Working full time & going to nursing school?

Nurses Career Support


I am intrested to know who has held a full time positon while going to nursing school. It looks like if I am going to go to school that is what I would have to do. I am just so concered how hard it would be, i really wouldnt want either work or school to suffer. Any experiances appreciated.




1,301 Posts

Hi kc3773,

I worked full time while going to school part time for my second nursing degree. I worked summers with my first RN program. It was very demanding, but I finally achieved my goal. Many employers and educators respect someone who is able to carry that type of load. However, I would be cautious about pursuing this route if the external conditions are not right-minimal boss, family, and friend support; raising a very needy family or caring for older relatives; working a mentally and/or physically demanding job. I think that best thing that you can do before embarking on additional activities is to make sure that your "house" is in order and you are well-organized and that you are going to be able to maintain diligence, consistency, and a positive attitude throughout your studies. I found out the hard way that these ingredients are greatly needed for success. I also think you need a plan B to reach your goals, in case you decide plan A won't work for you. Best wishes.

[This message has been edited by Mijourney (edited September 10, 2000).]


338 Posts

Hi Kelli,

MiJourney's post says it all, but let me add a little more!

I did work full time and go to school full time for my BSN. It was pretty tiring, but I did manage to get a second major in Biology,and graduate with honors. However, I had good conditions to do this. I had a boss who supported me in my efforts, and the staff where I worked loved to hear nursing school stories and tell a few of their own. I don't have children, or parents in need of care (as of yet. I learned to be very very organized (buy toilet paper and shampoo in bulk)and to care very little about my grades (I learned I had honors on graduation day when I got hollered at by the dean for mot wearing the honor cords. oops.) You can not expect to work and do school and also organize every nursing fundraiser. There will be things you need to say no to. But there are some benefits- #1 being that I did finish school. Secondarily, when I applied for a job, I was called the next day by my employer and asked what could they do to help me to stay there as an RN? Wow, did that feel good.

Best wishes with your school! and your work! smile.gif


21 Posts


Here's a way to go to Nursing school that I don't recommend. I was 30 years old, divorced and had my kids every Wednesday and every other weekend. I worked full time 5 nights a week, every other weekend on, as a Respiratory Therapist. For a while I lived at sort of a commune, but got tired of 2 of the members not wearing their clothing whenever they felt like it, and later rented a tiny 12 foot trailer with bathroom privaleges in a house. Luckily my kids were small then and it all seemed kind of fun. I slept in the back of my pickup truck half the time, whenever I could find the time to sleep, no matter where I was. After the first couple weeks of Nursing school and missing about 4 classes and falling asleep during lecture, I was called to meet with the head of the program who blatantly told me that I would never graduate from her school. Good fortune would have it that I found school easy, I hardly ever studied, I learned how to reproduce cookie-cutter careplans and I graduated with honors. It was a 2 year blur of time. It allowed me to conquer the 24 hour time zone and liberate my biorhythms, or some such nonsense. I don't think it's a good way to go to school.



101 Posts

The 1st time I did nursing school I was 20yrs old right from high school! I worked 32hr nights, made 2 of my shifts fri/sat to help...did ok through school(ok ok except freshman year-need I say more). then I went back to school when my daughter was 2yrs old(I know, I know) every adult reading this is shuddering. I worked 2-12hr shifts on the wkends at that time and went to school/clinical M-F. I had a husband who did most of the house work like cleaning/dishes, I was responsible for laundry/groceries you get it a few things. I had a mom/mother-in-law who each watched my daughter 1 day per week, my husband had 2 days off/rotated to evening shift during this time and I took her with me 1 day a week(BIG lecture hall, sat in the back, gave M&M's one at a time) and we all survived. I thought THAT was hard...HAH ! that was just getting me ready for 18yrs later AKA from 96-2000 I put my daughter thru college ALL by myself @ 17k per year in cash....So nurses can do ANYTHING they set their minds to. Pre-planning and organization are key, willing to give up for a period of time your personal wants will help.You can do it...just do it!


