Working while attending UHM nursing school

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    I will be entering the UHM nursing program in the Fall and am curious about the amount of time that current UHM students are putting into school. Is it difficult to balance the study load and a part-time job? I have a litter of kids, which is the primary reason why I am hesitant to make such a commitment during the school year. In addition, I need to maintain a good GPA because it will impact my future employment prospects. Family and GPA are my top two priorities. However, I know that having my foot in the door at a hospital will be of the utmost importance if my Plan A employment prospects implode.

    Can anyone give me an idea of how much time they are committing to their studies outside of class? Any info about amount of reading, papers, studying, etc. would be helpful. Also, about how many hours a week are you able to commit to work? Thanks in advance.
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  3. 17 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    Quote from SNSWTR
    I will be entering the UHM nursing program in the Fall and am curious about the amount of time that current UHM students are putting into school. Is it difficult to balance the study load and a part-time job? I have a litter of kids, which is the primary reason why I am hesitant to make such a commitment during the school year. In addition, I need to maintain a good GPA because it will impact my future employment prospects. Family and GPA are my top two priorities. However, I know that having my foot in the door at a hospital will be of the utmost importance if my Plan A employment prospects implode.

    Can anyone give me an idea of how much time they are committing to their studies outside of class? Any info about amount of reading, papers, studying, etc. would be helpful. Also, about how many hours a week are you able to commit to work? Thanks in advance.
    I've worked about 30hrs/wk throughout the program and have a near 4.0. No kids or other commitments though. Nursing school is a pretty huge time commitment put it's manageable. Outside of class time really depends on the student. Some people pick up the lecture material quickly while others need to spend many many hours reviewing. The sheer volume of time required for clinicals and pre-care takes some getting used to. Not a lot of other college courses that require you to come in for several hours the day before, work on a careplan for several hours that nite, then show up at 6am the next day for a full 8hr day of clinicals. If you plan to work, be sure it is a job with a flexible schedule. Your clinical schedule will change every semester and sometimes even during the semester because of simulation days or other events.

    We have a wide variety of students in our class. Some with kids. Some gave birth during school (some took a semester while others did not). Some with jobs. And some that do nothing but school. It's ironic that some of the ones with no commitments other than school end up doing not so great. It's kind've a maturity thing though.

    Is there a reason your GPA is so important? Most employers could care less once you're licensed. Working as an aide or ward clerk will make a much bigger impact on your job prospects than GPA. A 4.0 gpa is not gonna give you an edge over someone already working on the unit with connections to the nurse managers.
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    Thanks for the swift response. Sounds like you're doing great...perfect balance of grades and work experience. I hope to be in that position too, a couple of years down the line. I guess I'll have to assess my situation and get a feel for the actual class workload. I'll continue to volunteer and see where that goes during the school year.

    In response to the GPA question, my main goal is to pursue a Federal position. I think it'll be a factor as far as application competitiveness is concerned. In addition, I want to keep my options open in regards to graduate studies. I messed up enough in the past and don't have much wiggle room in my academic record. I would like to keep it as pristine as possible this time around.
  6. 0
    Quote from SNSWTR
    Thanks for the swift response. Sounds like you're doing great...perfect balance of grades and work experience. I hope to be in that position too, a couple of years down the line. I guess I'll have to assess my situation and get a feel for the actual class workload. I'll continue to volunteer and see where that goes during the school year.

    In response to the GPA question, my main goal is to pursue a Federal position. I think it'll be a factor as far as application competitiveness is concerned. In addition, I want to keep my options open in regards to graduate studies. I messed up enough in the past and don't have much wiggle room in my academic record. I would like to keep it as pristine as possible this time around.
    I hear ya...

    Aside from wanting straight A's "just because", I've been struggling to raise my cGPA after many "bad" semesters early in my college career. I do plan on pursing a masters at some point so I've been trying to hit that minimum 3.0 mark so programs will at least look at my app. It's taken almost the full 3 years of the BSN program with almost all straight A's to raise my cGPA from a 2.5 to 3.0.

    It just takes a lot of motivation. Getting A's in nursing school is nothing like regular college. I'm the type that got near perfects on A&P, pharm, etc exams without much studying. But nursing exams are a different story. I've definitely put in more study time for nursing school exams than any other college courses - including my previous engineering and BS Math courses. Very challenging but you do learn a lot.

    Just remember, ultimately it isn't about your exam scores - it's about what you learned. The difference between those who do the minimum to get by and those who are self-motivated becomes very evident within a few years of practice. Don't study for the A. Study to become a better nurse.
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    You're a great resource, mcubed45. Thanks for being so responsive. I've learned so much from your posts and others on this board. Out of curiosity, do the upperclassmen mentor the incoming classes?
  8. 0
    Quote from SNSWTR
    You're a great resource, mcubed45. Thanks for being so responsive. I've learned so much from your posts and others on this board. Out of curiosity, do the upperclassmen mentor the incoming classes?
    Ya sure. A lot of us have friends in other semesters from taking pre-requisites together and whatnot. Upperclassmen are a great resource for giving you tips about what to expect and how to survive the upcoming semesters. It's good to participate in the SNO (student nurse organization) activities to make friends in the other semesters. Plus, if you make with someone in the semester ahead of you, you can buy their books for cheap and avoid the ridiculous markup at the bookstore.

    I know when we started our first semester, a bunch of the 2nd semester officers met with our class and offered advice and setup little mentoring groups. Was quite helpful.
  9. 0
    Great! Thanks for being so responsive and helpful, mcubed45.
  10. 0
    Thanks for all the info mcubed45. What year are you in at UHM? I'm also entering the fall 2011 program this year snswtr
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    Maybe I'll see you around, szeles23. Only around 60-something students to guess from
  12. 0
    are you on the facebook page? I think its UHM Nursing Class of 2014


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