Working and nursing school?

  1. I just got accepted to nursing school for August, I am super excited to start this new stage in life. However, I have been told over and over that working is not a good idea during school. I live in an apartment in my parents basement so I am rent free. But I have a car payment, have to buy my own food, pay for my own gas and have one credit card bill for credit building. (It is an amazon card so cannot help with food, gas, etc.) I am working full time right now and plan on saving as much I can until school. When I get in school I am able to work at the hospital towards tuition reimbursement. So I'm just wondering what is normally too many hours to work. I was hoping I could handle 20 hours and school. Any suggestions?
    Last edit by Joe V on Feb 18, '13
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    About niikkayx

    Joined: Feb '13; Posts: 22; Likes: 1


  3. by   CareQueen
    I am in the same boat, but since I am moving out of state it's a tad bit different. I think it would be best to get your first semester under your belt before you begin working. I worked all throughout my first undergrad career and can honestly say that my grades would have been much better if I didnt work so much while undertaking studies. However, I know that for most of us, that's unrealistic.

    I'm planning on finding my rhythm during my first semester and then seeking out employment.
  4. by   hodgieRN
    Anyone who says students shouldn't work during nursing school is full of it. I worked 36 hrs a week during school. This topic has been brought up before and almost all of the replies include people working throughout school.

    It just depends on how well you can manage everything and how well you can study. There are single parents with three kids, working full time, and going to nursing school at the same time. Now that I think of it, most people work during school.

    Someone telling you that you shouldn't work in nursing school is a holier-than-thou thing. Because you are young and stupid...and nursing school is soooo are ignorant and you have no idea what the world is like. Well, nursing school is difficult and it takes up a lot of time, but if you are only doing nursing school and nothing else, you will be broke and possibly bored from time to time. You can only study so much.

    Work can actually help you. If you are a CNA, you get experience in the hospital and you can get your foot in the door. It can give you an excuse to walk away from the books. It helps you grow as a person and you will learn time management, responsibility, and create a good work ethic.

    What do you tell the students who already have a family, a mortgage, and bills. They all worked. If anything, I would tell you to think about a part-time job or as needed status. Just assess your ability to study and retain information. Most people don't have the option of quitting their job just because of school. Complete nonsense.
  5. by   niikkayx
    Ah, thank you for the reassurance. I was getting nervous I was going to have to be completely poor for two years!
  6. by   Miiki
    Just mentioned this in another thread, but don't forget that working in healthcare can help you greatly when you are trying to get a job as an RN due to networking and the work relationships with unit managers.
  7. by   MsReed10
    Thank you hodgieRN! I have always heard that working was a no-no. In fact, a friend of tried to work during the BSN program couldn't do it with her husband and two kids. She had quit her job and still had her mom move here to help her. She ended up dropping out because she failed one of her classes and didn't want to chance failing another. She switched to Health Care Management. She wanted to keep the Nursing option open.

    I'm a single mom. My sons are with their dad so I decided that now was the time to go back to school since I'm no longer the primary "homework/project/kid shuttle person" and can focus on myself for a change. I was wondering how I'd make it though. I guess I may be able to work after all. I'll just need a lot of focus. My current job is relocating to MN so I am looking for another job. I'm hoping to secure employment in a hospital or doctor's office.
  8. by   niikkayx
    Miiki, thanks for the advice. I'm already in the health care as a home health aid, but I have to switch to a job at the hospital once I start school. And that will be a great experience.
  9. by   nekozuki
    I worked two jobs during nursing school, but I simply wouldn't recommend it. The people who jump to reply to these posts will tell you it's fine, but most people can't balance that kind of workload. It depends on how much you need to study, and because nursing school is so different from run of the mill college programs, you can't know until you start. My advice would always be to have a back-up plan in case you genuinely can't work, especially during the first couple months when the adjustment is hardest. Sit down with your family and talk about your options.

    Can you work? Yes. Should you? Maybe. If you can manage with it and get the most out of your education, go that route. If you are doing fine and find yourself bored, pick up a weekend job.
  10. by   queserasera
    I think 15-20 hours a week would be my personal max. I'm just working on pre-reqs now and find if I don't get a solid 20 hours to study for all my class (Micro, A&P, Technical Writing, Math) I just don't do as well on my tests as I would other wise, so I limit my work hours to 30. I think in nursing school since I'll be having to study double that I'll cut work by half.

    This logic totally makes sense to me Hahah
  11. by   NightNerd
    This is a totally subjective question, and like a few others said, you probably won't really know until you've started the classes. I will say that a way can be made if you aboslutely have to work, but most likely you'll want to keep it part-time, maybe 10-15 hours per week. I know that once you get through that fundamentals class you might be able to find hospital positions as a nursing student, which would only require a few hours every week, would give you experience, and would probably not pay too badly. Something to look out for.
  12. by   LandD_RN_chica
    I am a single mom of two girls. I went to full time nursing school during the day. I worked for the first two years part time. About 20 plus hours a week. Once I hit junior and senior year I was no longer able to work as much. I worked on the weekends at a hospital as an aide and did an extern program during the summer. I worked alot during school breaks etc. I used to stay up until like 5 am some nights and go to bed for an hour and wake up and do it all over again just to get the work done. In the last two years I had to take out additional loans to support myself and the kids so I could afford things I needed for myself and them. I had an amazing family support system as well and couldn't have done it without them. But to answer your question. Yes. Work as much as you can until you see you can no longer do it as much. But still work. Preferably in a hospital so you can have your foot in the door when you graduate. Good luck.
  13. by   Runningonfancy
    I worked 23 hours a week during high school. Junior college and my final portion of senior college. The other part of senior college I was employed full time ( nearly two years). I also worked full time during my masters degree courses. Now I'm back again and only taking two classes but I'm working full time. Not much time left in a day either. Work 8 hours Monday through Friday and have a workout class for 1 hour on Monday and Tuesday's. Evenings I study and take quizzes. Night class on Thursday. Friday evening I try to relax or study. Then a stress relieving weekend of barrel racing. Long drive right now so less study time.
  14. by   IThinkICan100
    My first semester I worked 15-20 hours a week. 12 of those hours was working double shifts on Sunday, so that I wouldn't have to work as much during the week. That got to be way too much time for me second semester with micro, so I quit my job. I really needed money, so I just started another job and I work two or three hours in the evening Monday through Thursday.

    It really depends on what you are able to do! My classes this semester is so demanding. I'm not too sure I can even hold this job down! lol