Part Time CNA Full Time Nursing School


To start off, I have a REALLY high goal for myself for when I do get to nursing school: I want to graduate #1 in the class, however, I have a slight problem, I am going to have to work part time, probably 20-35 hours a week. I'm wondering if it will get in the way of that goal. I understand that it varies from person to person depending on how they study and how their brain takes in information, but I really want to know about how other people experienced it. How did you find time to study? How stressful was it? How are your grades?


832 Posts

This is just my take on it and there are probably exceptions to the case. I've always found that the top person in the class is dedicated and actually has the time to study for what would seem to be endless. For something that is working, your ability to study is limited because of the hours you work. I don't think that someone working can compete with someone who isn't working.

It is always possibly to finish in the top few percent of the class even if you are working, but to actually be the one with the highest GPA seems unrealistic. But who knows? You might not have "that person" who can afford to put all the time into studying in your class.

If you can beat these odds, I commend you. I even challenge you to do so. It is always nice to see someone with ambition.

Good luck!


37 Posts

Thanks! I'm just so unsure because school has always come easy to me, high school and my CNA class, but nursing school is going to be so much different. Did you personally know the person at the top of your class and if they worked or not?

Has 6 years experience.

I cut back to six hours a week while I was in school, and it still felt like too much. I made a few As, a few Cs and a bunch of Bs. I actually have no idea what my GPA was ...but I've always been more of a "big picture" person than one who focuses on the details. While some classmates studied by taking endless pages of notes and obsessing over them, I just listened in class and read the book.

I also have no idea who was "first" in the program. It probably wasn't me, though. :cat:

RNperdiem, RN

4,591 Posts

Has 14 years experience.

Many of us worked part-time jobs during school and did fine. If you are free from other pressing responsibility (like childcare), you can find the time you need. If you have certain part-time jobs, you can do some discreet studying at work.

How much time could you free up in your week if you gave up televison? or browsing online?


4 Posts

I had the luxury of not working while going to nursing school full-time so that I could focus on studying and getting through school as stress-free as possible. Of course I know not everyone has that option. That being said, there were a few people in my class who worked FT or PT AND had children at home - amazing! These particular people didn't graduate at the top of our class, but that's not to say it's impossible. Nursing school is a lot of work - don't underestimate how much time you will need for HW and studying. It took me at least two hours a day to do the HW we were assigned each day, and we had homework... every. day. Best of luck to you - I am one of those people that truly believe if you think you can do it, then you can :)

Has 33 years experience.

As you have not been accepted to nursing school, your goal will change ,IF you are accepted. Nursing school is BRUTAL. You may find yourself happy with a "C" in anatomy and physiology.

Graduating first in your class means diddly -squat to future employers.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.

I worked 32 hours per week as an LVN while attending an LPN-to-RN/ASN transition program full-time. I graduated with a 3.5 GPA and a spot on the honor roll.

Working while attending nursing school is possible if you know how to juggle your priorities. Good luck to you.


94 Posts

As you have not been accepted to nursing school, your goal will change ,IF you are accepted. Nursing school is BRUTAL. You may find yourself happy with a "C" in anatomy and physiology.

Graduating first in your class means diddly -squat to future employers.

You got that right! "C" means continue and this coming from someone who NEVER had anything less then an "A" and a perfect grade point National High Honors k-12 and 4 years with a full scholarship at a women's only University (at the time) and attained a duel bachelors degree in the arts Anthropology/Sociology. When I went back to school for my BSN, I worked full time in medical "my family needed the insurance and school required it" and went to the University full time, I had two grown boys finishing HS. Needless to say, a very busy life. After the 90 credits of prerequisites I was enrolled in nursing school, the class started with 28 students, two years later at graduation 7 finished. It was extremely hard with a very high level of Academic standards an A in class was the last thing on anyone's mind.


69 Posts

I did it worked full time plus went to RN school plus had 2 kids. It depends on you! Lots of people do it every day. Nursing isn't rocket science, but you have to manage your time. Don't let anyone deter you. IF you can then do it if you can't just cut some hours. We had people drop babies and be in clinicals 5 days again its up to you.

Extra Pickles

1,403 Posts

high goals are great but the goal you set for yourself at this stage of the game is a waste of energy. you should plan to study as long and as hard as it takes to get the very best grades you can and if that places you first, so be it and if it places you tenth, so be it.

some people who were used to having excellent grades before nursing school have been shocked to see that they don't maintain those straight A's anymore.

if you're smart and you probably are you will realize soon enough that you will be working your butt off no matter what placement in the class you are!

grandma used to say to me, Do Your Best, If It's The Best You Can Do. good advice from grandma lol!


252 Posts

Specializes in PICU, CICU. Has 2 years experience.

I work part time nights while being full time in nursing school (entering my third quarter). It's difficult because I offen leave work then go directly to class or clinical (sometimes I have to leave work early even to make it on time as the destinations are pretty significant in distance) but I just suck it up and make do because that's the only way I can financially support myself. I've also had the best GPA's achieved this far while in nursing school (3.95), just study when you can. More people work during school than you'd imagine