How to Make Money While in Nursing School

Wondering how to make money while in nursing school? It is possible to work while still pursuing your nursing career. Discover ways to gain experience and make money in both an Accelerated BSN and traditional BSN program without compromising balance in your life.

nursing students in classroom

Nursing school can get pretty expensive. Between tuition, licensure, travel expenses, and living expenses, affording a nursing program might seem out of reach. You may be researching work opportunities you can balance with your program. Making money as a nursing student can be tricky, but it is possible. Some job opportunities will even help you enter the health care field early and boost your resume. Read on to learn how to make money as a nursing student.

What to Expect in Nursing School

Nursing school is an important time in your life because it determines your future success as a nurse. You will carry the knowledge and experiences you gain in your program for the rest of your career. As such, you must make nursing school a priority. To do that, you should know what it takes to succeed in your program and what exactly that will look like.

Nursing programs vary, but most consist of four components: prerequisites, nursing program coursework, labs, and clinicals. Prerequisites are courses that give you a solid foundation of math and science on which to build your nursing-focused learning. When you begin your program coursework, you will gain a better understanding of medical knowledge and treatment, and you will apply this knowledge in your labs and clinicals. While skills and simulation labs offer a safe environment to practice nursing skills, clinicals provide hands-on opportunities with real patients in hospitals or other clinical settings.

calculator and stethoscope sitting on desk

Plan for your future as a nursing student by understanding nursing school costs.

Working During a Traditional BSN Program

If you are a hardworking individual, working during nursing school is more than possible. Consider limiting yourself to a part-time job to prioritize your role as a nursing student. If you know that part-time is not the right choice, consider looking into job opportunities over the summer when you can commit to a full-time position.

The nursing field is becoming increasingly competitive, so it’s a good idea to boost your resume with some extra experience in health care. The lack of a degree doesn’t need to limit you. In fact, many hospitals and clinics specifically seek out nursing students. Here are some great entry-level positions to get a foot in the door.

Student Nurse Tech

Some medical facilities specifically seek out nursing students to employ as student nurse techs. In this position, you will carry many of the responsibilities you would in nursing clinicals, only you get paid for it. This includes performing basic nursing care under the supervision of a registered nurse. This is an excellent way to enhance your nursing experience and network with hospitals. If you build a strong relationship with coworkers, there is a high likelihood that you can transition into a nursing position upon graduating. Employers ask that student nurse techs be fully enrolled in a nursing program and have their Basic Life Support (BLS) certification, among other background requirements.

Hospital Orderly

If you are interested in working in a hospital setting, you may be interested in a position as a hospital orderly. Orderlies work with patients to ensure their daily needs are met and their space is kept tidy, and they may help keep records for the nurses. They are typically limited to tasks that are risk-free for the patient. If you would like to learn more about how hospitals run smoothly, this is a good option. While no medical experience is usually required, you must have a background, a fingerprint clearance filed, and a drug test.

Happy doctor leading a team of healthcare workers at the hospital

Patient Transporter

Patient transport is another excellent opportunity for those wanting to start working with patients. You may either work transporting patients within a facility or between facilities. This involves keeping your patient’s space sanitary during transit, ensuring their comfort, and solving any problems you might encounter. This requires excellent interpersonal skills as you will work directly with patients throughout your day. Most patient transporter job listings ask that you have BLS certification, a driver’s license, and pass a background check.

Pharmacy Technician

A job as a pharmacy technician is an excellent way to make money and get a head start in the medical field. You will be responsible for communicating effectively with patients, filling prescriptions accurately, and maintaining laws and regulations set by the company and state. Because this position carries high responsibility, it requires licensure that varies from state to state. Also, be aware that many pharmacies offer technician internship programs where you can earn college credit as you work.

Working During an ABSN program

An ABSN program differs from a traditional BSN because it is significantly condensed. This is not to say that the program is in any way reduced. Because the typical ABSN program takes less than two years and contains the same learning material, it is more rigorous than a four-year BSN program.

nurse using laptop at desk

Due to this, most schools that offer an ABSN recommend that students do not work during the program. While this may not be possible for those who need a steady income, here are a few options to consider that might save you money:

  • Remember to apply for the FAFSA. You might be eligible to receive financial aid to help pay for nursing school.
  • Research scholarships that schools offer for ABSN students. Many programs understand the challenges of being without income and offer assistance.
  • Don’t forget to play the long game. Total tuition paid for nursing school is often lower for accelerated programs than four-year programs.
woman standing outside looking at a cross-roads

Interested in learning more about Accelerated BSN programs? Read this blog about how accelerated nursing programs work.

Balancing Nursing School and a Job

As you consider how to make money during nursing school, remember that you only have so much energy to give, and your time is limited. Make sure to employ good self-care habits and balance work and school.

While it is important to be financially stable, nursing school should come first. Even though you are committing your energy, time, and money to school, it is an investment in your future that will undoubtedly pay off. Set your priorities now before taking on a job as a nursing student.

Now that you better understand how to make money while in nursing school, are you ready to look at options? Fill out our online form today, and you will be contacted by nursing schools that meet your requirements. This service is free of charge, and you are not obligated to apply to or attend any school that contacts you.

FNS logo texture wallpaper

Ready to start your nursing journey?