Embarking on the journey of nursing school at Davis & Elkins College is an exciting endeavor, promising a future filled with opportunities in the dynamic field of healthcare. As you navigate through the academic rigors of nursing education, the question of employment arises. What are the best jobs for full-time nursing students that accommodate your schedule and provide valuable hands-on experience?

What are the best jobs to work while in nursing school? Below, we explore top picks for jobs that align with your nursing journey, offering insights into roles like hospital scribe, certified assistant, home health aide, and general medical care. These positions complement your education at Davis & Elkins and contribute to your growth as a future healthcare professional.

Best Part-Time Jobs for Nursing Students

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA):

  • CNAs play a crucial role in patient care by assisting with daily activities like bathing, dressing, and eating. This position offers hands-on experience with patients, providing foundational skills necessary for all nurses. It also demonstrates a commitment to healthcare from the ground up, which can be valuable to future employers.

Home Health Aide:

  • Home health aide positions offer flexibility in scheduling, making them ideal for nursing students. These roles involve working closely with patients who require support due to illness, age, or disability in a home setting rather than in a hospital. Nursing students can develop interpersonal skills by providing one-on-one care to clients, and part-time hours are often readily available.

Patient Care Technician (PCT):

  • PCTs work under the supervision of nurses to provide basic patient care, including taking vital signs, assisting with mobility, and performing EKGs. This role allows nursing students to gain practical experience in a clinical setting while honing their skills in patient interaction and care.


  • Nursing students who have completed their first year of nursing school may have opportunities to work as interns or externs in healthcare settings. These positions provide hands-on experience under the guidance of registered nurses and other healthcare professionals. Interns and externs may assist with patient care, observe procedures, and participate in educational activities to further their understanding of nursing practice.

Research Assistant:

  • Nursing students interested in research can explore part-time positions as research assistants in healthcare facilities or academic institutions. These roles involve supporting research projects related to healthcare outcomes, patient experiences, or clinical interventions. Research assistants may contribute to data collection, literature reviews, and analysis, gaining valuable insights into evidence-based practice in nursing.


  • Phlebotomy roles involve drawing blood from patients for medical testing, transfusions, or donations. Nursing students can gain experience in specimen collection techniques, patient interaction, and laboratory procedures by working part-time as phlebotomists in hospitals, clinics, or blood donation centers.

Community Health Worker:

  • Community health workers support individuals and families in accessing healthcare services, navigating health insurance, and adopting healthy behaviors. Nursing students can work part-time in community organizations, clinics, or public health agencies to assist with health education initiatives, outreach programs, and care coordination efforts within diverse communities.

Earning Potential and Job Duties in Healthcare Roles

Phlebotomy Technicians

Phlebotomy technicians are key medical staff. They draw blood for tests, transfusions, or donations. This job is great for nursing students because it teaches venipuncture skills. It also pays well.

On a typical day, they interact with patients in offices and handle samples carefully. Nursing students can apply these skills later in their careers. The pay reflects the skill level and demand.

Medical Transcriptionists

Medical transcriptionists work with healthcare documentation. They listen to voice recordings from doctors and transcribe them into written reports.

This role helps students learn medical terminology, which is crucial in any medical field job. It’s mostly remote work, offering flexibility to study, too.

Transcriptionists need good listening and typing skills as well as attention to detail. These are valuable communication skills for future nurses.

Unit Secretary 

What are the best jobs to work while in nursing school? Consider working as a unit secretary. Unit secretaries manage administrative tasks within a medical facility or office setting. Their role includes scheduling appointments, managing patient records, and assisting with billing processes.

They often have direct contact with patients, which improves interpersonal communication skills and is important for any future demand in the healthcare sector. The potential for higher pay comes with experience and educational advancement within this area of work.


  • Direct patient interaction enhances communication abilities.
  • Exposure to administrative duties aids in multitasking development.


  • It may require more extensive training compared to other part-time jobs.

Benefits of Gaining Healthcare Experience While Studying

What are the best jobs to work while in nursing school, and are there benefits to gaining healthcare experience while studying?

Practical Skills

Working while studying can be a great experience. It helps you grow practical skills. Clinical rotations are key for this growth. They let you apply what you learn in real-life situations. This practice boosts your resume, too.

Students often see their confidence soar after these rotations. They handle tasks better and understand patient care deeply. Employers look for such hands-on experience.

Professional Networks

Part-time jobs in healthcare settings offer more than pay for every hour worked. They help build professional networks early on. You meet doctors, nurses, and specialists regularly.

This networking can lead to job offers post-graduation. Many students find mentors through these connections as well.

Career Specialization

Exposure to different medical departments is another benefit of working during nursing school. You get to see various aspects of healthcare up close.

Such exposure aids in making career choices later on. You might discover a passion for pediatrics, oncology, or even product sales. Understanding where your interests lie is crucial when choosing a specialization.

Summer and Seasonal Work Opportunities in Nursing

Camp Nursing

Working as a summer camp nurse is ideal for nursing students. These roles offer a unique mix of pediatric care and leadership skills. You’ll work with children, providing basic healthcare and responding to emergencies. Also, you will develop critical thinking and decision-making abilities.

