How do you pay for school/ have the time to work and study...

Students Pre-Nursing


Hi guys! I am going back to school after about a year of taking a break to finish my prereq's for nursing. I am planning to go part time until I finish the prereq's and then go full time when I get accepted into the nursing program. I have many hard classes to take (chem, anatomy, nutrition, etc.) and am worried that I won't be able to "get back into it" and succeed because I'm working full time and have been out of school for a while. Does anyone here work full time and how many credits do you take per semester? Do you plan on taking out loans, work, utilize financial aid or scholarships? I am paying my way through school myself and was wondering how others do it. I was thinking about stopping work and just taking out student loans while I'm in the nursing program. How long has it taken you to finish your prereq's (or how long do you anticipate it will take?) Thanks in advance. :p


Tweety, BSN, RN

33,494 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

I'm working full time, taking six credits a semester. That's about all I can handle. Fortunately, I work only three 12 hour days and have four days off for schoolwork. I've always gone to school while working full time, including nursing school. Lots of people have no choice but to do this. You can do it too! Good luck to you!


27 Posts

Well, I paid my way through grad school, worked a year and now I'm taking the prerequisites for nursing. I am an international student who cannot get federal loans etc. like u guys, so when I worked the year I saved as much money as I could, this is what I am using now. I think u should do a mixture of loans and self pay. The key here is sacrifice, you have to become a saver, if u were not that before. That means cutting off the cel phone, doing without that cute skirt, doing your hair less, see what I'm getting at. At least you have a choice of loans. It can be done if you want it bad enough.



17 Posts

Hi, everyone,

I am taking my pre-req's for an Associate Rn program. I have a family and I will work about 30-35 ours a week. My job has a Tution Remibursement program, So besides what I save every two weeks. That is how I am doing it. It has been years since I was in school also. I feel that time mangement is the key. This semester, I am considering 11 credit hours, but I am not sure yet. I have a week to make a decision. My boys are my inspiration. I know that it will be worth it in the end. :bugeyes:


105 Posts

As someone put in time management is very important. I work full-time (8-5, mon-fri), I have 2 kids a 21 month old daughter and a 34 yo (lol). For the past 2 semesters I only took 3 credit hours of class and it works for me to just focus on one and maintain a good GPA. You can check your college if they offer online classes too. Where I worked we have a tuition waiver, you can visit your financial aid office they may have options for you.

loriangel14, RN

6,931 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

I am going to school nights and working at two jobs during the day.It is a bit slower this way but I will graduate debt free. My pay plus child support pays for most of my expenses but I admit I get some help from Dad too. lol

Specializes in Home Health Care.

Here's how I do it:

I work full time, but I'm not employed :rolleyes: (stay at home mom of 3..ages: 10, 7, & 3). My husband is a business owner of two businesses so he's gone at least "90-112" hrs a week. I'm running the house all on my own. He makes enough money that I can pay for college expenses in cash. (there's got to be some sort of pay off for being married & not seeing your husband, right?)

I started in Aug 03' taking 1-2 classes at a time and just finished all the co-reqs for my ADN program . All I have left is the core nursing classes which equals out to two classes a term from now until I graduate in May 07'.

It's very hard to find the time to study, especially when I have to run the kids to their appointments & activities. I tape all of my lectures and listen to the lectures when I'm cleaning house, giving baths, cooking dinner, laundry ect. Flash cards are also nice, my oldest helps me study. It also helps to have the neighbor kids come over, or invite my kids over there for a little quiet time.

I think you'll be able to get back in the swing of things. I graduated H.S in 91' If I can do can you!

Good luck on your new adventure, I know you'll find a way to make things work :D

Specializes in PeriOp, ICU, PICU, NICU.

I work 2 part-time jobs (non healthcare related) and go to school 3/4 time at night this semester. I take out all student loans, and pay for the books and some other fees myself. This is the only way I could do it. My college is extemely expensive and unfortunately didn't have much to chose from like some of you lucky people. :)

fla orange

92 Posts

Hey guys, I have been working and going to school for 3 years now part time. The most credits that I've taken was 6-7 per semeter. I was accepted into the ADN program this summer(Lpn-Rn) So naturally I changed my hours from fulltime to part time. The hospital that I work at offers tuition reimbursement, I've also have applied for scholarships. I'm waiting to hear back from them and I've also applied for a program offered here in NC. If the state helps with my education, all I have to do is work as a Rn for a year. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

I worked a 40 hr/wk job while taking 6 hours per semester for my ADN. Got a scholarship for the last year. After getting my license I worked for a hospital full time and got my BSN thru tuition reimbursement. I was able to get the MSN thru scholarships and tuition reimbursement. All the time I have worked full time. My kids are grown, so I did not have to worry about family issues. It was hard, but can be done. I got thru school with no loans, thank goodness, but do think they should be considered if you cannot keep your grades in the scholarship level. Also, full time while staff nursing means three 12 hour days. That gave me other days to take classes. Grad school was all online, which I thought was great!

I work 35-45 hrs/wk, and for summer, I am taking 9 credits. When Fall starts, I will be taking 14 credits. My husband works nights so it's just me and our two children.

I find the time to study once the kids go to bed. I usually am up until about 11:pm, then up again at 4:30am. I study when we go anywhere by car (hubby driving, of, I study in between dinner and baths. I study whenever I can.

The first couple of semesters, I got a few grants so I got lucky. Now, I'm all in on student loans. We don't have much extra money to pay for books and such, so I'm going to be paying off my education for quite sometime. However, to me, it's worth it because I will be doing what I truly love and have worked so hard to get!

My pre-reqs have taken me 1 year to accomplish. I started off only taking one or two classes. Each semester I have bumped up the credits to see what I can handle, and so far (knock on wood), I have been successful.

Best wishes to all of you in your education.


6 Posts

I will be starting my last semester of pre-reqs next month. I work full time and am a single mom ~ 2 boys. Fortunately all my classes have been online so I have managed pretty well so far. I had to get student loans for 2 semesters. I usually take my textbooks to work with me and spend my lunch hour reading my assignments. The boys usually get to bed by 8:30 and I spend until about 11:30 studying. I also study more on the weekends.

This topic is now closed to further replies.

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X