Completing an RN to BSN degree will enhance your career prospects and your clinical care skills. You’ll improve your diagnostic, analytical and leadership abilities. You will be eligible for specialized care centers and increased pay. It won’t be easy, especially if you plan to keep working while studying. Here’s how you can manage to finish your BSN completion program without quitting your job.
Will Your School Allow You to Work While Earning an RN to BSN?
Some nursing education programs don’t allow their students to hold a job while enrolled full-time. Completing an RN-to-BSN program is intense. You might have exams every week or hours of clinical every day. Your program wants you to be successful and able to concentrate on your studies. However, many BSN completion programs understand that you’re in a difficult situation. You’re probably already working as an RN. You likely have family and financial commitments that you can’t abandon. That’s why some programs work directly with hospitals to offer on-site classes that work around your schedule. Because of the ongoing push for hospital-based nurses to have a bachelor’s degree, hospital administrators are eager to find ways to help their staff complete their nursing education. If you work for a large medical organization or hospital, you may be eligible for tuition assistance, paid study time, help with purchasing textbooks and other forms of assistance.
The Best Jobs for RN to BSN Students
If you are able to work during your BSN program, you should look for nursing work that complements your training and offers a flexible schedule. Ask your employer if you can join the PRN nurse pool. This lets you cover for colleagues who call in sick or schedule vacation days. It also gives you the flexibility to not take shifts when you’re studying for a big exam or working on a paper. You could also ask about switching to a weekend schedule. Nurse managers struggle to find coverage for Saturday and Sunday shifts. Many hospitals offer pay incentives for nurses willing to work those undesirable shifts. You could make your regular paycheck by working two long days, giving you ample time for studying.
How to Balance Your BSN Courseload with Your Work Schedule
To successfully complete an RN to BSN program while working, you will need time management and study skills. You may have to temporarily give up on time-consuming hobbies. Before starting a program, create a study schedule. You will have to prioritize your classwork over leisure time. Make sure your family members understand the commitment you will all be making. This is also a good time to learn the Pomodoro technique. This time management plan has you study intensely for 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break and repeat. Your brain can’t focus for much longer than 25 minutes at a time, so the Pomodoro lets you maximize study time and minimize mental distractions.
This stage of your journey won’t be easy. Completing a BSN requires dedication to enhancing your clinical ability at the expense of your free time for a year or two. With the proper plan and support from your employer and family, you can work while earning your RN to BSN degree.