Hey guys....How do you all support yourselves? - page 4

Hey guys, I've decided to leave the corporate world to pursue nursing. This has been a long time passion for me. My question is, since nursing school is full-time day, how do you all support... Read More

  1. by   VetTechingWasEasier
    Hey, career momentum, go for it, especially if you have a "leapfrog" support system going on! I think we stumbled on another way to pay one's way through school. Oh, and about Bourbon... Yeah, my friends and folks rolled their eyes too, but during circut parties like Decadence, I'd need a small duffel bag to carry all my tips home, no joke. It's a good gig if you can pass up the sauce and can stand the music. (Bartenders shouldn't get too familiar with the patrons anyway, no matter what gender they are, so to me what difference does it make what their personal lives are?)
    Last edit by VetTechingWasEasier on Mar 5, '08 : Reason: qualifiers
  2. by   OldPhatMC
    Quote from Brian 77
    Hey guys,
    I've decided to leave the corporate world to pursue nursing. This has been a long time passion for me. My question is, since nursing school is full-time day, how do you all support yourselves?? Any suggestions? I don't even know where or how to begin to look for new employment while in school. I hear you shouldn't work more than part-time hours. Any suggestions are welcomed.

    Geez Brian, there's a few of you Richmond folks looking at nursing. I guess credit cards and consumer electronics are feeling the pinch. I'm just up the road from you.

    Supporting myself was pretty much a higher priority than nursing school (thank you Dr. Maslow). I was working at my day job as an analyst for a call center. Fortunately, they gave me some latitude to balance out my work schedule but it was hard. Our business is strongly seasonal in the first four months of the year so my spring semesters were mixes of fifty hour work weeks and long nights on the computer, or six hours at job A then off to clinical B. Not impossible, but no room for error. Fortunately all of my kids are the four legged kinds that are not terribly traumatized by crating.

    If I hadn't gotten into a new online program in VA, I would have to have followed plan B: Sell house, live in refrigerator box (or van) down by the river, empty out 401K, work until death after graduation.

    If there's any way to keep the work going part time, doing what you do well is easier and potentially a lot more lucrative than entry level work in a health care job.

    You do learn more working in health care, but there's an upper limit. I have an EMS background. An EMT-Intermediate gets a lot of the same physical assessment training as a first year nurse, but hasn't the depth of knowledge (labs, critical thinking, etc). An EMT's experience in working with patients can be extraordinarily valuable. EMT-I and Paramedic jobs exist in the Virginia hospitals, pay a tad more than CNA work, but because of the odd scope of practice, an EMT will get involved in procedures that even a nurse isn't normally permitted to do on their own. If your time line permits getting some EMT background before you start (Fall 08 or later), it will help both with experience and money. Even as a volunteer EMT, you still gain experience that pays.

    An important consideration no one else mentions much is that where you want to work once you are licensed is a factor. Some hospitals pay for their assistive personnel to go to nursing school with a service obligation. Others tend to use externships as recruiting tools. Either way, if you're set on a particular hospital, you will find that working there can be a significant help. I found it much harder to get my first nursing job in the local area because I neither worked for nor took huge loans from the local hospital's foundation. With a nursing educator shortage, they're short on folks to train you, and they want to invest first in the ones with the influence.

    A lot of how you proceed should be based on what you can maintain now, and what your program looks like. No nursing program is very positive about working while in school, but all of them admit it has to be. If you're doing an online program, full time is feasible, but don't expect to be top of the class. Mr. 2.987 knows this for a fact.

    By the way, it helps to take a massive load of student loan debt. Many hospitals have loan repayment incentives for new grad nurses. If you don't have a loan you don't get any money. Shocking!

    But do whatever it takes to become a nurse. It's the best nervous breakdown you'll ever nearly avoid.

    Party Rock!

    OldPhatMC, RN sends.
    "Graduate of the Commonwealth Nursing Program - Cavy Cohort"
  3. by   JerseyGuy
    hey there:

    I have a domestic partner who works, and he pays most of the bills while I'm in nursing school. (I did same thing for him several years ago, when he was starting a new business and not drawing a salary.)

    My situation also a little unique, in that I'm in an "Accelerated BSN Program", especially for career changers. We are "in class/in program" (clinical, class, learning lab,, etc) 32 hrs a week, so MOST people in my 60 person class do not work. I'm also a little fortunate, in that I spent all of 2006 doing my science/nursing pre-reqs and LEGITIMATELY getting NJ Unemployment of $500week = $2000 a month, bkz I was career changing into a "critical occupation" on State of NJ Unemployment Career listing....PLUS, I got a tuition waiver for all my pre-reqs during 2006 at local community college, thanks to this special NJ Unemployment Program for career changers. I felt "blessed" to be able to do so.

