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Full time studies and Part-time work?

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by cccormier cccormier (New Member) New Member

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Hi, I've recently been accepted to the BScN program at University of Western Ontario for fall 2011.

I have spoken to several current and former nursing students who strongly advise against working a job, at least for the first few years while in a full time nursing program. I know that next year will bring a lot of time, stress, studying and sleepless nights, but I am hoping to keep my part time job while still at school juggling the coursework and clinical placements (approx. 15 hours/week).

Is it reasonable and attainable to work part-time (15-20 hours/week) while maintaining good grades in nursing?

I know this question is very subjective and vague, but I would appreciate anyones advice, opinion or even experience with or without work while still at school.

Thanks in advance! :nurse:

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Fiona59 has 18 years experience.

1 Follower; 52,691 Visitors; 8,275 Posts

It's been done for as long as I can remember. Just make sure your days off are days of rest. Careful scheduling is important.

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joanna73 is a BSN, RN and specializes in geriatrics.

1 Article; 43,362 Visitors; 4,767 Posts

I lived on my own and worked part time through all 4 years. You will need to make a schedule as Fiona said, and stay organized. Also, keep in mind that nursing is your ultimate goal, so in a sense, the part time job comes second. I knew promising students who failed, only because they did not learn to balance rest, school, and work effectively. This means that you need to be proactive with all assignments when work is in the mix.

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ruralgirl08 specializes in med-surg, OR.

7,294 Visitors; 274 Posts

I didn't work during my first year of nursing school, I found it much easier to focus on school and I had my personal highest grade that year. (3.8 GPA)

But the next 3 yrs of school, I chose to work part-time. I still was able to achieve good grades (3.5 GPA,) but they were down a little bit. I found working one 8hr shift a week sufficient while going to nursing school. (I occasionally did 2 shifts a week). I also had 2 part-time jobs each summer to help pay for school.

Btw, I am so happy I worked part-time during school. It was worth it in the end, not having this gigantic student loan looming over my head to pay back. Student loan debt is a pain in "the you know what" for a lot of graduates, glad mine was manageable and is now gone!

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3,632 Visitors; 93 Posts

Thanks for your input! I will probably keep my current part time job which is now giving me 20-25 hours/week, but I am not too sure if they will be able to give me as low as 8-15 hours instead once come the fall. I really don't want to try and manage a 25 hour work week, full time studies and 15 hours of clinicals. I know it's possible and has been done, but I also want to keep *some* sanity and keep some of my hair too. lol :o

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joanna73 is a BSN, RN and specializes in geriatrics.

1 Article; 43,362 Visitors; 4,767 Posts

25 hours is actually quite a lot to work in first year. You need to get the basics down. If you want to do well and keep your sanity, I wouldn't work more than say 16. You'll need time to study and write papers. See how it goes, but you may need to scale back a little.

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Fiona59 has 18 years experience.

1 Follower; 52,691 Visitors; 8,275 Posts

Thanks for your input! I will probably keep my current part time job which is now giving me 20-25 hours/week, but I am not too sure if they will be able to give me as low as 8-15 hours instead once come the fall. I really don't want to try and manage a 25 hour work week, full time studies and 15 hours of clinicals. I know it's possible and has been done, but I also want to keep *some* sanity and keep some of my hair too. lol :o

Your clinicals are part of the full time course load.

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3,632 Visitors; 93 Posts

I know that. I am just pointing out that this requires transportation and commuting (outside of the University campus), and though it is part of the full time program, many first year students tell me that it feels like a part time job (because of the added hours) on top of in-class lectures and coursework. Many undergraduate programs also don't include such a "hands on" experience like climical placement.

Basically, studying in nursing takes up a lot of time and effort, and I want to make sure I can settle in and do the best I can once starting out.

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2,135 Visitors; 25 Posts

I know that. I am just pointing out that this requires transportation and commuting (outside of the University campus), and though it is part of the full time program, many first year students tell me that it feels like a part time job (because of the added hours) on top of in-class lectures and coursework. Many undergraduate programs also don't include such a "hands on" experience like climical placement.

Basically, studying in nursing takes up a lot of time and effort, and I want to make sure I can settle in and do the best I can once starting out.

I actually just finished up at UWO last year and chose not to work during my first year of university. Personally, I think I would have found it difficult adjusting to the university work load, but I know a lot of fellow students who were able to balance both a part time job and full time studies. I did choose to work in my last 3 years of university and like many others say, it took time management skills and prioritizing. UWO is pretty good at giving you all the assignments and test dates fairly early in the semester so it's still possible! Also, from what I remember (unless they changed it), clinical rotations were limited to two days a week and in first year were not 12 hour shifts, they were around 7-8 BUT they may have changed that part of the curriculum so don't take my word for it. OH! and you are very right commuting outside of university campus can be very time consuming, especially during the winter storms :S

Good luck :D

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