RN to BSN program for active nurses

Deciding to go back to school for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is a major decision for any registered nurse, but especially for those who plan to continue working while studying. Nurses are, by nature, busy people with full lives, so it is important to enroll at a university that offers flexibility, such as an online RN to BSN program. To take advantage of that flexibility, though, you need to be organized and use your time effectively.

Should I Work Full Time or Part Time?

Some nurses continue to work full time while enrolled in online RN to BSN programs, but others find part-time employment ideal. Each person must decide what is best and take into consideration other obligations. One important tool that helps negotiate a tight schedule is a plan for time management.

Have a Plan

The demands of work and school can make it seem like there are not enough hours in the day, and many nurses say priorities can and do change quickly throughout the day. It is helpful to start each day by making a list of all you want to accomplish. Rank the tasks in order of importance. Some jobs will continue to appear every day, and some may carry over to the next day. Lists ensure you do not forget important tasks or duties.

Focus on Priorities

If you choose to begin an online RN to BSN program or other types of continuing education for nurses, your studies will become a priority. That does not mean, however, that all other important responsibilities must be abandoned. You must decide what should be at the top of the list and stay focused on these tasks and goals. Carry your list with you — whether on paper or electronically — and check off the tasks as you complete them. Realize that it will be an unusual day when you complete everything on your to-do list. If you understand this ahead of time, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Delegate and Ask for Help

Because your online RN to BSN program coursework takes time away from other tasks, enlist the help of family and friends. Nurses are often reluctant to admit they need help, but this is the time to call in favors. Family and friends are generally happy to help and be a part of helping you achieve your goals.

Check in Every Day

It is best to allot a certain amount of time each day for concentrated study and completing assignments. Even if you work long shifts, do not let more than one day go by without connecting with your online RN to BSN program. Assignments have a way of piling up if you do not stay consistent and on-task.

When you make the decision to enroll in an online RN to BSN program, your time becomes even more precious. Fortunately, online programs offer flexibility and, coupled with realistic expectations, the help of loved ones and good organization, it is possible to continue your education and reach your goals.

Learn more about LSUA’s online RN to BSN program.

Nancy (n.d.). 5 Time Management Tips for Busy Nurses. Retrieved May 6, 2015, from Nurse Art
Wittenberg, S., & Moriarty, M. (n.d.). Effective Time Management. Retrieved May 6, 2015, from ADVANCE Nursing

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