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Can you work full time while attending NP school?

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can you work full time and still complete your NP degree in 2 years?

kyboyrn

Specializes in Nurse Practitioner-Emergency Room. Has 5 years experience.

Hey,

Congrats on the potential of going to NP school. They say that people have worked full time while going to school full time and getting their NP degree, but personally I don't see how. I'm in a part time program and their is no feasible way that I can see that I'll be able to work full time for the last year. Know people that went before me, and they weren't able, with clinicals and homework, assignments, etc. Still, I've heard it can be done. Maybe if you work weekends or something, I'm not sure. I guess it just depends on the way your program is set up. Anyway, good luck with whatever you decide. If you want to be an NP you can do it somehow. It's a field that needs people.:welcome:

I worked a full time weekender type job while in NP school full time (and full time mom to one school aged son), so it's not impossible. You don't have much of a life but it's not impossible...

Lorelai22RN, RN

Specializes in Med/Tele. Has 2 years experience.

I'm starting NP school this fall, August 08' and I plan on doing a WOW job on my unit, weekends only with every 8th weekend off. The pay is better than just regular weekends. Most of my classes the first year are online, so it should be cool. When I get to the clinical portion...........I will trim back as necessary because I hear that can be a challenge but I am gonna try to work full time while in np school unless it becomes too much of a challenge. Thank God for weekend positions. Also, I am single and no kids so hopefully I want fall in love before I graduate!! To those that have worked FT, have hubby and kids...........I am in awe of you. ;) Anyone else starting in fall 08'??? I am so excited!!

I'm planning on going to a 4 year DNP program that is part time so I can work full time. I think it would doable even at a 2 year program if you could work weekends. Good luck with school and keep us all up to date on how it's going!

I don't think it's possible for everyone. Depends on your situation. In my FNP program we started out with 32 students, in one year we are down to 11!!!! Most had to drop b/c they had to work, had families to take care of and just didn't have the time to study.

In the group of 11 of us left, most do work. However, the overall situation is they either are single and still live at home, married/no kids or married/don't work, or work only part time.

To me, I'd rather get a loan for the last 1.5 years than fail and lose $4k in tuition and waste a whole semester and get off track. But I do have a husband to pay the bills.

My friend failed peds this semester and now she is so upset, lost thousands of dollars, wants to quit forever, won't be able to even start for a year b/c she is off track now. She tried transferring credits to another school but it's useless. Most grad schools will only take 8 transfer credits (3 classes), she has way more than that so is basically trapped at our school to start back up again, next August! Horrible situation.

I spend probably 40+ hrs a week doing papers, projects and studying. It's a full time job.

ICRN2008, BSN, RN

Specializes in Infection Preventionist/ Occ Health. Has 5 years experience.

I think that it would be very difficult, but it is a very individual decision. I think that it really depends on what else you have going on in your life, the amount of support you can count on from your family (emotional, financial, and help with daily tasks), and your tolerance for being very busy all the time.

Right now I am going to school part-time and working full-time (1.0 FTE plus some overtime). I have decided to take the spring semester off and return to school full-time in fall while working part-time or prn.

I finally got to the point after spending 7 of the last 9 years in school where I am no longer willing to give up hobbies, family time or even mundane things like housework for the sake of my education. When I do return to school, it will be full-time and on my own terms. I might have to take out loans, but the alternative for me would be to spend the next few years feeling miserable and crabby. I am looking forward to next fall and hope that it works out for you as well.

amberfnp

Specializes in Plastic Surgery, ER. Has 10 years experience.

I was just accepted to Univ. of South AL FNP program. I had planned to start this spring but since I do NEED to work full time and want to keep my current job, I decided to change to a summer start. This gives me 8 semesters versus 6 to finish.

I'd like to keep my current FT job as long as possible (M-F, no nights, weekends or holidays) but I am not against having to go PT as needed once clinicals start. I work prn in the ED and thought when the time comes, I may try 3 12's there.

I realize an MSN/FNP will be more work and a different kind of learning,and more clinical time, but I did my BSN while working 2 jobs and traveling for my sons ATV racing 35 weekends a year, so I am in the mind set that I CAN do this, no matter what it takes!

Good luck to all of you students out there!

I know someone who worked baylor and then went to NP school monday-friday. It took her 2 1/2 years to complete the program. She said it was tough but managed to do just fine throughout the program.

I am currently working 2 6-8 hour days per week and considering having to cut back. I mean, I have class one full day per week, clinical at least one full day per week and a completion project that expects about 8-10 hours worth of work per week. So add that to my part-time job and you have 40 hours + of work. And that doesn't include time to read, study and write the CDM's. CDM's and SOAP notes will take a MASSIVE amount of your time.

I have found that the best thing to do is to have options about working. Work while you can, but keep your eyes open when your clinical load starts to increase. This is stuff you HAVE to know and retain. I will be taking out loans next semester and quitting work because it just isn't happening very well.

