Are you considering going for a BSN while juggling a full-time job?
A BSN can open up some fantastic opportunities in your nursing career. Whether you already have an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree, getting that Bachelor of Science in Nursing can boost your career.
With the demand for top-notch nurses on the rise, having a BSN can be your secret weapon. It can lead to higher-paying jobs, leadership positions, and the chance to take your nursing skills to the next level.
Now, you might be wondering if it’s possible to earn your BSN while working. The answer is yes!
If you’re eager to learn more, keep reading to find out the tips Davis & Elkins has put together to help you balance work and nursing school, increasing your chances of success.
It is Possible to Work and Study Nursing
Let’s break down how you can make it work.
Flexibility is Key
Nursing programs get that you’ve got a job. That’s why nursing school offers options like part-time courses and 100% online learning. These nursing school programs allow you to keep earning while studying.
Some employers even chip in with tuition reimbursement, making it a win-win for full-time students.
Finding the Right Fit
With so many flexible program options out there, it’s about finding what school schedule suits you best. Whether it is full-time nursing school online courses you can tackle at your own pace or evening classes that fit your schedule, there’s a structure that aligns with your work situation.
Time Management Matters
Managing both work and being a nursing school student takes time management skills. Here’s what to keep in mind:
- Prioritize: Make a schedule that dedicates time to both nursing school work and study so nothing gets left behind.
- Lean on Your Support in Nursing School: A full-time support system can be a game-changer. Family, friends, or colleagues can lend a hand with emotional support or share household responsibilities while you are attending nursing school.
- Stay on Track: Self-discipline is key. Set realistic goals, kick procrastination to the curb, and keep your motivation level up.
You can tackle the challenges of working while pursuing a nursing degree by evaluating your commitments and implementing those time management skills.
Benefits of Earning a BSN While Working
Enhancing Professional Growth with Advanced Knowledge and Skills in Nursing
Getting your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) while working comes with perks. First, attending nursing school is a fantastic way to level up your professional game.
When you go after that BSN at nursing school, you’re not just getting more of the same old stuff you learned during your associate degree program. You’re diving into some serious advanced knowledge and skills. Think of it as going beyond the basics.
Attending nursing school can significantly enhance your understanding of complex medical concepts, improve your mastery of evidence-based practice, and boost your critical thinking skills.
Plus, while you implement an evidence-based practice (EBP) or quality improvement (QI) project required from your BSN program in your workplace, you are killing two birds with one stone: complete an assignment for your school and improve nursing care in your unit.
You can also do all this while still working. That means you’re not putting your nursing school career on hold while you hit the books. Staying in the game and continuing your education means you’re always on top of the latest healthcare advancements. So, when it comes to your patients, you’re delivering the absolute best care possible.
Expanding Career Options, Including Leadership Roles and Higher Salaries.
Earning your BSN can open up exciting career opportunities and financial gains.
First off, having a BSN broadens the horizons for full-time nurses. Nowadays, many healthcare companies seek nurses with bachelor’s degrees from nursing school to provide top-notch care and achieve great outcomes. So, you’re more in demand.
Once you’ve completed nursing school and earned your BSN degree, you’re in the running for some great leadership roles, like:
- Nurse manager
- Clinical educator
- Executive roles
These roles not only mean more responsibility but also offer higher salaries than most entry-level nursing positions, making them ideal for those who have completed school.
Having a BSN can also lead you to specialized and high-demand nursing fields, including magnet hospitals and military nursing careers.
Gaining Practical Experience through Combining Work and Academic Learning
Mixing nursing school with your job can actually be a win-win situation. Sure, you might be worried about the whole time management aspect, but it’s an opportunity to apply what you’re learning.
The real magic happens when you connect all that book knowledge from nursing school with real-life situations. Going to school boosts your clinical judgment and decision-making skills, turning you into a nursing expert.
Moreover, many employers are on board with this and offer nursing school programs to support your full-time educational journey.
So, working while attending nursing school and earning that BSN isn’t just about hitting the books. It’s about diving right into patient care. You’re learning on the job, picking up nursing skills like a pro.
Tips for balancing work and nursing school
Balancing work and nursing school can be challenging. But with some good planning and organization, you can finish nursing school.
Following are some tips to help you create a schedule that’s right for you:
- Know What You’re Dealing With: First, determine how many hours your nursing school demands weekly. Take stock of other life stuff, too – those dinner plans, gym sessions, Netflix nights, and nursing school.
- Set Your Priorities Straight: Once you’ve got the lowdown on your commitments, it’s time to rank them. What needs your attention? Identify the must-dos and assign specific times for them in your schedule.
- Tech or Paper, You Choose: Whether you’re a tech-savvy planner, an app lover, or an old-school paper planner fan, get one! Use it to lay out your day, week, or month. Visualizing your time in nursing school makes fitting in those study sessions easier.
- Guard Your Study Time in Nursing School: Make sure you’ve got blocks of solid, distraction-free study time. Find when you’re sharpest, whether the crack-of-dawn or post-work evenings and stick to it.
