a nursing student thats a phlebotomist
Nursing Student

10 Best Jobs for Nursing Students

Nursing can be an incredibly rewarding career choice.

At the same time, it’s also a lifelong learning experience. 

Nursing students can benefit greatly by taking on part-time jobs.

Jobs that can not only help them pay for nursing school but also provide them with the experiences and skills necessary for a successful nursing career.

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Best Jobs for Nursing Students

1. Phlebotomist 

A day in the life of an ER phlebotomist.

Job Description

A phlebotomist collects samples of blood from patients for analysis in a lab.

The samples are transported to a laboratory for analysis for hormone levels, disease markers, nutrition information, and so on.

This is a great job for a nursing student because they get to practice some basic skills in terms of collecting blood, but also interacting with patients.

This allows them to start learning how to talk to patients and calm them down before a procedure.

Pro Tip:
One of the nice things as a phlebotomist is learning how to get a blood draw.

While not the same thing learning how to be proficient in IV blood draws would make IV starts a lot easier.

As much as you’ll learn the principles of starting an IV in nursing school, nothing beats actual practice.

Job Responsibilities

  • Collect blood samples and follow medical protocols and processes.
  • Develop rapport and communicate with patients.
  • Follow disease control procedures.
  • Prepare samples for transport to laboratories.
  • Manage paperwork.

Pay Scale Range

As a Phlebotomist, you can expect to earn an income of between $12.50 and $17.60 per hour.

Search for phlebotomist jobs in your area.

2. Hospital Transporter 

Job Description

A hospital transporter helps to move patients around from one area of a medical facility to another.

They may transport patients in wheelchairs, on stretchers, or escort them on foot.

The hospital transporter will take patients for an x-ray, an operation, and other medical procedures.

One of the great things about the hospital transporter is that they get an up-close, behind-the-scenes look at how hospitals and medical facilities work day-to-day.

They are part of the team that makes it all work and for this reason, it’s an important job that all medical facilities need.

This role would suit a nursing student who is interested in learning more about the day-to-day activities and workings of hospitals and medical facilities.

It would also suit a nursing student who enjoys communicating with patients.

Pro Tip:
While the video is entertaining it does show how hard being a hospital transporter is.

You do learn a lot but maneuvering those hospital beds and everything else attached to them can be difficult.

On top of that if you work in a big hospital it can be non-stop busy.

Job Responsibilities

  • Transport patients from one area to another under instructions.
  • Follow instructions closely.
  • Develop rapport and communicate with patients and patient family members.

Pay Scale Range

As a hospital transporter, you can expect to earn between $9 and $15.50 per hour.

Find hospital transporter jobs on the nursemoneytalk job board.

Related Article: Can I Work During Nursing School?

3. Home Health Aide 

A day in the life of a home health aide.

Job Description

Many patients are unable to make it into a hospital or medical facility for a number of reasons, including disability and illness.

In these cases, a home health aide will visit them in their home and provide medical support and care.

They monitor patients and provide basic medical support.

They also help the patient with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and laundry.

The home health aide works under the direct supervision of a nurse and will report to them.

This role is very important because it allows patients who are unable to get to a medical facility to have the medical care, support, and treatment they need.

Pro Tip:
If you’ve considered working as a home health nurse after graduation than this job will give you some ideas on what it’s like coming into patient’s homes.

Job Responsibilities

  • Communicate with a supervising nurse.
  • Provide reports.
  • Provide care and support to patients.
  • Be able to listen to the patient.

Pay Scale Range

As a home health aide, you can expect to earn a median income of between $9 and $11.70 per hour.

Start applying to home health aide jobs in your area.

4. Dietary Aide 

A dietary aide job preview.

Job Description

Patients are often given special diets or need to adhere to special diets for their treatment.

The dietary aide helps to prepare food and meals for patients under these circumstances.

They will work in the kitchens and communicate with both patients and other dietary aides.

This is an important role because it helps to support patients in their treatment and recovery.

