Tips on Earning an RN-BSN While Working Full-time
- Get Organized
- Hold Cheerleader Tryouts
- Stay Active and Eat Well
- Plan Your Down Time
- Get a Mentor or an Advisor
You enrolled in an online RN-BSN program, and it just hit you that you are going to work full time while going to school. Is that even possible? The answer is yes. You can do it, but it won't be easy. That may be a good thing because employers tend to attribute tenacity and work ethic with someone who walks the tightrope between a job and an education. Here are five tips that may prove lifesavers as you tackle this task of earning your RN to BSN degree while working full time.
1) Get Organized
The more facets you incorporate into your life, the more things will drop through the cracks in your schedule. Like a slapstick comedian, you pick up one thing and three more fall. Maybe you forgot your mom's birthday or a family outing while studying for exams. Perhaps you missed an assignment deadline while working an extra shift. You could try using a planner to organize the important dates and events in your school, personal and work life. Write down times, dates and appointments as soon as you can so they are not forgotten. Then check your planner daily. Arrange a study area where you work on your RN to BSN program, and keep it neat and uncluttered. That way you don't spend valuable time looking for assignments and notes.
2) Hold Cheerleader Tryouts
Talk to the people in your life who matter. Let them know what you are doing and ask for their help. Supervisors at work may be willing to arrange your schedules around your study times. Your family can pick up some of your home responsibilities and even guard your privacy during your study hours. Your best friend might take your children for an outing while you finish an assignment.
3) Stay Active and Eat Well
Exercise increases your mental processes and helps you focus. It also improves the quality of your sleep, helps you maintain a healthy weight and builds stamina. If you haven't got the time for a workout at the gym, take time for a regular walk. You are more apt to take that walk if you aren't eating a junk food diet. While you may not have the time to plan and prepare healthy meals, choosing fruit and veggies over empty carbs is important. Even so-called healthy snacks like granola bars may contain a lot of sugars. While they give you a quick energy boost, your blood sugar level will fall just as rapidly leaving you exhausted.
4) Plan Your Down Time
When you arrange your RN to BSN program schedule in your planner, write in time for family outings or even movie dates. You need the relaxation and time with your family and friends. It may surprise you, but they need the time with you as well. You have made them your cheerleaders, and you need time together to build up team spirit.
5) Get a Mentor or an Advisor
Even the most organized and adept student may hit a "wall." Of course, everyone trying to work while earning a degree will be tired. If you find yourself exhausted or just plain weary, you might be on the verge of burn-out. Other symptoms are falling grades, trouble meeting class or work deadlines, depression and a strained family or personal life. It is wise to find a mentor when you are beginning your program. It could be a school advisor or someone who has earned a BSN while working. When you experience the symptoms of burnout or stress, arrange a meeting with your mentor.
You can make it work. It won't be easy, but things that matter seldom are. With a few adjustments and some perspective you can earn your RN to BSN degree while working full time.