School and a 40 hr work week

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I'll be starting Block 1, tradtional 4 semesters in July. I'll have lab and lecture two days a week until the end of September and then I'll add two days of clinicals to the week. Is it possible to have a full time, 40 hr work week AND have time for studying? I have a small amount of finacial aid, but nothing that will cover me the full semester. My "Plan A" is no longer an option and I'll need figure something out so I can still attend. I can't believe I've waited almost two years to get in to the program with no worries and now am scrambling to figure out how I can make it work. How realistic is it to do both and if anyone has done it or is doing it, I would appreciate your input on what hours you're working etc. I have no problem making sacrifices, I wish I knew this before and I would have chosen the part-time program. I just need some hope that it's still possible to do right now before I really freak out! Thanks so much.


198 Posts

i am going to be working a full time job and doing nursing school, but i have 6 hrs at work that I can do homework and only work 2 out of 4 of the days I have class. I have seen mothers with 3 kids working full time and make it through nursing school so I am certain you can make it work if you manage your time well and don't give up!

Specializes in chemical dependency detox/psych.

Any kids? If not, you will do just fine. If you have kids, yes, it can be done. However, they may be neglected some of the time--I just graduated, so I know what I'm saying. I saw other moms w/ kids work 40 hours, and their kids got the short end of the stick a lot of the time. Even w/ me just working one day a week, my two kids had to live w/a non-existent mommy some of the time. Nursing school by itself is like another full-time job--especially the last year. Good luck!


300 Posts

Not sure if you have children. I am assuming not. If this is the case, you certainly can do it! I do not work but I do have a husband that works 60-70hours a week and we have two children 2 and 4. They are a full time job, lol! I worried about these things as well. Will I have enough time to study? Ugh- that question looms over me everyday it seems. Then, I am reminded that some people in the NE program are working full time, and, they are single mothers. If they can do it- so can we!

I think Nursing School always seems to be partnered w/ the bump and grind no matter what your situation is. There is a thread on here about time management skills and there were some GREAT ideas on how to manage your time. I think the thread is called "school being a wife/mother" or something along those lines. Check it out.

Another thing- I was wondering if you looked into loans? Just about anyone can get a loan for school, you may just have to pay the interest while attending school, but it would certainly help. Also, scholarships honey! Check your schools website. You would be amazed at the scholarships that are out there for nursing students.

Good luck dear and just keep at it!

Balancing school and a 40 hour work week is difficult...I did it my sophmore year of college. I like you had financial aid but was not fortunate enough to have my parents be able to help me with bills, rent, etc. I had no choice but to work. I would go to school during the day, rush to work for 3-11, go home and do a care plan for 2+ hours, wake up at 5 and head to clinical the next morning 7-3 only to rush to work again afterwards and basically repeat the same whole routine over again. It was TOUGH...I will never forget my clinical instructor coming to me after a clinical and pulling me aside and saying, "I would hate for you to flunk out of nursing school because you had to work." I was so aggrivated and hurt by that, I'll never forget it. Sometimes they don't realize how hard it can be for a person. I don't recommend it obviously, but sometimes there is no other way to get around it. I just completed my senior year of college I'm going back in September for my last class so I'll be offically done this December! It's been a long road.. hahah


82 Posts

I would go to school during the day, rush to work for 3-11, go home and do a care plan for 2+ hours, wake up at 5 and head to clinical the next morning 7-3

A little off topic but I start nursing in the fall. What time did you actually arrive at clinicals because I know even though your clinicals start at 7 doesn't mean that's when you need to arrive.

It depends on what time your clinicals are scheduled for. I personally chose 7-3 clinicals throughout my 4 years because it worked out better for me because of my work schedule (because trust me, by no means am I a morning person). Most of the time I had to arrive at least 15 minutes early..sometimes at 6:30 am if I had to give insulin (I only had that my sophmore year though). Some professors wanted other clinical groups to arrive at 6:30 am to do a pre conference and literally be ON the floor ready to go for 7. Coming towards my junior year we would have two clinical days like say a Monday and Tuesday both 7-3. You would generally have the same patient assingment Tuesday as you did on Monday, Monday night would be the night to do revisions on your careplan or whatever. Sometimes we would get off the floor at 2 and do post conference and be out by 3..some faculty had their students leave the floor at 3 and do post conference till all depends on who you have and how your instructor wants to handle things. I was fortunate enough to usually be off the floor by 2 and head home by 3.

Sorry I forgot to mention that at my college they also did have evening shifts available, I just never took those shifts because of my job. I think it was like a 2-10 shift or something to that effect.

Thank you all so much for your responses. It really gives me confidence that even though it'll be difficult, (expected) it's do-able. I do not have children but I do know of the sacrifices made by friends who are mothers doing the PT program and are just making it. I am lucky that my work will flex with me (so far) and I am waiting to see if they will let me work form home a few days. As I write this I feel selfish for asking the question in the first place knowing that there are single moms and dads as well as both parent families that will have much more to maneuver than I will. I have no idea what shift clinicals will be since they start in Sept. and times haven't been listed yet. All I know is that they will be on Wed and Thurs. Starting July I'll just have two days: M-T 8 a.m.-4 p.m.(easy) it's when the clinicals kick in that I'm worried about. Now it all seems fine.

Thanks JBGC4- I'll have a look at the time management link and have a look into scholarships. I have two degrees and financial aid says I have too many credits to receive any other loans and because I have a BS degree I am not qualified for Pell grants. So, I'll stay at work and kick some butt!

Again, thanks all! I really appreciate it.


73 Posts

Specializes in Psych, LTC, M/S, Supervisor, MRDD,.

First, let me say good luck to ya>>> I worked, because I had to, during nursing school. I have 4 boys and I was a single mom at the time. I went to school from 730am or 530am(during clinicals), got out of class about 3pm and worked from 3-11pm. I did this everyday- my only day off was Saturday and I tried to spend that day and sunday a.m with my kids til I had to work at 3p.

I did study, on the ride to class with another student, during lunch and super breaks, etc. I arranged with my employer to be late on clinical days etc and they worked with me well.

I basically farmed my kids out to their grandparents while I was in school except for Sat. and Sun. I know it seemed like a whirlwind of busy!! My house was a wreck, I had NO "me time", and I was exhausted. My grades were never great. I made B's with a C here n there......but I made it, passed boards, n glad its over.

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