Anyone NOT work during NP program?

  1. 0
    Hi All,

    I am looking to hear from anyone who did NOT work during their NP program. Currently, I attend my FNP program full time and work part time. In my program, there is not one student just going to school. All students work full or part time (well, if there is anyone not working I am unaware of it). This is not a requirement of the program, just the way it is. I mentioned to some classmates and a professor about taking time off to just concentrate on my program and was surprised at the response. "You can't! You will lose your skills!" or "You will never get a NP job with that on your resume!" Many of them said they would not feel like a nurse if all they did was go to school. Financially, I do not have to work and my Husband is always telling me to leave my job so I can focus on school 100%. He feels like FNP is such a big responsibility I should devote all my time to becoming one.

    Did anyone not work through their program? Am I committing some kind of horrible nurse crime if I just go to grad school? I am just looking for any thoughts...


    PS I guess I should mention that while I am a great student, I have to work VERY hard at it, and my program requires a B or higher for passing grades. This makes juggling both at times difficulty and very stressful as well, obviously... we all know how that is, right?!

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  2. 15 Comments...

  3. 0
    I worked very little at the beginning of NP school, and basically quit work about a semester into school. Thankfully I had the financial means to do so, as it sounds like you do. As far as losing skills, well I guess I did, at least some. I had been working ICU, and I didn't care if I lost some of those skills, as I didn't plan on working in that setting again. You won't forget the essential skills, they are part of you by now, but taking care of a vented patient isn't among my duties now, so it was fine with me. Additionally, just by chance, I got a PRN charge nurse job at a LTAC about half way thru school, which I am still employed PRN. I haven't quit there even though my job is now in primary care, but I like the PRN position and the other employees too. Some may disagree, but I recommend not working while in school, if able.

    I truly respect those that can work alot while in school, but I chose to just focus on school and family. I don't regret it one bit either, and no one ever questioned why I didn't also work. It's clearly listed on my CV when I left my job, but school filled the gap.
  4. 1
    I don't see anything wrong with not working during school. I took off for 10 weeks in the summer for my pediatrics class due to the high number of clinical hours. It was AWESOME! I actually had time to do the readings and focus without worrying about getting to work. Now that I'm back to work, I miss that freedom.

    I also agree with Cessna172, the essential nursing skills will not evaporate if you take time off for your MSN. You'll be looking for a different sort of job when you graduate anyway. RN and APN job skills are different, especially if you are in a primary care focused program like mine. I say go for it if you can swing it. Or just go PRN if you are worried about it.
    Cessna172 likes this.
  5. 1
    I don't have the luxury of quitting work because my husband is self-employed and I carry the family benefits, but I would LOVE to be able to focus only on school! I started with many classmates who didn't have to work for one reason or another, and they were able to go to school full-time and now they're graduating and I still have another year of school left. I would not worry about losing your "skills", as you are constantly gaining new ones during school.
    Cessna172 likes this.
  6. 3
    My program suggests not working so that the focus is on completing the DNP.
  7. 0
    I'm working on my PNP. I was working but recently left my regular position. It just wasn't worth it. There were some things happening that had me concerned that my license was in jeopardy (we were being told to lie in charting). So once this happened...I was gone.

    The reality is that if I had less kids and my kids were healthy...I would get another job. But...I have 5 kids and there are some more than normal medical issues. In August alone I have no less than 6 doctors appointments for them....I think it's more like a dozen or more.

    So if I had a normal life...I would be working. But with my kids being a part time job with doctors appointments...I'm not going to seek employment besides some small things I have on the side.
  8. 1
    I'm one semester in to my FNP program online, and I had to quit my part-time job at a hospital. I think it just depends on where you work and if they are supportive of your education. I needed certain days off for quizzes, and wasn't given them. I made other requests and was not given those either. I was becoming burnt-out after just one semester, and decided to focus on my education. I actually just got a PRN position that will allow me to pick up as many or as few hours as I want on the days I want. The main reason I did this is because I didn't want to have nothing on my resume for the two years I was in school. However, I think employers might be more understanding than we may think. Graduate school is difficult, and I don't think that there is anything wrong with saying that you wanted to focus on your education. I'm the same as you - I tend to put A LOT of work into my school work, so it tends to take me longer to complete things than some others. Everyone is different, you have to do what's right for you!
    Mom To 4 likes this.
  9. 0
    My DNP adviser recommends quitting one's job when beginning the clinical portion during the last half of the program. He says it's almost impossible to work then. But most do work during the first half of the program (didactic).
  10. 0
    I'm working a modified schedule the first semester this fall (using a PTO day every week or so and working a few days each week). In the 2nd semester and beyond work will be very part time/prn/nonexistant. I'm hoping they'll make a part-time/prn opening for me as I've been on my floor for 4 years. I've prepared for it otherwise though.
  11. 0
    Thank you all for your responses. I knew there HAD to be some other opinions out there somewhere...thank you!!!

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