On nursing student blogs and websites, the question is frequently posed, “Is working while in nursing school possible?”
This question is very common. This question also frustrates me because it doesn’t address all of the factors that affect working while in school.
First of all, each state is different with regard to the curriculum and difficulty. This probably differs school to school as much as state to state. In my state, in my local area, nursing school acceptance is very competitive. The cost of living is also high and nursing wages are very competitive also. I believe this contrast to other states accounts for the difficulty of nursing school.
I attend a private nursing school. Classes are held 5 days per week for 40 hours each week, plus travel time plus lunch. I personally, am at a point in which I don’t do much homework outside of school, as I’ve settled for B grades. For some students, they have to study outside of school just to earn C’s and B’s in their classes required to become a nurse.
So, I ask, how is it possible to even consider working while in nursing school if you attend 5 days per week plus have to study?
I truly believe is that you should never sacrifice your educational endeavors to become a nurse in order to earn money because at the end of the day, you don’t want to fail out of nursing school for any reason at all. At least, not in my area where nursing school costs $30,000 or is highly competitive with 5 year waiting lists.
There is only time available in evenings and on weekends.
If you think the night shift is for you, consider the fact that at my school, you day could start at 6:30 or at 9am. Your day could end at 2:30, 3:30, 5 or 8-10pm. One thing it’s important to realize is that when you enroll in school to become a nurse, you are no longer able to choose your schedule. Your nursing school will change the schedule as they see fit.
So, you need a 4 hour shift, in which your boss is flexible and you probably can’t do that every day if you need to study.
There are students who work full time and attend our program. These students sleep during class and sneak off during clinicals to nap. They also are the type that doesn’t need to study very much.
My friend attends a public RN program. Her program only meets 2-4 days per week, but sometimes meets on Sundays. I think she has more homework than we do, though her actual class time is less. This is one of the differences in the different paths one can choose to become a nurse.
I think I could squeeze in work on the weekends as I finish school to become a nurse.Of course, it’s taken me over 6 months to be able to feel confident I could do this without affecting my plan to become a nurse. The hardest part for me about doing this is knowing that I will not net $600 if I do work Saturday and Sunday. I will also have no down time or decompression time if I do this. I do not make much as a CNA, nor would I have a set schedule.
I may have to do that, though for a few months, probably less than a year if I don’t generate some more income another way.
If your nursing program does not run 5 days full time and if you don’t have to study much and if you don’t have obligations to other people, such as children who need you to spend time with them on the days you are not at school or household obligations such as chores that take up your time, it may be possible for you to consider the possibility of working while in nursing school.
If you are considering working while in nursing school and would like to work from home, click here to learn how.