It also supports doctors, nurses, and specialists in their care and treatment of patients.

This role would suit a nursing student who enjoys working closely with patients and helping them to adhere to a strict diet.

Job Responsibilities

  • Prepare food and meals according to strict dietary requirements.
  • Establish a working relationship with other dietary aides, kitchen staff, and medical staff.
  • Communicate with patients and help them to adhere to a strict diet.

Pay Scale Range

As a dietary aide, you can expect to earn an income between $8 and $12.60 per hour.

Start looking for dietary aide jobs in your area.

Related Artilce: What’s the Best Shift to Work in Nursing School?

5. Psychiatric Aide 

Job Description

Given the epidemic of mental health problems around the country, the psychiatric aide plays a crucial role in this area.

The psychiatric aide will work in a mental health facility and provide care and support to psychiatric patients.

Similar to a nurse aide, a psychiatric aide is expected to help patients bathe, clean, get dressed, and eat.

It’s also vital to keep an eye on patients and monitor their behavior and mood in cases of escalation.

In this context, they may also be expected to initiate therapeutic restraints on patients who are a danger to themselves or others.

This role is valuable and would suit a nursing student who really wants to make a difference in the area of mental health.

Pro Tip:
First of all, having worked in mental health I can say this is going to be a hard job.

With that said a psychiatric aide is very similar to a nurse aide.

Depending on the facility their roles may even be almost interchangeable.

The one key difference being that for psychiatric patients safety is a primary objective, because many may actively be having suicidal thoughts.

Job Responsibilities

  • Communication and good teamwork with other mental health staff to monitor patients is very important.
  • Monitor escalating behavior in patients and intervene when necessary.
  • May have to physically restrain patients who are a danger to themselves or others.

Pay Scale Range

As a psychiatric aide, you can expect to earn an income between $9.50 and $19.30 per hour.

Find psychiatric aide jobs in your area.

6. Nursing Assistant 

Job Description

A nursing assistant as the name implies helps nurses.

They may be expected to feed, bathe and dress patients, take vital signs, serve meals and other activities of daily living for the patient.

A nurse’s assistant is also expected to listen to patient needs and communicate closely with senior nurses and other medical staff.

In this context, they are the right-hand assistant to the nursing staff.

This job would suit a nursing student who wants to get first-hand experience of taking care of patients.

Pro Tip:
Being a nurse assistant is not a glamorous job.

I’ve worked as a nurse aide and it’s hard work.

Even though it’s a hard job there are certain things you’ll learn and pick up working as a NA that can help you in nursing school.

Job Responsibilities

  • Work closely with the nursing staff.
  • Perform basic nursing duties such as feeding bathing and dressing the patient.

Pay Scale Range

As a nursing assistant, you can expect to earn an income between $13 and $16.20 per hour.

Apply to nurse assistant jobs in your area.

7. Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) 

A day in the life of an EMT.

Job Description

Not to be confused with a paramedic an emergency medical technician has a crucial role as one of the first responders in a medical emergency (source).

They work under potentially stressful conditions in the field to provide first aid and medical care to members of the general public who are ill or injured (source).

Once arriving at the scene of an emergency an EMTs (if needed) will need to (source):

  • Stabilize the patient.
  • Assess the patient’s health conditions.
  • Provide and perform first aid and CPR.
  • Follow disease control procedures.
  • Dress wounds.
  • Provide oxygen.
  • Prepare a stretcher for transporting the patient to a hospital.

Being an emergency medical technician would suit a nursing student who wishes to make a real difference while getting some serious hands-on experience.

Pro Tip:
It’s a potentially high-pressure role that does require a calm and collected person with an even temperament.

Job Responsibilities

  • Assess the patient in the field and respond with necessary intervention.
  • Stabilize patients in the field to prepare them for transport to the nearest hospital for further assessment and treatment.
  • Manage high levels of stress from onlookers, and friends and family at the scene.

