Most students need to work at least part-time while they’re in college. In fact, about 70% of students work while taking classes, according to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Working at a job not related to nursing can be necessary for its flexibility, but if you can find part-time, flexible work in your field, that gives you relevant on-the-job experience. That could make the job search easier when you graduate. The trick is balancing work hours with your studies and other responsibilities.
Here are a few jobs for nursing students to consider that build related skills.
- Certified Nursing Assistant
Pick your hours to fit around your class load while also getting your foot in the door at a particular hospital or clinic you’re interested in working at when you graduate. The CNA job helps you build personal connections and learn relevant skills at work. And because you’re working beside RNs, it allows you to see their job—your future role—in action.
- Hospital (or Patient) Transporter
Your job as a transporter is to move patients from their room to various locations around the hospital for medical testing or procedures. Part of the job is also being a friendly companion to the patients. The job may require stamina and physical fitness. It might not sound like it uses many of your nursing skills, but it helps you build connections at that hospital and, like the CNA position, allows you to see nurses in action.
- Patient Safety Companion
Also called a Hospital Sitter, this could be a good choice if you’re interested in mental health or end-of-life care. This job entails giving the family or hospital staff a break by staying with a person who needs round-the-clock observation. This could be someone who’s at risk of falling, dying, feeling suicidal, or is antagonistic. It requires being calm, diplomatic, observant, and compassionate. You might help the patient with basic personal care, monitor their vital signs, and alert the nurse or physician if anything changes.
- At-home caregiver
Many families are looking for part-time, in-home help so their elderly parents can stay in their own home, and these families are willing to pay directly for services. Duties could include light housekeeping, cooking, driving the elder to appointments, providing companionship, and helping them manage their medications. The best part is you’re able to control the hours because you’re self-employed. One way to advertise your services is to contact your local senior center or the New York Department for the Aging. These tips from Family Caregiving Alliance may also help.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in nursing, St. Paul’s School of Nursing is here to help you with the next steps. Learn about our nursing programs and give us a call at (855) 822-3018 to speak to one of our career advisors or to schedule a campus tour!