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Is it possible to work fulltime as a CNA while going to nursing school?

Hi everyone!

I am going to be taking CNA classes this fall. I was just wondering if it was possible to work fulltime as a CNA while going to school for your BSN. Would this be too stressful or is it doable? Ideally I would like to go to school fulltime as well, but I would readjust if needed. Please let me know if any of you have done this before or have any advice. Thanks!

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education.

I think it really depends on the person and the program. What is your support system like? Will you get help doing some of the things required in mundane life? Are you personally able to handle that level of work/stress?

I attended an MSN program while working more than full time as an OR nurse (on call time that essentially meant I was working 50 hours/week on average). However, I have no children, no spouse, and had funds to pay a cleaning company to show up each month and a meal prep business to provide healthier meals than carry out/delivery/frozen dinners that were pretty much heat and eat.

I'm doing it currently. It's very difficult but doable.


Specializes in Skilled Rehab Nursing.

I worked full time as a CNA and did 12-15 credits all last year I nearly died from overload. I would NEVER be able to pull it off. Most nursing programs strongly urge you not to work while attending. Part time maybe if you don't have other family obligations like kids. Nursing school is in and of itself a full time job, one that should be a priority. Could you handle two full time jobs?


Specializes in Med-Surg.

I worked full time as a CNA for most of my LVN schooling. Dropped to part time at the end. Worked mostly full time as an LVN while getting my ADN.

How flexible is your job with your school schedule? Do you need to work full time? It can be done. Unless you have to stay full though (for benefits or paycheck) then I wouldn't, especially towards the middle of your program. If you have to then I would advise you start full time but be willing to drop to part time or PRN.


Specializes in Nurse's Aide.

I think it's do-able, but it is going to be a difficult time period. It all depends on the type of person you are when increased stress and work gets brought on. Are you a very organized person? Will you be mentally prepared to switch tasks? Really think about it, because nursing school is just as much as a full time job as the CNA job. Good luck!

I do it but my free time at work and my days off are studying.

It's doable lots of homework. I mean fiance is in nursing school doing 24 hour's eve and doing okay. I mean homework is on overload, but able to balance it out. I think if you can get yourself into a routine it's doable.

I am in the process of doing prerequisites with the goal of once in nursing school switch to 36 hour night shifts. Nursing program looking to go into is three to four day's a week of class. Clinical is only three day's usually after your class. So I mean your pulling a few sixteens. However, if I work every weekend and one day during the week be doable.

SarahMaria, MSN, RN

Specializes in Psychiatry, Forensics, Addictions.

It's absolutely possible. I did it. I also worked full time as a CNA while going to law school. It's all in your mindset.

Missingyou, CNA

Specializes in Long term care.

Working in home care will likely give you more opportunity to study while at work.

I worked homecare for 2 years and did not like it because I had SO much down time! Most of my clients took naps while I was there. I had a 12 hour shift and at least half of that time my client was napping.


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