The decision to go back to school is a major one. Whether you’re pursuing a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) or other certifications, having an additional degree has many benefits. But, it also comes with its own set of challenges, especially if you continue to work full or part-time while taking classes.
According to a recent report from the Institute of Medicine, more nurses (including connectRN clinicians) are going back to school than ever before to increase their earning potential and keep up with the constant technological changes and healthcare challenges that require further training.
Fortunately, there are several ways to maintain work-life balance and flexibility as a student and a working clinician. If you’re currently in school or thinking about going back, here are some helpful tips to consider.
Choose the Right Program
After you’ve decided to make the commitment to pursue another certification or degree, choosing a program that fits your lifestyle and your career goals is an essential next step. For example, some programs offer online or distance learning. Other programs offer a hybrid experience, featuring online classes with on-site clinical or teaching sessions. Explore your options thoroughly to make an informed decision.
Communication and Organization are Key
Before pursuing your degree, communicate with your work supervisors and colleagues about the commitment you’re about to embark on and discuss schedule arrangements with friends and family. Once you’ve started, be sure to keep the lines of communication open and share any conflicting priorities in advance.
Set aside a separate space in your home where you can study in quiet after work or class to help you stay organized and on-task. To stay ahead of upcoming deadlines, keep a running list of assigned projects along with a calendar of any work or school-related events.
Consider Per Diem Nursing
Instead of being tied to a rigid schedule as a salaried employee at a single facility, per diem nursing lets you choose shifts that work best for your schedule at one or multiple facilities. With connectRN, per diem clinicians enjoy more flexibility by selecting shifts that fit their lifestyle, whether they’re going back to school or they’re looking to make extra income. In fact, according to a recent survey, a majority of connectRN clinicians stated that they’re either currently in school or thinking about going back to school in the near future.
Going back to school is both an exciting and challenging prospect. Take the right steps and you can be sure you’ll be well on your way to maintaining work-life balance and flexibility throughout the process.