Is Working While in Nursing School Possible?

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Can I work while earning my ABSN? - nurse treating patient

Applying to nursing school is a big decision. It requires dedication, commitment and perseverance. While juggling coursework, labs and clinicals, it’s likely you may have other responsibilities too, like a family that needs you or a job that pays the bills. While working while in nursing school is possible, we generally don’t recommend it.

Given that, we understand that life doesn’t stop for nursing school. You’ll have expenses like rent, transportation and food that you’ll need to account for; however, to increase your odds of success, we advise against balancing a full-time job while enrolled in our rigorous nursing curriculum. The University of St. Thomas Houston Second Degree Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is set up to give you a compressive nursing education that will prepare you to be a practice-ready nurse in as few as 12 months. To reach your goal of becoming a competent and capable nurse, you’ll need to dedicate yourself to the program and give it 100% of your focus.

Nursing School is a Full-Time Job

Since our program packages a traditional BSN curriculum into 12 months of course study, you’ll need to treat it as if it is a full-time job. This may require you to put parts of your current routine on hold to keep up with the demanding pace of the program.

University of St. Thomas ABSN students working in hospital

ABSN@UST is spread out over four semesters and moves quickly. Between online coursework, hands-on labs and in-hospital clinical rotations, you can expect to spend more than 40 hours a week completing lectures, assignments, writing papers, responding to discussion boards and more.

Nursing school is challenging and will push you out of your comfort zone, especially in the case of an accelerated BSN program, like ours. But, it’s worth it. At the end of the day, our program can be completed in 12 months, and the sacrifices you make during that time are likely to pay off when you earn your nursing degree.

Although we don’t recommend that you work full time, some of our students have juggled working while in nursing school successfully, and we understand sometimes you have to do what you have to do to make things work. That said, if you do take on a job during the program, be sure to communicate with your professors and let them know your situation.

Nursing school is a full-time job, but it doesn’t pay the way an actual job would. Instead, let’s go over some other options for financing and budgeting your life while you earn your nursing degree.

How to Finance Nursing School without Working a Full-Time Job

Going back to school for your BSN is a significant financial decision that requires planning and preparation. While federal, state and university grants/scholarships may be limited when you’re a University of St. Thomas student, you might still be able to finance your education via federal and/or private loans.

We encourage you, no matter your income level, to apply for financial aid first by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is the only way to know what type of loan you’re eligible to receive.

Our Financial Aid Office can also help you identify the best options for financing your accelerated nursing education and answer any questions you may have. You can contact them at (713) 525-2170. If you have additional questions or concerns about how to pay for nursing school, be sure to reach out to a trusted admissions counselor.

Can I Complete Nursing School with a Family?

As we discussed, nursing school will take up a lot of your time. While ultimately a great career move that will help you take care of your family, it can be hard to balance family life with earning your BSN.

To do it successfully, make sure you’re transparent about the time commitment your ABSN program will require with your family. Have an open line of communication with your partner, kids, friends, or parents and discuss what support they can give you to help you succeed in nursing school.

It may be hard to make time for family and friends and you’ll have to adjust to a new way of life, but just remember that nursing school is only temporary. You can do this. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

While it’s true you may have to miss family gatherings and events, coming out of the program as a practice-ready nurse is worth the compromise.

Why Earning a BSN Is Worth It

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and while nursing school is hard, we also think it’s a worthwhile venture.

With a career as a nurse, there are opportunities to make a comfortable salary with a flexible schedule. As a graduate of ABSN@UST, your marketability is high and you’re likely to get a job faster.

In fact, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing found that 76% of nursing graduates were hired upon graduating with their degree while 94% of nursing graduates were hired within the first 4–6 months after the completion of their programs.

Whether you’re looking for a job right after graduation or want to take some time to find the perfect fit, chances are you won’t have much trouble stepping right into the workforce.

When you graduate from the University of St. Thomas ABSN program, you’ll be primed to jump into a career centered on helping people. While nursing is sure to keep you on your toes, there will also be opportunities open to you that only come with a BSN. You’ll have a career that is fulfilling and rewarding. In fact, according to a study by AMN, more than 80% of nurses say they are happy and feel satisfied with their career choice.

ABSN student in lab

You Can Earn a BSN in As Few As 12 Months

An ABSN program like ABSN@UST helps you receive a quality, in-demand degree — and it helps you start your new nursing career sooner. If you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and meet our other academic requirements, you may qualify to apply to ABSN@UST.

Find out if you’re a good fit for our program by contacting one of our dedicated admissions counselors, who will help you take the next bold steps toward earning a BSN through the program. Seats are available now!