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Non-traditional Students and Nurses - 1st semester question

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by vjhappy vjhappy (Member)

vjhappy specializes in L&D.

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I'll be starting nursing school in August and it is a complete career change for me. My boss at my current job says that he is okay with me working part-time while I'm in my first semester, but I really just want to concentrate on my studies during the week and work on the weekends. Because the nursing program and my job is during the day, this creates a problem.

I want to get another job in a hospital, but I have no hospital experience. I do have 10 years of experience in community outreach and health education. Additionally, I took a med. terminology course to help me be more marketable, but no bites so far. My question is what kind of jobs did you do in your 1st semester of nursing school? Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance,

VJ

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TheCommuter has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

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I, too, am a nontraditional student, since I am 26 years of age, and have been living alone for the past 4 years. Nursing has also been a career change for me.

I was a factory worker for 3 years, but needed a change of pace. Since all of the RN programs were impacted in California, I opted to take a fast track LVN program that was 12 months long. I quit my well-paying factory job, and lived off unemployment checks (and my savings) during that year in the LVN program. It worked out, because I was still able to pay my mortgage and other bills.

I completed the LVN program in 2005, and the next year I found a job that offered full-time weekends. I work 16 hour shifts on Sat and Sun, get paid for 40 hours, and have Mon through Fri off to attend school full time. One of my coworkers was an LVN who attended an RN program Mon through Fri while working weekends as an LVN.

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vjhappy specializes in L&D.

65 Posts; 2,470 Profile Views

Wow, I didn't know that you could voluntarily quit your job and still receive unemployment benefits! How long did it take for you to receive a decision from unemployment?

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TheCommuter has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

1 Follower; 228 Articles; 27,607 Posts; 316,716 Profile Views

Wow, I didn't know that you could voluntarily quit your job and still receive unemployment benefits! How long did it take for you to receive a decision from unemployment?
I voluntarily quit my job because I lived 120 miles from the workplace, and the Unemployment Department agreed with me that the daily commute was too lengthy. It took about 3 months for them to make their decision. However, I mentioned nothing to them about attending college...

I feel absolutely no shame about collecting unemployment, because the state deducted money out of my salary for many years to fund it.

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vjhappy specializes in L&D.

65 Posts; 2,470 Profile Views

Thank you so much for the information! I'm researching what the rules are for my state and it's possible if you can prove that you're unable to do both because of scheduling conflicts.

In no way shape or form should you be ashamed of receiving unemployment! I hope I didn't imply that. It's just great to know if I make the attempt to do both & it doesn't work out, there is another option out there that I never considered! You are a lifesaver! Thanks so much for responding!

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TheCommuter has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

1 Follower; 228 Articles; 27,607 Posts; 316,716 Profile Views

You are a lifesaver! Thanks so much for responding!
You are very welcome.

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RNrural specializes in Rural Nursing = Med/Surg, ER, OB, ICU.

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I have worked for a small rural hospital as a CNA for the last 8 years. I am an older (48 years) student. When I began nursing school last year I worked all weekends to make ends meet. I work full time during time off from school and summer. Sometimes it feels like I am in the hospital m entire life (especially when I am in the middle of clinicals!). It has been very difficult at times but I will be an LPN next month and an RN by this time next year. And of course, I already have a job! One of the perks for working during school...

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vjhappy specializes in L&D.

65 Posts; 2,470 Profile Views

thanx for responding, cnarural. for me, job wise, it seems that 1st semester is going to be the hardest to get through because of my lack of experience in healthcare. once that 1st semester is over with and i obtain my cna license, i plan on doing the same thing! it's great that you have that experience under your belt!

i have another question for you. how many hours during the week do you study?

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thanx for responding, cnarural. for me, job wise, it seems that 1st semester is going to be the hardest to get through because of my lack of experience in healthcare. once that 1st semester is over with and i obtain my cna license, i plan on doing the same thing! it's great that you have that experience under your belt!

i have another question for you. how many hours during the week do you study?

do yourself a big favor & work as a cna for awhile before starting nursing school. if you don't have patient care experience, you won't be sorry . you will have a much easier time of it when you get to clinicals if you have that experience. i am in my 3rd term & you can still tell the difference between the cnas & those of us who were totally green. i have my nursing skills down pat but ask me to reposition or ambulate or use a hoyer or just dress or undress a patient & i get flustered, all because i don't have that experience. my classmates, however, do it as if it is second nature.

dixie

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RNrural specializes in Rural Nursing = Med/Surg, ER, OB, ICU.

114 Posts; 2,380 Profile Views

vjhappy, I gotta be honest and tell you that I study just about every hour that I am not sleeping or working my 24 hours a week. My whole life is consumed by nursing school or working. I have a 3.8 grade point average. It can be done it just takes an extreme commitment! I plan on introducing myself to my husband next year after graduation!

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momathoner09 has 3 years experience as a LPN.

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I did not work my first semester. I think I would have stayed on part-time at the full time job where I had been working but I had to move for school.Also I started in the summer and the school had 'warned' me about how hard it would be and to not work if I didn't need to (like who doesnt need to?!) I couldnt find a job in my field anyway so I gave up and finally got a job in the following semester. I am currently at that job right now but I only work on the weekends. It is easy work and while I would like to do more, I coudln't find anythiing else to work around my crazy schedule that changes every semester! Point is- I know a few people that work as NAs or EKG techs but not many. They have said it is easy to get burned out if you are in the hospital setting while in school. Whereas other people of said it really helped them feel more comfortable while in clincial. School is the most imporant thing though. No point in getting that extra expereince if your grades suffer b/c of it.

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Daytonite has 40 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt.

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vj. . .look at the open job listings at the hospitals near you. most hospital human resource departments either post a list by their offices or they will have a job line recording which you can call and hear the jobs repeated to you. if the facility has a website, they will have the open jobs posted on the website. go to a human resources department, fill out an application and in a job interview tell them your situation. some may be willing to hire on a student just to cultivate them for a potential nursing position for later down the road. until you finish your training in basic nursing skills there isn't too much you can do that is patient centered. however, i have known of students who have gotten jobs working in dietary (kitchen), any number of aide/clerk positions for various departments, central supply, supplies, maintenance and as an activities assistant (in nursing homes). it also depends on any other skills you might have, such as being able to type. if you are willing to work weekends, nights and holidays that makes you even more desirable. if they know you are going to be in nursing school these types of employers know you have already made a commitment to further your education and are more likely to give you a chance to work, but don't necessarily assume that. once you finish your first term of school and have learned how to do basic nursing care (give baths, showers, transfer patients, safely ambulate a patient, take vital signs) most facilities will take you on as a nursing assistant (cna) with a recommendation from your instructors. in some states you can take the cna testing exam after you learn these things to get your cna (certified nursing assistant). with a cna you can work in nursing homes and most nursing homes are in need of cnas almost all the time.

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