This is such a great thread & definitely much needed! I completely agree with BeachyRN2Be that, if this were the NCLEX, "don't work full-time" would be an ideal answer choice in a perfect world. I sometimes naively think "wow! wouldn't it be so nice to be able to focus solely on nursing school?" Nursing school is going to be hard at times whether you have a job or not haha :) Maybe that's just me? I don't mean to sound negative or pessimistic at all, this just reminds me that we're all in it together and that we're all here to learn as students. There are also plenty of amazing moments along the way too! Don't want to scare anyone from enrolling in a RN program That's why I wanted to contribute a post and shout from the rooftops: "YOU CAN WORK FULL-TIME DURING NURSING SCHOOL!" Yes, it's doable! I've been doing it for over a year and it's all about knowing what works best for you.
As someone who works full-time during nursing school, I find the "don't work" during nursing school advice to be really discouraging and disappointing. This advice also doesn't take into account every student's unique set of circumstances, which can be so many different things. Where you live, tuition of your nursing program, family life, support system, health status, paying for day-to-day living expenses, et cetera. I also think DURATION or length of your nursing program can definitely impact managing a full-time, part-time, or per diem job. I'm in a 24-month accelerated BSN program and knew this was the best fit for me as a learner. I also knew completing a 12-month or 16-month BSN program would just be too much for me socioemotionally... Adding a job to the mix just wouldn't have been possible for me. I think that's key is knowing what works best for you and knowing that you can change your mind. I have an amazing friend who worked TWO JOBS during her 15-month accelerated program. Everyone's pathway to becoming a nurse is different :) It's important to own your story and journey of becoming a nurse, which can mean reflecting on many aspects of your life and finding a way to make working a job *work for you.*
As an older student, I knew I needed to work during nursing school. I know there are those who will brush that off and say that I didn't "need to work." However, my pathway to becoming a RN meant working throughout my BSN program. From there, I knew what was best for me given there are only so many hours in the day for work, school, and just how I am as a learner :) I wanted to make sure I had enough time to devote to everything nursing school entails, which is A LOT of reading, memorizing, studying, and sleeping. Oh yes! I seriously need some sleep to function during lecture ;o) Since I knew I needed to work, I found a job that was a great fit for me and my new nursing schedule, which I knew would be during the daytime. Again, nothing is perfect, so I try not to stress and address curve balls when they pop up. School, work, and home are super close to one another so that cuts down dramatically on commuting. Work actually contributes financially to my RN education, which helps a lot! I could keep rambling about working during school so to wrap things up: listen to your own voice and trust yourself. Be confident! Also, keep in mind, you can change your mind. I know plenty of students in my BSN program who have recently accepted jobs and those who are leaving their jobs... Everyone is different! My two cents would be to try to enjoy this process as much as possible :) You're clearly a very special person, if you want to be a nurse ;o) and thinking about working during school demonstrates dedication, organization, critical thinking, and reflection.