Tips for Balancing a Career While Going to School Online

The demand for nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is increasing as hospitals continue to enhance their workforce to improve patient outcomes. Nurses with a BSN are better positioned to move up the career ladder and have greater earning potential. Current registered nurses with an associate degree have many options to earn a BSN, including enrolling in an online RN to BSN program. Balancing a nursing career while going to school can be challenging at times; here are a few tips to stay on top of both.

Increase Flexibility with an Online RN to BSN

For those with more varied schedules, an online RN to BSN program may be more practical. Working nurses can take courses on a part-time basis and during odd hours to accommodate their schedules. Online RN to BSN programs are great for those who have a demanding personal lives, too. Although there is flexibility, students who create a customized schedule that incorporates milestones outlined on the syllabus are more successful. Proper communication with the instructor and classmates is also essential to success. Students should regularly check the online course hub to look for updates and collaborate with other students or form a study group.

Stay on Top of Finances

Students who are prepared financially experience less stress and have a more positive outlook, which is important in order to complete the program. Prior to enrolling, nursing students should ensure that they are receiving the maximum amount of financial aid available. They should speak with their employers; many hospitals offer tuition reimbursement in exchange for a work commitment. Students may also want to take time to apply for scholarships. It is quite possible for nurses to complete either a traditional or online RN to BSN program without having to go into debt.

Partner with Your Family and Friends for Success

Success in an online RN to BSN program requires mental fortitude, proper scheduling and good study habits. Many working nurses have families, which can at first be seen as a roadblock to academic endeavors, but when your family is involved with you, they can be a great support system. Ask family members for help with some of the household duties you may typically be responsible for. Ask the kids to quiz you before the next big exam. And make sure to schedule quality time like family meals, outings, and other activities that are not school related. Keeping a schedule—for family, friends, and classwork–is crucial.

The student’s family is not the only place to look for help. Finding another student in the program who is in a similar situation and work together. A partner helps you stay on top of assignments, and they are great for sharing class notes.

Maintaining a career while attending nursing school is worth the effort, thanks to the growing demand for BSN-prepared nurses. Doing well in any RN to BSN program requires dedication, a mindful approach to schedules and finances, and support from family and friends.

Learn more about the online RN to BSN program from CSUSM.


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