Camp nurses must handle various health issues while ensuring safety. This job also teaches valuable lessons about working with young patients. It’s perfect if you enjoy childcare and want to specialize in pediatrics.

Traveling CNA

Consider becoming a traveling certified nursing assistant (CNA). These positions often come with higher pay rates. They are great for those who love to explore new places during school breaks.

Traveling CNAs gain experience in different settings, from nursing homes to hospitals. With each assignment, they learn new systems and meet diverse people. Plus, the travel aspect can make this job feel like an adventure.

Flu Clinic Nurse

Seasonal flu clinics need nurses, too. Working here means gaining expertise in immunization administration—a key skill for any nurse.

Flu clinic nurses provide a vital community service during peak seasons. They help protect public health by administering vaccines efficiently. This role is excellent for sharpening clinical skills while serving the community.

Strategies for Securing a Job During Nursing School

Career Services

Leveraging your school’s career services can be a great starting point. These departments specialize in helping students find jobs that fit their schedules and career goals. They often have connections with local healthcare facilities and can provide you with job leads that are suitable for nursing students.

Career services may also offer resume workshops or interview prep sessions. Use these resources to make sure you present yourself as the best candidate for any job opportunity.

Job Fairs

Attending healthcare job fairs is another effective strategy. Here, you meet potential employers face-to-face. You learn about different organizations and what they look for in employees.

Prepare questions beforehand and bring copies of your resume to leave with interested employers. This proactive approach shows initiative and could lead to an immediate job offer.

Online Boards

Utilize online job boards tailored to nursing and healthcare positions. Websites like Indeed, Monster, or niche sites dedicated to medical careers list numerous opportunities that can align well with your study schedule.

Look for part-time positions or flexible work options designed specifically for students. Some employers might even offer remote work possibilities, allowing more freedom around your class times.

Evaluating the Right Job Fit for Nursing Students

Commute Consideration

Finding a job with a short commute is crucial. This saves time and reduces stress. Look for work near your campus or home. A close job means more study time.

Some jobs, like those in local clinics, might be just around the corner. This can make juggling school and work easier.

Shift Flexibility

Your class schedule must fit with your work hours. Seek jobs offering flexible shifts that match your academic needs.

Many healthcare facilities understand nursing students’ schedules and offer night or weekend shifts to accommodate them.

Mentorship Value

Aim to find roles where you can learn from experienced professionals. Working under a mentor provides invaluable insights into patient care and professional conduct.

Jobs at hospitals often come with mentorship as part of training programs designed for nursing students.

Unique Nursing Roles and Their Impact on Career Growth

Telehealth Nursing

Telehealth nursing is a growing field. It allows nurses to care for patients via digital platforms. This role sharpens your skills in communication and remote monitoring. Nurses learn to manage patient care from afar.

You will use technology daily. You’ll connect with patients who may not easily access traditional healthcare settings. These unique nursing opportunities can be a stepping stone in your nursing career, especially if you’re tech-savvy.

Research Assistant

Working as a research assistant at universities is rewarding. It opens doors to advanced studies after graduation. Students assist in cutting-edge projects and contribute to medical advancements.

This position offers insight into the academic side of the nursing profession. If you enjoy exploring new knowledge, this could be an ideal job while studying.

Occupational Health Nurse

What are the best jobs to work while in nursing school? Have you considered occupational therapy settings? Occupational health nurse roles focus on workplace safety and preventive healthcare practices. They play a vital role in protecting worker health by assessing risks and implementing safety protocols.

In these positions, students gain exposure to specialty niche areas within the business sector of healthcare—preparing them for various special needs situations that they might encounter post-graduation.

Building Bridges Between Education and Career at Davis & Elkins College

The benefits of gaining healthcare experience while studying are multifold, offering practical skills, professional networks, and a clearer understanding of potential specializations. Additionally, we’ve uncovered unique part-time opportunities and strategies for securing these roles, emphasizing the importance of proximity, flexible shifts, and mentorship.

For aspiring nurses, the journey doesn’t end with graduation; it begins with an enriched foundation built during nursing school. As you ponder your next steps, consider the diverse roles and their impact on career growth, from telehealth nursing to research assistant and occupational health nurse.

Elevate your nursing education at Davis & Elkins College while simultaneously laying the foundation for your future career. Our institution offers a transformative learning experience, and as you embark on your academic journey, our dedicated Office of Career Services will serve as a valuable bridge between the college’s diverse and talented pool of students and alumni and potential employers and volunteers. 

Committed to fostering meaningful connections, the Career Services team will support you in translating your academic achievements into real-world opportunities, ensuring a seamless transition from education to a fulfilling career in nursing. Invest in your professional growth at Davis & Elkins College, where educational excellence and career development converge.

Ready to embark on a fulfilling career in nursing? Explore the opportunities at Davis & Elkins College and take the first step towards shaping your future in healthcare. Click here to learn more.