Recent NewsMay 17, 2022
5 Tips on Returning to School as a Nurse
As an R.N. working through the pandemic, does finding the time or energy to go back to school feel like a distant dream? Are you tempted to get your Bachelor of Science in Nursing, but wish you felt more ready to take on the extra work?
If so, I'm writing this article just for you.
My name is Jeanne Colleluori, and my job is to help connect nurses like you with flexible and hands-on education. I’m an Assistant Director of Recruiting & Admissions for Roberts Wesleyan College, and I specialize in our nursing programs.
As I ask nurses to walk me through their concerns with returning to school, this problem frequently comes out: “I’m too busy.” That’s why I’m collaborating with students in our Nursing programs to write this article and share what really works for them.
As of April 2022, over 1,300 working R.N.s successfully juggled all of their responsibilities and graduated with their degree. You could be next.
A word of encouragement: I want you to remember you are a success! How do I know that? You’re an R.N.! You’ve completed the initial program and passed the NCLEX exam. You’ve been a student before, and you can do it again.
To be honest, there won’t be a truly perfect time to return to school. However, it doesn’t have to be perfect in order to be manageable. (Additionally, NYS R.N.s enrolled before 12/31/23 will receive 45% off tuition.)
If you want to learn how we can make this work for you, click here to schedule a phone call with me.
My Advice For Balancing Nursing, Life, and School
- Learn from your past
- Consider an online program
- Use your support system
- Make a to-do list
- Don’t forget - BSN in 10
Learn From Your Past
Let’s think about the tips and tricks you picked up while earning your initial degree or diploma. Here’s your first “homework assignment” before you’ve even applied for one of our nursing programs.
I want you to spend five minutes writing down things you liked about your first educational venture.
- What worked last time?
- What were some of the habits that helped you succeed?
- Who helped you then, and are they available to help you now?
Spend another five minutes writing down things that were more challenging for you.
- Did you struggle with a particular subject?
- Was there a scheduling or logistic issue you found hard to beat?
- What distractions caused the most problems for you?
Brainstorm at least one possible solution for each problem. Don’t worry if you don’t have the answers right now. If you save your list of challenges, I’ll be happy to talk with you about them.
Consider An Online Program
As you shop around to find the college that will serve you best, please investigate online options! Oftentimes, two of the most important factors for my adult students are flexibility and convenience.
One key word to look for: Asynchronous
Asynchronous learning allows you to choose the days, nights, and hours that work best for you! Our professors upload the information weekly, and you decide how to complete the assignments before the deadlines.
One of our Nursing graduates, Veronica, shares: “Having the ability to go online from anywhere at any time gave me the flexibility and opportunity to succeed in earning my degree. The staff were easy to approach and encouraged me to reach out to them at any time.”
Use Your Support System
I like to tell prospective students, it’s not just you going to college. Your partner, your friends, and your family can help you, too. Sometimes, they are your best cheerleaders!
My Nursing graduate, Javonia, says, “Be open with talking to family and friends about your feelings or struggles. Find someone you can talk to when you aren’t feeling your best emotionally, spiritually or mentally. They may be your saving grace!“
Make sure to talk to your work supervisor about your plans. Remember, an advanced degree will make you a more valuable employee. See if that person has any suggestions to help you balance your work schedule.
Make a To-Do List
Don’t underestimate the power of this advice, even if it sounds too obvious or tedious. Writing things down, no matter how small they are, frees up mental energy to focus on what you need to do in the present moment.
David Allen, the author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, encourages students to think of their mind as a computer. Have you ever tried to use a laptop with too many tabs open? Usually, this slows down its ability to get anything done. Allen believes that is essentially what’s happening to your brain if you try to keep everything you need to do purely in your head.
You do not need to actually complete the task in order to benefit from writing it down. Examples include…
- Study one chapter of the textbook during lunch
- Ask John to fix the sink
- Ask Linda if she wants to get lunch tomorrow
Whether you use a physical notebook or something like a calendar app, regularly reviewing your list will help you know what’s coming down the pipe.
Don’t Forget: BSN in 10
In 2017, New York passed a bill requiring future nurses graduating from associate degree or diploma nursing programs to obtain a baccalaureate in nursing within 10 years of initial licensure.” Failure to do so could result in loss of licensure.
If you passed your NCLEX before 2017, you are grandfathered in and are not required to earn your B.S. in Nursing. However, if you earned your license after that, you may legally need to earn your next degree within 10 years. (Keep in mind: even if you aren’t required to earn your BS degree, if you apply for higher positions, you’ll be competing with nurses who have a bachelor’s degree.)
Eventually, if you want to keep serving your patients, you will have to come back to school to earn this degree. I believe you should strongly consider starting this fall in order to take advantage of our limited-time 45% discount.
If these tips have encouraged you and you’re ready to go, you can complete your free application here.
Still have questions? Click here to schedule a chat with me!
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