Anyone work f/t while attending KCC nursing program?

U.S.A. Hawaii


As a single Mom, I really can't afford to not work while going to school. I'm concerned about working while going through the nursing program at KCC. I know my life will basically be work/school/daughter, and I am okay with that (no party time). I'm just wondering how many people were able to make it work ??? Thanks.


184 Posts

Woah. They say:

Mom is full time job.

Nursing school is full time job.

Add another full time job for money.

So you're asking... can I have 3 full time jobs?

I didn't go to KCC, but a similar program. I worked anywhere between 32-40 hours (Thursday - Sunday). I believe that out of my graduation class, I was the only one who went through the program with working so much. I was told NUMEROUS times... "Quit your job, or flunk out."

Well... I guess I managed alright. But I had no children, no major responsibilities, and a girlfriend (now wife) who made me life as easy as possible.

There were single mom's in my program. I have the utmost respect for their ability to handle it all... but they definitely didn't get much sleep. And almost all got financial help from somewhere.

Well... I just don't know. Family support structure? Are you a genius who doesn't need to study? Naturally only need 4 hours sleep/night?

My final advice: Go for it.

You can't quit your job, you can't quit your daughter... those aren't really negotiable. What's the worst that can happen... you find out its not possible... you either quit or flunk out. Those scenarios aren't the end of the world.

But if you don't try... you might always wonder... what if.

Lisa From Maui

143 Posts

Elizabeth: I did nursing school on the mainland. Their program was similar to here. 2-3 years of nursing classes, then take the NCLEX-RN. Everyone, across the nation, takes the same NCLEX, so that means that all these different schools, across the nation, are pretty much gonna throw the same amount of info at you within 2-3 years.

To answer your question... nursing school kicked my butt! And everyone else's. It was common for 1/2 the students to fail 1/2 the exams. Many students barely passed. There were 2 women in my class, had kids, worked 40 hours/week; they passed. One had worked as a CNA in the ER for 5 years. The other one worked as a surgery tech, in the hospital, for 5 years. That's why they passed... because the knew 75% of the information already.

So, that's the secret. Work a job where you're learning alot. When you're in school, you'll say, "I don't have to study. I know it already."

Elizabeth... do you have family on the mainland? If you do, you might really consider moving back, and letting them take care of you, while you go to school. It's much easier to find work on the mainland as a new grad.

Like slobgob said, it's hard without support. I just don't want you to spend $$ on tuition, then flunk out.

Lisa ;-)

Lisa From Maui

143 Posts

Elizabeth: Here's one option:

Get your CNA. Work for at least 6 months. Learn on the job.

Go to nursing school. Get your LPN. Get a pay raise.

Take a break from nursing school. Work as an LPN for a year. Learn on the job

Go back to nursing school. Get your RN.

Lisa ;-)


10 Posts

Specializes in Dementia/longterm care.

I have worked throughout getting my BSN. I am approaching my last year and still am working 48 hours a week. My thing was to do home care night shifts. This way since I needed to check on the client every few hours while they slept I was able to have peace and quiet away from my home. I actually study more at work than at home. This genereally applies to the night shift but there are day shifts wioth these agencies where you have alot of down time. Also I am able to get sleep as homecare most nightshifts let you sleep, you need to inquire though if it is an awake shift or not. The other up side is you getr lots of client contact and learn.

Elizabeth K.

43 Posts

Specializes in ER.

Thanks for the replies.

@Lisa : I am actually getting my CNA soon. I start school in a few weeks. My plan is to work p/t so I can see if working with patients is something I can really do. Also, with this experience, I will have more points on my app when I apply to KCC.

I'm actualy thinking along the lines of what Portuge mentioned. I would like to work home healthcare so I can study during my downtime on shift. My gf did the same thing when she was going to school. That's how I got the idea!

I'm not sure if KCC -- or any nursing program for that matter -- would allow me to take a break once I get my LPN. I will just have to see where things stand in my life when I get to that point.

And, to answer your question about moving and having family take care of me, that is not an option. I'll be 38 soon. My closest family all have kids of their own to take care of. There is no one that could take me and my daughter on financially. This is why I need to work while going to school. I *WISH* I had someone I could live with so I just concentrate on my education! But, I have to deal with the cards that were dealt to me and make the best of it !

Portuge: I'm going to pm you to inquire about agencies!


2 Posts

I went to KCC.

I had a classmate that did this. But she was really smart and she told me she never studied for the exams. So she was able to do this. Nursing came really easy to her.

For me on the other hand, I couldn't do it with a full time job. I worked

My suggestion is to save up $$$ before going to school.


52 Posts

I just started the nursing program at KCC and it is pretty intense. It is an accelerated program and is like 4 years of nursing school combined into 2 years. All exams must be passed with atleast a C, and allmath exam scores must score atleast 90%. I have worked over 40 hours a week for the 3 years that I have been getting pre and co-reqs which is tough but I cannot imagine working that much in the nursing program. Right now I am working less than 20 hours a week and school has just began, and I am still tired!! That is not to say it cannot be done but you are in for one hell of a ride!! If that is your plan be prepared for how exhausting it will be and say good bye to everything except eating, sleeping, and using the the good news is that it is only 2 years long. KCC's program does allow you to leave and come back with the following requirements:

You successfully complete the first semester

You can only leave and come back twice

and they ask that your leave does not exceed two years before returning

any more questions just ask, hope this helps some!


434 Posts

It is an accelerated program and is like 4 years of nursing school combined into 2 years.

KCC is an ADN program, and like most ADN program's it's 2 years. It's an intense program but not accelerated. Accelerated programs are like UHM's former 18-month BSN program. Hawaii doesn't have any accelerated programs anymore (unless you count UHM's MEPN program).


52 Posts

This is what the program coordinator of the KCC nursing program told us. I assume you do not go to KCC since you are saying this. In the first half of the semester alone, which is LTC, we are learning 52 skills, more than any other nursing program in Hawaii, INCLUDING UH, so maybe it's not "technically" an accelerated program..but it is accelerated nonetheless!


10 Posts

Specializes in Dementia/longterm care.

I was at KCC for my prereq courses. Yes any nursing program is intense. Skills were intense. Besides skills we were required to be able to do a complete head to toe examination on DVD to pass. On top of that we were required to pass ATI exams plus know all the required skills that are used on a floor. The difference is that on top of skills the four year program requires more intense book load of courses. Everything you take in lecture has a lab on site. Working is personal and possible. I am a older person and am use to the pressure of earning a living and doing other things..It is all up to the individual. many of my peers do work.

Elizabeth K.

43 Posts

Specializes in ER.

Thanks to all for the replies. I will take what student loans I can to help supplement my income since I will have to reduce work hours once I get into nursing school. Thankfully, I am older and have gotten all of my partying out of my system (LOL), so I really don't mind just living and breathing work and school. As a single Mom, I am used to not having a life anyway (LOL). I also spent many years working two and three jobs, so I've BTDT when it comes to the no-sleep thing. The big question is going to be whether or not my body tolerates it now that I'm not as young! (YIKES!)

My focus will be on school, but I do have to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table, so I need to work as much as possible. I just don't want to graduate from school with a kazillion dollars in student loans to repay! :no:

I'm really hoping I do okay with the first semester as I already completed CNA training and plan to work p/t as a CNA as soon as I can find work. I'm also taking an advanced CNA course next month. I'm really enjoying what I'm learning so far and wish I could start nursing school already!!!

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