Working Nights while in School Days

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    Hi my name is Brittany. I am twenty three and currently in nursing school. I am working nights as a CNA in labor and delivery. I feel like working while in nursing school is helping me gain extra experience. The extra experience is helping me in my nursing program. I feel like I am ahead of the class in the experience department, but am always exhausted. However, I am just in the first couple months of school and am doing pretty good. I was wondering if anyone else worked while in school? If so, what was your experience? Were you able to be successful in your nursing program?
    lina.561 and sleepyRN2 like this.

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  2. 19 Comments...

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    I did NOT work during school, but a friend of mine did. My friend was changing careers and needed the income, so worked overnights all the way through. Chronically exhausted and fortunate to be a naturally gifted student, still almost flunked out when it got really tough.

    Try to cut back when you head into the semesters with toughest classes.

    Remember to cut your hours and study early --- if you wait until you are in trouble to catch up, it may already be too late.

    This is a big gamble. Even with all the time in the world to study, lots of students still fail ns. Stack the odds in your favor and take the time you need to study.
    PurpleLVN and HM2VikingRN like this.
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    I worked nights as a unit clerk while in LPN school, than as an LPN while in the ADN program. Not fun, but since the kiddos wanted to eat three times a day, that was the only option - lol.

    I echo the above poster but realize too that in this economy you have to do what you have to do.

    Good luck.
    Jc1982, on eagles wings, Aly529, and 6 others like this.
  5. 7
    I to am working full time (days) while going to nursing school at night. Drining 1 hour each way to get to school, arranging the kid's schedules and making sure my mother is taken care of -all with the help of my husband -can be exhausting. But when I reach the end and become an RN I just know it will all be worth it. I try to take some time each day for me to decompress and look at all I am accomplishing. Even the small things like passing a quiz or completing a skill. You can do it!
    KimberlyRN89, Williams75, havehope, and 4 others like this.
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    Full time night shift, full time student. I'm so worn out, I'd be scared to see my own CBC/CMP. I was feeling really crappy one night, checked my blood sugar, and it was in the low 80's -- I'd been so busy and then so tired, I forgot to eat for 24 hours. I tried to get on a Baylor schedule, but that was a no-go, so I'm just taking it one day at a time, and trying not to fall asleep on the drive home...
    as2008 and PurpleLVN like this.
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    I work only 12 hr shifts on weekends that way I have time for school, family and some sleep ( as much as I can get with a 1 yr old). I have seen people do it but it will be very tough. Try cutting back during the week and work weekends if you can.
    Im also lucky that my co-worker is willing to switch and take hours when things get crazy even though we are in the same classes.
    HM2VikingRN likes this.
  8. 2
    I worked overnights and weekends 32 hours average during an accelerated RN program. It was tough but I made it through. I was lucky because I had a job where I essentially watched patients sleep so I could study at work.

    Physically I did start to break down the last quarter. My health is recovering and I am glad that I did it.
    KimberlyRN89 and PurpleLVN like this.
  9. 4
    I saved up my PTO and worked nights I used PTO to keep my full time status and the health insurance. I used 1 to 2 days a week. I would take a week off per month. I did it for 3 years. and graduated with a 3.5 gpa.... no it was not a 4.0 but considering working and going to school. i was very proud of it.
    the best Tip I can give you is to try and study offensively rather than defensively. Know your learning style.
  10. 0
    No matter whether you're in school or not, working nights means fatigue. Our bodies are just not meant to work nights. But, many do adapt.
    Last edit by tnbutterfly on Nov 11, '09
  11. 0
    Quote from NursingStudentBritt
    I was wondering if anyone else worked while in school? If so, what was your experience? Were you able to be successful in your nursing program?
    Experiences?

    I found it affects both your academic performance and employment record.

    While it's great to have gained the "experience" associated with the employment gained while going to school, I also found there are times when you just call in sick because you are so exhausted.

    So, while you may be sucessful in the nursing program, it ends up your employment record suffers because of "sick days." So the whole idea of using the employment as "experience" when you graduate becomes a counter productive endeavour.

    I recall sitting in the classroom and losing my ability to pay attention and would sometimes miss certain details because of a lack of concentration. Your brain gets tired, your body becomes phyically stressed as you drag your heels around, you begin to feel a sense of depression and your outlook changes.

    You usually do well at first but it's like running a marathon. The question is how long can you keep running? When will you drop out of the race?

    Best advice is don't do both at the same time. You can gain the practical experience later. What's the hurry?

    My Best,


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