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Is it possible to work full-time and be a full-time nursing student?

Pre-Nursing   (1,039 Views 10 Comments)
by futureRN_ futureRN_ (New Member) New Member

1,804 Visitors; 116 Posts

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Hello all! I've been accepted into nursing school for this fall 2014. But I'm afraid that I will not be able to juggle both my full time job and nursing school. On top of all that I'm a single parent with 3 year old. I absolutely can not quit my job because this is my only income. When I went to my school orientation they made us aware that if we are employed we won't be able to juggle both. I guess what I'm asking is, is there anyone who had/has a full time job and in nursing school? How was your experience and how did you manage your time? Is this even possible? And how do you make time for your child/kids?

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SE_BSN_RN has 8 years experience as a BSN and specializes in LTC, Agency, HHC.

13,266 Visitors; 805 Posts

I worked f/t through my LPN-BSN program, with 4 kids and a hubby who also worked, and we hired a babysitter. For the first year, I worked doubles on the weekend in a nursing home....that allowed me to be home more with the kids. For the last year, I worked nights on a private duty case. It was tough but doable. Hopefully you've been with your employer long enough they will work with your schedule.

Good luck! You can do this!

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3,509 Visitors; 72 Posts

I worked 40 hrs a week and went to nursing school full time. It was hard and there were times where my work or my school work suffered because of it. However I never pulled in anything less than a B and I am graduating from nursing school tonight. If you're willing to work harder than you've ever worked in your life (and be prepared to have your teachers try and dissuade you from working full time), then you can do it.

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NurseGirl525 is a ASN, RN and specializes in ICU.

32,113 Visitors; 3,663 Posts

There is no way I could do it. I am a single mom to an 8 year old. Do you have a good support system in place? People that can take care of your child? My son is in 2nd grade and he does competitive judo which is like a full time job sometimes. We travel all of the time. I attend school during the day while he is in school. I had days this past semester where I didn't get out of class until after 4 and we had practice at 4:30 and my son got out of school at 2:30. I had a friend get him off the bus and watch him until I was done with class. We ran a whole lot and ate a lot of take out some weeks. My ex takes him when he can and helped out on days that there were delays and cancellations. I start the program in August and am already making arrangements for him especially on days I will have clinicals. It's about being very organized. Just make sure things don't fall by the wayside and you always have back ups in place. Your kiddo will get sick, you will get sick, some days will not go as planned. But if you are organized you should be able to handle it.

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WookieeRN is a ADN, RN and specializes in PACU.

19,483 Visitors; 1,036 Posts

Back in the early 90s my mom worked full-time with two young kids (4 and 1) but she had my dad as well as 2 sets of grandparents for support. Childcare was not an issue because my maternal grandmother was a SAHM and never worked and took my brother and I and traded off with my paternal grandmother in the summer. At the time we were also living with my grandparents so there was a HUGE support system.

I couldn't imagine going to nursing school and working full-time without some sort of support system. It will be tough but there are women on here who have done it.

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1,804 Visitors; 116 Posts

Thanks for the responses! So it is possible to work full time and go to school full time but it's about organization and time management? When did you guys have the time to study? It was so discouraging when they told me I absolutely can not work in this program :( I have a strong support system when it comes to my kid but she's only 3. I want to spend as much time with her as possible too.

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3,915 Visitors; 267 Posts

You have 3 priorities, but you can only pick two: family, school, work.

Nursing school is very difficult, so school has to be one of the two: if you fail out of school, all the effort was wasted. Just getting by is also a waste because you'll never pass NCLEX.

Do you have a good support system for your child (grandparents, aunts/uncles, neighbors, cooperative father)? If so, use that support. Temporarily sacrifice time with your child now in order to build the foundation a much better life. Remember, nursing school is temporary.

If you don't have the support system or simply cannot fathom spending less time with your child, then you must find alternate means of income. Are you eligible for scholarships or student loans? Could you cut back to part time work and supplement with student/personal loans? Going from full time to part time gives you an extra 20 hours a week to spend studying or with your child. That's not insignificant.

Some folks have balanced all three together, but they're the exception rather the rule. Picking 2 out of three significantly increases your chances of succeeding in school and ultimately on the NCLEX. Just keep in mind: school has to be the top priority, but it's temporary.

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595 Visitors; 5 Posts

I was able to work full time while being a single mother to a toddler and heavily pregnant with second child. I went to school full time at night. I made dean's list every quarter. Granted, this was for surgical technology, but it is comparable. It can be done.

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772 Visitors; 41 Posts

You can definitely do it, but it won't be easy. I worked through nursing school and have 2 children. I missed out on a lot of family stuff and spent every free moment studying. Honestly, when you have no other choice besides working hard you find the strength to keep pushing on. Good luck!

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RunBabyRN has 2 years experience and specializes in L&D, infusion, urology.

26,600 Visitors; 3,677 Posts

I've seen people do it, but I don't know how they made it through, honestly. I'm married, and started the program working part time, but my boss scheduled me every second I made available (which I'd made clear was for flexibility, NOT for maxing out on hours), and I had to quit about a month in. My sanity was more important. I started my program with a 3 year old (now 5), a work-at-home husband who has his own business, so it's not bringing in income yet, and supportive family that needs assistance with health issues. Nursing school requires A LOT of your time for reading and writing papers and studying for exams. I missed out on some stuff with my son for sure, but I made sure that the time that was ours counted. We did a lot of trips to the beach (not far from us), going to the park, going camping, and the like. We made Spring Breaks count by going on inexpensive trips. We've relied a lot on family support, including financial (thankfully I receive a stipend as a veteran, otherwise we would have been totally screwed).

Really good time management and support will be KEY. Cut your expenses as much as humanly possible, and make sure that your support system is absolutely reliable and as big as possible. Stress management is also important. What will you do to maintain your sanity?

Good luck!!!

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