Is working and going to school a bad idea?

  1. Hello all! I am so happy to have found this wonderful site. I'm hoping to get some input on my situation:
    I am a pre-nursing student, Spring term looks like I'll be taking about 18 credits (Nutrition, Biology, Math & Psych) and after Spring I will be nearly done with prerequisites. Last August I got my CNA. I have never worked since I got it, though I do have experience. Today I had an interview for a nursing assistant position in the rehab unit at a nursing home with the DON and another CNA. They showed me around their facility and all and the interview seemed to go very well. However, when I said I was a pre-nursing student the DON quietly said to the CNA something along the lines of "school and work isn't a good idea." So I'm afraid they won't hire me because I'm in school.

    The ultimate reason that I ever got my CNA was to gain experience and to get me ahead and noticed for when I apply for the nursing program. My parents paid a lot of money for my training and I feel horrible for not putting it to use and it expires on July 7 of this year . Any advice? Thank you!
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    About Strudent4Compassion

    Joined: Jan '11; Posts: 5


  3. by   driveintothesun
    As a working CNA and a pre-nursing student at a university, I highly recommend working while you go to school. I got my CNA when I was in high school, and then went into a pre-nursing program after graduation. I used my first semester in college to get comfortable with my new surroundings, and then began submitting applications during winter break. I got an interview at a local hospital and starting working there by late January. One year later and this job has been one of the smartest decisions I have ever made. Here's why:
    1. Working in healthcare can allow you to determine if this is the right field for you. So many people get into it, thinking it's what they want, and find out they spent a lot of time/money on something they don't really like. (Clinicals don't count!)
    2. Working in the field before nursing school can help give you experience and advantages that most students don't have. Many nurses are more than happy to teach you things along the way.
    3. Extra money. Hospital CNA pay is enough to keep you afloat and then some.
    4. Many nursing school applications will give you extra points in the process if you have significant experience in the field.
    5. Many hospitals will offer you loans or scholarships for nursing school. My particular hospital will pay for my nursing school if I repay them with my service. Basically, I have to work there X amount of years until the loan is payed.

    In regards to time restraints, it is difficult to manage school and work. Try and get a weekend contract where you only have to work Saturdays and Sundays.
    I usually try to arrange my schedule where I fit all my classes on Monday and Wednesday (or Tuesday/Thursday) so I can work Thurs-Sun.

    Hope this helps!
  4. by   taalyn_1
    Working and school can be rough but it is totally do-able. My guess would be the DON was thinking more in line with, "bad idea" for their scheduling purposes as you won't be able to come in at the drop of a hat for them if they needed you.From my experience, once in a nursing job, whether an aide, LPN or RN, they want you to be available whenever and for as many hours they can get you to stay. Going to school conflicts with that as you have to have time to study too. BUT, a good DON will be ok with that and you should still be able to find a good job that will work with your scheduling. Good Luck.
  5. by   viciousminty
    Yeeeah, right. It might just be that because your a brand new CNA with no exp you'll really feel the pressure in the beginning on top of going to school. Except no one can tell you what you can handle except for yourself and you'll eventually make that discovery. ULTIMATELY though its like saying not to work [nursing or not] and going to school is a bad idea, which in your case you'd know that any decent person who wants to work and go to school can do both.
  6. by   sonomala
    I think she said that because as an employer she wants you to be 100 percent devoted to the company. She wants to be able to schedule you whenever and wherever she can and not have to worry about your school hours. When the economy was better, employees were basically calling the shots because of the great demand. With the bad economy, more people than ever became CNAs and the market is now flooded. She knows that there are plenty of people out there willing to be willing to work double shifts for weeks on end to keep their jobs. If I were you, I would sign up with a home health agency work the shift hours required to keep your license and not worry about a full time job.
  7. by   KimberlyRN89
    I agree w/ sonomala. And also, a lot of places are desperately short-staffed on weekends. I see a lot of ads here in my area for places that need people to work every other weekend. That's something to consider. Especially since you are going to be taking 18 credits.
  8. by   jb2u
    It all depends on the person. Some people can work and go to school, some can't. I worked as a cna and went to school without any problem. If you have a good nurse there, they will show you a lot of neat stuff. I had some nurses "take me under their wing" and went out of their way to show me stuff. I wish you all the best with your decision.