Help! How do you go to nursing school during the day when I need to work ?


Hello all,

I have a dilemma. I am planning to start my prerequisites this summer and then nursing courses in the fall. However the nursing courses are only in the day time. I need to work a full time job and I have children! Any advice.

Specializes in ICU/UM. Has 8 years experience.

You need a different school or a different job. Some schools offer evening programs.

I work nights in an assisted living facility. I get lots of study time on the clock.

allnurses Guide

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 46 years experience.

Set realistic expectations. I don't mean to be cruel, but you need to recognize that you might not be able to fit all the pieces together exactly the way you would like to.

Going to school full time (as you may have to do when you actually start the nursing part of your education ) is the equivalent of having a full time job. Most people cannot maintain 3 full time jobs (work, school, and mommy) and do a good job at all of them. "Something has to give." You may need to do any and/or all of the following:

1. Change jobs, decrease your work hours, or quit work altogether. Get scholarships and/or student loans to cover your living expenses as well as your school expenses. Yes, you will graduate with loans to repay -- but that is a choice you need to make. Will it be worth it to you to take out the loans in exchange for going to the school of your choice and graduating on schedule? You'll have to sit down and "do the math" to see which option works best for you.

2. Change schools to a less expensive option ... or crawl along taking one course at a time while you continue to work at least part time to earn a little money as you go. That way, your student loans may be less -- but it will take longer to go to school, which will delay your ability to earn higher wages for a longer time. Again, you will have to sit down and do the math to decide whether or not the delay in graduation is worth it to you. A different school with classes on the weekends or in the evenings might be available -- but that will still be tough if you are working full time during the day and wanting to spend evenings and weekends with your kids.

3. Ask your familty to make significant sacrifices -- in terms of their standard of living and in terms of how much attention they receive from you. You'll probably have to do that regardless of what choices you make, but the specific sacrifices will vary depending on which route you decide to take.

In short, you need to find the balance of those 3 roles (wage earner, student, mother) that will work best for you -- but all combinations will require sacrifice and hardship on all fronts. If you change jobs, it will effect your income. If you slow down your academic progress, it will mean that it will take longer to reach your goal of graduation. etc. etc. etc. In order to "save" time for your family, you will probably need to do one of those 2 things.

You have some tough choices to make and I wish you well in your efforts to sort out your long and short-term priorities. But you can't realisitically expect for nursing school to simply fit into your "spare time" when work full time and have a family. School is to big of a committment to be a "spare time" thing. Other areas of your life will be significantly effected -- and all you can do is to decide which sacrifices you are willing to make.

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

165 Articles; 21,214 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 31 years experience.

I've BTDT and here are some things that helped me:

1. Took a job as a medical transcriptionist after my first semester at the LPN program and then worked more flexible hours.

2. Worked doubles as a CNA on weekends leaving the week for school.

3. Worked nights as a unit clerk during the week which allowed for some study time on the clock.

4. Realized that I couldn't do it all and that I had to make my studying count. I'm no brain but when the schools say you have to allow 3 hours of study for each one credit hour - no way, no how. I took notes in class and skimmed the reading material. I concentrated on the syllabus of the class to determine where I spent my time. I also point blanked asked the instructor what needed the most time.

5. I did not get all "A's". My undergrad GPA was like 3.2 - passed the NCLEX-PN NCLEX -RN the first time. You have to allow yourself a break.

In these economic times, few people can quit their jobs.


6 Posts

Thank you for the advice. I have considered taking a Phlebotomy course and becoming certified so that I can have a job with more flexibility. But I love your advice.


30 Posts

WOW! Thats all good advice on this thread. I'm getting smarter just being here. Haha!


38,333 Posts

I worked full time night shift as a CNA.

Specializes in NICU. Has 11 years experience.

My dad was raising 6 kids while doing the nursing program (4 years ago). He worked nights at Wal-mart, and when he got enough clinical experience, he worked nights at the hospital as a CNA.


602 Posts

What state are you in?? You may want to look around and do some research to see if there is an evening/weekend program. However, still, the time required for nursing school is much. the one thing that you have going for you now is that you know what you what you want to do.

Start saving, cutting back on spending now so that if or when the time comes to cut back, you won't be hurt so bad. Investigate student loans, look into being certified as a CNA etc.

Good luck.


46 Posts

I'm doing an evening/weekend program. No way can I afford to quit my job or even work PT. The nursing school I'm aiming for has a program specifically tailored toward working adults. There are a few other schools near me that have evening options. See what's in your area.


602 Posts

Baglady, you and I both. I am also trying to get into the evening/weekend program here. I have a prior degree and based on income, I don't qualify for any federal aid or loans. I HAVE to work.


16 Posts

I work in the restaurant business. Granted, it's certainly not for everyone, but you can make in 20 - 30 hours a week, what most jobs pay for 50 - 60, even more if it's the right gig! I'm not sure where you live, but the closer to a coast and a mid to larger city helps, especially with tips! Another thing is student loans. You may be able to take out the max, pay whatever essential bills you have after school and maybe have some money left over. Yet another way to go, is to work at a hospital, have them pay you for the work you do and for the school you're may not be much, but school's covered. Either way you go, you're gonna have to sacrifice for a few years, but it will be SOOO worth it when you finish up!!! GOOD LUCK! - Jim

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