Anyone ever work full time while getting their RN?


  • Specializes in Obstetrics & Gynecology,Medical/Surgical. Has 8 years experience.

Hello everyone!

I got accepted into my school's nursing program, and will begin in October (2006). Classes/clinicals run for 8 weeks at a time. For example, I will have class Monday and Tuesday (2 hours each day), and clinicals Wednesday/Thursday (8 hours each day) for eight weeks, get a week off, then take class/clinicals #2 the next eight weeks, etc.

The problem is, I work full time and without it, cannot afford to pay bills and living expenses. I would have to take out an enormous amount of student loans, which I already have a pretty decent chunk from my first bachelor's degree. Also, if I continue working full time, my tuition is 100% free. But in order to get in that 40-hour work week, I may be squeezing in weekend hours or working 8am-2:00 and in my clinical from 2:30 - 11pm.

I dont have a husband or children (just two lazy cats) so I only have myself.

So I wonder, did anyone out there work full time while working on their nursing degree? Is it possible? How did you handle it? Any advice or pearls of wisdom is appreciated, as I am a little panicked about this situation!!


594 Posts

Specializes in ED, Cardiac Medicine, Retail Health.

I am currently doing it now. I graduate in December from my RN program and it is doable. I do have a family, a mortage to pay and work full time. My commute to work is 180 miles per day and tack on a few extrra miles when I go to class and clinical. I am in an evening program and have class every Tues from 4-9 pm and clinical on Wed from 2-1030 pm. Since you dont have a family you wont have to further split your time. As for studying, I study at work during lunch (I get an hour and a half) and weekends. like I said its doable but tough! Good luck!!!!


23 Posts

Its always doable. Depends on how bad you want it. I worked full time, two 16 hour shifts on the weekends, went to school mon-friday, and had 3 small children (7,5,3), and a single parent to boot. No, its not easy, but well worth it in the end. I graduated without owing any student loans, paid cash as I went. So good luck to you, and trudge on, its worth it. :balloons:


68 Posts

Specializes in Pediatric Intensive Care, ER.

Am only provider to wife and 3 kids, so had to do the same thing for 2 years myself (graduated a couple years ago). Worked 52-60 hours a week, almost all nights and weekends, and went to school/clinicals full-time at the same time. It stunk, and I MIGHT have gotten a good sleep once every 2 weeks. Had mucho family support!!! I look back now and wonder how I could have done it without my wife!

Have no fear - it sucks at times, and you'll feel like you're going through boot camp. The light at the end of the tunnel is NOT a train, and eventually you DO finish - then you look back and realize what you've been through, and can smile. It REALLY is worth it!!!!!!! My only regret is that I didn't do it years ago!

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.
So I wonder, did anyone out there work full time while working on their nursing degree? Is it possible? How did you handle it? Any advice or pearls of wisdom is appreciated, as I am a little panicked about this situation!!
There's a regular poster on this site, Marie LPN, who works full-time as an LPN in the OR while attending RN school.


56 Posts

I, too, am wondering how it will play out. Right now, I am working full time and going to school part time (starting next week) I am kind of "feeling things out" with the school/work/family schedule, and I pray it can be done without forgetting my kid's name!

Bala Shark

573 Posts

I think if you are highly intelligent and you dont need to study that much, it would be okay working 40 hours a week..But for like the avearge person who is not that highly intelligent, I think there would be a problem with studying...I would recommed only working 16 hours a week at the most for the avearge student..

Jo Dirt

3,270 Posts

Has 9 years experience.

I have three children and a disabled husband and I worked full-time (usually 60 hrs. a week) while getting my RN. My situation was not like yours, though, because I went through Excelsior College and did most of my studying on my own time. I happened to be lucky enough to have a job as a private duty LPN on the night shift which meant I was free to study on the job most of the time.

It got me through and with no debt, payed as I went along (though I was fairly poor for about a year.)


57 Posts

Hello, I worked full time, after school till almost midnight,school was daytime, had 2yr old, husband acting crazy. Had to work!! It was the worse time of my life but yet the best time of my life also.. if that makes any sense? Good Luck

Tweety, BSN, RN

32,738 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 31 years experience.

I was in the same boat and had to work full time too. To date it was the toughest thing I've every done, but I did it.

Good luck!

vampiregirl, BSN, RN

1 Article; 795 Posts

Specializes in Hospice. Has 13 years experience.

I'm doing the Excelsior route, along with a full time job and part time job. So, it's going to take me a little longer than normal to complete my degree, but I'm ok with that.

Anyways, for me at least, prioritizing and being organized help to keep me from being totally overwhelmed. My house is sometimes messier (not dirty, just messy) than I'd like. I make meals ahead and freeze portions to reheat later. The crockpot is also great.

Try to take care of yourself and good luck!


761 Posts

Specializes in pedi, pedi psych,dd, school ,home health.

I also worked full time while in school. I had 2 teenagers and a husband who travelled extensively...BUT we were all committed to me finishing school. we all sacrificed time together, but found new ways to do t hings. I studied with my girls. when i went to thier softball games,a nd early in the morning when no one else was awake. yes it was hard and wasnt always sure i would do it but that was 6 yrs ago and now i am almost finished with my BSN. You can do it, just give your self a break and dont expect to be superwoman!!

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