Working While In Nursing School
Pros and Cons of Working While in Nursing School
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Nursing school provides an avenue for aspiring nurses to grow and learn. Working while also attending school affords students options relating to their personal lives and financial needs. If you have a passion for science and medicine and you enjoy helping people, you may consider becoming a nurse. In this article, we describe the benefits and potential challenges of working while in nursing school and offer five tips for being a successful student while also employed.
pros of working while in nursing school
Many students in nursing school choose to work in paying jobs while simultaneously attending classes. There are a number of benefits and challenges to working while going to school and each student needs to weigh each to determine what is best for them. Here are six positive effects of working while attending nursing school:
Improved time management skills
Balancing between professional and academic obligations provides learners with an enriching opportunity to enhance their time management skills. By creating a daily schedule, prioritizing duties by necessity and applying creative problem-solving skills, people who work while attending school can improve their skills. Cultivating healthy time management strategies can help advance your success in school and in your career.
Ability to pay for your daily expenses
Working while attending nursing school can help to offset the standard expenditures of being a student. Your salary or wages can go toward the cost of tuition, have and classroom materials like textbooks or software programs. With an income, you will be able to pay for any daily expenses more easily. This can ease financial stress, and it may even allow for more a person to direct their focus on completing classwork and acquiring the hands-on skills necessary to become a nurse.
Can help avoid burnout
Having a job while going to school can also give you the opportunity to focus your energy and mental efforts on tasks that are unrelated to your studies. By diverting your attention, you can potentially avoid burnout. Burnout is the temporary mental, emotional and sometimes physical fatigue that can occur from immersion in arduous situations or scenarios. This temporary fatigue is common and can be preempted through small lifestyle changes.
Having a full-time or part-time job naturally creates variation in a person’s routine. In this way, working can potentially help keep your mind from getting fixated and stuck on schoolwork, research or other academic responsibilities. This allows for a positive attitude towards your coursework and increased performance.
Related: 20 Types of Nursing Positions
Increased accessibility to continuing education
Students sometimes take out substantial loans to fund their nursing school education. These loans must be paid back over time and can represent a large monthly payment owed. Working during nursing school can help lessen the loan amount that a student may need for school.
It may also allow people to avoid interest on their loans but making payments toward their principal balance while attending school. This is a great option for people who wish to pay their loan off sooner. Additionally, by lessening the future burden of loan payments, you may be better situated to further pursue your education. If you choose to earn a master’s degree or Ph.D.
Potential access to industry professionals
Having a part-time job in the healthcare industry is likely to help you make connections with nurses, doctors and physicians assistants. These colleagues can become important contacts within your professional network. Expanding this network can lead to career opportunities, mentorship roles and references.
These relationships can also help you determine what specialties interest you most. By allowing you to ask questions about other people’s career trajectories and histories, nursing students can solicit advice on how to recognize their primary interests and potential areas of specialization. This is a crucial step for realizing your career aspirations and goals.
More distinguished resume after graduation
An impressive nursing resume highlights your educational background, accomplishments, talents and skills. It should also include nursing license and certification details and membership in any professional organizations, associations, or societies. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, positions for registered nurses are projected to increase by 7% through the year 2029. This is nearly double the average growth predictions for other careers. However, entry-level positions for home health aides, personal care helpers, nursing assistants and orderlies are predicted to increase by 25%. This percentage is nearly seven times the average national growth rate for other jobs.
Working full or part-time in a health-related field while earning your nursing degree can help you build your resume, increase your viability as a candidate and show potential employers evidence of your dedication to hard work. It also showcases your ability to multitask, your commitment to time management and your willingness to accept challenges, which are all attractive qualities to possess.
Cons of working while in nursing school
Here are three things to consider before deciding to work while also attending nursing school:
Work may interfere with the nursing residency program
Most nursing school programs require the completion of a specific amount of fieldwork or hands-on training hours in order to earn your degree. Because this fieldwork is used to get students prepared for the rigors and responsibilities of professional nursing, working could interfere with the hour requirements of nursing school. The additional mental and physical efforts of a job could also impact your ability to successfully execute the residency program requirements.
Personal time may be impacted
Nursing students have a significant amount of hours accounted for in their day between classes and residency programs. Many students find the amount of support, organization, and planning needed to achieve strong academic performance is quite high. Finding time for one’s self, be it to spend time with family or friends or simply focus on personal interests, is important for a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
Including a full or even part-time job on top of nursing school commitments may leave you with very little time for personal matters to be attended to when needed. Be sure to be mindful of this reality when prioritizing commitments.
Work schedules may not align well with class schedules
Workers regularly have one set schedule for the year. Other times, people may have work schedules that change from week to week. Meanwhile, school class schedules typically change from semester to semester and your individual class schedule will vary based upon course availability and requirements. For example, if you must take a certain course necessary for graduation that’s only offered once during the week, you’ll have to do so. This can create challenges in balancing work schedules with school schedules.
Scheduling conflicts can impact your relationships at work and may influence your perception of yourself as a worker. They may also affect which courses you’re able to register for if an unsolvable conflict of timing arises. Delaying the taking of courses in favor of working can prolong the time it takes for you to complete your nursing program.