A registered nurse’s daily schedule is not easy, and now you want to head back to school? How on earth are you going to manage? Balancing nursing school with work and family is a big commitment. You’ll have to find the time to attend...Read more
A registered nurse’s daily schedule is not easy, and now you want to head back to school? How on earth are you going to manage?
Balancing nursing school with work and family is a big commitment. You’ll have to find the time to attend classes, do your research, submit assignments, and stay focused on your work. Before you think this is a task that only a select few superheroes can achieve, know that many women before you have come out on the other side. You just need the right tools in hand.
Let’s have a look at how you can better manage your work, school, and home lives as a working nurse.
1. Communicate With Your Family and Work
Communicating with your family about your desire to go back to school is very important, especially in the early stages. You’ll need to make it clear to your partner what going back to school will mean to you so that you two can figure out a way to re-evaluate your responsibilities, and you’ll have time to concentrate on your studies.
Let the kids know to expect some changes in the house as well. If they are older, they can take on more responsibilities to help lessen the load. Consider assigning daily chores and tasks and keeping them all in a central place. This is a great time to structure personal responsibility, and help outsource to-do’s around the house while you adjust to your new schedule.
Finally, it could be beneficial to let your workplace know about your schedule changes and updates. Your job may be able to assist you financially with your return to school.
2. Understand Your Peak Study Periods
There are certain times of the day where you’re simply more productive. It may be in the early hours of the morning before the kids wake up, or late at night while everyone’s asleep and it’s super quiet.
Once you understand your circadian rhythm, you’ll be able to use it to your advantage. Schedule your studying times around this time so that you get the most out of your sessions.
3. Consider a Support System
Of course, you can always turn to close family and friends to give you that motivational speech you may need when you feel like giving up, but consider a support system from people who know exactly what you’re going through – your classmates.
You may be surprised to find out that there are plenty of other mothers in your class. Make friends. Share tips and even share babysitting recommendations.
Knowing that you’re not alone and there are plenty of other mothers out there in similar shoes who can help to give you that boost you need from time to time.
4. Look into Part-time Programs
If you’re a registered nurse and have a family, you are more than likely already spread thin. Adding school work to this equation is, without a doubt, not going to be easy.
One option you should definitely consider is part-time programs. Although they may take a little longer to complete, it might be what you need to keep sane as less of your time will be required each week. This is the principle of many online schools today—including one of the most popular, University of Phoenix.
In the Back to School Divas Facebook group, we’ve got members from around the country who are working mothers going back to school. We asked for their tips to help you power through:
LaTonya Grant said, “I work at the states mental health inpatient hospital…Stress is an understatement…I work two 16 hour shifts and one 8 hour each week…Plus school…Praying…Relaxing…And exercising helps me with my stress.”
Chanda Delia Wilson added “I worked as a contract nurse through the state and federal. I did this so I can make my own schedule.”
Bottom line: you’re not alone.
To get even further, and stay organized in the process, be sure to download the free Back to School Divas planner. This free resource includes templates for goal setting schedules, meal planning, grocery lists, and more.