Working full time while getting BSN?


I just accepted a job offer to a full time new grad RN position at a nearby hospital. I'm young and I still live with my parents, but next year I'm getting married when I finish my BSN. I have always planned to start my BSN as soon as I can (online). I have decided to go to Chamberlain. To finish in one year I would have to take two classes a semester and one semester with 3 classes. The semesters are 8 weeks long. Is this too much of a load on my plate? Do I need to do less classes at once? I don't want to feel as stressed as I do now in RN school taking 6 classes at once.

Double-Helix, BSN, RN

1 Article; 3,377 Posts

Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU. Has 12 years experience.

Are you working 12s or 8s? Days or Nights? With 12 hour shifts, 4 days off per week should give you plenty of time to do the work for 2 online classes. Day shift, even better. With nights, I would worry that the adjustment to the shift could disrupt your days off enough to make it difficult to study, but still not impossible. 8 hour shifts might make it a little harder, since you're at work the majority of the day, 5 out of 7 days per week. But with no kids to care for and no house to maintain, it's certainly doable if you apply yourself. It's probably better that you're jumping right in while you're still used to the pace and requirements of college courses. It will be easier than trying to get back in the swing after a year or more off.

Specializes in orthopedic/trauma, Informatics, diabetes. Has 11 years experience.

I worked FT while getting my BSN. Mine was online and I worked 3-12s. It was not difficult. I have 2 kids too.

HeySis, BSN, RN

435 Posts

Specializes in PACU. Has 25 years experience.

I work full time (shifts vary from week to week can be 5 eight hours, 4 ten hour or 3 twelve hour shifts... but all are during the daylight hours) and I take on call for an overnight/weekend shift at least once a week. Single mom with three kids at home and I'm finishing my BSN (5 more weeks until graduation, but who's keeping track?) full time online.

It is very busy, and I don't do anything other then mom, work and school. My social life is my kids, making dinners, checking homework, running the taxi service and having fun with them. I still have more time with them now then I did when I was running a home health and starting up a new hospice business.

Because this is want I wanted to do and placed on the back burner for so many years, I make it work. It's not the life balance I'd want forever, but for two semesters, I can do anything for short periods of time (this is my mantra while exercising too.... I can do anything for 5 minutes,4, 3, 2, 1... switch exercise/speed/incline and repeat x 12).

The key is to be organized and not procrastinate, I try to keep a week or two ahead in my classes (16 week semesters) so when life happens I haven't missed an assignment.

Specializes in ED, Pedi Vasc access, Paramedic serving 6 towns.

You must be a millennial if you are even asking this question!!

YES, work full time while you obtain your RN to BSN! You will not melt and I assure you, you will survive it! :woot:


Someone who has worked full time since the age of 18, even through two full time degrees and my RN to BSN!

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.

I worked full-time 12-hour night shifts as an RN house supervisor while earning my online BSN degree. The RN-to-BSN program is designed for RNs who maintain full time employment. Do not worry.

Editorial Team / Moderator

Lunah, MSN, RN

33 Articles; 13,748 Posts

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 15 years experience.

I worked full time since the age of 20, and I completed an AAS (Paramedic), an ASN, a BSN, and two MSNs while working. I even did part of one MSN while deployed to Afghanistan. So, yes. :D

Specializes in Psych nursing, DD nursing. Has 2 years experience.

Will taking 3 classes for that one semester push me too far?

Editorial Team / Moderator

Lunah, MSN, RN

33 Articles; 13,748 Posts

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN. Has 15 years experience.
Will taking 3 classes for that one semester push me too far?

I doubled up in the BSN program and a couple of times in MSN programs, but never tripled. Could I have? If I really was in a time crunch, sure; not sure I would want to, but I am sure it could be done as long as you were really diligent and didn't procrastinate on readings, discussion posts, and assignments. I think you should try two classes together and see how it goes. And unless things have changed, I don't think Chamberlain lets you take anything else during the capstone because a pre-req for the capstone is to have everything else done, so that class might be a solo endeavor.

Specializes in orthopedic/trauma, Informatics, diabetes. Has 11 years experience.

It shouldn't, I think that is about the norm. My program did two 7 1/2 week sessions per semester. Went by fast!

As an aside, when I got my Masters in Teaching, I worked FT at the high school, went to school two nights a week and was pregnant (with a 2 year old at home). Went into labor last class of the semester. I was almost 40 at that time, too. Anything can be done if you set your mind to it :D

Specializes in Hospitalist Medicine. Has 8 years experience.

I worked full time and did 2 classes per session and it was very do-able. Graduated with a 4.0 GPA to boot. Depending on the classes when you triple, you might be able to handle the work load. Only you know what you're capable of doing. Just realize that the prefer you take the Capstone course on it's own. You can get permission from the Dean to double it up with another course, but that's usually EBP and both Capstone & EBP are project/paper writing intensive.

If you have to split up a session where you do 2 and 1, instead of 3 courses, at's only 8 weeks. In the grand scheme of things, it won't kill you to have to stretch out your study plan another 8 weeks.

Best of luck to you :D