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To Work or Not to Work? That is this Nursing Student's question.

Student Assist   (421 Views 6 Comments)
by Shiv-on Shiv-on (New Member) New Member

52 Visitors; 2 Posts

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Will working one shift a week be viable while in nursing school?

I have been offered a per Diem position as a C.N.A. in the local hospital, however, I start into nursing school in a couple of months. I am somewhat nervous that it will be too much. I am a hard worker with good support.  Any opinion or advice would be appreciated. 

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mindofmidwifery has 4 years experience as a CNA and works as a Student Nurse Associate.

12 Likes; 14,208 Visitors; 1,398 Posts

One shift a week? Is this going to be a second job? I work 40+ hours a week and am in my last semester.

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221 Likes; 391 Visitors; 147 Posts

It depends on the intensity of your nursing program and how well you do in school. If it's an accelerated program, I highly recommend not working during school. If it's a traditional program, you can probably handle one shift a week during school if it's worth the trouble. But only you can know your limits to keep your quality of life as good as you want it. One high-achiever (as in post above) might easily handle a full-time job all the way through nursing school, and happily do so. For another person who might not have as much energy, trying to do that would lead to failing school or losing their job. Consider how much family time and alone time you need, how much a job would impact your grades and stress level, and whether you need the money. You'll make so much more after you graduate that IF you can afford to not work during school, what's the point of giving yourself that distraction from studies?

Personally, I was very happy with my decision to take out enough loans so that I would not have to work during an accelerated nursing program. I could not have made it through the program while working a job. I made enough my first year as a nurse to pay back all my loans. As a nurse you'll probably make over twice as much as a CNA, so think of the lack of work pay now as being repaid in half the work time later. 

(As a side note, CNAs deserve WAY MORE PAY for what they do!)

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JackChase1212 has 15 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a Surgical Nurse.

28 Likes; 179 Visitors; 25 Posts

I’m in a NP program full time and there is no way I could work and do as well as I am (4.0). I’m also a single mom. My director gave me an all or nothing ultimatum so I took loans out and quit. He said I could work per diem but I’d have to take a full amount of call and that was a lot. Maybe I don’t write papers as fast as other students, but I have very little free time. I know I made the right choice.

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52 Visitors; 2 Posts

Thank you all for replying. I  appreciate the time you took to do so. I am starting in an accelerated nursing program, known to be intense. However, I talked it over with the unit employer and they are willing to work with me and allow me one shift per week during school time. I agreed to work more on break and obviously in the summer. The job is one of great interest and of valuable experience. 

Thanks again, It's nice not to feel alone on this journey!

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JackChase1212 has 15 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a Surgical Nurse.

28 Likes; 179 Visitors; 25 Posts

Good luck to you! I did an accelerated BSN program, and I could not have worked even one day during that. I was sneaking naps in my car in the school parking lot between clinicals and lectures 😂. It was very demanding, but that's my experience, not yours. It seems that you have a very flexible employer, so you can adjust to your needs and that is great. I wish you the best in your journey. You are indeed not alone. 🙂

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