Is It Possible To Work During Nursing School? - page 2

Students commonly ask variations of the following questions: "Is it possible to work while enrolled in the nursing program at my school full-time?" "Should I work while attending nursing school?" ... Read More

  1. by   Wrench Party
    I made the decision when I started nursing school full time to cut my hours from 35 to 20- it was enough time to bring in adequate income and do my tasks at work, but enough to cut back on all the fluff that was also part of my job. I still had enough time to study, work out and see the important people in my life.
  2. by   makayleefusion360
    If you're going to work during nursing school you need to schedule out your life carefully. Remember that school is your number one priority, as you are going to nursing school to start an actual career. Also remember to schedule in homework time.
  3. by   tigerlogic
    I think, "What type of school do you want to attend?" is an important part of the discussion too. I'm in a ABSN and I saved some before and I work a 12hr shift/wk now but I still have to take out a lot of loans. I will graduate with a lot of debt even from this PUBLIC university. Some friends going to private BSN or ABSN programs will graduate with $100,000 in debt. Your CNA side job isn't exactly going to pay for that (but imagine how many CNA there would be if it did...) It is shocking how expensive school is now compared to my first degree.

    I'm primarily keeping my job for the experience, networking, and context for my nursing courses. The money helps but it wouldn't be worth the time away from studying if it wasn't related. Maybe a third of my cohort started with jobs but they are slowly quitting them. Some faculty are not supportive of needing/choosing to work, but others are.

    Good luck!
  4. by   Camperhead
    Of course it is possible. Many of us have done it. Whether it is wise is the real question and the answer is different for every person.

    Great article!
    Last edit by Camperhead on Jan 11, '13 : Reason: Autocorrect fail.
  5. by   MwtM
    Agreed, it certainly is possible to work and go to nursing school. I continued to work as an STNA all through the PN year, and have worked as an LPN through the RN program. Going to a community college, it was possible for me to use my STNA/LPN jobs to stay clear of student loans. So, it is possible, but you may not exactly like yourself throughout the program. The experience only very marginally helps you in school, as you have to retrain your mindset for nursing school. But, having a job, and the experience from it, can certainly help someone in progressing their career once school is finally over. I enjoyed the article, and thank you for the well-thought-out breakdown!
  6. by   thecareerchanger
    This is a good article. I currently work as a supervisor in welfare center and am looking to switch careers to nursing. My first choice was ABSN programs since i already have a bs but know it would be difficult to have a job while in the program, esp. with 3 children, a mortgage, and a host of other expenses (namely childcare). My husband is very supportive but I am not sure how we would manage for 15 months with me not working at all. I would actually want to work at least p/t while in school in a related field (cna or pct) and have considered traditional programs since they are less condensed and may allow me to even work f/t, although it would take me up to an additional year to complete. A traditonal program will also allow time to "breathe." I guess i have to decide which is more important: finishing quickly but getting little healthcare experience and very little to no income, or take longer and possible get more healthcare experience and provide more financial support to my household.
  7. by   vintagemother
    Another important point is whether the schedule of your school allows for work. In my LVN program, we have to be available M-F 6:00am-10pm. We don't get to choose clinical time or lecture time. Times change with 24 hr notice frequently.

    The state college BSN program I was very interested in received clinical hours only days before school started. They also could schedule clinicals for AM shift or PM shift. Not sure that's conducive to working anything but weekends, either.

    Some of my fellow students work nocs and go straight to school after getting off most days. I don't really think that is healthy on a regular, long term basis, but congratulate those who do it.

    The only for sure availability I have for work (as a CNA) is Sat am's, pm's, nocs and Sun am's, pm's.
  8. by   corizrf
    Very interesting and informative topic. I start my first semester of an ADN program and plan on working full time (48 hrs) a week. However the type of job is a major factor. I am a firefighter EMT so I'm fortunate enough to have a set Friday/Saturday schedule, but I'm nervous about only having Sundays off to spend with my wife and child. However I know my wife and I would struggle financially if I don't work. And depending on my shift, my "day off" be spent in bed half the time. Good luck to you all.
  9. by   akulahawkRN
    As others have said in this thread, choosing to work during nursing school is very much a personal choice. There are many factors involved in deciding to actually work during nursing school. In my case, I had to continue working full-time while going to school full-time as well. Fortunately, I work a shift that allows me to go to school during the day and work in the evening, but not overnight. I'm also able to study at work as well. Another major issue in whether or not a person is able to work full-time and go to school full time is the educational background of the student. In my case, I am not having to learn an entirely new body of knowledge. I have an extensive body of knowledge in medicine already, so all I have to do is integrate the new information from nursing school with existing knowledge I have. That alone makes a big difference in how I am able to study and how much I need to study during the week.

    Also, precisely because of my extensive background coming into nursing school, I tell my fellow students that they should not study in the same way that I do. When I study, I look for differences between nursing and my pre-existing body of knowledge, and integrate the two where as other students having to create an entirely new body of knowledge would have to read and assess all of the information that they are given.

    So really, to sum it all up, going to school and working, even part-time, is entirely a personal decision based on a number of factors that were touched on in the original post in this thread. Time management, study skills, finances, support, all of those things all play a role in that decision. I am looking at approximately another year of school before I am done. This is not going to be easy, but it is doable if everything works out according to plan. And you know what they say: no plan survives contact with the enemy. In our case, the enemy is everything that can derail our ability to continue with school.
  10. by   jmo1231
    When I was in college for my BSN RN degree many years ago 1985-1989 I worked as an CNA. I worked in a nursing home sophomore year then junior year I secured a position in the SICU CT/GS at a big Philly University hospital . It was my ticket yo the success I have today in my profession . I learned everything during those years about being a successful nurse and how to time manage your shift ect. I didn't work full time during the semesters but at least 16 hours a week. After I graduated I accepted a job in the SICU as a GN and passed the boards mom problem thanks to that experience during college. I went on for my MSN Nurse Practitioner degree a few years later and haven't looked back! Nursing has been a very rewarding and challenging profession for me. I couldn't imagine doing anything else !! Good luck all!
  11. by   Applehead
    It's tough but managable.
  12. by   BJR87
    kudos to all of you, but I have actually found that I can't do both. I'm not good at juggling many things at once and I have some ADD so I get easily distracted plus some anxiety so nursing school + 25 hrs a week of work completely stressed me out and I had to quit my job. Some people can do it, but it's not for everyone.
  13. by   debrn95
    Working and going to school can certainly be a science in itself. I work 36 hrs (3 12hr shifts Mon Tues Wed) and I am also doing RN to BSN online and sometimes the way is rough, but what you accomplish in the end will be worth it. I also worked 3 12 hr shifts a week different days while acquiring my ADN. Sacrifices must be made by all family members to be successful, for example eating more sandwiches, sharing the housework etc. As I stated above what is accomplished in the end is well worth it and will be beneficial to the whole family. Good luck!