American Sentinel University Career Coaching Blog Offers Tips to Maximize Nursing School Experience

Streamlining Life and Shifting Priorities Can Help Students Fire on All Cylinders and Maximize Their Educational Success

AURORA, Colo. – March 23, 2017 – Nursing students feel that there’s only so much energy they can give to their education on top of everything else they need to do in their life. But according to Nurse Keith Carlson, author of American Sentinel University’s Career Coaching blog series, a nursing student’s educational experience needs to be kept in tune in exchange for the blood, sweat, tears, and resources dedicated to the advancement of their education and nursing career.

“You may have young children, a disabled spouse or pet, a full-time job, elderly parents, or countless other responsibilities,” says Keith Carlson (Nurse Keith), RN, BSN, NC-BC, a holistic career coach for nurses, award-winning nurse blogger, and host of two podcasts, RNFM Radio and The Nurse Keith Show. “But just like a car that needs to remain sufficiently tuned up, your educational experience needs to be fine-tuned as well.”

Nurse Keith points out that a nurse’s school experience won’t be repeated, and it’s a golden opportunity for learning that may never come again. “You need to do your best to rearrange your life so that you can fire on all cylinders.”

He offers nurses these tips to make the most of their nursing school experience.

Prioritizing your education

When a nurse embarks on a nursing degree program journey, they are making a considerable investment in themselves. “Bringing your very best energy, attention, and focus is crucial to getting your money’s worth and digging deep into the experience,” says Nurse Keith.

He recommends as a nurse begins their program – and throughout each semester – to check in to see if they’re making the most of their time.

There are some factors that cannot be controlled (e.g.: illness, hospitalization, the death of a loved one, natural disasters, etc.), but many aspects of life may be amenable to even temporary changes in the interest of educational endeavors. American Sentinel University has experience helping students through tough times and enabling students to find a balance.

What can be changed?

If a nurse has a disabled family member or other outsized responsibilities or personal burdens, those may not be able to change significantly. At the same time, school is a time-limited undertaking so a nurse should consider what resources they can take advantage of to lessen their workload at home by streamlining their responsibilities or delegating to others, even temporarily.

If time management is the issue that keeps nurses from being most effective as a nursing student, Nurse Keith says to consider how to make changes that can have a positive impact on the behavioral patterns a nurse encounters each day. “Apps, paper organizers, calendars, and other resources can play a part in staying organized and efficient; moreover, other positive personal habits can be employed or improved to level up your nursing education mojo,” he adds.

Delegate household tasks to others to make more room for studies.

Nurse Keith recommends that nurses ask themselves if they have the resources to hire someone to take care of certain things during the semester; if not, consider asking family members to pitch in, or initiate an online fundraiser to raise the needed funds.

Meanwhile, if Facebook or social media are eating away at the time for schoolwork, consider placing a block on social media apps during certain hours of the day. Also, examine what other less than necessary activities can be shaved or otherwise controlled with a little time management and discipline.

“If you were to keep a journal of how you spend your time each day of the semester, what would surprise you? What habits would you find embarrassing even to write down? And think about what can be changed,” says Nurse Keith.

Firing it up

For nurses who’ve already made the decision to go back to school and take their nursing education and career to the next stage, it’s an exciting and potentially nerve-racking time.

“Your family may need to make some adjustments in terms of their reliance on you, and you may need to adjust by making fewer commitments and reserving some of your free time for school,” he says. “Blasting through several courses of nursing school – whether it’s a BSN, MSN, or DNP program – takes focus, concentration, dedication, and a commitment of time and personal energy.”

He says students who don’t make room for the demands and rigors of school will find some aspect of their life will likely suffer.

Nurse Keith says when a nurse streamlines their life and shifts their priorities, they can fire on all cylinders and maximize their real learning potential and educational success.

Nurse Keith is a regular contributor to American Sentinel University’s ‘Sentinel Watch’ Career Coaching Nursing blog.

About American Sentinel University

American Sentinel University delivers the competitive advantages of accredited online nursing degree programs in nursing, informatics, MBA Health Care, DNP Executive Leadership and DNP Educational Leadership. Its affordable, flexible bachelor’s and master’s nursing degree programs are accredited by the Commission for the Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The DNP program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The university is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Accrediting Commission of DEAC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.