Nursing is an honorable and respectable profession that offers heaps of opportunities to aspiring students. Although burnout is a growing concern of this profession, the contentment nurses receive after making a real difference in people’s lives is indeed worth it.
Today, the trend of working as a full-time nurse and pursuing advanced degrees is on the rise. Nurses mostly continue their education while managing demanding jobs to gain more insights and hands-on experience. However, it sometimes becomes challenging for them to commit time and manage supposedly two competing demands.
Undeniably, managing both work and nursing school isn’t an easy feat. In between the drudgery of work and studies, there might be times when you may question your career choice. However, in situations like these, you need to remind yourself of the reasons that led you to choose this rewarding path in the first place. Remember, two factors are crucial as you step forward and embark on this challenging journey of your career – pertinacity and passion.
However, if juggling both work and studies seem daunting, this guide is undoubtedly for you. Below we’ll shed light on some tips to prepare you for all sorts of difficulties.
- Avail online opportunities
Most nurses find it tough to maneuver this challenge – balance work and academics. It may be because of the limitation of geographical access or lack of time. Additionally, the daily commute and the need to be present on-campus prevents them from striving for career progression. Pursuing higher education is critical for nurses seeking to climb the ladder to leadership roles. Fortunately, BSN to DNP programs online help them realize this goal by combining academics with real-world practice. A limited number of nurses have a doctorate in their profile; however, such online programs make it convenient for nurses to earn a DNP.
Therefore, you can continue your academic pursuits, learn at your own pace, and apply the skills learned in everyday work settings through online degree programs. That way, you can make a breakthrough in your career trajectory and provide optimum care to the community.
- A support system is a must
Before pursuing a higher degree, keep your family members in the loop and ensure that they support you towards your professional goals. For instance, ask them if they are okay with taking care of the kids or managing your house chores. Or you can contact a friend to assist you with grocery shopping. That way, you can alleviate some burdens and work more diligently.
Besides, no matter how best laid your plans are, life happens. In situations like these, a call to someone whom you can count on is the best therapy. It can be anyone in your circle, your better half, a friend, or a neighbor.
- Effectively manage time
Figure out the time at which your brain gives its peak performance. For example, if you feel productive early in the morning, then schedule an alarm and plan to study at that time. And if you think the house gets comfortable at night after the kids have slept, then immerse yourself in studies during that period.
Another simple yet effective technique is time-blocking. Fix specific times of your day for various activities. You can leverage a digital app, paper planner, or spreadsheet to reserve slots. And while you get involved in these activities, don’t let any distractions divert your attention.
- Look after your well-being
Being a nurse, it’s your responsibility to provide high-quality care and assist the patients with every activity. However, this will be only possible when you prioritize your physical and emotional health. Nurses generally work for gruelingly long hours, which in turn leaves detrimental impacts on their health. In addition, stressful and heart-wrenching moments can take an emotional toll. Addressing this habit at the early stage will not only help you as a student. It will also prove beneficial as a full-time nurse practitioner.
Self-care is imperative when it comes to balancing both work and education. Even small steps can make a massive impact on your health. Therefore, ensure a nutritional diet, stay hydrated, and get plenty of sleep. Also, try to maintain a journal to let go of the emotional distress and unwind yourself.
- Build a study space
Imagine studying in an uncomfortable place, with poor lighting and lots of noise. That’s probably the last thing you want, especially when you feel too drained out after returning from a long hectic shift. Therefore, stay organized to set up the mood and boost productivity.
While you certainly cannot dedicate an entire room for study, you can create a small study space of your own. Find a desk, gather all your course material, and place it on the study table to save time. However, ensure to keep all kinds of distractions away from this study area, especially cellphones. Or you can choose a calm place outside your house, such as a coffee shop or a local café. Be sure to check that the place has a good internet connection.
The field of nursing requires intense work and commitment, no two ways about it. As a result, life can get extremely overwhelming, nerve-wracking, and distressing. However, it’s these challenges that compel you to keep going onwards and upwards. Therefore, consider it as an opportunity to revel in this time. And master the art of balancing, problem-solving, and priority-setting.
And while you are at it, don’t forget to squeeze in some fun and recreational activities occasionally. Else, the daily grind and studies can cause fatigue and burnout.