There are so many things in life that can get in the way of career progression, but having children should never be one of them. Any nurse knows how difficult it can be at times to give the attention and love your children need while studying for any form of nursing degree.
Whether you have just started nursing school, or you are looking to go back and earn a higher degree, there are ways that you can do this while still providing care for your children. Having a family doesn’t mean your life gets put on hold – it simply means you need to improve your organization skills and understand that there are people out there that can help you too!
Here we look at some great study tips for parents in nursing school.
Set Up a Reward Scheme (For You and the Kids)
Rewards in studying can help you get through when everything seems like too much. Nursing is a demanding and strenuous career, meaning you need to be emotionally resilient to cope with the stressors that come alongside it. Throw parenting and studying into the mix and there will be times where you want to give up – but don’t!
Instead, create a reward scheme for you and the kids. Explain to them that if they go upstairs and play for an hour while you spend time studying, the family can go on a day out, watch their favorite movie together, or make a cake.
Studying and working can almost feel like you are losing touch with your family – these small rewards will bring you back to reality and help you to realize why you are studying so hard in the first place.
Schedule Studying Time
As a parent, being organized goes a long way in finding time to do what you need to do. To make sure your study plan works, follow these 7 steps:
- Know your own learning style – There is no use in learning if the information isn’t being retained. Take this free online test to determine the learning style that works best for you.
- Be realistic – Is breakfast time the best time to set study time? Do you work better in the early hours or late at night? Only you know when studying will work best and if that is only when the children are out of the house or in bed, then this is when you will have to make time.
- Make sacrifices – Studying will mean sacrificing other activities at times, just remember that this won’t be forever.
- Use a diary or calendar to keep on track – Tick lists and planners are helpful to see where you are at and where you need to be.
- Make your own study area – Studying in bed means that you are less likely to sleep at night time. Find a place in the house that is dedicated just to studying. If you don’t have a space, find a cheap desk and make your own personal study zone.
- Take notes – This can be in any style that works best for you. If you prefer to write, then do so. If typing is best for you, make sure to print them out so you can take work with you wherever you go.
- Re-read your learning – There is no use in learning something once and then doing nothing with it. Experts recommend looking over notes the next day, the next week and then 6-weekly afterward to retain the information more accurately.
Studying effectively means that you don’t need to spend as much time on it. Studying is not about time, but quantity.
Build a Great Support Network
Nobody can juggle studying, working and raising children. There is no shame at all in admitting you need help. Speak to your loved ones and build up a strong support network to ensure that they will be there when you need it most.
Grandparents, partners, and childminders are all a great way to provide loving support for the children while you focus on studying. Local childminders are a fantastic way to provide a safe and fun environment for the children, where they will play with other children and learn new skills. Read this article before choosing a childminder.
A strong support network can help you get through your toughest days. Never be afraid to ask for help.
There are so many nursing programs that involve online coursework, making this an invaluable option for parents. The pediatric nurse practitioner schooling program by Baylor University allows nursing students to complete most coursework online. Choosing a pediatric nurse practitioner role will also give you the option of working a better shift pattern, such as 9-5 in a private or public doctors’ practice.
There are many benefits to studying online including:
- Flexibility – Work is available to you day and night. For busy working moms, this is one of the biggest factors in choosing an online degree.
- Money-saving – The travel to and from university can add up immensely over a three-year period. This combined with eating expenses can add stress to an already stretched student budget. Studying in your own home means no travel expenses, your very own unlimited free coffee (well, almost) and no commuter stress.
- Ease – There are so many reasons why online studying is easier; if your children are sick, no need to miss university time, as you can study from home. Want to plan a family holiday? University commitments are less likely to hold you back.
Online studying is one of the most popular ways to study nursing, providing more benefits and the same support as studying solely on campus.
You should never feel guilty for wanting to expand your own knowledge and provide a better income for you and your family. Remember, you are doing this so that all of you can have a better life and you can be happy in the career choice you have made.
If you follow the above tips and work hard, you can achieve anything as a nurse and working mom.