As a nurse, you’re kind of already a superhero when it comes to balancing responsibilities. From working long shifts, to taking care of your family and finding time to spend with friends, you’ve learned the art of time management. But is it possible to add school into the mix and maintain this balance? Believe it or not, earning your BSN doesn’t have to get in the way of the rest of your life.
Here are five strategies for making nursing school possible.
Make a Plan
Schedule school time around the rest of your life, not vice versa. That's the beauty of enrolling in an online program—class time can be any time. Look at your schedule, find times that can be dedicated to studying, and stick to it. With a little bit of planning, you'll find a workflow that's right for you.
The independence that comes along with online learning can be a blessing and a curse. To make sure it stays the former rather than the latter, you need to get organized. Find a place in your home where you can set up your personal study space. Set deadlines for yourself, and keep them. Creating structure for your learning will help you stay motivated when it's time to hit the books.
Online learning doesn't have to be impersonal. Reach out to your instructors early and often. Connect with your advisor and get help when you need it. Don't neglect your peers either—by participating in a meaningful way, not only will you improve your learning experience, but you'll also feel more connected to other professionals who are working toward the same goal as you.
Resources: Use them
As an online student, you have access to a variety of resources, including a team of experts for academic, professional and technical support. If you're having an issue, reach out to these resources and save yourself the time and the headache of endlessly Googling potential solutions.
If you're motivated to furthering your career, and you've found a way to make it fit in your schedule, don't let the financial aspect be the barrier that gets in your way. There are a lot of options for funding your education. Look into programs that offer monthly payment programs, ask your employer if they offer education reimbursement programs, and seek out scholarships. There are a number of scholarship programs specifically for nurses. Nursing education organizations, such as the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, often provide information on scholarships for nursing students. If you do your homework, you'll likely find opportunities that make going back to school affordable.
Going back to school to earn your BSN is possible, and doing so will only create more possibilities for you in your career and in your life.
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