Working While in Nursing School

nurse at bedside speaking with patient

Paying for nursing school is a major investment, so you may be considering if working to support yourself financially through your nursing education is an option. Depending on the type of nursing program you choose, what type of learner you are and what your home situation is, it could be possible for you to work while in nursing school.

However, there’s no getting around the fact that, no matter the program you’re in, nursing school requires a lot of time and effort. Nursing school involves attending class (either online or in a classroom), attending labs, completing clinical rotations, and studying for exams, making a full-time work schedule impractical for many nursing students. In fact, due to their rigorous natures, many nursing schools encourage students not to hold a job while enrolled in their programs.

Should You Work While in Nursing School?

Before deciding if working while in nursing school is right for you, first you need to examine some important aspects of your life.

  • Your Support System: If you work and study, will someone be there to handle the burden of other day-to-day tasks? Will your family, friends, and significant other understand when you have less time to spend with them than before?
  • Your Finances: Do you have enough savings to sustain yourself while you return to nursing school? Are you willing to take on debt, or is it important to you to pay for school as you go along?
  • Your Personality: Take a hard and honest look at how you handle multitasking and how much downtime you need to feel good. That will help you decide if you can juggle work and school. Is lots of sleep and time for relaxing activities important to you, or do you like to be on the go all the time?
  • Your Goals: You will have less time to study if you hold a job, so be honest with yourself about your ability to do both. Are you the type of student who needs to study for hours for a big exam, or do you work well on short deadlines?

Best Jobs for Nursing Students While in School

Once you decide that working while in nursing school is feasible for you, your next question may be, “how do I become a nurse while working full time?” Start your job search keeping in mind you’ll need a position that offers scheduling flexibility and a relatively stress-free work environment. Office jobs that allow for some down time for studying could be a great route to consider for this reason.

However, if you’re looking to get a leg up on other job candidates after graduation, an entry-level job in the health care field could help you gain valuable experience down the road. Health care jobs ideal for nursing students include:

  • Phlebotomist
  • Certified nursing assistant (CNA)
  • Home health aide
  • EMT/Paramedic
  • Nurse tech

If you’re on the fence about working while in nursing school, talking with an admissions representative can help. Complete this form to speak with someone who can help guide your nursing school search.