The Art of Studying, Working, and Raising a Family As a BSN Student
You can expect a lot of things and emotions when you finally decide to go back to school, and excitement is usually one of the first of them.
You’re enrolled in a RN-BSN program and on your way to making even more of a difference in your community. It’s thrilling, but it might be tempered by remembering all of the patients you still have to care for at work, or your kids asking for help on their homework, or the mountain of reading sitting on the table, waiting. We know all about it. At Ameritech, we’re nurses teaching nurses, so many of us remember exactly what you’re going through as you juggle classes, work, and a family. We’re here to tell you that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and you will make it through. It just takes some balance, a little elbow grease, and a few reminders we’ve outlined below.
1. You don’t have to do it all
Any parent going to back to school and holding down a full-time job like nursing will feel a lot of pressure. Some of that is inevitable, given your new set of responsibilities, but some of it comes from unnecessary expectations. Society has taught us to believe we should be able to do it all, when in reality no one, let alone nursing students raising kids, can do half of the things they want to do.
After a 12-hour shift, you may feel compelled to still clean the house, put your kids to bed with two stories, study, and bake a cake. In reality, you won’t have time to do all the things you want to do, let alone need to do, and sometimes you’ll struggle to even check one or two items off your list. But that’s OK. You don’t have to be a super mom or dad to be a good parent and excel in school. Instead of dwelling on the things you didn’t get done, think of everything, especially the essentials, you did accomplish in one day. You’ll be surprised by all the reading, quizzing, helping, laughing, and hugs on that list.
Related Resources: 7 Pieces of Practical Advice for Nurses Raising Kids
2. Don’t beat yourself up
On that note, make sure you’re not beating yourself up for missing the little things, and never compare yourself to others! Balancing your home life, school life, and work life will take mental dexterity and a whole lot of positivity, and you can’t afford to let undue stress or guilt creep in. Because stress can wreak havoc on your health, give yourself a break, and practice some self-compassion.
Being a nurse will also knock the wind out of you at times, as every RN-BSN student knows, leaving you exhausted and ready for bed instead of soccer practice, ballet recitals, and dance classes. If you need to lean on your spouse, friend, or your own parent to do the heavy lifting sometimes, do it, and don’t feel guilty about it. More often than not, friends and family love helping out, and love spending time with your family, too.
Related Resources: Try These De-stress Techniques during Nursing School
3. Keep a calendar and stick to it!
Get ready to hold on. Adding studying and classes on top of your already busy schedule as a mom or dad and working healthcare professional is going to kick your life into overdrive. One way to stay ahead of all the madness is by creating a calendar and keeping it updated. The busier we get, the more we forget. Having one place to keep your life in order can be a lifesaver for you and your family so the important events don’t get missed. If you take advantage of online calendars and apps, don’t hesitate to share your schedule with your friends and family, especially if they help out often. They’ll appreciate knowing what you’re up to and can help keep you on track when you need it.
4. Make time for yourself
One person you absolutely don’t want to forget about is yourself. While you might not be able to take time away to properly spoil yourself, grabbing a few necessary Zzz’s or sneaking away for a quick run will go a long way in rejuvenating your brain for a particularly busy day or week. Putting too much stress on yourself and pushing too hard can cause burnout. It’s extra important to schedule some “you time” to avoid self-sabotage. Take care of yourself, so you, in turn, can take care of your patients and the people you love.
Related Resources: Nursing Burnout Is Real, and Here’s How to Fight It
To learn more about our online RN-BSN program or our RN program in Draper, Utah, please reach out with any questions. We’d love to hear from you!