Advice from ABSN Students and Alumni, Part 2: Working While in School

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On May 4, Marian University for St.Vincent Health hosted an Open House for our Indianapolis accelerated nursing program. The highlight was a panel of current students and alumni who took questions from the audience on the accelerated BSN program and the realities of being a nurse. This is the second of a three-part series featuring answers from the panel. Check out the first post about transitioning back to school.

Today's Q&A focuses on working. It is hard to work a full-time job and do well in nursing school. That said, you need to network and establish connections while you are still a student. Treat your entire 16 months in the program as one long interview and take advantage of opportunities to work in patient care before you graduate.

Q: What advice do you have about working during school?

Kyle, class of December 2013: It starts with having or finding an employer who is flexible to work with your schedule. I work three days a week around my clinical rotations. Having said that, you have to remember this is a full-time program and you need to devote significant time to studying. For me, that meant studying when everyone else went to bed. That’s how I lost all my hair.

Q: How much experience do you need to have before a hospital will hire you as a student nurse?  

Chase, class of August 2014: Most hospitals require completion of one semester of clinicals before hiring you as a student nurse. However, every hospital is different. There are a variety of technician and patient support roles you can look at today. St.Vincent has patient care technicians or patient sitters which require one year of customer service experience. Community Hospital hired me as a patient support partner while I was taking prerequisites. IU Health has patient care interns which require one completed semester of clinicals.

For more on the program, contact our admissions team or call 866.892.6463.