Working While in Nursing School: Is It Possible?

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Working while in nursing school is generally not a good option for students who want to earn their nursing degree quickly. Accelerated nursing programs require a major time commitment, leaving little time in the day for a job. If you have to work, choose a flexible, part-time role.

Northeastern nursing student standing in hall smiling

As you prepare for nursing school, you may be wondering whether it’s possible to keep working while in nursing school. If you plan to attend an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program like ours at Northeastern University, you likely won’t have time for work. That’s because the accelerated pace of the ABSN program requires a hefty time commitment akin to a full-time job.

While working is generally not recommended during accelerated nursing school, you have other options for financing your education. And before you know it, in as few as 16 months, you can earn your BSN and be on your way to an exciting nursing career.

Now let’s dive deeper into the feasibility of working while in nursing school so you can make the right decision for your future.

Why Nursing School Is a Full-time Commitment

Let’s address the big question: “Can you work while in nursing school?” To do this, we’ll first discuss the time requirements of nursing school. This will help you understand why it is so hard to juggle a job with nursing school. Nursing is renowned as one of the most challenging academic disciplines, and nursing students spend a lot of time studying and completing assignments.

northeastern student studying on laptop

The time required to succeed in nursing school increases even more if you attend an accelerated program because the timeline of your courses shortens. Instead of earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in four years, you’ll earn it in as few as 16 months. This means you must work hard and prioritize your studies every day to stay ahead.

During the ABSN program at Northeastern, you’ll manage several responsibilities, including online coursework, in-person labs, and clinical rotations, as well as studying for exams and preparing for the NCLEX.

The program is 16 months long, and you’ll fit a lot of learning into that time. Therefore, most students spend at least 40 hours each week studying. Because of the time needed to succeed in the program, working full-time while in nursing school is impossible for many.

Is Nursing School Hard?

As you’re considering working during nursing school, it’s important to understand how rigorous nursing school can be. An accelerated nursing program will challenge you in new ways and help you grow into the nurse your future patients need. As a nurse, you’ll be responsible for people’s lives. It’s therefore of the highest importance that your skills are top-notch and you commit to learning as much as possible during the ABSN program.

Here are a few of the ways the accelerated nursing school will challenge you:

  • The curriculum is complex, with subjects ranging from pharmacology to pathophysiology.
  • You’ll need to balance multiple responsibilities, including studying for exams, completing assignments, reviewing online course content, and attending labs and clinicals.
  • You’ll need effective self-directed learning skills to succeed in online coursework.
  • Simulation labs and clinical rotations will stretch you outside your comfort zone.
  • Prioritizing school and saying no to non-school activities and events can be hard.
nursing student writing on dry erase board

Most students find that the accelerated nursing program at Northeastern is hard but not insurmountable. With dedication and persistence, you can successfully earn your BSN. Plus, our faculty at Northeastern remains committed to your success. They will help you and answer questions every step of the way during your online courses, nursing labs, and clinical rotations. To thrive in such a challenging program, it’s important to follow a study schedule, prioritize your studies, and ask for support when you need it.

Northeastern ABSN student working in sim lab

Want to learn more about how hard nursing school is? Here’s a deeper dive into what to expect.

Financing Your Education

Now that you see how hard accelerated nursing school is, it should make sense why it’s best to forgo working while in nursing school if possible. So how should you plan your finances while not working? Thankfully we have plenty of experience with this, and our financial aid office can help you make a personalized tuition plan that is right for you. Some of the options you may use to finance your education include the following:

  • Personal or family savings accounts
  • Third-party scholarships
  • Federal or personal student loans
  • Veteran-specific education funds
Closeup of stethoscope and calculator

Wondering how to pay for nursing school? Use this guide to ABSN financial aid.

Working Part-Time During Nursing School

If you still need a little more supplemental income, working part-time during nursing school may be feasible if you approach it the right way. If you’re picking up a side job, we recommend taking the following steps to help you manage school and a part-time job:

  • Opt for a part-time job with flexible hours where you can set your own schedule.
  • Talk with your manager about your need to prioritize nursing school.
  • Look for remote or work-from-home options if possible.
  • Focus on relevant part-time jobs for nursing students connected to healthcare, allowing you to sharpen your patient care skills.
  • Wait until you’ve settled into nursing school to accept a job to ensure you have time in your schedule.

Earn Your BSN at Northeastern

Now that you know how hard accelerated nursing school is, you can see why we recommend students focus on school and avoid working while in nursing school if possible. If you have to work, choose a flexible part-time job that lets you prioritize school.

The Accelerated BSN program at Northeastern will fast-track you to a top-tier nursing education. You can attend school at our location near Boston, Massachusetts, or in Charlotte, North Carolina. To be eligible for the ABSN near Boston, you’ll need a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. For the Charlotte ABSN, you’ll need a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or at least 62 non-nursing college credits.

skyline view of bridge in Boston

Interested in attending nursing school in the Boston area? Here’s why Boston is such a great place to become a nurse.

The accelerated nursing program at Northeastern uses a hybrid curriculum, which means you’ll learn through three modalities: online courses, skills and simulation labs, and clinical rotations. The program will prepare you to sit for the NCLEX and begin your clinical nursing career.

Contact our admissions counselors to learn more about earning your nursing degree at Northeastern.

Get Your Free ABSN Program Guide

Our ABSN program guide includes everything you need to know about the accelerated path to nursing.

Northeastern University ABSN program guide