Nursing is an undeniably challenging profession with several hurdles and rewards. Nurses work long hours, often take additional shifts, and might suffer from burnout. Yet, we witness millions of individuals willing to pursue nursing because of how fulfilling the profession is. However, one thing that many students struggle with the most is maintaining a healthy work-life balance while pursuing their BSN. They must multitask, communicate with professors and mentors to ensure quality results, give repeated exams, and often bog down with pressure. Understanding that work-life balance is essential for increased productivity, higher engagement, less stress, better mental health, improved well-being, and lower absenteeism is crucial. This article will review a few practical ways nurses can achieve work-life balance while pursuing BSN.
Planning your week is a good idea but make sure to schedule downtime yourself. Downtime could include hanging out with friends, watching a show, or eating out. A good idea would be to add your rest time to your calendar or put it on your smartphone so you don’t forget and have the incentive to manage your time.
Downtime is necessary for good brain health and function because it prevents stress, improves work performance, and enhances well-being. Including downtime in your schedule is crucial irrespective of whether you are pursuing an online nursing certification program or a terminal nursing degree. Rest allows you to complete personal tasks and spend time with family and friends.
Prioritizing is integral if you aim to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Prioritizing your tasks reduce stress, increases productivity, helps you create room to check errors, and gives you more time to relax. Furthermore, prioritizing enables you to avoid procrastination, keeps you motivated, improves work quality, reduces stress, and allows you to focus on your most crucial work.
Create a list of your highest-priority tasks and ensure never to neglect them at any point. Ask yourself if, right now, you would choose your education before your career or not. Make sure to delegate the right way, decide what you will do first, pen down the most crucial task, reflect on the worst that could happen if you cannot accomplish a task, and always keep your patient’s health in mind. Remember, prioritizing is a nurse’s best friend. If you master prioritization right now, you are already a step ahead in excelling in your career.
Find a mentor
Mentorship while studying nursing is highly beneficial. Mentors provide psychological and emotional support, academic advice, career development, and nursing leadership opportunities. Moreover, mentors encourage and empower personal growth, help to identify and achieve goals, correct gaps in knowledge, and increase your confidence.
Having a mentor is a good reminder that you are not the first person struggling with maintaining a work-life balance. Other individuals understand your situation and can be excellent resources for help and advice. Do you work with a BSN-certified nurse? Sit down with them and learn how they put it together. They will be able to give you sound advice on potential pitfalls, time management, and placing priorities. And you never know; someday, you might be mentoring an RN considering pursuing their BSN.
Invest in self-care
Self-care is integral for nurses pursuing BSN. Self-care doesn’t have to be anything extensive. Instead, sleeping well and eating healthy do the job. Sufficient sleep is extensively crucial to achieving a work-life balance. Enough sleep ensures you fall sick less often, stay healthy, reduce stress, improve your mood, lower your risk for health problems, including diabetes, think more clearly, and do better in school. Several studies show that lack of sleep can result in disastrous health consequences such as heart failure, high blood pressure, etc. Furthermore, lack of sleep makes you forgetful and triggers depression. Hence, get sufficient sleep to be more productive and efficient in achieving your goals. The National Sleep Foundation advises 7 – 9 hours of sleep for adults.
Similarly, eating well is imperative for all nurses pursuing their BSN degrees. Healthy eating boosts your productivity, helps you live longer, strengthens bones, boosts immunity, and lowers the risk of health consequences. Nurses should consume whole fruits and vegetables, ensure half of the grains are whole grains, and eat proteins like eggs and grilled chicken. Moreover, cut down on canned and processed food.
Get up and get moving! Understandably, many people find it challenging to take time out of their busy schedules during nursing school. However, you must try and fit in a little movement in your day. Exercise such as a brisk walk or climbing up and down the stairs can boost your energy and enhance your focus.
Physical activity is essential for nurses because it improves sleep quality, immunity, focus, bone health, and quality of life. Further, exercise promotes weight loss and weight management, provides pain management, and lowers sickness absence.
Being physically active reduces stress, protects against many chronic illnesses, improves brain function, enhances memory, and improves your ability to partake in everyday activities. Experts suggest that a 30-minute workout session is sufficient to raise your energy levels and increase productivity.
Nurses find it challenging to manage their time effectively due to conflicting demands. It can be tricky to sort out such situations. A few tips for nurses to manage time more effectively include:
- Setting limits at work
- Setting designated study hours
- Having a gathering of the loved one’s meeting
- Taking notes
- Always take your designated break
- Setting achievable goals
Time management helps you achieve your goals faster, helps you prioritize your work, reduces stress and anxiety prevents procrastination. Practical time management boosts your confidence increases career opportunities and raises efficiency.
Nursing is a demanding profession, and as a nurse, you recognize how challenging it can be to strike a work-life balance – especially while pursuing your studies. Most students are pressured to complete their assignments on time, earn a living, and make the best of their college experience.
Maintaining a work-life balance helps you stay active and sane throughout your BSN degree. It teaches you how to achieve your goals and objectives effectively. You become more focused and prepared to enter the professional industry and pursue your dreams.