Balancing Life and Schooling

LPN to RN ClockGoing to school is challenging.  Having a family is challenging.  Being a spouse, parent, or just an adult working a full time job and maintaining a home is challenging.  Though when you put all those things together and decide to start an RN bridge program, you take challenging to a whole new level.

There are people out there who do all those things and manage to be successful in the process though.  How do they do it?  I’m sure that people have many different ways of managing all of the stress and time constraints that come along with going back to school, but maybe there are a few general strategies that can help just about anyone maintain a reasonable balance between schooling and the life that goes on around them.

1. Make sure your family is on board.

As you plan to go back to school, sit down and have a serious discussion with your family about what it may mean to them.  Chances are you will have less time to spend with your spouse or children.  You may have to tighten the budget so you can work fewer hours and spend more time studying.  Other family members may have to take on an increased chore load as you spend more time hitting the books.  In spite of all of this, reassure them that your completion of an RN bridge program will pay off handsomely in increased pay, greater opportunities, and more control over your career.

2.  Make a reasonable schedule and stick to it.

Take an honest look at all of the hours in a day, take out work hours, commute time, and the time it takes you to shower, eat, and sleep, and find the best time for you to carve out an hour or two of study time each day.  Bear in mind the other things that go on in your household on a regular basis and be flexible.  Don’t try to schedule study time during your daughter’s slumber party or your son’s piano lesson; instead, plan to study after they’ve gone to bed.  Or, if you’re fresher in the morning and can retain more of what you read while you’re still drinking your coffee, maybe you can grab some time after the kids leave for school.  The important thing is to find time to study when it is best for you.  Making a smart schedule can provide the structure and balance you will need to succeed.

3.  Consider an RN program from home.

One way to simplify balancing your school and home life is to take an RN bridge program online.  This type of program eliminates the commute time you would have if you went to a traditional school and allows you to choose when, where, and how you take your classes.  You won’t be forced to shape your schedule to the preset schedule of a brick and mortar institution.  Instead, you can mold your school and home schedules into a manageable program that accommodates all of the demands on your time and attention.  Taking online programs is not for everyone; however, there are a lot of resources available so even the most skeptical student may find they are able to successfully complete a distance learning program.

Whether you decide to go to a traditional school or take an RN program online from home, balancing your work, school, and home life can be very challenging.  With a little determination, some creativity, and a little assistance from your family, though, it is possible to achieve your academic goals without letting the rest of your life fall by the wayside.

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