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How to further your education while keeping your job

iStock | Inga Ivanova
iStock | Inga Ivanova

If you’re working full-time but thinking about going back to school, you might be worried you can’t do both.

While most of us can’t afford the luxury of putting a job on hold while we hit the books, that shouldn’t deter you from continuing your education–especially if you’re thinking about heading in a different direction and need a new degree.

One of our fabulous guest bloggers over at The Nerdy Nurse, has five tips for going to school while you work. Here they are:

Tip: Get your employer on board

For nurses, it’s often a good idea to inform your employer that you’re working on obtaining a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing. Many hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations offer assistance in paying for continuing education. If you can get this kind of assistance, it can take off some of the financial pressure and allow you to focus on your studies.

Tip: Consider online education

There are many accredited online nursing degree programs that allow you to balance work and home and still go back to school. For working nurses, this is a great option that can provide a way for you to advance your career – not stall it. 

Tip: Organization will set you free

One of the most important things you can do when pursuing your degree is to create a schedule and stick with it. A primary source of stress for working students is not knowing when everything is going to get done. Having a schedule helps take away some of that stress. Make sure to give yourself a little extra time until you know how long tasks will take and don’t pack your schedule too tight.

Tip: Take care of yourself

While juggling the responsibilities of work and school, it may seem like there’s no time to eat right, exercise, relax, socialize or get enough sleep, but it’s important to take care of yourself. Running yourself ragged may seem like a short term gain, but a long term loss. If you end up getting sick or burned out you may lose a lot more time than you would by keeping things balanced.

Tip: Don’t forget your social life

Lastly, don’t forget to nurture your social life while pursuing your next degree. Friends and family provide vital support and encouragement as well as stress relief. One important tip is to try to make sure you have friends outside of work. There’s nothing wrong with being friends with coworkers, if you change jobs after graduation, it’s not uncommon for those relationships to vanish. Also, if you have a significant other or children, don’t forget to nurture those relationships. They’ll sustain you as much as you sustain them.

 

Want to find out more about continuing your education? Visit our Next Level Nursing hub.

Have questions or advice about furthering your education? Let’s hear it in the comments!

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The Nerdy Nurse

Brittney Wilson, RN, BSN, also known as The Nerdy Nurse, is a Clinical Informatics Specialist practicing in Georgia. In her day job she gets to do what she loves every day: Combine technology and healthcare to improve patient outcomes. She can best be described as a patient, nurse and technology advocate, and has a passion for using technology to innovate, improve and simplify lives, especially in healthcare. Brittney blogs about nursing issues, technology, healthcare, parenting and various lifestyle topics at thenerdynurse.com
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