What’s the Best Shift to Work While in Nursing School? 

Juggling nursing school with a job proves challenging yet financially essential for many students lacking external support. Attempting full-time employment on top of rigorous clinical rotations and didactic courseloads pushes limits for even the most dedicated learners. Finding optimal work arrangements that accommodate academic priorities becomes vital to prevent burnout. 

Discover how structuring strategic shift schedules, upholding boundaries, and embracing time-saving techniques help learners balance intensive programs and career growth.

Can You Work While In Nursing School?

Yes, working stays possible in nursing school, but it requires supreme organization, self-care, and flexibility, maximizing earning hours without compromising grades or program completion. While no universal formulas guarantee success, proactive planning, priority management, and resource utilization help many nursing students work competitively.

Working During Nursing School

Most BSN students cannot afford to abandon income streams entirely while completing nursing programs. Many enroll as second-career students needing sustained incomes, health benefits, and family support through existing jobs. Other younger prospects find summertime savings inadequate, covering tuition, clinical supplies, testing fees, living costs, and technology needs across high-demand curriculums.

Letting financial instability sabotage education options makes little sense when reasonable working accommodations are integrated. But blindly overcommitting work hours risks poor academic performance too. Finding reasonable balances works best.

Best Work Schedule for Nursing School

Select scheduling allowing reliable income generation without missing critical nursing student obligations works optimally for learners managing both roles.

Fulltime Day Shift Work Schedule: 36 hours

Maintaining consistent, evenly distributed 36-hour day shift weeks allows for attending daily classes and local clinical rotations when available. Group project meetings also stay manageable depending on shift start/end times. This schedule allows some flexibility for changing school demands. However, long shifts require applying time and self-care strategies to protect sleep. You can also have a night shift schedule to align with your classes.

Part-time Day Shift Weekend Work Schedule: 24 hours

Clustering longer shift blocks exclusively on weekends creates ample free days and evenings for attending school and studying after work. The flip side means surrendering family and social time fully on weekends at work. Successfully separating contexts prevents school and work from overlapping. This schedule best suits dedicated students lacking kids or local social ties needing weekend attention.

The Challenges of Working a Full-Time Job While in Nursing School

Students working full hourly quotas while completing rigorous nursing curriculums encounter steep challenges, including:

Time Management

Packed class, clinical, work, and commute schedules mandate meticulous planning, balancing competing demands without sacrifices. This juggle proves difficult initially before establishing firm boundaries.

Physical and Emotional Fatigue

Long shifts on the feet coupled with mental healthcare strain before heading to school reliably trigger enormous cumulative fatigue over weeks. Managing energy levels and preventive self-care becomes essential.

Academic Pressure

Pre-licensure nursing programs load intensive foundational content spanning sciences, technical skills, and critical thinking, requiring copious studying. Working full-time easily distracts attention from academics.

Clinical Rotations and Shift Work

Rotating clinical shifts assigned at the last minute provides little control or predictability when managing hourly job schedules. Being perpetually available while rotating days and nights means no days “off.”

Maintaining a Social Life

Heavy work-life imbalance strains personal relationships needing attention. Isolation and burnout manifest quickly.

How to be Successful at Working Full-Time in Nursing School

Utilize the following reliable techniques to reconcile better working whole duty while attending rigorous nursing programs:

Effective Time Management

Block schedules meticulously plotting school, work, study sessions, self-care, errands, and family time using planners and phone alerts. Account for commute and preps within time budgeting.

Open Communication

Inform instructors, preceptors, managers, and family of student-employee status, prompting accommodations if feasible. Network for backup support coverage.


Prioritize proper sleep, nutrition, exercise, and mental health interventions to manage heightened stress levels proactively. Burnout prevention equals survival.

Utilize Support Systems

Access college academic advising departments for provided guidance like tutoring, counseling, or disability resources when applicable. Join student-worker forums too.

Set Realistic Expectations

Acknowledge specific career, financial, or social aspects that might need temporary downsizing to prevent feeling overwhelmed. Define what matters most right now and delay other goals.

5 Benefits Of Working Full-Time While In Nursing School

Despite genuine difficulties working full-force while learning care professions, tangible benefits beyond financial necessity arise as well, including:

Networking Opportunities

Campus jobs and healthcare settings offer invaluable foot-in-door networking, mentorships and hiring pipelines unavailable otherwise. Make professional connections!

No Stressing About Bills

Maintaining steady incomes prevents destabilizing moves home or dropping out. Bills keep getting paid!

Gain Experience

Early exposure to diverse healthcare settings and specialties builds impressive resumes through extended hands-on learning. This accelerates post-graduate hiring dramatically.

No Worry About Student Loans

Paying out-of-pocket program costs through work earnings reduces loan burdens or interest rates.

Steady Income

Reliable paychecks allow for better management of fixed budgets through predictable forecasting reliability. Saving for emergencies or lifestyle wants becomes more realistic than living only upon financial aid dispersals.

What Are The Most Convenient Full-Time Jobs For Nursing Students?

Factor program schedules and transportation access when selecting compatible nursing student jobs, allowing manageable sustainability:

Phlebotomist: Learn clinical skills working flexible hours on recall rosters, allowing class attendance. Gain healthcare exposure!

Ward Clerk: Coordinates unit communications and clerical functions on nursing floors with semi-flexible shifts possible around the school. Observe environments!

Hospital Transport: Campus hospitals gladly schedule full-timers around course times to transport patients and equipment without rigid hourly demands. Know facilities!

Certified Nursing Assistant: Find per-diem CNA aide roles that offer needed PRN pay without overly burdensome clinical rotations conflicting with clinicals. Master bedside care!

Tutor: Help other students grasp academic concepts, working personable shifts from campus libraries and labs. Review foundational knowledge!

Personal Care Attendant: Caring for clients on shifts individually set week-to-week works perfectly for changing school calendars. Bonus skills!

Call Center Representative: Remote health system phone positions allow for the reliable balance of school and earnings simultaneously from home bases. 

Virtual Assistant: Find students online administrative gigs through freelancing platforms offering supreme shift control despite total workloads. Show technical talents!

Sales Associate: Major retailers staff ample weekend floor associate roles, ideal for weekday clinical attendees needing stable income. Learn customer service grace!

Social Media Manager: Digital marketers hire students to manage client accounts and campaigns from campus and remote spots week-to-week. It’s a great experience!

What Does A Typical Day Look Like For A Student Attending Nursing School And Working Full Time?

Fitting full-time nursing school schedules and full-time work into 24-hour mandates strictly organized efforts:

4:30 AM: Wake up to exercise and prep for morning clinical rotation

6:30 AM – 3:30 PM: Clinical hours

4:00 – 7:00 PM: Attend evening classes/study group

8:00 – 11:00 PM: Complete assigned reading and care plans after dinner

11:30 PM: Prepare uniforms and supplies for the next day

12:00 AM: Bedtime

Alternate school blocks with hourly shifts or double-up weekend shifts with online coursework. Pack meals, stay organized, alternate tasks with short breaks, and claim moments celebrating small accomplishments to maintain motivation. Some days will feel impossibly grueling and others surprisingly smooth – stay patient and consistently balance both worlds through self-compassion and planning. 

Working full-time in Nursing School

Can students work full-time while they go to nursing school? Yes, but only through carefully constructed work-life integration techniques prioritizing school using hyper-organization, routine self-care, candid communication, and unrelenting time management.

By remaining determined, vulnerable, and responsive when aspects overwhelm them, learners working full-duty persist in earning those treasured nursing degrees and registered nurse licenses serving communities.