Students in nursing schools who want to take their training to its limit are opting for a more rigid schedule by working in the medical field during college. While many students need to work at least a part time job while attending classes, few are committed to handling the rigorous schedule of working in the medical field while maintaining their studies. Even though the schedule can be trying, the rewards of working as a full time medical staffer can be great for those who can tolerate the added stress.
Working in a hospital environment is the most popular way to accomplish the dual training, but many choose to work in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Regardless of their choice, these students have at least one thing in common: The stress of working full-time on an overnight shift while still focusing on their studies and finding the time to get all of that homework done.
How They Do It
The first step for most students who want to enrich their nursing school experience is to become a certified assistant. With much less training and a few extra classes in the beginning of their program, nursing students can test-out to become a nursing assistant. The certification qualifies students to work in a hospital or assisted living environment which utilizes assistants to help with routine non-licensed care activities in the medical setting.
Overnight shifts for nursing students can start as late as 7 in the evening and last until 7 in the morning – leaving just enough time for students to get to their nursing classes during the day and home for some rest before work. This seems to leave little time for studies and homework, but most medical facilities are much slower-paced in the overnight hours. It’s easier to sneak in the time for homework and studying during the shift when the employer allows it.
Rewards for Nursing Students
Even though it’s a tough schedule to live by, nursing students remember that it is temporary and can provide real-world benefits in the long run. The experience in the medical setting and with patients sets students ahead of their peers and makes for a more enriching education experience. Some nursing schools work in partnerships with facilities to provide nearly full-time jobs for students (allowing an extra day off for studies) while allowing students to focus on the current topic of their studies. In this way, hospitals and care centers can facilitate the training of next generation nurses.
Nursing students who decide to take on this challenge find that it is first-hand experience of the rigorous and challenging schedules experienced by licensed nurses in the field. Many become acclimated to the profession, allowing them greater success when they enter the workforce. The downside is the balance between work and school. Students must be dedicated to their nursing school’s program, which means that they may have to make difficult decisions between work and school work. By keeping their program and schoolwork first, students occasionally have to call in to work or take a shorter shift than the full time schedule allows.