A bachelor’s degree in nursing is an attractive option for current RNs because it opens more career opportunities and raises their earning potential. However, working nurses may question balancing an online RN to BSN program with their other commitments. Luckily, online education has become a feasible and affordable way for working nurses to advance their careers.
Enrolling in RN to BSN programs in Massachusetts requires commitment, but it’s not impossible to accomplish with the right mindset and a solid plan. Nursing students should use a calendar app or personal organizer to keep track of assignments, exams, and lab work. They should also share this schedule with family members so that they can plan family activities around these times. Additionally, nurses should prioritize their course workload by identifying the most important assignments and due dates. This will allow them to prioritize study time and reduce stress by avoiding last-minute scrambling to complete schooling.
Dedicate Time to Your Schooling
While you don’t want to overburden yourself, juggling school and work is doable. You’ll need to dedicate some time each week to studying and attending classes. Using an app, spreadsheet, or planner to block out study times will help you stay on track. Many working nurses enrolled in an online RN to BSN program work while they pursue their degrees. During the COVID-19 pandemic, some students reported taking additional shifts to cover overtime and caring for family members. Some could not attend class due to unforeseen circumstances and fell behind in course assignments. To counteract this trend, RN to BSN faculty developed compassionate teaching strategies to reduce student stress and support their learning outcomes. These strategies, such as adjusting assignment due dates and improving communication between students and instructors, were designed to improve the quality of student assignments and help alleviate the stresses of balancing work, home, and school.
Set Your Schedule With Your Employer
If you work while pursuing an online RN to BSN degree, your employer may have the right to make scheduling changes at any time. Depending on the type of job and company culture, this can be a challenge for nurses trying to balance their professional and academic goals. Nursing school assignments often have due dates that conflict with work schedules and other obligations. Leaving essential assignments until the last minute can be stressful and decrease your performance on tasks. You can reduce stress by discussing your RN to BSN study commitments with your boss and requesting a flexible work schedule. While balancing a full-time career and an online RN to BSN degree can be challenging, it is certainly possible for many working nurses. Remember why you started this journey and stay motivated to complete your degree. Time blocking, or reserving specific times for each activity, is one way to make it easier to balance work and study.
Build a Support Network
Many nurses pursuing an advanced degree take courses later in life, which means they already have family responsibilities. While balancing work and family while studying can be challenging, it is possible, and many programs provide resources for working nurses. While juggling full-time employment and online nursing school, it is essential to build a support network. This may include friends, family, coworkers, or professionals such as therapists or your school pastoral leader. This network can be a great source of help and encouragement, as it can offer a different perspective than the ones you may have at work or in your studies. The key isn’t balancing work and family but learning to integrate your life’s needs daily or hourly. By planning, dedicating time to your studies, and enlisting the help of your support network, you can complete your nursing program while maintaining your responsibilities.