With the booming healthcare industry, the demand for nurses with BSN degrees has increased significantly.
More importantly, healthcare organizations now require a BSN as an initial prerequisite for their job vacancies—and rightfully so.
A BSN degree helps in providing better patient care. It helps nurses deal with unexpected circumstances with better decision-making and leadership skills, opening opportunities for career advancement.
So, are you an RN planning to join a nursing school to get your BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) degree but worried about balancing your work life with your studies?
If so, you are not alone.
At first, managing nursing school while working full-time may seem stressful. You will have to manage personal and family responsibilities, and pursuing another degree may seem overwhelming.
However, you can earn your BSN while working full-time and without stressing. All you need is to incorporate a couple of practices into your daily routine. And to help you with that, here are the six tips you can follow to get your BSN degree while working.
Go for an Online Program
One of the easiest ways to manage your work while earning a BSN is to opt for an accelerated online learning program. There are many online RN to BSN programs available that help you gain leadership skills and excel in your professional practice from the comfort of your home.
You don’t need to visit a nursing school to attend classes; you can adjust your courses according to your work schedule. These programs offer great flexibility to working nurses and allow them to adjust course load around their schedule.
You can access the learning material 24/7, wherever and whenever it’s convenient. Moreover, an online BSN program is more interactive than a traditional sitting. It gives you more chances to network and attend worldwide events without neglecting other important commitments like work or family.
Eat Well and Stay Active
You cannot manage your BSN degree while working full-time if you are not eating well or keeping fit. Therefore, it is essential to take time out for exercise and keep a check on your diet. Exercise improves your mental focus, builds stamina to manage work life with studies, provides quality sleep, and keeps you physically healthy.
If you find it hard to take out time for exercise during your busy schedule, go for a walk for at least 30 minutes. Similarly, if you don’t have time to cook healthy food, try adding veggies and fruits to your daily meal rather than empty carbs.
Also, avoid taking sugary foods as they may give you a quick energy boost but eventually, your blood glucose level will fall, leaving you nothing but exhausted.
Take Time to Recharge
As you know, earning a BSN degree while working full-time is not easy, but it doesn’t have to be exhausting. So, while you may think it’s impossible to set aside time to relax, you can do so with some time management.
When you take out time to recharge, it significantly improves your performance both at school and at your workplace. It keeps your mind fresh and allows you to focus more on the job at hand. While different people use different ways to recharge, choose the one that best fits your needs and schedule. For instance, you may go out and take a walk, take a short nap, cook your favorite meal, meet a friend, or even meditate.
Taking time to relax and recharge your mind will help you accomplish tasks efficiently and help you recover from stress which, in turn, improves performance.
As you have decided to add more facets to your life, you will find more things dropping through the cracks or adding to your schedule. For instance, you may forget the family outing or your friend’s birthday while preparing for the exam.
Or maybe you will miss an assignment deadline as you continue to work an extra shift. However, you can avoid these issues by staying organized. One way to do that is to use a planner to record the important events and dates in work and personal life.
Similarly, note down dates, times, and appointments as soon as possible to avoid forgetting them. Also, keep a check on your planner daily. Keep your study area separate, organized, neat, and uncluttered so you don’t spend valuable time looking for things or remembering them.
Stick to a Schedule and Set Goals
To successfully earn your BSN while working full-time, you need to make a schedule and stick to it. Otherwise, planning your day and juggling competing priorities would be too hard. To make a schedule, you can follow simple guidelines like setting daily goals, keeping track of deadlines, and creating a dedicated study space.
When managing many things at once, it becomes easy to lose track of things or what you have accomplished. Therefore, set attainable daily goals and meet them consistently. This will help boost your confidence and motivate you to move ahead purposefully.
Similarly, you can maintain a list of tasks according to their deadlines and work backward on them to leave ample time to accomplish each task.
Seek Help and Have a Support Group
Last but not least, always remember that often you won’t be able to manage everything on your own. There will be times when you will need the assistance of your colleagues, friends, or family. Therefore, never hesitate to talk to the people who matter to you.
Having a support system that understands your situation will help you pursue your BSN degree while managing your work without compromises.
For instance, if you clearly communicate your need to pursue a BSN degree while working with your employer, they may not only support you but may also help you in furthering your education. Also, remember that many healthcare organizations offer various initiatives and programs for studying nurses to help them pay their tuition.
While everyone handles pressure and the task of juggling work and nursing school differently, remember it will be hard to maintain a work-life balance initially. However, if you practice the tips given above and try to incorporate them into your daily routine, you can easily manage to earn your BSN without compromising your personal commitments.
The above-shared practices will help you conquer nursing school successfully while working full-time and help make things easier. They will help you improve your focus and efficiency. Thus, with these tips and a little planning, you can make the most of your time, advance your skills, open doors to new opportunities and achieve your goals successfully. Good luck!