You’ve always heard inspiring stories of people who work through school and proudly finish with a flourish. It sounds great, doesn’t it?
My only advice is that you think twice before trying this.
While you go to school, put everything aside and focus! The biggest thing that will rob you of time and success can be the workplace.
I personally don’t recommend working through school. What you don’t hear are many stories of people who drop out or are unable to finish. Almost every one of my classmates who dropped out of the program spent precious study time working instead.
Their weekends were occupied. Many went to work before or after school, robbing them of preparation, time, and energy. Who knows exactly why they failed? I do know, however, that everyone’s chances are better if you have more time on your hands.
How will I support myself? I need a source of income!
I recommend getting student loans or other sources of payment to make up for any money you need. Why?
I’ll use myself as an example. I worked two jobs as a CNA and Personal Assistant while in nursing school to support myself. I made about 12 dollars an hour. Since I was working, I wasn’t able to spend time studying, preparing, and focusing on school. Those aren’t cushy jobs, either.
I was booted from the program because I made simple, avoidable mistakes. I showed up late because I was so short on sleep.
It was a shock. I had never, ever failed anything before. I was in the top of my high school class and a great test-taker, but none of that helped me.
I could have avoided the whole thing by taking on some extra loans, then paying them off later making a nursing salary easily two or three times the hourly rate of a CNA. I ended up doing an extra semester, which costed me a half year and $3000 dollars.
Experience in the Workplace
I do recommend getting experience in the workplace, however. Being a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) is a great way to get familiar with nursing.
CNA’s get down and dirty, to put it simply, and after being a CNA, nothing will ever surprise you again!
Among other things, you will be more comfortable with patients and in hospitals. You’ll be much more confident as well, which might help improve your grades in clinicals.
So what am I saying? I just told you not to work, and now I’m saying get a job as a CNA.
What I mean is: a CNA job is good for experience, but not good as a means of financial support. So go ahead and find a job as a CNA, but keep your hours as low as possible. Use it for a learning experience. Remember, these couple of years are very important. Don’t make the mistake of working too much and losing focus. Finish school strong and fast; worry about the rest later!