Working as an RN while in FNP school

  1. I am starting FNP school part-time in August. I am currently an RN on a MedSurg floor and have been for one year. I have never been satisfied with this job and always knew I wanted to work elsewhere as an RN but now I am having trouble deciding what to do. I want to work in primary care when I am an NP, I value my weekends and holidays and I am not someone who loves the random work schedule of acute care RNs. I am interested in looking at positions as an outpatient RN. When school starts I will be enrolled in two courses and they are only on Tuesdays so my availability isn't awful but I'm not sure I am comfortable working part time right now.

    Anybody have experience working four 10 hour shifts outpatient? Part-time outpatient? while in school? I'm struggling to choose between my happiness outside of work and the convenience of 3 12s with school. Any information/experiences/advice would be greatly appreciated!
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   caffeinatednurse
    I would rather work three 12 hour shifts per week while in school. I currently work five eight hour shifts and I am in the process of advocating to switch my scheduled back to 12 hour shifts.
  4. by   CoolKidsRN
    I currently work in an outpatient setting and have hired NP students for part-time positions. My staff typically works 10 hour days. Though now, we are trying to get away from hiring NP students because it takes effort to train them and they aren't there at most 1.5 years. It is more helpful to have a full-time nurse that will be long term. Overall, what you are asking for exists but also depends on the organization culture/flexibility.
  5. by   cleback
    I would probably keep on the medsurg floor, unfortunately. I say this because soon you will be starting clinical that requires weekday availability. you will have to juggle your work schedule with your preceptors. A lot of the NP students I know have to pick up/trade for weekend shifts to make the two work.

    The other possibility that I myself am looking into is urgent care. The weekend and evening hours are there but no overnights, extended holiday hours. UC also exposes one to triaging patients--who goes to the er and who can recover at home. Will be helpful for the future np.
  6. by   yoganurse22
    Thanks for replying! I have now decided to go to school full time at least in the fall and maybe two classes in spring and two next summer so I can end up graduating in 2.5 years instead of 4 years if I were to be part time the entire time. I am starting to think staying on my MedSurg floor will give me the most options as well. I already have an established relationship with my manager and hopefully she will work with me to accommodate. classea are still only on Tuesdays but obviously my work load will be heavier with 3 classes. Still scared to work part time for fear of a smaller paycheck but I think I might try it and see just how hard it is. If I really can't handle it I'll work part time on my floor.
  7. by   Lennonninja
    I'm starting NP school this fall, and I'm planning to stay in the hospital to have as much flexibility as possible once clinicals start. I'll be working full time until clinicals, and going to school part time.
  8. by   Meriwhen
    I work with a couple of RNs who are also NP students. One was full-time (5 8s a week) until their last year of school, then they dropped down to part-time (2-3 8s a week). The other just started a NP program and is working full-time but plans to cut back on hours as the NP program progresses.

    I would still try to keep your foot in acute care, even if you go down to per-diem.
  9. by   malenurse122879
    I graduate in December with my FNP. I've worked 36 hours per week through the entire program and have taken full-time courses. While doing so I've also held a 3.5 GPA. It's very doable, you just have to make yourself take the needed time out of the week to study. I'd also recommend considering making a move to an urgent care so that you can actually see what you'll be doing and get a feel for what primary care is like. It also gives you the flexibility with your hours to work weekends and leave your weekdays open for clinical - at least it has in my situation.

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