Tips on Juggling Nursing School and Family From an Adult Student Perspective

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By Vera Mosely and Beth Boynton

You have always been the person who desires helping others.

The person who receives fulfillment in providing care and ensuring the needs of others are met. You often give of yourself wholeheartedly without requiring a pat on the back or accolades for your actions. You are compassionate, patient and kind. If this sounds like you, prepare for a new career rush.

Although you may have a family and going back to school to become a nurse, [Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) also known as Licensed Vocational Nurse, (LVN)] may seem like a daunting task as you currently do your best to multitask being a parent and/or spouse or possibly a single parent, and/or taking care of an aging parent.

Upon completion of such a program, the positions these nurses have the ability to work are varied and in most cases, provide greater economic stability.  If you do decide to take the nursing school leap, these tips will assist in your quest to juggle the many needed roles in your life!

Communicate Your Goals to Family and Friends

Inform your family and friends that you have decided to go back to school and become a nurse. Enlist their help for babysitting, carpooling and emotional support. Those who communicate their goals and have a support system generally enjoy more success in the program than those who do not.

Communicate Your Study Time

Clearly state the times and days that you will need to study and/or attend classes. Inform your support system to remove any miscommunication in this area. Study time is valuable and has to be fiercely guarded. If you have school age children, studying together may help to keep your home quiet and demonstrates an example to them of your academic work ethic.

Make Yourself a Priority

Going back to school can sometimes be challenging as one gets older and has more responsibility to shoulder. Choose yourself for a change and do something that will not only enhance your life, but the lives of all with whom you come in contact.  Ultimately, nurses who take care of themselves provide safe, quality care and have rewarding careers.

Don’t Give Up

Multitasking can definitely be done, but it is not necessarily an easy feat or safe practice. Persevere in order to accomplish your goals and set limits to ensure you, your loved ones, and patients receive the best care.  Recognize that assistance is available from multiple sources and do not surrender to fear and frustration. Enrolling in a practical nursing program is a great way to feed your appetite for learning and will also benefit your community.

Nurses have the ability to conduct business in hospitals, nursing homes, extended care facilities, doctors offices, and private homes. The work schedules are variable as employment can be found on a full-time or part-time basis and the shifts of licensed practical nurses may vary from day, evening or overnight. Typically, these nurses work on rotating holidays as medical care is needed at all hours, every day.  Get a glimpse of what nurses are up to at the National Nurses in Business Association (NNBA) and/or Keith Carlson, RN’s Digital Doorway!

Written by Beth Boynton and Vera Mosely, an author with a passion for educational writing and a background in healthcare.  Note:  A practical nursing degree requires you to complete a state-approved education program – which usually takes one year to complete – and the passing of a state exam in order to become licensed. The programs are available in community colleges and technical schools and provide a combination of classroom learning in subjects such as nursing, biology, and pharmacology, with an emphasis on supervised clinical experience.

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One Response to Tips on Juggling Nursing School and Family From an Adult Student Perspective

  1. Beth & Vera,

    Great article. Nursing school is a wonderful opportunity for us to start early with taking time for ourselves, making space for self-care, and being healthy role-models for our patients. Nursing school is often as busy as a nursing career- just with a different set of commitments, priorities and challenges. I love when I see nursing students making their own well-being their first priority. It makes it that much easier once they graduate and become successful, wonderful professional nurses!

    Thanks for a great post.
    Elizabeth Scala

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