Deciding to go back to school to earn a degree in nursing is a bold step. Earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing can not only boost your resume, but there are also options for moms who would like to go back to school to get into nursing as their second career. Whether you are looking for a more fulfilling role, to get into healthcare, or to get into a leadership position, enrolling for a nursing degree is a great way to further your career. Whether you wish to enroll at a local college or online, there will always be some anxiety. You may be worried about balancing school with work or family, finding time to study, or finding time for other commitments. In this article, we will look at a few tips that can make it easier if you decide to go back to school for a nursing degree.
Manage Your Time
Since you have a finite number of hours in a day, you need to manage your time properly if you would like everything to go smoothly. It is likely that a career or family already takes up a lot of your time, so you need to find time to work on your degree. Using a calendar can be of great help in this regard. A calendar helps you remain organized and find a balance between school and all your other responsibilities. A calendar can help you track family, school, work, and other responsibilities you may have. It will also help you find time to study by helping you find openings in your schedule.
Always be prepared for the unexpected. Even when you have a calendar and everything planned out, it is always important to plan for anything that might crop up. Life happens and if you are taking an online class, for example, and the power goes out, you need to have a plan on what you are going to do. Also, always tackle your classwork and assignments well in advance to avoid last-minute rushes that can be made a lot more hectic if something unexpected happens.
Lastly, make the most of your free time. No matter how busy you are, you will likely have a few minutes of free time every day. That may be on your commute, during a break at work, or when the kids are napping. Take advantage of this free time by making a few changes. For example, you could carry your notes and lecture videos on your phone so you can review them during your commute. You can always listen to an audio version of a required lesson during your commute, when you are stuck in traffic, or when you have some free time at home.
Choose an Online Program
If you are a mom with other responsibilities such as taking care of the little ones or even a full-time job, an online nursing program is the better option for you. Online nursing programs let you study in your own time and at your own pace, meaning that you do not have to set aside some years to earn your degree.
Additionally, there are accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees for moms who would like to transition into nursing using the bachelor’s degree they already have regardless of their area of study. Universities like Marymount University also help you prepare for the NCLEX so you can become a registered nurse soon after graduation. You can click here for more info on the different nursing degrees offered.
Have a Strategic Learning Plan
Although nurses are required to tackle multiple issues when working in a hospital or healthcare setting, the same does not translate into studying. It is always best to stay focused on one task when studying until it is done. Only then can you switch to another. Also, planning where, when, and how you will be studying will come in handy. Start by designating a study space. This is a quiet space in your home, or even outside it if you do not have any kids at home, that is quiet and distraction-free. This should be an environment where you can study without being distracted. Such an environment makes it easier to absorb the learning material.
Next, remove all potential distractions. This means closing all social media apps, muting your phone, and closing all shopping sites. This puts you in a learning mindset. If there are other sources of noise in the house, such as the washing machine, you can wear noise-canceling headphones.
Lastly, choose the best time to study. If you have other commitments during the day, you can choose to study early in the morning before things get hectic. If you like to read at night, you can set aside an hour before bedtime to get some studying done. The main point is to find what times work best for you and incorporate studying into your routine.
Communicate with Your Instructors and Peers
Whether you are taking online classes or attending classes in person, it is important to establish some form of communication with your instructors and peers, especially if you do not have a background in science. Having a good relationship with your peers also means that you can get the help you need if you are stuck on something. Also, having a positive relationship with your peers could come in handy when revising for exams and the certifications you need to start practicing as a nurse. They could also help you out later when you are looking for work or general advice on how to navigate the world of nursing. Reaching out via email is a great way to communicate with your instructors if life happens or when you are struggling with a topic. Remember to always remain formal when communicating with your instructors.
When you go back to school to become a registered nurse, you will be required to make some adjustments to your life. However, making this short-term has lots of advantages in the long run, especially considering that nurses are in very high demand all over the world.