Is It Possible to Work and Still Be Successful in Nusing School?

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When you were in nursing school did you work at all. I've been hearing it alot that it is impossible to work while in nursing school. I don't know if they're just trying to scare me. I'm very disciplined and am used to cutting out my social life when school is in session. I will be working about 12 hours a week which isn't much so I'm hoping I can handle it.


48 Posts

when I start nursing skool it looks like I will be going part time in the eves at a local comm college. and YES I will be working FULL TIME...


49 Articles; 5,349 Posts

Specializes in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds.

Posts moved to General Nursing Student Discussion Forum for better exposure. New thread started on this topic.

It is possible to work during nursing school - and be successful. I did it while in school, but I only worked part-time (~ 12 hrs every two weeks). Nursing school in and of itself is a fulltime job and requires an intense amount of time, energy, and dedication. Working fulltime while in nursing school may be possible while attending school part-time. I would not recommend it for any fulltime student.

Tweety, BSN, RN

34,113 Posts

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

I had to work to pay my car payment and rent. I worked between 30 and 40 hours a week at Pizza Hut. I had no choice. It was tough but I did it. It helped that I had all co-req classes done and was able to take only nursing courses. I was successful enough to graduate with a 3.8 average.

I had no other life than work and school, but it was worth it.

Specializes in LTC.

I tried it for the first couple of semesters. Now I'm down to my last course and its intense so I did leave my job. I'm now looking for a part-time gig but if I don't get a job I won't sweat it. Yes I do have a car payment and insurance and blah blah blah, but I chose to have atleast some money saved up to pay my car and insurance up for two months. I'll be done in 7 weeks with NS. So yes I really am going to be broke but I'll be less stressed. Well gotta go to the library. Its Saturday and pretty outside and I'll be stuck in the library for a few hours.... so yes NS will take up your time.

mama_d, BSN, RN

1,187 Posts

Specializes in tele, oncology.

While in LPN school, I worked two twelves a week on nights on top of having a newborn and nursing him. Unfortunately, where I worked at did not do self-scheduling, so even though my classes and clinicals were from 8-4 or 7-3 Monday thru Thurs, sometimes I'd be scheduled to work Tues and Wed nights. I have no idea how I managed it, but I graduated with over a 3.8 and top of my class.

I had been going full time to get pre-reqs done for RN bridge program up until last semester, while working 4-5 twelves a week consistently and with a family. It sucked, but I managed to get mostly A's. Luckily I don't have to study much for the information to stick.

When I do get to go back, hopefully in the fall or spring, I think I'm going to invest in a digital recorder so that I can play back lectures in the car. I have no choice as to working or not, I'm the sole provider at this point in time for a family of six. I miss school, but I do really wish I could cut back to part time when it's time to go back.


2,642 Posts

When you were in nursing school did you work at all. I've been hearing it alot that it is impossible to work while in nursing school. I don't know if they're just trying to scare me. I'm very disciplined and am used to cutting out my social life when school is in session. I will be working about 12 hours a week which isn't much so I'm hoping I can handle it.

It depends. It depends on your definition of "success in nursing school", it depends on your program, it depends on how much study time you need, it depends on whether you have a job where you can use downtime to study, and also things like how much time do you spend commuting to school or work, how much time do you need to sleep, how many responsibilities do you have outside of work and school?

I work about 8 hours a week on campus, and spend probably half that time studying, I'd be uncomfortable doing much more. While doing my prereqs I worked 37 hours a week and carried 15 credits including 200 level chemistry (I'm a chemistry minor) and pulled all A's. I would say I am far busier now with my current school and work schedule.

But there's really no good, easy answer to give you, there are to many variables. It's really a question of whether YOU can be successful in your nursing school and work.

Best of luck and congrats on your acceptance!




1,465 Posts

I work full time nights as a LPN. I have a family with two children still school age (11 and 15). I am currently working on my RN. I have about a 3/4 school schedule - 4 credits shy of full time. I have one more semester left and I'm pulling a 3.2 average - so yes it is possible. BUT it isn't easy. And I also am not kicking myself because I don't have a 4.0. I'm happy with the best I can do in my circumstances. So it is up to you to decide if you can do both. I believe most people can if they are average students. For those that struggle with school, it might not be possible. Good luck with whatever you do.

I agree, it depends on your personal definition of successful. Many people in my program consider having the minimum % as being successful. I classify it as doing my absolute best. I work 2X/week 12hr shifts in the hospital in the ICU. My work gets me valuable experience that actually puts me ahead of many others because I'm so comfortable in the hospital and have been exposed to many things. It's only then end of my 1st year but I'm currently pulling a 3.8 overall in my nursing classes. Just remember, you have to read to make it through nursing school and actually have a good knowledge base for the NCLEX. If you don't have the time to dedicate yourself to all that is needed then maybe working won't be feasible for you.

BEST of luck!

i worked 32 hours a week and had the highest grade

My school is a little different, and I realized that my classmates were really smart (smarter than me!) but they werent so great at test taking.

If you get anxiety during exams, the extra pressure of working will not make it better.

To answer your question, its possible ! Everyone is different


97 Posts

I can only speak for myself but RN school was the hardest schooling I've ever done. I remember staying up late every night and being up at 4 or 5 every morning for clinicals mostly on the living room carpet with 3 or 4 books open at once. There is no way I could have made it working. I did have a baby and living with parents and going thru divorce so hey you know you. If nothing stops you then---smile and get goin we are all here for you. I wish I would of been able to have allnursing back then. Take care.smiles

nkara, CNA

288 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg/Pedi/Tele.

I'm working 40 hour nights as a CNA in a children's hospital and taking my pre-req's. I have to work.. no if's and's or but's.... So I'll make it work. When I do start the nursing program I will probably be going for the pt evening or weekend spots... I believe that the school I'm going to won't consider me for the full time spot because of my job. But that's ok.. I'll make it work.

I laugh at those who say you CAN'T work going to nursing school. Hello.. life calling? I kinda like having a roof over my head and feeding myself and oh I don't know... paying my bills. :saint:

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