Part two of an eight part series, Karen’s Corner outlines advice and insight on going back to school from our very own Dr. Karen Whitham, assistant dean, undergraduate nursing programs.
It’s no secret that I am passionate about the RN to BSN program. It is truly one of the most rewarding and important steps you can take to improve patient outcomes. With the Institute of Medicine recommending that 80% of nurses have their BSN by 2020, there is also the added job security that comes with the advanced degree. But is this the right time to go back to school?
Do a reality check
Anything worthwhile in life takes effort. Going back to school while managing work and family takes a strong commitment. Having done this myself at the fabulous age of 40, I can tell you that it’s very doable, but I wouldn’t say that it’s easy. You’ll need to take an honest look at all aspects of your life – physical, emotional, financial – to determine if this is the best time for you to make this commitment.
Talk to your family
I strongly encourage you to evaluate your decision with the ones most likely to be impacted: your family. Do you have their buy-in? Will they support and encourage you along the way? It’s important to discuss how their lives and yours might need to change to accommodate your classes. Talk about specific things each family member can do to make this work for you.
Talk to your friends
Be sure to include people who know you well and have your best interests at heart. Ask them what they think about your plans to go back to school. Do they have any concerns that you think may be valid? If so, you may want to discuss these with an American Sentinel admissions advisor. Their experience and advice can prove invaluable in making the right decision.
If all of your support systems are “go,” then be sure to give yourself the tools you need to be successful. American Sentinel provides personalized student support, specifically for non-traditional students who are middle-aged and/or mid-career. There are resources for just about anything you might need: adapting to an online classroom, learning new technology and more. All you have to do is ask!
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