Working while in school

  1. I am just two semesters away from starting nursing school (RN)- I am almost finished with my pre nursing classes. While taking a full course load of pre-nursing classes I have managed to work full time and maintain a 3.8 gpa. I don't have any children but am married. My question is how realistic is it to want to work full time during nursing school. I have to go full time as there is no other option. I am curious how other students have handled the cost- I have my tuition paid for but I am worried about the general cost of living. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   abmsam
    I have successfully finished my first semester of nursing school. I must tell you that it is possible to work and go to school concurrently, but I personally could not do it. I also worked through all of my pre-req classes, but was able to quit when nursing started. And though my husband and I had to sacrifice some things, like a summer beach vacation, etc, it was worth it. Nursing courses are unlike any class you have ever had before. You will need hours every night to read, study, and practice.

    I realize that some people have no choice and must work, and I admire their drive. It would have been next to impossible for me.

    I am also married with no kids (besides my puppy.) If you have a choice, I would consider not working. It would be one less thing to worry about.
    Last edit by abmsam on Mar 8, '05
  4. by   Brinley
    Thank you - my hubby and I are trying to put as much money back as we can now- so that I can possibly quit working or work only part- time. It's a really tough decision, but I want to be able to devot my time and attention to the courses.
  5. by   kirbi
    I'm in first semester and am working 30 hrs/wk. So is another girl in my office. We are both doing very well, but it is a LOT of work. We spend literally all our time in class, studying or working. All the extra time our families are used to is gone. We both keep promising time in the summer for them. If I could afford not to work, I probably wouldn't but that just isn't an option. However, I did decide that if it becomes too much, I will cut my work hours back to 20.

    kirbi
  6. by   rogramjet
    I did it, but it's not easy. I worked as a housekeeper all the way through. I could have worked as a CNA, LPN...but as a housekeeper there was a lot less stress. I wasn't doing patient care at work. I could do my job in my sleep and often did. I could think about tests etc without comprimising my patients. I never worked the night before my clinical rotation, too much paperwork etc.

    Don't expect to have much of a social life. Nursing school is incredibly difficult and stressful. Working just adds to the equation...
  7. by   dixienurse2be
    it can be done....but it will be hard. I'm in my second semester in an LPN program and I'm workin about 25 hrs a week in retail and it's hard! I'm thankful that the company I work for values education and it very considerate and flexible with me so that if I need a day off to study or for extra clinicals they don't complain about it. Good luck
  8. by   Tweety
    You're answer lies in the fact that you say you have to work, and that is that. I had to work full time too. I hated every minute of it and sacrificed my social and family life, but it was worth it in the end.

    Good luck to you. When there's a will, there's a way.
  9. by   mom2creative
    I have mixed feelings on this. Yes, I am married with two children and worked through a lot of my pre classes. I made all A's. I quit work with I started clinicals and it has been more challenging then anything I have ever experienced. I know the content is challenging, but sometimes I think when you work you stay more focused. In other words, you do not seem to procastinate as much because there is not time to do so. Just my opinion, for what it is worth.
  10. by   LilRedRN1973
    I have 2 children, ages 5 and 8, plus a hubbie who works shift work (7pm to 7am, three to four days a week). I did not work the first semester of school and actually found myself with extra time on my hands. So I applied and was accepted for a position as an apprentice nurse at one of the hospitals. For the second semester, I worked one 12 hour day shift and one 8 hour day shift per week. It wasn't bad at all and I made good grades and didn't go crazy.

    After my second semester, I applied and was accepted for an apprentice nurse II position (much more hands on with the patients...we do all patient care, assessing, charting, giving meds except IV, etc.) and worked three 12 hour night shifts per week through summer. When school started, I went down to two 12 hour night shifts. It was HORRIBLE. I felt like I was chasing my tail and to top it off, we found out my father in law had leukemia and my hubbie's ex wife was suing him for full custody of the kids (he has custody now). I also had to have 2 round of oral surgery. I was drained by Christmas break and almost didn't want to go back to school.

    I decided to cut down to one shift per week now and am enjoying it. I still get the experience but I'm not as stressed. The money is a little tighter, but at least I see my family now and then! Plus, when an exam comes up or I have a care plan due, I actually am able to work on my school work instead of wanting to sleep.

    I am in class with many who not only work full time jobs, but one gal has a hubbie with a severe case of MS and 4 children. Another woman has 5 children and works a part time job. There are several single mothers in the class, all with full time jobs. It's been hard on all of us. But I figure, it will be such a RELIEF to be done with school and ONLY have to concentrate on working.....it will actually be nice to go to work!

    All of that being said, I'm really glad I did work because the experience I've received has been priceless. I've learned more at work in one month than I did in an entire year of nursing school. I'm looking forward to beginning my career in the ICU where I currently am employed now and I feel like I have a little bit of a headstart on some things. I have recommended our hospitals program to all of the first year students because I feel it's a godsend.

    Melanie = )
  11. by   nursepotter05
    I graduate in May. I have worked full tome the entire time I have been in nursing school. I have a G.P.A. of 3.965. Not everyone can work and go to school, however if you are motivated enough, it can be done! It takes a LOT of hard work and dedication, but it is possible!
  12. by   grentea
    It actually can help you to manage your time better if you're working while going to school, but deciding to work really depends on how intense your program is. I'm in an accelerated BSN program and I really couldn't hold down a job while doing this. I take up the occasional pet-sitting gig now and then but even that is hard to do with my rough schedule.
  13. by   JoniL&DRN
    I am glad you asked this question because I have asked it as well... I am going to start my program in the fall. I am a wife and mother of three (ages 5,7 and 9) and if we want to eat I have to work. I don't have a choice but I have worried about its feasibility. So this is what I have decided... if there is a will there is a way. You'd be amazed at the things you can do if you have no choice! I plan to work 2 - 12 hour shifts per week (over the weekend) and I'll work 3 shifts during the summer. Do I still worry? Yes. But people do it EVERYDAY. Single mothers with babies work and go to school. Moms of a whole pack of kids and a lazy bum for a husband go to school. WE CAN DO IT TOO!
  14. by   ashemson
    I go to an eve/weekend program, but I am lucky in that I work PRN at a local hospital. So I get to pretty much pick my hours that I work. I can work 1 day/week or 5/days per week. It's very convenient!

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