33 Posts

Can you work full time and still go to nursing school and graduate? YES. Would I reccommend it? Depends. I worked 3 jobs + nursing school when I was attending. I had a full time pm shift at a nursing home as a cna, was the lab assistant for the nursing program and trained horses on the weekends and spare time. I didn't graduate at the top of my class but when boards came around I scored higher than most of my classmates. (Boy I'm dating myself!!) I was very employable because I proved I could handle many things at once. I also took 2 weeks off after graduation to sleep, because that is the one thing that I had to forego. Of course I was lucky I was single and had to answer to no one except me. You learn what is important to you and what you can live without. Each one has to make this decision for themselves, some can do it and some can't. You have to look inside you and come up with that answer.

RN Erin

3 Posts

Yes, you can work full time and go to nursing school. The website for the school i graduated from, and some of my instructors said it's impossible to work full time during school, but I proved them wrong. People ask me how I did it (even the other students in my class wondered how I did it), and I tell everyone the same thing "school and work...that's ALL I did". I worked as a scrub tech in an operating room every weekend and during the week when I didn't have class or clinicals, after work I came home, sat down, and opened my books and studied until I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore. I lived on junk food and caffeine and gained 50 lbs. I tried dating, but the last time I saw the guy was the night before I started med surg II clinicals (was working 3 12's, clinicals 2 12's, and 2 days of class all day). I maintained average grades throughout school, but I took some time off before the NCLEX, and I found out on Wednesday morning that I passed (75 questions), and I got my new work badge yesterday with "RN" by my name. If you decide to work full time during nursing school, make it a commitment. NEVER allow yourself to back out, or you will regret it. I am here to tell you, today, my first Saturday in 2 years without any studying that I have to do, that it's the most amazing feeling you'll ever experience! Good luck!


4 Posts

hello everyone,

i'm about to tackle my pre-requisites and co-requisites soon so that i can apply for the nursing program at bhcc next fall. my plan is to take three classes per semester to finish quicker. according bhcc i have about 12 classes left to take until i can enroll in their weekend program. i wondering how stressful three classes would be on top of working full-time.:uhoh21:

has anyone done this? if so, what was your experience like? i don't want this to affect my gpa but if this is manageable i would love to hear some feedback.

thank you!!!


34 Posts

I am actually quitting my FT job working in HR (and they want to promote me lol) to attend nursing school. A lot of people think I am making a mistake but I am following my dreams. I am not able to work here and attend since classes are during the day. I am looking to work PT on weekends at the hospital because I want to make sure I can focus on my studies.

To all who have held down a FT job and finished school :yeah: I don't think I can do it.

CT Pixie, BSN, RN

3,723 Posts

Worked full time, went to school for my LPN full time, 2 kids, hubby, the whole shebang..I not only was able to do it and graduate, i graduated with honors :)

Now, had I had a choice, I'd probably go with the school only. You have to have great organizational skills and be disciplined enough to know you have X amount of time to get X amount done for school (reading, studying, research, homework etc), there is no blowing off things that have to be done for school because you want to do X instead, because you might not have that "extra" time to get back to the books, etc..if you know what I mean.


1 Post

That's amazing. I see a lot of people on here sayin it's possible, but they don't have any kids or a hubby. This is something I want to do so bad, and luckily my man makes enough money so that I can go parttime somewhere. I was thinking of going back to waitressing while in school, though I really don't want to.


9 Posts

Hello, I am currently an RN working on my BSN. I have found that at the BSN level I can take some courses that double as graduate level courses for NP. I am at the point where I need to make some decisions of what I want to do, and I can not figure it out. I am confused and really am thinking I want an advanced practice Nursing degree but can not decide between NP or CRNA. I have talked with many NP's who are burned out. I have not found this with the majority of CRNA's. I see in my area that many of our NP's work long hours. Personally I am a people person and when I was a Hospice Nurse enjoyed the ability to prescribe medications and have a very important part of my patients life. I have worked in Surgery and found a very hostile environment by physicians towards the Nurses. Going on this my first idea of CRNA has been dampened and I am now thinking I may want NP. NP is an easier pathway for me right now and CRNA has no pathway in the Bachelor's level in my school. Anyone out there have any advice on what you have seen in the field and which route to go with CRNA or family practice NP

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