Working while attending nursing program

  1. Hi everyone,
    Right now, I am working a full time day job as a draftsman and attending Ivy Tech in the evenings. I am currently in my second semester at Ivy Tech doing pre-reqs for the nursing program. As indicated by my user name, I am switching careers at a late stage in my life. Not long ago, my company announced that it would shut down the plant within this coming spring so I decided to pursue a nursing degree. There is very little manufacturing opportunities here but lots of jobs in the medical field.
    My question is directed to those who are currently in the nursing program or recently graduated. When I talked with my advisor at school, she indicated that the nursing program was pretty much a full time activity (at least for the first semester or two with clinicals and all). How difficult is it to work and go to school at the same time? Does the schedule get easier after the first or second semester? Have you worked as CNA's or something similar while attending school? I'm looking for any helpful input. Thanks
  2. Visit SwitchinGears profile page

    About SwitchinGears

    Joined: Jan '09; Posts: 4


  3. by   earnold09
    Hi switchingears,

    I'm currently in my last quarter of nursing school as a LPN and I was working when I first started school. I was going to school out of town and working a day here and there and every other weekend. I cut my work time back to every other weekend and still failed pharm 1 by 2 pts. I also have a 3 year old and husband so not sure if that makes any difference. My opinion is if you "dont" have to work while going to nursing school I would suggest not to. I got right back into the program and am now taking classes at the local college that was a branch from the one of out town and things are much better since I am not working at all. But nursing school is not a breeze to just go in and listen to lecture and hey you pass the test. You really do have to read the un-ending long chapters that sometimes there are 4-7 chapters for one test. You have anywhere from 6-13 credit hours depending what you can get done before you get into the program.
    I started in business so some of the easy stuff like comp 1, math, and those things already done. So when I got into the program there were some classes I didnt have to take while taking just my nursing classes which gives me more time to just focus on my nursing classes and tests. But good luck on pursing your nursing degree!
  4. by   IndyMitchell
    When you get into the RN program at Ivy Tech, the school gives you your schedule, you really don't get to pick. At least the first semester was that way at the Columbus Ivy Tech. Then we had a choice between times for our classes not really days. I have managed to work for 2 semesters so far. You have to have a job that is willing to work with you on changing your days/hours every 8wks or soooo. you can do it.!! This semester I am going to have it rough, in 4 wks, My schedule is M, T 7a-5p and Wed 12:30-9:30 (because I had to pick up the last required class I needed with my nursing Lec) So that is 3 days I can not work, that leaves 4 days to read, study, family and WORK...lots of hours.:typing
    MAKE sure you get ALL of your other classes out of the way first That way you don't have to worry about fitting them in with nursing classes, ANP 201 was the only class I had left. I get to walk in May and finish my last RN classes in the summer. I am 40 yrs old changing careers. I have worked in corrections for the last 17 yrs.
    GOOD LUCK ............
  5. by   SwitchinGears
    I appreciate your replys, ladies. I still have another year of pre-requisites before jumping into the program but was curious about how others have managed the schedule. The first and second semester sounds really hectic (13 credit hrs first sem.)(11 credit hrs. second sem). Doesn't sound too bad except that the clinicals can involve an eight hour day. Correct me if I'm wrong about that. Does the load get any lighter during the second year. I'm hoping that I can keep my unemployment at a bare minimum. Thanks again

    BTW good luck to both of you.
  6. by   jackson145
    I was lucky enough not to have to work. Half of my class didn't have a choice, though. They worked in a local factory that was getting ready to close it's doors. They couldn't quit or they'd lose their benefits but they had to have a job lined up for when the plant closed. They worked 5 8-hour nights and came to nursing school during the day. None of them flunked out, either.
    In fact, the only student we lost was an older lady who had trouble drawing up an injection without an air bubble. They gave her 2 tries and then failed her. Everybody else got, like, 4 or 5 tries. I think they just wanted rid of her. Not fair but, hey, that's nursing school for ya!
    Our only full day has always been our clinical day. The other days are always 3 or 4 hours for a lecture or 2. I don't know why they go on about it being a full-time program. To me, full-time is a 40 hour work-week-not 2 3-hour days, 1 4-hour day, & an 8 hour clinical day. That's part-time.
    3rd & 4th semester are so light, there's really no reason not to work, unless you just don't need to.
  7. by   obicurn
    The first semester, if you have any choice in the matter, I would try to not work. Only because it is kinda intense with all the different classes. It is definitely possible though!
    After the first semester, you will be able to work as a CNA or a SNE. Practice clinical skills and get paid for it! You would be able to squeeze in a couple weekend shifts and it not interfere with your classes. I am in 2nd semester now and so far it's nowhere near as intense timewise as first semester was. There's no lab days and check-offs, etc. Just 2 days of lecture from 8-11:20 and two days of clinical from 6:45-3:30.