Published Apr 15, 2014
I'm interested in going back to school to become a nurse and get a BSN. However, I am working full-time, with a regular 9-5 type of job that pays the bills. What are your recommendations or in your experience, how did you juggle a M-F job with while working on your BSN? Or is it even possible? I considered online programs, but wanted to see if going to class was a viable option.
If you did do this, what programs/schools would you suggest? Right now I'm looking at UTA since I do have good academic status (having completed a bachelors and masters degree there) and TCU. I'm in the DFW area so any programs in the area would be helpful.
I appreciate any feedback and advice you can give regarding this since you all would have more experience than I do. There are a lot of factors to going back to school for nursing and I will take this information to help me decide. Thank you very much!
I don't know of any preliecensure BSN programs that are online and accredited (I don't think that's even possible, honestly), and few work with a full time, M-F job. I would start e-mailing nursing departments and asking them about what the schedule is like. I know for us, there have always been clinicals at least 2 days a week, on weekdays. No getting around that.
I began reading this and was wondering where you were from! Since you're from the DFW area, have you looked into the TWU Dallas Weekend/Evening program? It's designed for second-career students. You will have lectures two evenings (or so) a week and clinicals on the weekend. Yes, you will be giving up your weekends but if that's what you really want to do it will be worth it. TWU's tuition is also considerably less than UTA and TCU.
That program also spreads out the class through summer/fall/spring so that it isn't a super heavy workload during the fall/spring and then nothing over the summer. It's doable and designed for students with your schedule.
NurseGirl525, ASN, RN
It honestly depends if you can find a night program like the above poster suggested. You cannot do it completely online as there are a certain amount of clinical hours that have to be completed before you can sit for the NCLEX. That is a requirement for each state. I don't know if you have kids or not and what all is involved in your personal life. I will tell you my story though.
I am a single mother to an 8 year old boy. I do not work. He is in competitive judo. As a matter of fact, I was just in the DFW area last month for a national competition for him. Beautiful area. Loved it. I spend anywhere from 3-5 days a week with him at judo practice and the weekends traveling or doing something for the club. This past weekend we had a clinic in Evansville on Saturday and our team awards banquet on Sunday so getting school work done was out of the question. I usually study at the dojo while he practices at night. I go to school 5 days a week while he is in school. I get up every morning between 5 and 6 to get school work done and get us ready for school and if I am in bed by 11, I consider myself lucky. It is a lot of hard work, but will be worth it in the end.
Is this something you want to commit yourself to? You mentioned you have a masters? Why do you want to leave a field that you have obviously worked hard to get into? I find many people wake up one day decide they are unhappy and want to change their whole lives. Just make sure this will make you happy and you are willing to sacrifice your time and money for it. Don't waste your money unless you are sure this is what you want.
I am in Maryland, but I will be starting a nursing program in May. I too, work full-time 9-5 in a totally different area than nursing. Luckily when I got this job, they knew my intention of going back to school, so they have been flexible with my hours.
My best advice is finding a program that works for you. I am attending an evening/weekend program. Class/labs on the evenings and clinical on the weekend. It's going to be intense, and tough at times, but it's a 16 month program, and then I will be done! Plus once your first semester of school (fundamentals or nursing) is done, you can apply for a job in a hospital. It's do-able if ti's something you really want to do, you just have to find the right program for you.
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