Should I work while I am in nursing school?

Students General Students


I am a second semester nursing student and I have the opportunity to be a full time nursing student without having to work. My husband got a pay increase that has inabled us to live on just his salery. However,I wonder if I should work for the experience or should I just concentrate on nursing school. Will I be able to get a job after school with hardly any experience? I would like some input on this subject. Thanks.

Rhonda 35

1 Post

I think that while you are very fortunate not to HAVE to work while in Nursing school, that getting that experience is crucial to getting a job after graduation. I know from experience that if you work on a hosp floor now, that you will almost be guarenteed a job on that floor as an R.N.

Even if you want a job elsewhere, at least you have your foot in the door. It will be easier to get a nursing position if they have seen how well you work now, your attitude, etc.


Good Luck!


Specializes in Behavioral Health.

Hi there,

I am in a situation similar to yours. I've chosen not to work because I also have two small children who are sacrificing time away from me as it is.

A few of the girls I go to school with work weekends as nursing assistants, not so much for the experience, but for a little extra cash.

Good luck to you!


Julie, RN

139 Posts

After my prereq's were complete, my core nursing classes (nursing school) were combined into 5 semesters. I worked until the beginning of my third semester in nursing school, then quit so I could graduate with honors. This was just a personal choice of mine, something I wanted to do for myself. Anyways, my point is that you will work many clinical hours in your local hospitals, so in a sense you will get exposure. If you find a unit that you especially like, make yourself known to the staff nurses and the nurse manager. This is what I did and had no problem getting hired after graduating. Plus if you get a summer off you might think about working some. We had the summer between our junior and senior year off, so I went through a student nurse externship program at 2 different hospitals- great experience.

Good luck to you,

Julie M., RN smile.gif


338 Posts

Having been a full time studnet/full time ED tech until quite recently (May, 2000) this topic is near and dear to me! I worked out of necessity. Somehow I did graduate with honors, from a top ranked program in my state (NC). This is what working can do for you: 1. you become a known face to your unit, your hospital, etc. It is an excellent way to secure a job where you want it after you graduate. 2. You will be more comfortable with the hospital when you go to do clinical rotations. 3. the RN's you work with can (but may not) become an excellent resource/support group- they will understand things your family may not! But as USA987 pointed out- family is very important, and your time with them may be limited due to studying- certainly a low paying job like a CNA is not worth missing your family grow up (You will probably feel like you are just with school) As Julie pointed out, you can always do some summer internships, or you can work PRN, which allows you to say NO some of the time. my best friend (Mother of two) did not work, did a summer internship, and also got a job she enjoys at the hospital I work at. Lots of options, lots of choices! I think any one of them is right, just be sure it is right for you! Enjoy School! Holly


1 Post

Hi I have the same question that you have. I feel the decision should be you be left up to you as to work or not while in nursing school. Truthfully I can only see myslef working only 15 hours a week with most of that on the weekend. I just moved here from Atlanta to start nursing school and I am looking for a job. I feel working a few hours a week, the extra cash will go towards food, book and uniforms. Also if you are upfront with the employer at the start about how many hours a week you can work, they may be willing to work with you.

The decision is your.

GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


1 Post

Hey! I think that if you don't have to work, then you should just concentrate your time on your studies. If you find that you have extra time sure. But nursing today is in such of a demand that you shouldn't have any problems trying to find a job after school. I think that you need to get as much knowledge out of school right now in your book work and even clinicals. You'll get your experience when you get out of school, and the department that you work for will train you for their need. Don't stress yourself out, enjoy yourself as much as possible. GOOD LUCK! AB Davis


1 Post

I believe that if you don't have to work while in school then you shouldn't. Nursing is very demanding and takes a lot of your time. Having a job is only going to take time away from studying. As far as working for experience, I wouldn't worry about it. There is going to be a big demand for nurses soon so you should have no problem finding a job. While in your clinicals and you find the area you want to work in, get to know the people on the floor and it will help you to get a job after you graduate.


6 Posts

I understand your concern. First you have to look at your grades and see if working would interfere with study time. Usually when you are hired at a hospital and are still in school they will work around your schedule and allow you to work as little or as much as you want. I only work one 12 hour shift a week on sundays right now. Working in a hospital gives you an edge that your other classmates don't have if they don't work. The experience is wonderful. I have learned so much. As for getting a job after college, I don't think you will have to worry about that too much. You will get one smile.gif. But if you already have experience that is a big plus and your employer will appreciate it.


2 Posts

If you do decide to get a job while in nursing school, are the hospitals/clinics usually good with scheduling? Not only for school demands, but for having some well deserved free time as well? What are the normal schedules required to work? Also, are there usually different areas to work in, and is it best to work on a floor that you are interested in after graduation?


338 Posts

Hi tifflyle,

This has been my experience. Hospitals usually like to have nursing students work for them because they are potential future RNs for the hospital. Plus, you may be more careful than the some nurse aides (though I have worked with some really good career aides), in a few months you will also know more, and thus pick up on things and alert the RN sooner.

Depending on the manager they are usually very good with scheduling. They were all once ins chool, and know how difficult it is to schedule things. They also are usually quite good about letting you off for the holidays as long as you come on time on your usual days and work pretty hard. Some places worked at required only 20 hours a month. There are usually a few different floors looking for aides. It isn't a bad idea to get some experience where you want to work. I always recommend the same thing (you see it all over the web site) work in the ED (you see EVERYTHING), or as a float pool Aide- where you go to different floors, you will see a lot of different things, and learn a lot about different units. I never did float pool, but all the girls who did knew exactly which floor they wanted when they graduated (they had seen the best and the worst!). oops, I got a little carried away. Best of Luck- be sure to ask your potential boss about flexibility and all that, it won't sound flakey, it will sound like you have thought this out. ENjoy School! Hollykate.


1 Post

I think that if you do not have to work while you are in school that is great but I would recommend working part-time just for the experience. I have gained SO much valuable knowledge by working that I know I would not have gotten anywhere else. However, do not let work interfere with school. Only work as much as you can comfortably fit into your schedule. I think that it might also help get you a job after you graduate because of the relationships that you will have established with staff and because of your knowledge of the unit that you work on.

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