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When Is the Right Time to Go Back to School?


Making the decision to go back to college

If you’ve asked yourself when would be the right time to go back to school, you’re probably wondering: Is now the right time?

Whether you’re considering nursing school or any other program, going back to school is a big, often daunting decision. Many factors come into play, and the answer can be different for almost everyone. Before you decide when to go, you need decide why — why you want to go back to school, and why a healthcare program would benefit your life, career, and family.

Firmly answering why is the first step in your journey. It’s the reason you’ll return to often, as the demands of school, studying, and life increase. Are you going back for a better life? Do you want more career opportunities? Have you always wanted to be a helper, a life saver, a nurse? Once you know why it’s important to go back to school, you can think about what school will require and whether or not you can make the commitment. Answering these questions will reveal when, for you, it’s the right time to go back to school.

Can you can manage the stress and expectations?

While exciting, going back to school is stressful, and it can dredge up a level of anxiety you haven’t experienced since taking your SATs in high school. People manage different levels of stress better at different points in life. An 18-year-old will have different priorities than a 28-year-old, for instance.

Knowing you can manage the pressures of school will indicate when you’re ready to go back. Reaching this place of mental preparedness will vary person to person. On the one hand, recent high school graduates often have fewer responsibilities and family commitments, but older students will have more life experience balancing the demands of school and life.

Wherever you are in life, be honest with yourself on how much time you actually have to give. Write down everything you do every day for a few weeks. This will help you organize your schedule and give you a feeling for how much time you have for class and studying. It can also reveal the support you’ll need, and which parts of your life you may need to give up.

Related Resource: The Art of Studying, Working, and Raising a Family As a BSN Student

Do you have the motivation to finish?

Research conducted found that only 33.7 percent of non-first-time college students who enrolled in higher education finished their degree (versus 54.1 percent for first-time students). The number is even more staggering when you look at the total: 2,535,946 adults who re-matriculated from 2005 to 2008 did not finish their education.

While these figures are startling, it’s important to know what you’re in for when you go back to school. College isn’t easy; yet, if you have the drive and motivation to finish, the reward of completing your goal is huge. By going back to school and graduating, you’ll have accomplished something rare and valuable — for yourself, and for your career.

Related Resources: Why You Should Consider Nursing As a Second Career

Will you have the support you need?

This one is simple, and sometimes doesn’t require more than the words, “We believe in you.” Knowing that your spouse, family, employer, and friends support your decision can be just the push you need to take the plunge and be successful the second time around. This is especially true when you may need to rely on others during finals and clinical rotations. Having a supervisor who allows you to trade shifts, or a spouse who’s willing to cook every night for a week can clarify when you’re ready to go back to school.

Have you done your research and set goals?

School requires a lot of resources, financially and otherwise, to complete. If you don’t know what to expect and what you want out of your experience, there’s a good chance you won’t finish. Even before you apply to nursing school or a medical assisting program in Utah, you should volunteer, talk to people in the field, visit the campus, and read every piece of information you can find.

Know your goals ahead of time, and prepare for all of the costs. Giving serious thought to what you want and where you want to be in the next five to 10 years will help guide your decision. If you want to be a nurse, you have several options to get you there, such as an accelerated nursing program. There are many ways to become a licensed RN in Utah, but some require more time and money than you may be able to give.

At Ameritech, we’re here to help and will make sure you have all the information you need to start your career in medical assisting or nursing off right. Have any questions about our programs? We have the answers, so please feel free to reach out to us!