If you’re unwilling to let anything hinder you from achieving your career and educational goals, the best way you can do this is to learn from those who have led the path before you. The idea of managing a full-time nursing career while pursuing a degree seems daunting, but with an online degree, it is easier than ever.
Review the following tips to learn how to maintain a good balance between work and school.
1. Manage your time wisely
It is not uncommon for a nurse’s day to become overwhelming. For this reason, the first, and most important tip, is to manage your time wisely. By planning out your day, you ensure that you have enough time to accomplish everything for that day. One great technique for working students is time blocking in which you divide your day into blocks of time. Each block is committed to achieving a specific task or group of tasks. During these blocks of time, you must focus only on the task(s) listed. You should also add a block for miscellaneous to complete forgotten tasks. Do not procrastinate, complete each task(s) as scheduled.
If your work schedule is consistent every week, your time blocking can help you get into a good routine. However, if your work schedule changes weekly, try to plan every week and block out your time before the week begins. As a final recommendation, do not put things off to the last minute. While this might be tempting, it can lead to higher stress levels.
2. Create a study space
The second piece of advice for combining a nursing career and earning a degree is to create a study space. This can be a spare room or a local cafe. If in your home, personalize this space with photos and inspirational messages tailored to your personal goals.
You should establish some rules for your study space. For instance, knock prior to entering, do not disturb unless it is an emergency, and no replying or viewing unrelated emails.
3. Stay positive, keep the final goal in mind, and celebrate small wins
Remember why you chose this fantastic career path in the first place!
Focusing on your long-term goals and your passion for nursing can help put everything into perspective. Think about your graduation day, imagine how that will be, and keep those images in mind when things get rough. As you focus on all the professional and economic opportunities that you will have after earning your degree, don’t forget to celebrate the little victories along the way. Do not focus on the larger goal of completing a semester, instead string together the small wins of receiving a good grade on a discussion post and a passing grade on an exam.
4. Ask for help when needed
There may be times that you can feel it is too much. Don’t feel bad about taking a step back. Instead, talk to your boss or coworkers to see if you can split assignments and lighten your workload for some periods.
Extra Tips We Can Give You as Advice
Know yourself and leverage your natural tendencies:
You know yourself and your learning habits. Identify ways to take advantage of your abilities and counter your weaknesses.
We all have different learning styles. Be aware of whether you are a morning person or a night owl and plan your study blocks to achieve optimal performance. Planning to study at night after a long day of work may work for some people, but it won’t be productive for others. Many people find it less distracting to study outside their homes, while others do not.
Share with us in the comments section other tips you may have.
Getting an online nursing degree is now more possible than ever with programs from Nexus University, designed for working nurses.
Our “learning as a service” approach makes higher education more accessible, relevant, and flexible.
Take the next step in your career. Dream big, stay positive, and enjoy the ride!