Nursing School and Working?

Posted
by emilynuhwin, CNA (New) New

Hello to my current and future nurses, 

I was wondering for those who experienced doing nursing school, as well as working part-time? Do you think it's feasible? The job I am currently working is as a student ambassador (work-study) so I cannot exceed more than 20 hours per week. It would be greatly appreciated if any of you were willing to share your own experiences! Thank you. :))) 

I'm doing nursing school very part-time (had nearly every non-nursing class done before I started) and working 40 hours per week at a job that affords me some time during work to study.. 

It is no joke.  I really have no free time anymore and I am in a perpetual state of exhaustion.  My classmates can't understand how I'm working, and I can't understand how any of them are doing the program full time and taking the non-nursing classes at the same time as the nursing classes.

That's my experience.. 

NICU Guy, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 7 years experience. 3,995 Posts

I worked two 12 hour night shift (Fri and Sat) throughout my ABSN program.

NotMyProblem MSN, ASN, BSN, MSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 36 years experience. 2,690 Posts

For my ASN, I was signing up for fulltime hours, but from the looks of the actual hours given to me, you’d think I was laid off (that’s what actually sent me back into school in the first place).

For the BSN, I had hours similar to NICU GUY, so that worked very well.

For the MSN, I worked fulltime during the day, gathered my research in the evenings, and put each paper together on the weekends...until it was done.

I’ve never been able to do any type of school work while at work...even the day before an exam was a day that I arranged to be off. I tried reading a chapter at work once several years ago and as soon as I closed the book, every word of what I read was gone!

Younger brains may have better success at multitasking the books and work, but at 44 years old when I went for the ASN, I just couldn’t do it. 

Shan

64 Posts

For the first half of my program, I worked at a semi full-time job (sometimes 40+hrs, sometimes less) at an aviation company where I could frequently get a good amount of studying done at work. Then I transitioned to an administrative role within that company that was more steadily in the 30ish hour range, but I couldn't study at all. That was the point at which I really had to sacrifice my social life for school, but I never got to the point of burnout because I was careful to incorporate rest/hobby time into my schedule.

Now I'm working as a PCT two days a week on an oncology unit, and I'll be finishing my last semester of school in the Spring; I'm not yet sure how that final, most difficult semester will pair with work. Acclimating to the job has been an adjustment, and I don't particularly enjoy the work, but the experience is amazing. Overall, I think it really just depends on the job itself. Nursing school will always be demanding, but when I was doing really enjoyable work around airplanes every day, I didn't feel like my job got in the way.

At 20hrs a week max, I think you'll be fine. The first semester may be tough, because you're trying to figure out how to do this nursing school thing, but once you grow accustomed to the expectations and workload, you'll probably find it easier to balance your life. You'll be able to tell when you need to decompress or when you can take on a little extra. Good luck to you ?

Honyebee, CNA

Specializes in Customer service. Has 1 years experience. 420 Posts

It's doable. I was a full time staff until after the middle of my program. I was doing well, but I've noticed I was exhausted physically. I was quiet in the classroom. It looked like I was an overcooked noodle. I converted to PRN. I'm much happier and lively. I also participated more nowadays.

Edited by Honyebee

Thank you to everyone who responded. All of your responses were helpful and I applaud all of you who were able to manage working excessive hours on top of your nursing courses. You are all strong individuals! I wish you all well! :)) 

On 11/1/2021 at 6:07 PM, FiremedicMike said:

I'm doing nursing school very part-time (had nearly every non-nursing class done before I started) and working 40 hours per week at a job that affords me some time during work to study.. 

It is no joke.  I really have no free time anymore and I am in a perpetual state of exhaustion.  My classmates can't understand how I'm working, and I can't understand how any of them are doing the program full time and taking the non-nursing classes at the same time as the nursing classes.

That's my experience.. 

Someone just liked this post so it brought me back to this thread.

 

As an update, I’m now in my final semester which has 2 days per week of clinical and one 2-3 hour lab per week (sometimes via zoom).  I got a Saturday and Sunday clinical and still working Monday through Friday, so yeah 7 days per week.  I’m 2 weeks in with another 7 to go.

 

I am barely functioning right now and surviving on monster and coffee..

NorCalKid

137 Posts

My theory, be prepared not to work.  Most of us have several years waiting to get into school to save.  Live below your means, save for school, pass on the new car loan and drive an old but reliable POS.  And if you live in California STUDY SPANISH.

I worked full time during the pre reqs and waiting to get in.  Saved a bunch of money.  The first year of ADN school I worked weekends.  The second year I had to cut back to one day a week.  But the fact that I lived cheap and saved that financial cushion when waiting to get into school gave me the ability to cut down to one day of work a week and still graduate debt free. 

Having a flexible fairly well paying weekend job like bartending or serving tables helps.  I can't see working a job with a rigid schedule working.