Working during RN-BSN?

  1. For those of you who did a bridge from RN to BSN, did you work while in school?

    Im super fortunate that I didnt really have to work during my ADN, (i am done in september) and Im wondering if completing the BSN is as challenging as the ADN program.

    Have you seen many people struggle with working and in a BSN at the same time? Is it like the ADN, where everyone tells you NOT to work at all??

    Input from other programs as well! Did you work during your MSN, or PA, or ARNP or CRNA program?
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  2. 30 Comments

  3. by   amygarside
    ive read many articles regarding Rn to BSN programs. they say that the most effective way to accomplish this program while you work is to ask if it would be possible to take the course on your free time or days off.. i hope this helps.
  4. by   applewhitern
    In my BSN program, it was mostly just more literature and history classes. There was very little actual nursing classes. Every school is different, though. I had to take several research classes, and a pathophysiology class, a trans-cultural nursing class. It was very easy, and nothing like the hell of the ADN program! I wish the different schools were more alike in the material you need, but they aren't. I worked full-time, because the classes were just once per week, usually, and the grading at that school was far more lenient than the ADN program that I had taken. Also, the research classes were basically just more about "how" to write a research paper.
  5. by   Blondenurse83
    I am doing an online RN to BSN program, and it is completely doable for me working full time nights. But if I was doing a classroom program requiring face to face time, that might be a different story. I worked during my ADN too and it was rough but I made it.
  6. by   llg
    I teach in an RN-BSN program. I also work in a hospital and have several friends who are in RN-BSN programs.

    The big questions are:
    1. How many courses do you plan to take per semester?
    2. Are you planning to attend a school whose RN-BSN program is equal in academic rigor to traditional BSN programs?

    The fact is that some schools are more rigorous than others and require more committment on the part of the student. If a program requires a level of work and committment equal to a traditional, high-quality education ... a "full time" student should expect to work the number of hours equivalent to a "full time" job -- 35-40 hours per week. With such a program, it is almost impossible to do a good job if you both work full time and go to school full time. However, it would be possible to do one (work or school) full time while doing the other on a part time basis. It would also be possible to do both on a part time basis. Most of the people I know do one (either work or school) full time and the other on a part time basis. In other words, they either work full time and take 1 or 2 courses per semester ... or they go to school full time and only work part time.

    However, there are a lot of RN-BSN programs out there that are not all that rigorous. They may require a lot of "busy-work" to complete, but they don't require the deep intellectual work that necessitates you spend 10 hours per course per week. If that's the type of program you are planning to attend, then you may be able to handle more working and/or more courses per semester.

    When I hear about people working full time while also going to school full time ... I figure they are either doing a bad job at both ... or they are going to a very easy school. It is not reasonable to expect yourself to work 40 hours per week and also go to school 40 hours per week. That just doesn't add up to any sort of schedule you can maintain for very long, and the quality of your work (and life in general) is bound to suffer.
  7. by   TX911
    Quote from llg
    "When I hear about people working full time while also going to school full time ... I figure they are either doing a bad job at both ... or they are going to a very easy school. It is not reasonable to expect yourself to work 40 hours per week and also go to school 40 hours per week."
    That's interesting. Have you ever considered the possibility that perhaps you aren't as talented as you think you are since the VAST majority of RN-BSNs work full time while going to school? And I'm dying to know what it is you think qualifies as "deeply intellectual" about a BSN program. It's not theoretical physics. Pretty much ALL BSN programs offer a laughable "research" portion due to the fact that there tends to not even be a tenuous grasp of actual, functional statistical methods from their students. So again, please enlighten us about this "deeply intellectual" class you teach. I'm dying to know what that freshman level college algebra class, 2000 level stats class, and ACT math score of 21 gets your students.

    Quote from llg
    "That just doesn't add up to any sort of schedule you can maintain for very long, and the quality of your work (and life in general) is bound to suffer."
    Yeah, that's called "sacrifice." It's what people used to do in order to attain things back in the day when a bunch of entitled brats didn't populate the world.

    I was a paramedic for 7 years before I transitioned. I went on at 8am Friday morning and got off 8am Monday morning, went to nursing school and did clinicals 4 days a week and got done with those just in time to go back to work. It sucked, but it's called sacrificing to succeed. I then did an RN-BSN program from a well-respected and accredited institution where I graduated with honors all while working full time and then some. JUST LIKE A TON OF PEOPLE DO EVERY DAY. Now as I prepare to enter a DNP program in the spring I'm aware that with class time and having to take call, working is simply not an option and it will actually get you excused from the program.

    I say all of that to say this: quit being a baby and quit casting aspersions on people who are willing to work harder than you. And once again, if you think any BSN program anywhere on the planet Earth qualifies as "academically rigorous" you have a big wake up call in front of you should you decide to move on.