- Roll with the Punches: Life’s full of surprises. Stay flexible. Be ready to adjust when unexpected stuff happens, but don’t lose sight of your endgame. Discipline is key.
Managing Your Time Like a Pro:
- Urgent vs. Important: Sort your school tasks into four buckets: urgent and important school tasks, important but not urgent school tasks, urgent but not important school tasks, and the “maybe” category. Tackle the urgent and important stuff first.
- Divide and Conquer: Big tasks can be intimidating. Break them into smaller tasks. It’s easier to chip away at school tasks and stops you from procrastinating.
- One Thing at a Time: Multitasking might sound helpful, but it’s a productivity killer. In school, it is important to focus on one task at a time, do it well, and then move on. It’ll keep your stress levels in check.
- Silence is Key: When it’s time to study for school, silence those distracting notifications, hide your phone, and find a quiet spot. Minimizing distractions is vital to efficient study sessions.
Balancing work and nursing school can be challenging, but you’ll be a pro in no time.
Finding the Right Program for Working Professionals
Finding the right BSN program for school while working is doable.
Step 1: Do Your Homework
Are you looking for a BSN program designed for working professionals like yourself who aspire to advance in school nursing? If you answer “yes,” you’re on the right track.
When you start your school search, prioritize accredited institutions like Davis & Elkins. Accreditation is like a seal of approval that ensures the nursing program meets high standards and sets you on the path to success in your nursing career.
Step 2: Keep These Points in Mind
- Reputation Matters: Look for schools or educational institutions with a good rep for their nursing programs. You want quality education, after all.
- Flexibility is Key: Check if the school offers evening or weekend classes – this can be a lifesaver when working 9-to-5.
- Online Options: Don’t forget to look at online courses.
- Hybrid School Programs: Some programs mix online classes with in-person school activities. It’s like the best of both worlds and worth exploring!
Step 3: Think Online or Part-Time
Now, let’s talk about online and part-time programs. These are great choices for those who are juggling work and school. Here’s why:
- Online and Part-Time: With these options, you can dive into your school coursework whenever and wherever it suits you, offering flexibility. No more rushing to class after a long workday.
- No Commuting: Online school platforms let you virtually connect with professors and classmates.
- Pace Yourself: These programs let you take the reins. You decide how fast or slow you want to complete the school coursework. It’s all about keeping that work-study balance.
- Networking Opportunities: Don’t worry about missing out on connecting with fellow students and healthcare professionals at school. Online school programs often offer discussion boards and virtual hangouts for student networking.
You can complete that BSN while working through an online or part-time school program.
Step 4: Additional Steps to Consider
We have covered the school scheduling part, but don’t forget to consider these other school factors.
- Location: Consider whether attending a local school fits your job.
- Tuition: Check out school tuition costs and what kind of financial aid is available for busy professionals like you.
- Curriculum Check: Take a look at the courses they’re offering. Make sure they line up with your nursing goals and interests.
- Hands-On Time: Don’t overlook the practical stuff. See how clinical requirements fit into your work schedule.
This information will help you find the perfect BSN program that supports your busy schedule and education goals to earn that degree.
Overcoming Challenges in Nursing School While Working
Balancing work and nursing school might sound complicated, but it’s doable. Let’s explore some strategies and tips to help you succeed.
Manage Stress Like a Pro
First off, nursing school can be busy. So, managing stress effectively is crucial; don’t forget to take care of yourself.
- Lean on Others: Don’t be shy to seek support from friends, family, or support groups when things get tough.
- Stay Healthy: Eat well, get enough sleep, and avoid excess caffeine or alcohol.
- Me Time: Make time for exercise, meditation, or quality moments with loved ones.
- Relax: Remember, downtime is essential for your well-being.
Nursing school can be intense, so make the most of the resources at your fingertips:
- Tutoring Services: If you’re struggling with certain subjects, many nursing schools offer one-on-one help from experienced nurses or educators.
- Study Groups: Join forces with classmates facing similar challenges. Together, you’ll tackle complex topics and share insights.
- Online Communities: Jump into online forums geared towards nursing education. You’ll connect with students from different programs and share experiences.
- FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid): Don’t forget to explore financial aid options like FAFSA to ease the burden of tuition costs.
Sharpen Communication Skills
In nursing school and the workplace, strong communication skills are vital. Here’s some tips:
- Listen Actively: Pay close attention to instructions and teacher feedback. Clear understanding is key.
- Ask Smart Questions: During lectures or clinical rotations, don’t be afraid to ask questions to get a handle on tricky concepts.
- Team Up: Get involved in group projects or case studies to flex your teamwork and communication muscles.
- Seek Guidance: When the work-school balance feels tight, contact professors or supervisors for guidance.
Using these strategies, you can conquer the challenges of working and earning your BSN. Keep that positive mindset, and don’t hesitate to seek support when needed.
Remember, your dream of becoming a nurse is within reach, and we’re here to support you every step of the way at Davis & Elkins College.
Don’t hesitate to reach out, start your application, or continue to explore your options.