    Good luck.....oh, I've also taken out $50k in Federal & State student loans.....and use some of that for living money, but heck, have another 20 yrs to pay those back.
  4. by   Charco
    Here in N.Ireland luckily we have no school fee's and get paid 500 per month to do the course. If it wasn't for that i dunno what id do!
  5. by   RedKodiak
    I pretty much live off the GI Bill. So far I've managed not to touch the money I saved up in Iraq. I try to live as cheap as possible. I rent a room above a garage, eat Ramen and MRE's I still have from the Army. And to make spending cash for the occaisional dvd/video game rental, I deliver pizza a couple nights a week. Not exactly a glamorous lifestyle, but I like to think it will pay off.
  6. by   Flames9_RN
    my wife--sugar momma!! lol
  7. by   Lilloman
    I'm currently still working full-time in IT while getting everything in place to start nursing school AND putting wife through nursing school.
    She has 1 more year to go.
    Once she graduates and is employed then she'll be putting me through school.

    Share and share alike.
  8. by   romero nurse
    Just to add my two cents into the discussion.

    I worked full time days as a Surgical Assistant in the OR before starting nursing school. I was promised a Friday evening 3-11, sat. 7a-7p, and sunday 7a-7p shift, but ending up working 3-11 monday-friday. Still hoping that the weekend shift will work out but until it does, I go to nursing school 7a-2p and work 3p-11:30p.

    I try and study as much as I can during my lunch breaks or whenever it's slow in the OR and I read when I get home. With this schedule I won't owe any loans for school but I do not have a life at all!!!:zzzzz

    I am in a perpetual state of drowsiness during the week and I try to catch up to my life on the weekends.
  9. by   chRoniX10
    I currently live with my parents and commute to school, I also work part time Fri (half day) and Saturday (full day) at a hardware store in order to save up money when I am going to move. It's stressful but definetely doable. I know many people in my school who have it much worse than I do.
  10. by   SteveNNP
    Quote from romero nurse
    I am in a perpetual state of drowsiness during the week and I try to catch up to my life on the weekends.
    I hear you......:smilecoffeecup:

    I'm currently in grad school, and have so far avoided accumulating any debt. (just paid off my undergrad loans last month)

    But...in order to do that, I work FT nights, usually Th/F/Sat, with the occasional Sunday night shift thrown in. I have class on Mondays and Wednesdays, which basically gives me Sunda nights and Tuesdays to catch up on cleaning, errands, friends, homework, etc. Except for today. I got off the train at 10pm last night from school, went straight home, ate, showered and went to bed by 11:30p. I slept straight through 2 alarms, from 11:30p-3pm...15+ hours. :grn: I guess when your body needs sleep, it doesn't care what you have planned for it.

  11. by   Oorah
    Actually, I build race cars for a living right now. Been working on one for the Bonneville runs coming up this summer. Its a bad mofo. I love my job, but can't imagine doing it when im 55. Thats why i'm getting into nursing. Besides the norms of liking helping people. etc etc. Same reasons everyone else does this.
  12. by   Bobylon
    To be honest, my wife supports us, as of now .... luckily she's a RVT (registered vascular ultrasound tech) and makes a decent buck (actually, she's always made more $$$ than me, so...it works ). The next 11 months may get tight, but we'll do alright (although my daughter thinks she deserves a car for her 16th b-day...LOL)
  13. by   Oorah
    I would tell everyone to just do the 2 year ADN thing at a community college for starters.

    1.) It's WAY cheaper.
    2.) Its faster
    3.) Its usually a little less competitive
    4.) They usually have less weed out classes.

    You can always finish the BSN later on whether it be at a school, or online, or blend of both if need be. And if you do the ADN you can start getting work experience while you work on your BSN. I consider this plan putting you ahead of the power curve actually. And as far as I can tell it all pays the same since apparently the US need twice as many nurses as it has.

    I posted already, but I own a performance shop... Basically we build race cars. That and I am a veteran from illinois so I also get about $2,000/month from the MGIB+Marines College Fund.... And to top it off I also get to use the Illinois Veterans Grant, which means I get to go to school for almost free.

    Everyone tells me I'm crazy for leaving my good job owning a shop that makes me about $50/hr. But I am thinking of my wrists, elbows, and shoulders when I am 60. Its well known that mechs have problems from repetitive motion injuries, which after 6 years have already started. So I have myself in a position of doing to the books, managing, answering phones, and dealing with customers so th other guys can turn wrenches. But I want to be a CRNA eventually...... So I can make $75/hr....and work on my cars in the garage as a hobby, which I love instead of working on them for a living.... which I hate.