For other professionals, their job might just be a source of income or a way to take good care of their family members. For nurses, it is different; their profession is gratifying and rewarding. Nursing professionals have the opportunity to help sick individuals feel better, deliver quality care, and save lives.
While there are times it can be tedious and stressful, there are reasons nurses must not give up. With nursing, you will find plenty of opportunities if you want to step up. There are so many options for qualified nurses in the industry to get into. Pursuing an additional degree can be your ticket to boosting your skills and landing the most rewarding job with high pay and advancement opportunities.
No matter which method of learning you opt for and the courses you have decided to study, pursuing education alongside work takes a lot of effort and time, especially when you work as a nursing professional. Fortunately, some tips can help make your experience a little smoother.
Switch to Online Education
Attending university while working will cut down on the time you have to spend with patients. Searching for an online degree can help you level up your education and skills while working to serve patients.
Many platforms prepare you for leading roles to work in different healthcare settings. So whether you need to get prepared for the licensure exam to become a registered nurse online or you want to acquire a BSN degree online, many universities provide the opportunity to study virtually.
Opting for online studies can give you more flexibility, allowing you to concentrate on both studies and work. It allows you to choose your class hours without facing hurdles in interacting with your class fellows and contacting your instructors.
Create A Timetable
Nurses work around the clock to deliver quality care to patients. Their job differs from the usual 9 to 5 jobs. Since you might have to work long shifts as a nurse, managing your time to study is essential. Creating a timetable makes things easier and stress-free for nurses who need to balance work and college.
Consider when studying will work for you. If you have a 12-hour shift from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., try scheduling time for studies, revisions, or assignments from 8 or 9 p.m. Break your tasks into smaller chunks to make them simple and easier.
A timetable assists you in balancing your study time and working hours so that you have time for other activities too.
Don’t Miss Your Deadlines
Coming back home after a long 12-hour shift? Got a deadline for a task? Frustrating, right? But deadlines keep your lives organized and structured. They ensure you complete your work on time.
You often delay tasks until things begin to stack up. Working with a deadline saves you. Although it may cause stress, it is not always detrimental. Instead, positive stress helps enhance your concentration and motivation. It gives you a physical and psychological performance boost.
Due to tiring nursing jobs and long shifts, a great tip to make sure you do not miss a deadline is to keep a reminder on your phone or print out a list of tasks along with their due dates and pin it in your bedroom or study space.
Take Short Breaks
Research suggests that a 30-minute rest break effectively reduces acute fatigue among nurses. The same applies to nursing professionals who choose to advance their education and skills while they work to serve patients better.
Although you may find taking 30 minutes from your busy schedule difficult, it is vital to refresh your body and brain, boosting your energy, focus, and productivity.
New studies have found that 10-15 minutes in natural setting help students feel cheerful and alleviate the effects of stress on physical as well as mental health. So next time you start studying, don’t forget to take short purposeful breaks (5-60 minutes), step out of your bedroom, and get moving. Ride a bicycle, take a walk in the park, or roam around to explore nature to help yourself get relaxed, increase your concentration, and study better.
Get All the Necessary Resources
When you balance study with working full-time or even part-time as a nurse, insufficient resources can cause you to struggle more and may lead to stress. Find the textbooks online in advance to save your time on exam days. Get your devices, such as laptops or personal computers, checked beforehand to avoid hurdles during rush hour. You would not want to lose your time dealing with a slow PC or laptop.
Also, consider stocking up on stationary to prevent yourself from stressing out because you are running out of paper or a pen.
Don’t Forget to Look After Your Physical and Mental Health
As a nurse, you have to take good care of yourself to do your job effectively, and it becomes more crucial when you continue your studies while working long-hour shifts. The lack of self-care can lead to unhealthy lifestyle habits.
According to a study, 71% of nurses had musculoskeletal pain, and 18% experienced mental health issues, including depression. It doesn’t only affect patient care but your studies as well.
When you are overworked, figuring out which de-stressor will work for you is essential. So, when you feel emotionally drained, overwhelmed, and unable to meet work demands, you know what to go for to unwind.
Incorporating healthy lifestyle habits, such as physical activity, a healthy diet, and a good sleeping schedule can help boost your immunity, reduce stress, strengthen bones, and overall physical health. Certain activities, including mindfulness meditation and engaging in your favorite hobby, can help improve your mental wellbeing.
Concentrate On Your Goals
Opting for nursing is in itself a huge responsibility, and it intensifies when you choose to study and step up in your nursing career while working. You will only pull through if you keep reminding yourself of why you started it in the first place. When you feel like giving up, focus on where you will be in several years from today. Whether you want to be a public health nurse or a health educator, always focus on your goal to grow in your domain.
Nursing is a rewarding and honorable profession. However, there is no doubt that it can be time-consuming and stressful. It becomes more challenging for nurses who wish to rise through the ranks as they might have to study to acquire higher education while working to serve people. The work and additional study mean you need more time and energy. Hopefully, the tips mentioned above might help you manage your responsibilities and studies in a better way.