Nursing can be an amazing choice of career. You get to help people, work in interesting environments such as hospitals and doctors’ offices, and know that you have the medical knowledge to take the best care of your own family. Nursing can also be very lucrative as a career choice if you proceed to advanced levels of qualification, such as becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner – a job that comes with an average salary over $100k a year!
You can do a lot of the study to become a nurse on an online basis, including postgraduate courses such as getting the masters degree you need to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. In fact, nursing is one of the career paths that are most popular for online study, and you’ll find a wide range of providers offering excellent nursing qualification programs like the BSN to MSN online.
Online study is definitely an easier choice for parents, compared with commuting or relocating to go to a private college on campus, and online degrees are just as well respected in the workplace as those gained by more traditional on-site study, now that the technologies and teaching methods used to teach remote students have become very advanced. However, an online nursing degree is still a huge and challenging undertaking, and so even when you are doing it from home there is some thought to be put into balancing your time spent studying with your family life.
Here are some ways to excel at your online nursing degree course as a busy mom:
Schedule Study and Make it a Priority
There will always be things that come up that threaten to take time away from the time when you want to study. It can also be difficult to treat what may feel like spending time alone doing something for yourself as a priority when it seems like other people need you. However, you deserve to be able to focus on your nursing career aspirations and the time spent on studying is far from selfish – you bettering your career prospects will benefit your whole family, and also make you a happier and more fulfilled person, which is good for them too!
To avoid distractions or feeling like study is something that can easily slip down the priority list, make a rigid schedule of when you will study for your course and stick to it as if it is the timetable for actually attending lectures at a normal offline college. You certainly wouldn’t skip out on going to a lecture to give someone a ride somewhere or spend time on chores, so you need to get into the mindset that this is no different. Your family will soon get used to the schedule and know that during your planned study sessions you are not available, whether it is to do things for them or to chat. Yes, you can always reschedule study when something very important happens, just as you could always miss the odd lecture or appointment at a bricks and mortar college, but you need to apply the same decision making to doing this. Do you really need to do the other thing instead of studying, and if so, where can you move that study session in your calendar so that it still gets done?
Set Up A Good Study Space
Having a space at home that you use as an office can be a good idea too. You can tell your family that this desk or room is where you will go to work on your course, and that if you are there, then they can’t disturb you. This will also give you a place that will automatically get you into the mindset of focusing and learning when you enter it, helping you get in the mood for productive study. You can decorate this space with things that help you to keep working, for instance, pictures that remind you of your goals, and diplomas and other achievements you already have made. You can tell everyone not to touch that space so that you can leave out things you are working on if you find that easier than getting set up anew every time you want to begin some study.
Make Use of Things That Let You Study on the Go
Different online courses offer all different ways of learning, but you are likely to find that there will be some things you can do, for instance, watching videos, wherever you are using mobile devices. While your structured study sessions are important, being able to squeeze in extra time spent thinking about your course and revising your materials throughout the days will help you retain the information too. Whenever you are waiting for your kids somewhere or have a bit of time spare, having some stuff lined up on your phone that you can use to study will give you access to hours and hours of extra study time over the duration of your online nursing masters program. You can even buy a small Bluetooth keyboard you can keep in your purse and use it with your tablet or phone to work on written work or exercises while you are out and about.
The same approaches can also be used to keep yourself studying effectively when you go on vacations or trips.
Get Your Family Interested
You may be surprised by how interesting your partner and family find your course. Try explaining medical things to them in different ways to help yourself learn and remember, and also to get them engaged and on board with your future as a nurse. They are likely to be very proud of you for knowing all this stuff and will be happy to let you study in peace once they understand how important your goals are to the whole family!
These are just a few ways that you can make sure you study effectively and reliably while you are working to get your online MSN.