Do you think it is a good idea to work while studying for NCLEX?


I am having a hard time deciding whether I should apply for at a local hospital now or wait until I have passed the NCLEX. Any advice on if working is a good idea while studying for NLCEX?


136 Posts

Specializes in public health, heme/onc, research. Has 7 years experience.

Apply for jobs now. You can always negotiate your start date. I started working as a tech about 1 week after graduation while waiting for my ATT. About a month later, I got my ATT and started working as an RN-A. Then about a month after that I took the nclex. I didn't really start studying until I got my ATT. For some reason I like to torture myself, so in addition to working a new job full-time and studying for nclex, I was also in grad school full time. I was able to study for nclex about 2-3 hrs 4-5 days a week (depending on how long a topic was and if I had worked that day). I was also allowed to study at work with flash cards and materials on the unit as time permitted. Many people on the staff had old books and notes that they kept in the break room for new grads. By the grace of God I passed nclex on the first round, successfully finished orientation, and made good grades.

While I wouldn't recommend full time new job + studying for nclex + full time school, I do think work and nclex study is a good idea. Plan out your time and study schedule and don't be frustrated if you get behind schedule. Even if you don't want to work until after you've passed nclex, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't be applying for jobs now.

Hope this helps. Much success!


ps-working as a new grad also depends on your state. Some states don't allow new grads to work until they've passed nclex.


470 Posts

I would not recommend it. My friends who had to do that were miserable, tired and could not study or work without thinking they should be doing the other. Good luck.


18 Posts

Thanks :) I need all the advice I can get!!:D


85 Posts

on call - yes

part time - maybe

full time - no


517 Posts

If I had the option of quitting my job to study full time, I most likely would. I wouldn't study 8 hours a day (I wouldn't retain it) but I think not having the stress of work would make it easier for me to study. Then again, I might procrastinate and not study as much as I would if I had to cram in study time when I could get it (while working full time). So I guess it depends on the kind of person you are. Some people work better with more pressure and deadlines while others do better putting themselves in 100% study mode.

Beyond that though, if you are a traditional student without a family of your own then I would say no. Straight out of college is the one time in your life when you are really free--no school, no work, no mortgage, no spouse, no kids and your whole life is before you... I think it's worth taking a little time to enjoy that if you are able. You've got the rest of your life to work, enjoy the opportunity to take time and breathe before getting started!


38,333 Posts

My choice would be to wait until passing the NCLEX. Then you avoid the problems associated with losing a job because the NCLEX was not passed. Although this could be considered negative thinking, it is possible that you wouldn't pass the first time, and then you might have the double whammy of losing your job. There is plenty of time to work once you have your license.

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