Thoughts on Commuting

Updated | Posted
by MalinkeMuso MalinkeMuso Member Nurse Student

Specializes in pediatrics.


I've been accepted into a program that is about a 3 hour commute daily. I have also been accepted to a program about 30-45 minutes daily would be spent on commuting. I am very fortunate to have options and I am needing advice here. I would like to know if anyone who has commuted over an hour daily noticed any differences in the efficacy of their work? If you'd take the shorter commute even if it meant you may not be hired as soon as the further commute, and the NCLEX pass rate is lower? If you felt the commute makes you a better student? Anything you can share would be helpful. I am really struggling here. I would really like to go to the school further away because it seems better overall in pass rates, job offers after graduation, higher state of the art skills lab, but factoring in the rise in gas prices, and the things I'm reading about what it takes to create care plans for clinicals the day before, I am really questioning if I can do this, if I should bite the bullet and spend 3 hours of my day in traffic 5 days a week, or go to the school that will afford me the opportunity for less time spent driving.



Has 1 years experience. 24 Posts

Ultimately this decision is up to you however I can speak to the fact that you should not go to a school that is not nationally accredited. I'm not sure if that's what you mean by less reputable but whatever you do non-accredited schools are not worth it. If you can study during your commute (listen to lectures, videos/podcasts, etc) then it might be okay. I would be wary of what you can handle mentally/physically as nursing school is not a walk in the park and added stress can be detrimental if you don't have the right support system.

I know for my program my clinical rotations were based around the school's location and some of my fellow students had to drive 45 minutes in to class/clinical and it was very draining (financially and otherwise) for them. I also had to look up patients the night before or an 1-2 hours before during clinical so that was not always a good fit for a distance commuters schedule. I would list out your pros and cons. Good luck!

First off congrats on your acceptance. 
2-3 hours daily commute is gonna be rough. That’s more time taken away from studying and reviewing. Only so many hours in a day right? I would also be concerned about clinical placement. I would ask the program where you guys are usually placed. Say if they typically assign you guys to a site that’s 20-30+ minutes further away from the school in the opposite direction of where you live? 

Is it not feasible for you to move closer?  Im assuming this is a 2 year program, and you may be able to keep up with the commute and school for one semester but I’d be concerned about being burnt out by the end. I think it’d be worth biting the cost of relocation to attend the RN program with a reputable reputation and 20% higher NCLEX passing rates. 



56 Posts

It depends how many days a week you are driving. If it is max 3 days a week, then it might be worth it because the 3 hour commute you can still "study" by listening to recorded lectures if they have them, or videos you didn't get a chance to listen to which would give more time to sink in. I would just look at how many days a week are you making the 3 hour commute, if it's 2-3 then maybe. Some students fly or do weekend trips to their clinicals to a different location just make it work.

Michelle Csergei, BSN, RN

Specializes in SNF/LTC, Wound Care, Infection Control. Has 7 years experience. 1 Article; 7 Posts

Commuting can be very tiresome. It currently takes me 45-50 minutes to get to my work. This wasn't so bad when I used to work only 3 or 4 days week. I listen to audiobooks and have a nice drive through the countryside. Now I am working 5 days a week and my new boss has said I can't do anymore days working from home. Plus gas prices have reached an all time high. It might be OK for you for a while if this is temporary, but it can get exhausting. 


FiremedicMike, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in 20+ years as a firefighter/paramedic, new ED RN. 258 Posts

Is there a blended option at the "more reputable" school?




Has 8 years experience. 331 Posts

I agree with the previous post 'jack', is it possible for you to relocate?  Three hours a day driving five days a week is a lot (wear compression socks).  You will most likely have the energy to be highly productive on the commute up.  It's the commute back that's going to have you like ....are we there yet....😫

 Also, I wouldn't go to a school that has an iffy reputation/pass rate


Specializes in NICU. Has 7 years experience. 4,044 Posts

You might reach out to classmates to see if you could crash at their apartment a few days a week in exchange for cash (gas money that you saved instead of commuting).