Working and nursing school?

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    I just got accepted to nursing school for August, I am super excited to start this new stage in life. However, I have been told over and over that working is not a good idea during school. I live in an apartment in my parents basement so I am rent free. But I have a car payment, have to buy my own food, pay for my own gas and have one credit card bill for credit building. (It is an amazon card so cannot help with food, gas, etc.) I am working full time right now and plan on saving as much I can until school. When I get in school I am able to work at the hospital towards tuition reimbursement. So I'm just wondering what is normally too many hours to work. I was hoping I could handle 20 hours and school. Any suggestions?
    Last edit by Joe V on Feb 18, '13
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  3. 35 Comments so far...

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    I am in the same boat, but since I am moving out of state it's a tad bit different. I think it would be best to get your first semester under your belt before you begin working. I worked all throughout my first undergrad career and can honestly say that my grades would have been much better if I didnt work so much while undertaking studies. However, I know that for most of us, that's unrealistic.

    I'm planning on finding my rhythm during my first semester and then seeking out employment.
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    Anyone who says students shouldn't work during nursing school is full of it. I worked 36 hrs a week during school. This topic has been brought up before and almost all of the replies include people working throughout school.

    It just depends on how well you can manage everything and how well you can study. There are single parents with three kids, working full time, and going to nursing school at the same time. Now that I think of it, most people work during school.

    Someone telling you that you shouldn't work in nursing school is a holier-than-thou thing. Because you are young and stupid...and nursing school is soooo hard...you are ignorant and you have no idea what the world is like. Well, nursing school is difficult and it takes up a lot of time, but if you are only doing nursing school and nothing else, you will be broke and possibly bored from time to time. You can only study so much.

    Work can actually help you. If you are a CNA, you get experience in the hospital and you can get your foot in the door. It can give you an excuse to walk away from the books. It helps you grow as a person and you will learn time management, responsibility, and create a good work ethic.

    What do you tell the students who already have a family, a mortgage, and bills. They all worked. If anything, I would tell you to think about a part-time job or as needed status. Just assess your ability to study and retain information. Most people don't have the option of quitting their job just because of school. Complete nonsense.
    gypsy724, Sweet charm, stefonee356, and 1 other like this.
  6. 1
    Ah, thank you for the reassurance. I was getting nervous I was going to have to be completely poor for two years!
    gypsy724 likes this.
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    Just mentioned this in another thread, but don't forget that working in healthcare can help you greatly when you are trying to get a job as an RN due to networking and the work relationships with unit managers.
    carakristin1 likes this.
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    Thank you hodgieRN! I have always heard that working was a no-no. In fact, a friend of tried to work during the BSN program couldn't do it with her husband and two kids. She had quit her job and still had her mom move here to help her. She ended up dropping out because she failed one of her classes and didn't want to chance failing another. She switched to Health Care Management. She wanted to keep the Nursing option open.

    I'm a single mom. My sons are with their dad so I decided that now was the time to go back to school since I'm no longer the primary "homework/project/kid shuttle person" and can focus on myself for a change. I was wondering how I'd make it though. I guess I may be able to work after all. I'll just need a lot of focus. My current job is relocating to MN so I am looking for another job. I'm hoping to secure employment in a hospital or doctor's office.
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    Miiki, thanks for the advice. I'm already in the health care as a home health aid, but I have to switch to a job at the hospital once I start school. And that will be a great experience.
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    I worked two jobs during nursing school, but I simply wouldn't recommend it. The people who jump to reply to these posts will tell you it's fine, but most people can't balance that kind of workload. It depends on how much you need to study, and because nursing school is so different from run of the mill college programs, you can't know until you start. My advice would always be to have a back-up plan in case you genuinely can't work, especially during the first couple months when the adjustment is hardest. Sit down with your family and talk about your options.

    Can you work? Yes. Should you? Maybe. If you can manage with it and get the most out of your education, go that route. If you are doing fine and find yourself bored, pick up a weekend job.
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    I think 15-20 hours a week would be my personal max. I'm just working on pre-reqs now and find if I don't get a solid 20 hours to study for all my class (Micro, A&P, Technical Writing, Math) I just don't do as well on my tests as I would other wise, so I limit my work hours to 30. I think in nursing school since I'll be having to study double that I'll cut work by half.

    This logic totally makes sense to me Hahah
    carakristin1 and pmabraham like this.
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    This is a totally subjective question, and like a few others said, you probably won't really know until you've started the classes. I will say that a way can be made if you aboslutely have to work, but most likely you'll want to keep it part-time, maybe 10-15 hours per week. I know that once you get through that fundamentals class you might be able to find hospital positions as a nursing student, which would only require a few hours every week, would give you experience, and would probably not pay too badly. Something to look out for.


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