I have a school aged child as well and I refuse to ignore her in the process. What good is an NP degree if your family doesn't even know you after you are done with school? Like the poster above, I refuse to give up my life so I would rather be in debt a bit and have the time to learn and have a life.

prairienp

Has 33 years experience.

can you work full time and still complete your np degree in 2 years?

i don't think the question is "if" you can work full time and complete your np degree. many have and more will. a better question is "why", i know the $$$ are important. the education is more important, working full time will clearly impact your education. i am not in favor of programs that tell you can work full time while going to school. what are they offering? one of the big criticisms of np education by pas and mds is the fact you can work full time while going to school full time.

if the academic rigor is present how could you work full time, expectations for graduate school is 2-3 hours of study outside of class for every credit . a 10 credit semester would require 20-30 hours of study outside of class.

Exactly ! And isn't including clinical hours and the resulting documentation that should be done there as well.

SteveNNP, MSN, NP

Specializes in Neonatal ICU (Cardiothoracic). Has 9 years experience.

I chose to work full-time and attend NNP school part-time (6-8 credits/sem, 2yrs+1 sem) so I can graduate debt free, with my vehicle, undergrad loans and grad tuition paid for. That being said, I don't have a mortgage. My employer is reimbursing me $10,000 a year for school, with the option of more money available if there's still some left in the education fund at the end of the year. I will need to maintain employment for 6 months after each reimbursement installment. I would lose all this by going per diem or part time. So for right now, fighting to maintain a social life while juggling studying times is worth it... I'll keep you posted once clinicals start!

Stevern21

I am here to say yes it is possible to work full-time and complete your masters. I am 1 year and 4 months into a FNP program with less than 12 months to go. I work 40 hours (plus) and I complete classes and 16 hours of clinicals weekly. I also have a husband and son that I take care of.

It isn't easy, don't get me wrong, but it is possible. I think it helps that I attend an on-line program so I complete my work when I can and don't have to sit in class and listen to lectures or commute to school.

i don't think the question is "if" you can work full time and complete your np degree. many have and more will. a better question is "why", i know the $$$ are important. the education is more important, working full time will clearly impact your education. i am not in favor of programs that tell you can work full time while going to school. what are they offering? one of the big criticisms of np education by pas and mds is the fact you can work full time while going to school full time.

if the academic rigor is present how could you work full time, expectations for graduate school is 2-3 hours of study outside of class for every credit . a 10 credit semester would require 20-30 hours of study outside of class.

i don't think this reply is fair. i am a very good student, good worker and good mother/wife. i work hard to juggle all of the responsibilities that go along with the choice i made, which was to become an apn. i am very lucky to have a husband at home who is supportive of my goals and helps me however he can.

i wouldn't be working toward my np if i couldn't work concurrently. i have made the choice and the sacrifice that goes along with that choice. i attend an on-line program where we concentrate on one class at a time, with no holiday or summer breaks. i get all of my assignments done and do well on all my exams-i also learn a lot.

i have found that the physician's i work with are very supportive and encouraged by my work and dedication. many of the physician's i work with worked during school as well.

we are all individuals and our dreams and desires will guide us to fulfill our goals. if your goal is to become an np, but have to work while attending school, do it. you might not be able to finish in 2 years (it will take me 2.5), but you will persevere and gain self-esteem and valuable knowledge during the journey.

christvs, DNP, RN, NP

Specializes in ACNP-BC. Has 12 years experience.

Yes, it is possible. There are students in my acute/critical care NP program who work full time, have kids, go to school full time. But honestly, I don't know how they do it! I give them a lot of credit, because I can't live/work like that. Right now, I'm at the end of my 3rd of 4 semesters in my NP program, and I go to school full time with classes for 10 hours on Tuesdays, and then 12 hour clinical shifts twice a week, plus TONS of homework-papers, group papers/projects, exams, presentations, SOAP notes, detailed complete H & Ps, you name it! I used to work 24 hrs per week last year in the non-clinical year of my program, but now I switched to per diem and do 1 day/week when it's nutty and bump it up to 2 days/week when it's slower at school (which is like never!!). So that is just me. I'm married with no kids yet...but this is all I can handle right now. Like I said, for anyone who does more, God bless you! :) lol

It think from the variety of comments here you can see what works for one doesn't work for everyone. Everyone has their line in the sand as to what they are willing to give up....for some, a little debt is better than sacrificed time with family. For others, the sacrificed time with friends and family is worth not having debt. I personally have found that when I am working a lot, I tend to learn the school material just to pass the test and write the paper vs. REALLY learning it so I know it for good.

So find your line in the sand, but prepared for it to move around a bit. Your school load will change (i.e. what works at the beginning when you are taking only lecture based classes will dramatically change as you add more clinical hours) and your family obligations and longings will change as well. Be *ok* with shifting things around a bit.

mom and nurse

Specializes in Acute rehab/geriatrics/cardiac rehab.

Depends on the person. I tried working, going to school part time, and having family responsibilities. I was fine at first but felt stressed and exhausted once we started clinicals. (class one day a week, clinicals two days a week, then there were papers to write and tests to study for). So my schedule was:

work Mondays and Fridays and every other weekend,

Tuesdays class,

Wednesday and Thursday clinicals with a physician preceptor

With this schedule I felt like I was sinking fast. So I ended up going PRN on my job (which means I was so busy I only went a few times). I'm about to graduate this month (Dec. 2007) with my Masters as an Adult Nurse Practitioner.

I know someone with a small child who tells me she managed to continue to work and go to school and she is graduating with me. So I know it is possible.

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