Balancing nursing school and work can be a big challenge but it is not insurmountable. There are many things that you could do with creative scheduling, finding a program that works for you, and enlisting your support network.
Degree programs for nursing currently abound. Choose a school that is accredited and will allow you to get a job upon graduation. Before you apply or pay any money to a program, do your research and know what you are getting. Once you have a list of reputable and accredited schools that have a good track record of graduate placement upon graduation, it is worthwhile to determine which program is the best fit for you. Some questions to ask of the nursing school you are considering include:
1. What is the travel time involved
2. Will I be able to keep my current job and attend this school
3. How can I afford this degree
4. Do I need to stay with my cohort or can I be flexible when taking classes and do things on my own timeline?
Keep in mind that there are weekend and night programs that exist and allow professionals to continue working in their current field while attending nursing school.
Consider what your priorities are above all else. Is your current job and income the most important to you? Do you have family members or dependents that are extremely important considerations? What are the needs of your significant other? At the end of nursing school, you will want to know that you succeeded with the backing of all of those people who mean the most to you. It can be an empty feeling to sacrifice everything for a dream, especially when there are online programs, weekend and night programs, and other options to help you achieve your dreams without shirking responsibilities to those who you love. There will be sacrifices of time in any program, but knowing what your priorities are can help you to study more efficiently in order to meet all of your obligations.
Finally, engage a support network. If yours is a little weak at the moment, consider who you would like to be in that close group of friends and family to help you through this big transition. We all need help sometimes. Nursing school is demanding and rigorous and there will be times it is a real challenge to get everything done in a day. Lower some of your standards if needed in keeping a clean house or spending hours with your favorite pastime. Those things may need to be sacrificed to be able to work and make it through nursing school. But where there is a will, there is a way!