Pay Scale Range

As an Emergency Medical Technician, you can expect to earn an income between $16.70 and $21.30 per hour.

Search for EMT job positions in your area.

8. Orderly

Job Description

Being an Orderly is a great way to see what goes on behind the scenes at a hospital.

The orderly cleans and sanitizes rooms, tools, and equipment.

They also escort patients to other areas within the medical facility and listens to patients and their needs.

The orderly has a very important job as part of the team behind-the-scenes in a medical facility because they keep everything moving and on task.

They need to communicate and work closely with other staff members and ensure that everything is running harmoniously.

This role would suit any nursing student who really wants to see what goes on behind-the-scenes.

It’s a job that may not seem very glamorous or get a lot of attention, but rest assured the job of an orderly is very critical.

Job Responsibilities

  • Working autonomously as part of a team.
  • Adhering to disease control and sanitation standards when cleaning rooms, tools, and equipment.

Pay Scale Range

As an orderly, you can expect to earn an income between $9 and $17 per hour.

Apply to orderly jobs in your area.

Honorary Mentions

9. Undergraduate Tutor

10. Scrub Tech

What it’s like to be a scrub tech.

The Research

What Should College Students Look for in Such a Job?

All of the above part-time roles are crucial to medical facilities and hospitals, and many of them are in great demand.

As such, they’re a great fit for nursing students in general because they provide good exposure to a wider set of skills and people. 

If you’re a nursing student, what should you ideally look for in such a role?

Here are some things to consider carefully:

1. Does the Role Suit You?

Not every part-time role will suit every nursing student.

The EMT, for example, can be a high-stress and high-pressure role, and this may not suit all nursing students. 

It may be true to say that nursing can certainly be a high-stress career, but there is room within the profession for different personality types.

For some people, the EMT role will be an eye-opening experience that could lead to further opportunities.

For others, it may be a little too stressful.

2. Will it Be Useful for You in Your Nursing Career?

The other question to consider is how useful the part-time role will be to your future nursing career.

While it is true to say that all of the above roles teach something useful about the medical area, some may be more useful to some individuals than others when it comes to their future careers.

In working in some roles, it may become clear that it’s an area that you really want to find out more about and possibly specialize in after school.

For example, those who thrive in high-pressure situations as an EMT may decide that working in the ICU or in the ER may be a good career move after school.

At the same time if you work as a mental health tech you might realize that mental health is more of your passion.

Pro Tip:
The reverse is also true.

You could work in an area and decide you don’t want to work in the same area again after graduating from nursing school.

3. What Skills Will You Learn?

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Even though all of the above roles will help you earn a living, it’s also important to consider what skills you’ll get from them.

Will you learn more about the behind-the-scenes workings of a hospital?

Will you develop useful skills such as building rapport with patients?

Ultimately, determining how one of these part-time roles will benefit your curriculum vitae (CV) or your resume will place it into a sharp and useful perspective.

For many nursing students, such a role will potentially inform them about their future directions, even if it does not involve nursing as a career.

Conclusion

Nursing can be an incredibly rewarding profession, but there is also much to learn.

While being a nursing student is hard the above part-time roles will provide not only valuable experience but also a useful perspective on what other roles there are within the profession.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to work and go to nursing school?

Yes, it’s possible to work and go to nursing school. You need to be focused, organized and dedicated to get it done, but it is possible to be successful in nursing school while working.

Do you get paid as a student nurse?

Yes, you can get paid as a student nurse if you’re working. You do NOT get paid for doing your nursing school clinical.

How many hours can I work while in nursing school?

Many students will be able to work at least 20 hours a week during nursing school depending on the job and the student.

How much do nursing students get paid?

Many nursing students should be able to find a job that pays them above the minimum hourly wage in most states.

What are good jobs for aspiring nurses?

Some of the best jobs for aspiring nurses include being a home health aide and being a nurse tech in an ICU.

Related Article to Jobs for Nursing Students

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