    Last edit by TX911 on Jun 20, '13
  8. by   PMFB-RN
    Nearly all RN to BSN are designed for working RNs. I worked more than full time during mine. It was easy. There are also many MSN programs designed for working RNs. Some NP programs are set up for working nurses, some are designed to be full time. Pretty much all CRNA programs are way more than full time and working pretty much isn't possible. That said we have a few CRNA students who work every Saturday or every other Saturday
  9. by   hiddencatRN
    Quote from TX911
    [LEFT]

    That's interesting. Have you ever considered the possibility that perhaps you aren't as talented as you think you are since the VAST majority of RN-BSNs work full time while going to school? And I'm dying to know what it is you think qualifies as "deeply intellectual" about a BSN program. It's not theoretical physics. Pretty much ALL BSN programs offer a laughable "research" portion due to the fact that there tends to not even be a tenuous grasp of actual, functional statistical methods from their students. So again, please enlighten us about this "deeply intellectual" class you teach. I'm dying to know what that freshman level college algebra class, 2000 level stats class, and ACT math score of 21 gets your students.



    Yeah, that's called "sacrifice." It's what people used to do in order to attain things back in the day when a bunch of entitled brats didn't populate the world.

    I was a paramedic for 7 years before I transitioned. I went on at 8am Friday morning and got off 8am Monday morning, went to nursing school and did clinicals 4 days a week and got done with those just in time to go back to work. It sucked, but it's called sacrificing to succeed. I then did an RN-BSN program from a well-respected and accredited institution where I graduated with honors all while working full time and then some. JUST LIKE A TON OF PEOPLE DO EVERY DAY. Now as I prepare to enter a DNP program in the spring I'm aware that with class time and having to take call, working is simply not an option and it will actually get you excused from the program.

    I say all of that to say this: quit being a baby and quit casting aspersions on people who are willing to work harder than you. And once again, if you think any BSN program anywhere on the planet Earth qualifies as "academically rigorous" you have a big wake up call in front of you should you decide to move on.

    Tell us how you really feel....

    Most people I know who did RN-BSN programs while working FT were taking classes PT. They still wound up with a BSN and didn't have to put their life on hold, so I'm not sure why that doesn't count as "succeeding" too.
  10. by   llg
    TX911:

    The 8-10 hours per week per standard 3-credit, semester long course is not something I made up. It is the national standard promulgated by the federal government and most leaders in higher education. That means that someone taking 4 classes per semester should expect to spend 32-40 hours per week on schoolwork.

    If you want to spend 80 hours per week working (job + school) ... that's your choice. But it is not the life most people want to lead. That kind of lifestyle using comes at a cost to either the quality of your work and/or the quality of your life.

    If you don't want to invest that much time in your education ... that's your choice too. But I know a lot of people with letters behind their names who didn't learn much in school because they "slid through the program" -- doing enough to pass, but not really getting a great education. The lack of quality and rigor in some nursing programs is partly due to the acceptance of such "slacking" by society in general. I want better for myself and our profession. I was hoping the OP did, too.
  11. by   blondy2061h
    I started nursing in a 4 year BSN program. I did odd stuff here and there and worked part time as a nanny while I was in it. I did a job at school maybe 3-5 hours per week and nannied around 10-12 hours per week. This was certainly doable. I took 18 credits per semester.

    While I work working as an RN full time (38 hours per week) I went back to school for FNP. I was able to start the NP classes part time and was taking 6 credits per semester initially. This was also certainly doable. For the last 3 semesters, however, I had to start the clinical component and average 20 hours of clinical a week on top of work plus class material. This was hellish. Every part of my life suffered for those 18 months. I knew I wasn't doing the best academically as I could. I wasn't well rested when I went to work, and felt my patience and compassion suffered for that. I wasn't helping my coworkers as much as I had previously. I wasn't seeing my family much and felt like a derelict friend. I managed, though, and it was only 18 months. I feel if I hadn't had a clinical component it would have been okay. Since BSN programs really don't have clinicals that I have heard of, you're likely to be fine.
  12. by   classicdame
    I attended classes for oomy BSN and was lucky enough to have a supervisor who arranged my work schedule so I could attend school. With my MSN I worked five 8-hour days and did the program online. So, yes, it can be done. You have to focus.
  13. by   PMFB-RN
    Quote from TX911
    I went on at 8am Friday morning and got off 8am Monday morning,
    *** Wow you gave up that schedule!? I left critical care transport when too many nurses with MSN behind their name decided that shifts longer than 12 would no longer be allowed. Of course the people making that decision had NEVER worked a single hour with us and had no clue what we did. I figured that if I was going to have to do 12 like everybody else I might as well make some money and left for WAY more money.
    I miss many things about it. However it is nice to not have to listen to the prema-donna paramedics whine about how it wasn't fair that they only made half as much as the RN team leaders.
  14. by   TX911
    Quote from hiddencatRN
    so I'm not sure why that doesn't count as "succeeding" too.

    It does, that was my whole point.

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