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School-Life Balance: Nursing Education and Obligations

Written by: North Carolina Central University   •  Nov 13, 2023
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School-Life Balance: Nursing Education and Obligations

Though immensely rewarding, nursing education can also feel incredibly rigorous. Students must master a wide range of concepts related to human anatomy and physiology, clinical care techniques, and even nurse ethics and legal compliance issues. Absorbing these concepts is deeply stimulating and paves the way for long-term career success; however, nursing education undoubtedly requires a lot of mental and emotional bandwidth. This can be a point of friction for students who must balance their education with a career or significant family obligations. Nursing students who desire to maintain their mental well-being should establish school-life balance. They can do this in several ways, including by enrolling in a flexible online nursing program .

What’s School-Life Balance?

The concept of school-life balance is predicated on a simple idea: While working hard and putting forth the best possible effort in school are important, academic success should never come at the expense of personal mental health. Feeling constantly tired or overwhelmed tends to negatively impact a student’s academic performance, while also leading to less personal satisfaction in the chosen degree program. As such, school-life balance is all about bringing proper prioritization to academic achievement. This can ensure plenty of time for study while also creating the space needed to attend to other obligations — such as work and family, as well as mental health and general self-care.

What Are the Best Ways to Achieve School-Life Balance?

Nursing students can use several strategies to achieve greater balance in their lives, ultimately promoting the best academic outcomes by keeping stress and fatigue in check. Here are just a few guidelines to consider.

Get Good at Scheduling

Effective scheduling is vital for achieving a balance between different obligations. Students should be ready to prioritize their tasks in order of urgency, ensuring that they meet their deadlines. Additionally, scheduling can provide an impetus for breaking down large tasks into more manageable chunks. For students, effective scheduling also means becoming familiar with their course syllabus. Knowing what major projects are looming later in the semester is important, as is having a clear sense of how grading is determined within the class or program.

Manage Time Well

To maintain their focus, students should limit study time to healthy, reasonable intervals. This can enable students to make each study session as productive as can be. This may also mean:

  • Creating a comfortable, focused study area
  • Blocking out distractions, such as by using apps to turn off unnecessary notifications
  • Avoiding procrastination by scheduling time to complete assignments long before the due date

Communicate

Finding school-life balance may seem especially daunting for nursing students who are also working part- or full-time jobs. Taking the initiative to communicate with a boss or supervisor can go a long way. It may result in more gracious scheduling, and larger corporations may even set aside some resources to assist employees who are enrolled in a degree program.

Stay Organized

Another important aspect of achieving balance is staying organized. This may mean making a to-do list or using a productivity app to track deadlines and assignments. Staying organized also involves keeping all course materials properly sorted. Secure, cloud-based storage is critical.

Prioritize Self-Care

Being productive can also mean keeping nursing school in proper perspective, never allowing it to eclipse one’s mental, emotional, or physical well-being. As such, it may be wise to proactively schedule time for self-care. Examples are as follows:

  • Ensuring sufficient hours of sleep each night
  • Brainstorming easy, low-effort, and healthy meals
  • Scheduling time each day to work out or get outside
  • Taking off the occasional day or afternoon for rest, whether that’s getting a massage or simply going for a nature hike

Choose the Right Program for School-Life Balance

A final tip: Finding balance is much easier in a nursing program that comes with some built-in flexibility. Online programs make it much easier for students to learn according to the best schedule for them, incorporating academics with their other duties and obligations. A good online program can provide an adaptive way to learn, allowing students to maintain balance while cultivating all the skills needed to succeed in the nursing profession, even to earn the most competitive registered nurse (RN) salary in North Carolina (or whichever state the student is practicing in).

Explore Online Nurse Education Options

Finding school-life balance is essential for anyone looking to succeed in nursing school. That’s part of why the online RN to BSN program at North Carolina Central University can be a good option for nurses with commitments outside of their education. Our program focuses on key clinical skills and professional competencies but also makes it easier for students to adapt their coursework to already-full schedules. Learn more about this online degree path and how it helps aspiring nurses balance their health, their jobs, and their learning.

Recommended Readings:

Oncology Nurse: Salary and How to Become One

Nurse Manager Salary and Job Description

Why Intercultural Competence in Nursing Matters

Sources:

BetterHelp, “6 Time-Management Tips for College Students”

Elsevier, “Finding Balance in Nursing School”

Indeed, “How to Balance Work While Going to School (Specific Tips)”

ReadWrite, 7 Actionable Time Management Tips for Students

The Teen Magazine, ‘Finding School-Life Balance: What to Keep in Mind”

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