Nursing School Information

Information about RN to BSN and MSN Degrees for Nurses

Attending Nursing School While Working Full Time

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working full time and going to nursing schoolThe amount of work required to complete a full-time traditional nursing program is staggering and all-consuming.   Without planning and careful thought, juggling nursing school and full time work is extremely challenging, if not impossible.

There are viable and affordable options that will allow a student to earn a paycheck and go to school for a RN degree, and many of these you can do online from program.  Online nursing programs are now part of the educational mainstream, so schools are becoming competitive and offering  high quality online RN programs.

Online nursing schools are an excellent option because of their flexibility;  the schedule and pacing of the courses are designed to fit the needs of students who cannot afford to take several years off to go to school full time.  You can hold on to your regular job by extending the time you need to successfully complete your coursework.  Also, you can enroll in fewer subjects each semester, allowing for more time for both work and family commitments.

Once you decide that an online nursing program is the path you’d like to take, try these tips to help you maintain your work/life balance and still be a successful nursing student.

Know and Set Reasonable Goals

Most importantly, know exactly why you want to enroll in nursing school.  Be realistic and make sure the time and money you spend will be worth it.  If your current job demands new skills that will make you a better nurse, then nursing school is the right thing.  If you’re bored with what you’re doing now or just need some inspiration, you may be setting yourself up for failure.  Nursing school, whether it’s traditional or online, is intense and time consuming, so make sure to have a clear plan for how your degree will help your specific career goals. With a clear plan and positive approach, your nursing dream can become reality.

Once you’ve taken this step, write down how you plan to spend your time while in school.  Do this before you get started so you have a realistic sense of all the responsibilities in your life that are non-negotiable and cannot be neglected.  Decide if combining work and school is feasible, and if it is, develop some strategies and a schedule to avoid procrastination and burnout.

Approach School the Way You Approach Your Job

Online education is an excellent option for many nursing students, and the best way to succeed is to treat your schooling as you would your job.  Even though you are attending class from home, create an environment that is conducive to study and free from distractions.  Follow the course syllabus and policies to the letter, and communicate frequently with your instructors.   Be as professional in your approach to your education as you are to the job that brings in your paycheck.

Don’t go it alone

While you are in school and working, it’s time to let go of trying to “do it all.”  Understand your limitations and allow people you trust to help and support you.  This could be anything from requesting rides for your kids after a soccer game to asking your partner to take over dinner duties while you study for your finals or write a paper.

Trying to do everything is not the answer; at least while you are in school and working.  One person can only handle so much, so it’s important to ask for help when you need it. Of course, let your friends and family know how much you appreciate what they are doing to help you achieve your goals.

Find a partner

As helpful and supportive as your friends and family will be, they are not the ones in school and therefore don’t completely understand what you are experiencing.  As early in your program as you can, find fellow students you can partner up with and share the ups and downs of nursing school.  If they live near you, schedule regular study dates and seek out opportunities to collaborate on projects.

You can make this work!  When you set clear goals, create a schedule and study environment that works for you, ask for help and develop relationships with your classmates, you’ll find that nursing degree within reach.

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Written by samomulligan

March 21, 2012 at 2:20 pm

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