Today, it can be difficult going to school with other financial responsibilities. Many nursing students have to worry about rent, car payments, insurance, and other long term and short term debt. Since many students are pressured by the need for financial security, they are tempted to work while going to school. For some it is quite doable, and there is no standard answer to the question “Should I work while in school?”, but for many, it isn’t worth the extra stress if it will adversely affect your ability to do well in nursing school.
There are many options for financial aid, so before considering working part time while out of school to support yourself, check what kind of financial aid you might be eligible for. Any amount helps, and applying is free with nothing for you to lose. However, if you must work, it will help to have a nursing related job to prepare yourself and reinforce what you’ve learned. If you have clinical rotation experience, finding a job as a tech can help you enhance your skills. Taking on a job as a CNA can also boost your experience while helping to pay the bills. It all depends on what your needs are. If you ultimately need to work and a job with flexibility is priority, do your best to find a good fit.
Nursing school is challenging on its own, so it isn’t going to be easy working while going to school. In the end it is your choice, and you will make the best decision for yourself when you know yourself well. Make an honest evaluation of your ability to work while spending the necessary amount of time and energy studying and attending nursing school. Will you be too tired after work to spend the hours needed for studying? Or will work help you feel energized and confident enough with your new skills that you will enjoy the materials you are taught in class? Finally, whether you decide to work or not, make sure you take the time to apply for financial aid to help ease as much stress from financial responsibilities until you are able to work full time. Lastly, if you decide to work while going to school because you need to financially, always keep in mind your career goal- to become a nurse!