Introduction and Principles
Many students who are enrolled in the School of Nursing, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, find that they need to work; however, it is often difficult to accommodate the demands of academic and work schedules concurrently. It also is acknowledged that work in a clinical or educational setting may enhance the student’s academic and professional development. Where possible, it is the intent of both the faculty and the Office of Academic Affairs to encourage students to balance the demands of school and work in a way that promotes optimal learning and healthy lifestyles.
The School has established guidelines for how much and to what degree it employs students within the School of Nursing. To this end, students should not be employed at a level that will compromise their academic progress. While the School of Nursing cannot control how much students work outside of their student role, the faculty do get involved when outside employment interferes with academic responsibilities and performance.
Recommendations on Employment Outside the School of Nursing
Full-time students are encouraged to limit their work activities outside of school as much as possible to insure they can meet their academic responsibilities. In the past, experience has shown that full-time undergraduate students who attempt to work at greater than 30 percent time (15 hours per week) are highly likely to jeopardize academic performance. RN/BSN undergraduate students may be able to manage more outside employment but are advised to make these decisions judiciously.
The same principles, in general, apply to graduate students. Students are likely to successfully manage 3-4 credits of academic work and full-time employment, but experience has shown that success becomes questionable when the academic workload increases. Full-time graduate students are encouraged to work no more than 50 percent (20 hours per week) while engaged actively in coursework.
All students for whom a reduction in employed hours may create a hardship are encouraged to seek public and private funds to support their educational program. The University’s Office of Scholarship and Student Aid (962-8396) is available to assist with the pursuit of public scholarship funds as well as federal grants and loans. The Office of Admissions and Student Services (1200 Carrington, 966-4260) will assist with identifying potential sources of private funds for which a student may be eligible to apply.
Funding support from the School of Nursing is limited; an annual call for applications is made each spring for fall disbursement. All eligible students receive printed and electronic notification of the process and are encouraged to apply. Funds have been secured from a variety of sources and represent both merit- and need-based opportunities.
Employment Within the School of Nursing as GA, TA, RA or Teaching Fellow
In general, graduate students will not be appointed at greater than 50 percent (20 hours per week) to work as a Graduate Assistant, Teaching Assistant, Teaching Fellow or Research Assistant. Levels greater than 50 percent likely will affect student academic progression. Exceptions to employment at a level greater than 50 percent within the School require the approval of the appropriate Program Director and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and are more likely for part-time students.
Related material in UNC Graduate Student Handbook:
- Credit/Course Load Guidelines (scroll down page to Credit/Course Load section)