Do you Work?? If so, where, what hours, and pay?


I'm going to start nursing school in January, and I'm excited but sooooo nervous. I'm nervous about doing something so new, and worrying about passing each test. I've been a home daycare provider for the last 2 years and make pretty decent money for living in SC (approx $600-$700 every week). Anyway, I'm quitting daycare to go to Nursing school and will get the max Federal Student Loan available which will give me around $10K for the year. It's not enough for us to get by on, we'll need to get help from our parents unfortunately. I thought about get a personal loan, and I'm a bit too scared to do that because that will rack up a pretty big debt after school! So I thought maybe I could try and do some babysitting as needed. I do have a CNA license good for another 2 years (just renewed it), but I don't think working as a CNA will be as flexible for me or as stress free. With babysitting I can still be in my home or there's and bring books with me to study if needed.

*I'm sure many of you work while in school, so where do you work, how many hours a week, and if you don't mind saying... how much do you make? Thanks so much!! :D


932 Posts

I work about an hour away, 4 days a week, 3-7 tues/thurs and 7-5:30 sat/sun as a secretary in a hospital. I get paid pretty much nothing (it does not cover the cost of my child care (2 babes) and gas to get there and back). I do it because it gives me a lot of down time to study, as well as hopefully a really good reccomendation when the time comes to get a job "in the industry". Its tough, I wont lie. I recently worked doubles because the other secretary went on vacation so I had to work every day atleast 4 hrs a day for almost 2 weeks, and I won't lie... I would have quit if that had continued much longer. (I also had no study time as I had a lot to do during all the time I was there because she gave me all the things she was waiting for the other secretary to finish in the past 6 months and she hadn't) Counting the 70 min round trip to school every day 4 days a week, plus the trip to work 2 hrs a day. So say 34 hrs of driving, plus the 80 or so hours I worked over the two weeks, plus 24 hrs of clinicals and 34 hrs of class. So I used 172 hrs in a two week period to go to school and work somehow managing 86 hrs of up time during a single week.

It doesnt seem like a lot to "just work part time" but when you add the hours you worked with the hours in school and the hours in driving (I did not get to study AT ALL that two week period other than a couple hours between classes 2 nights a week) you start to see what a huge time investment it is. I've worked/gone to school straight through illnesses and home drama and my kids needing me (they got dad instead unfortunately) and pretty much everything.

Its tough. I won't sugar coat it. Doable, but I wouldn't do this forever thats for sure.


100 Posts

I also start nursing school in January, and have been taking prereqs this last year. I have been working at a retail shoe store that is 3 minutes from our house. It is small--only me and one other employee, other than the owners. When times are slow, I can study or do schoolwork. The owners do not mind.

I work around 15-20 hours per week. This will have to change when school starts, but I plan to work as much as my schedule will allow.

I make 9.50/hour plus commissions, so it averages around $13/hr. Certainly not what I used to make before I had children and quit my career, but I find I actually enjoy it.

Babysitting is a good idea--when the kids are asleep you can study. Being able to study while you are getting paid is a huge benefit!

Specializes in LTC. Has 6 years experience.

I work 35 hours a week with weekends and holidays off. I'm a school health assistant. I make about over 16 dollars an hour.... Not enough considering my bills and school, but God has helped me to get by. I plan on getting my LPN first so that I can work part-time and make more money, while pursuing my RN degree.


12 Posts

i work as a security guard in compton(haha). i get 12/hr and i pretty much have 6-7 out of the 8 hours to study by myself. i watch over an entire corrugator plant by myself so i just crank the tunes and whip out the books. i just have to patrol the plant every 2 hours(takes about 20-30 min cause its a long way around).


205 Posts

Specializes in Taking one day at a time....

I am almost done with my first semester, and I work 10 hours a week at a store (I'm being discrete just in case I could be identified :mad:) making about 10 dollars an hour. I make less than 100 bucks a week. Right now, I am the poor college student... I have enough to pay my bills, gas, school items, food. I have enough for the necessities, but thats all. Keep in mind I live at home, am not married, have no children..... Just a boyfriend who sometimes acts like a child. ;)

I feel spoiled by saying this, but I'll tell you anyway...

My dad is paying for my first year of NS, and then I am paying for my second (Its an ADN program). My parents are willing to help me out while I go through this, which I am eternally grateful for and which I do not take for granted. Thankfully, I have enough $ saved up to pay for my second year in full... So, the money I make now is just money to live off of and I dont feel obligated to save much of it.

Good luck!


171 Posts

Specializes in E.R..

I work 2- twelve hour shifts a week in an Emergency Room as a nurse tech, with no study time availability while at work.

Like previous posters have said, it is really hard. I, too, have 2 children under the age of 3. I usually only can study after they go to bed at night. But working in the hospital setting has helped me greatly in school, because I actually get to see and apply what I am learning.

86toronado, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 528 Posts

Specializes in neurology, cardiology, ED. Has 5 years experience.

I work 24-32 hours per week as a patient care tech during when school is in session. I'd say, depending on where I'm assigned, I manage to study 4-6 hours of that time in any given week. I make 13.15/hr as a base rate, plus differentials, so it usually averages out to around $14/hr. I pay for school with mostly federal loans, but have to kick in around $800-1200 per semester out of my pocket. I would advise you not to take any personal loans if possible. If you can't get enough state or federal money, find a job where they'll help you pay for school (pretty much all hospitals do this).


82 Posts

I work full time, 40 hours a week, as a night auditor at a hotel. I make $8.25 an hour, which is enough to cover my expenses. My job allows me 4-6 hours a night of study time.

I am in the night and weekend program at my nursing school.

I work 24 hours a week as a health unit coordinator at a mental healthcare facility. I live about 10-15 minutes away from my work, so I couldn't beat that commute. Especially when I drive about 45 minutes one way to school four days a week. I make 11.00/hour, plus shift differential, so it works out to almost 13.00/hour after that. It is hard though; to come from having class all day and then go to work from 3 - 11:30pm and then get up at 5:30am the next day. It's doable though. I like working in the mental health field because I get to work with adolescents and they are great (well so far anyway). I also get to see all the labs that are ordered for different medical and psychological diagnoses. I also input the medication, diet, and nursing orders. I usually have about 2 hours to "study", but I can't do anything that will require TOO much concentration, as I need to keep my eyes and ears out for the patients. Hope that helps ya!


110 Posts

I work two 12 hour shifts a week as a CNA in a hospital that's 30 minutes away. That's the minimum required to maintain health insurance benefits and that's critical for us because it's not available through my husband's job.

With 24 weekend overnight hours I earn as much as I would if I were full time. Certainly not what I used to make in the good old days prior to NS, but it's enough. Our kids are grown now and we have no debts, so we can get by with much less than many.

The hospital also offers tuition reimbursement, which is a huge help!

No study time at all while I'm working, although I occasionally get a minute to glance at the flashcards that are always in my pocket.

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