The impact of term-time paid work on academic performance in nursing students: A longitudinal study

Yenna Salamonson, Bronwyn Everett, Jane Koch, Sharon Andrew, Patricia M. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Nursing students in higher education are spending more time in paid employment despite evidence that this can impact negatively on academic performance. Objectives: To examine the effect of paid work on academic performance in undergraduate nursing students. Design: Descriptive, correlational survey with longitudinal follow-up. Participants: Nursing students in metropolitan Sydney, Australia. Methods: First year nursing students surveyed at baseline were followed up at the end of the final year of their nursing program to examine factors influencing academic performance. Results: Of the 566 Year 1 nursing students who were surveyed in the second semester of their Bachelor of Nursing program, 182 students (32%) completed the follow-up survey in Year 3. The percentage of students engaging in paid work during term-time had increased (. p<. 0.001), from 70% in Year 1 to 84% in Year 3. There was an inverse relationship between mean hours in paid work during term-time and nursing students' GPA in their final year. Taking into account demographic factors, the mean hours spent in paid work during term-time had a negative impact on nursing students' GPA (. p<. 0.001). Conclusion: In view of these findings, we suggest that new models of undergraduate nursing education be explored to include faculty approved nursing-related employment with defined opportunities for learning. This would accommodate the dual roles of undergraduate nursing students as students and employees and therefore not endanger their academic performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-585
Number of pages7
JournalInternational journal of nursing studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic performance
  • Longitudinal study
  • Nursing education
  • Nursing students
  • Paid work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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