nursing school, so my question will be very basic.

    Does the reference to working while in school, refer to working while doing clinicals? I was told clinicals could be 12-hour days, that's why I ask. The number of hours for classroom days was not mentioned.

    Thanks!
  12. by   janleb
    Hi, I have three boys, work about 32 hours/week 16 hr shifts on Friday and saturday as a nursing tech and also in my second yr of an ADN program. It is very hard to juggle and everything suffers. I work thirds on the weekends. I just make sure I don't work the night before clinicals because you have to be on the ball. I am so tired all the time, so I just keep telling mysel only 4 more months of this and I am done. If you don't have to work.......don't feel you have to, but if you want the experience only work a few days a week. Well I have to get ready to go to work, have a great weekend. J
  13. by   live4today
    Hi Franca,

    In the 1980's, when I went through my FINAL year of nursing school, clinicals were three - eight hour shifts per week, nursing labs and nursing lectures were scheduled the other two days. I couldn't have been more pleased with myself that I had all my other 'nonursing classes' completely over with BEFORE I started my actual nursing courses and clinicals.

    I look back over the load I carried while handling motherhood, being a wife, working part time in my final year of nursing school, and staying active in my church and keeping up with my exercise routine three days a week...still managing to graduate with honors.

    You can accomplish whatever you set your mind to, but don't expect to have much of a mind after it's all over with...at least for a short while as you recuperate from the stress. I managed to come down with the Epstein Barr Virus Syndrome while out on Winter Break in my very last semester of school, too. I thank God that I was over it before school resumed the third week of January. Pushing oneself to reach one's goals often does take a toll on the body, mind, and emotions.

    "Experience is the name everyone gives to his (her) mistakes." -- WOODROW WILSON
  14. by   GPatty
    I tried NOT working during nursing school, but here I am, 6 months thru the program, and we are so far behind in our bills, that we are pathetic! I am starting work tonight, at a new nursing home that's opened up in town, and when I went yesterday to put my app in, I was told that I am the highest paid CNA there (experience maybe?) or Divine Intervention (knowing I NEEDED that job!)? So I am working only on Friday and Saturday nights from 6pm to 6am (my choice) and in the Atzheimers unit (also my choice-my fav).
    So in my case, I have to work during school, but if I had my "druthers", I wouldn't work. You'll need that time to study!
    Best of Luck to you!
    Julie

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