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What kind of a job did you have while in nursing school?

AspiringRN27 AspiringRN27 (Member)

How many hours a week did you work?

And for those of you that didn't, how did you manages finances and bills?

I worked 40+ hours/week at a desk job... saved up PTO and used it for clinicals

joanna73, BSN, RN

Specializes in geriatrics.

I did home renovations with a friend who has a business. I cut my cable for 4 years, bought cheaper food and worked full time from April to September and holidays. I also had student loans, paid within two years of graduation.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 14 years experience.

LVN program, October 2004 to October 2005: I was unemployed and living off unemployment payments and whatever was in my savings account. My tuition was financed with private career training loans.

LPN-to-RN completion program, January 2009 to March 2010: I worked 32 hours per week as an LVN charge nurse at a local nursing home. I worked two 16 hour shifts per week every Saturday and Sunday. Weekend double shifts allowed me the flexibility to focus on school during the week.


Has 11 years experience.

I had two jobs during my LVN program. I was an assistant at a real estate appraisal company and a tutor. I worked 20-some hours a week.

I was a LVN during my LVN-ADN program. I worked 36 hours.

I am now working on my BSN. Still working as a RN for 36 hrs as well.

The first year of my ADN program I worked as a CNA at a nursing home for the first half and a transporter at a local hospital for the second half. My second year I was a Nurse Extern in that same hospital in the ED. I worked about 18-24 hours a week. I went to school with people that worked full time the whole two years, not sure how they did it; but they did!!


Specializes in Med-Surg, Psych, Geri, LTC,.

How many hours a week did you work?

And for those of you that didn't, how did you manages finances and bills?

I only worked during our winter break and thanksgiving break. Besides that I rarely picked up a shift here or there. I was a CNA.

Before I became accepted to nursing school, Id been unemployed for a while. It was a *horrible* time for me financially. While I did receive public assistance, it only kept gas in my car and food in our mouths. I didn't even have a stable place to live.

Many people told me I should quit school and find a job. But I knew $10/hr would never take me and my kids out of poverty.

Times were rough. But I graduated with a 3.6. Now I'm working as a nurse making what I consider awesome money. It was worth it. I thank God everyday.

I worked at the front desk of the university's dorm for the first year. I loved it because when I was not signing guests in, I could sit and do homework the whole time. Next was a tech in the hospital. Good money and great experience!

akulahawkRN, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 5 years experience.

I worked as a security guard, full-time, through my nursing school experience. Fortunately for me, they were willing to accommodate my schedule (primarily clinical schedule) so that I could continue to go to school. The one good thing about this was that I was able to study at work during "down time" as long as it didn't affect my work performance. I would have preferred to work in a hospital setting but there were other considerations that necessitated that I worked where I did. I worked full-time while refreshing some and taking some prerequisites and co-requisites for nursing school too.

As of this post, I'm still at that particular job while I conduct my job search. They know my days are numbered, but they don't know how many days I've got left because I don't know that myself...

emtb2rn, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Specializes in Emergency. Has 21 years experience.

Didn't we do this very thread last week?

akulahawkRN, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 5 years experience.

We probably did this thread and quite a few more... last week. Personally, I don't think the kind of job actually matters much, just whether your job gives you the flexibility you need to study and attend class/clinical without burning yourself out. There were a couple times that I came very close to that... but I survived. I was fortunate in that not very many accommodations were needed to make that happen and I had a very understanding employer or life would have been less than good...

emtb2rn, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Specializes in Emergency. Has 21 years experience.

Hey Akula,

Congrats on becoming an rn!

I worked full time throughout nursing school; as an aide for the first year, night shift, 40 hours/week. Then worked as an aide at a hospital the second year: 3 12hour shifts. No one to support but myself. Saved all PTO for clinical days, exam days, and mandatory seminars we had to attend.

Thankfully the schedule just worked out at the nsg home and my Unit manager followed through on her promise to work around school that last year. I felt incredibly lucky!


Has 13 years experience.

I have heard nursing school described as "academic boot camp" and it sure was for me.

I waited tables 5 evenings a week and on Sundays from 8 am to close (11pm). Thankfully I was just out of high school, and lived with my parents. No kids, no husband (at the time), but I just about killed myself stressing to get all A's (you know the type :-) and graduated with a. 3.8. But it was not worth it. I could have gotten all Bs and been a lot happier.... And less stressed, probably done better in clinically, etc for having less stress. But at least I didn't have to support a family, as many of my colleagues did. One of my classmates delivered her baby on a Friday and was back in class Monday. We do what we have to to survive


Specializes in Cardiac, ER, Pediatrics, Corrections.

I was a CNA until my boss was just asking way too much out of me. I soon became a cashier at a local grocery store. Better hours and I actually made good money! When it was dead in the store, I studied! :)

I'm not a nurse yet (I will be in December though!) but I'll still chime in. I've been working as a pharmacy tech throughout school. During the semesters I only work limited hours depending on my exam schedule. Some weeks are 15-20 hours and others are none. During summer and winter breaks I work full time. I worked 2 full time jobs during prerequisites so I was able to save up enough to not have to work much and live on a very tight budget. I pretty much only work the limited hours to have some spending money and to keep my status as an employee to get benefits. I don't use any financial aid (loans/scholarships/grants) to pay for school either. I'm lucky that they are very flexible with my shifts and I won't have any gaps in employment on my resume when it's time to hunt for a job.