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Balancing Life, Work and an Accelerated BSN Program

Posted by Sara Giboney Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024

Finding Balance in an ABSN ProgramAs you begin your accelerated nursing program, you may be wondering how to juggle work, life and nursing school.

An accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program prepares you for one of the most rewarding careers in the field of healthcare. 

Succeeding in your intensive nursing program is possible. Read on to learn how.

Navigating the Demands of an Accelerated BSN Program

A healthy balance between life, work and your education will help you maintain your physical, emotional and mental health. 

Finding a balance means consciously managing your time and energy to achieve your academic and personal goals while prioritizing your well-being.

As you’re figuring out how to balance an accelerated nursing program, it will be important to:

  • Set goals.
  • Manage your time efficiently.
  • Have good study habits.
  • Have a support system.
  • Stay organized.
  • Practice self-care.

The ABSN program at Nebraska Methodist College (NMC) allows students to earn their bachelor’s degree in nursing in 12 months. While the program is rigorous, faculty and staff provide students with the support they need to excel.

Balancing an Accelerated BSN ProgramWhat Makes Accelerated BSN Programs Unique

An accelerated BSN program is a unique opportunity to become a bachelor’s-prepared nurse in one year. 

The program at NMC is for students with a non-nursing degree, either an associate or bachelor’s degree, looking to enter the nursing field quickly.

When you enroll in NMC’s ABSN program, you’ll have support through academic coaching, counseling, study groups, test prep groups and peer-to-peer tutoring. 

Students at NMC experience a holistic culture of caring with a 14:1 student-faculty ratio. You’ll learn in state-of-the-art laboratories and by working in clinical settings, which will prepare you to pass your licensure exam. 

Graduates of the ACE program are ready to quickly enter the nursing field with job titles such as nurse manager, nursing director, public health nurse and registered nurse.

The fast-paced program gives students access to:

  • Tailored academic assistance. 
  • State-of-the-art labs paired with comprehensive clinical experiences. 
  • A cohort system that ensures camaraderie and support during the intensive program.
  • Knowledgeable and fervent faculty.

The program is challenging, but focuses on teamwork, collaboration and reflection to promote academic and professional growth.

NMC’s accelerated nursing program has had a 97% average NCLEX-RN pass rate over the last five years.

Strategies for Effective Time Management

Time management in an accelerated nursing program will help you find balance between your personal and academic life.

Tips for managing time between your studies, work and personal life include:

  • Make a to-do list.
  • Prioritize the most important tasks.
  • Avoid multitasking.
  • Limit distractions.
  • Set boundaries by saying no.
  • Block out time on your calendar for specific tasks.
  • Use structured time management like the Pomodoro Technique.
  • Batch tasks.

Taking time each week to create a schedule, will help you keep track of important deadlines, meetings, class requirements and personal obligations.

Find a scheduling method that works best for you, whether it is a digital calendar or paper planner.

Working While Enrolled in an ABSN Program

Earning your BSN degree requires a significant time commitment, which includes attending classes, studying course materials and participating in clinical experiences. 

However, the ABSN program requires a greater day-to-day time commitment than the traditional BSN, because of its fast pace. Therefore, students in the ABSN program should prepare to devote hours comparable to a full-time job for the 12 months of the program.

Managing work and nursing school can be challenging in a traditional BSN program and can be even more arduous in an ABSN program. 

While students in the traditional BSN program can have jobs outside the classroom, NMC recommends that students in the ACE program don’t have a job because of the commitment the program requires.

Students who are considering working while enrolled in an ABSN program should consider meeting with their advisor to talk through your options.

Read more: Traditional vs. Accelerated BSN: Which is Right for You?

Balancing Life, Work and an Accelerated BSN ProgramKeeping up with Family and Social Life

Maintaining a balance between your studies and personal life will help support your emotional and mental health during your accelerated nursing program.

If you focus all of your attention on academics, you’ll most likely experience burnout. 

Tips for maintaining personal relationships and social life while you’re in an ABSN program include:

  • Maintain a support system by staying in touch with your family and friends.
  • Schedule time each week to spend with people close to you.
  • Find other students in your ABSN program to spend time with.
  • Keep boundaries around your study time.

Stress Management and Self-Care Techniques

Managing stress and practicing self-care will support your emotional and mental health, and help you academically.

Stress management and self-care practices for busy nursing students include:

  • Get enough sleep.
  • Eat nourishing foods.
  • Move your body.
  • Spend time outside.
  • Take study breaks.
  • Meditate.
  • Spend time with friends and family.
  • Schedule time for your hobbies.
  • Schedule appointments with a counselor.
  • Utilize student support services.

Students at NMC have access to free, confidential counseling services and student support services that can assist with work-life balance in a BSN program.

Read more: How Hard is Nursing School?

Financial Management for ABSN Students

Budgeting and managing your finances during an accelerated nursing program will help alleviate some of your stress.

Financial aid and scholarships will help you pay for your tuition. Once you’re accepted into the ABSN program, you can fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The results of your FAFSA will determine your eligibility for federal loans, scholarships and grants.

You can schedule an appointment with a financial aid advisor to get assistance with the financial aid process.

If you are struggling with finances during your ABSN program, NMC has resources to help students such as:

  • NMC Caring Cupboard - The on-campus food pantry provides perishable and non-perishable food items, personal care items and household items to students in need.
  • Methodist Hospital Foundation Student Crisis Fund - Students are eligible for up to $1,000 in assistance every school year for emergencies.

Read more: Understanding Financial Aid for College Students

Leveraging Resources and Support Networks

During your accelerated nursing program, it will be imperative to utilize the support systems available to you. 

Academic support services help students have success in the classroom, and encourage personal and professional growth.

At NMC, student academic support services are:

  • Academic coaching.
  • Tutoring.
  • Writing support.
  • Supplemental instruction.
  • Mentoring.
  • Technology support.

Building a personal support network with peers, faculty and mentors will also help you find success during your ABSN program.

Balancing Success in ABSN Programs

Finding success in your ABSN program at NMC is possible. 

Nina Eicke, an accelerated BSN graduate, is a mother of two who worked part-time during the program. She was on the dean’s list every semester.

“The faculty that I encountered were great to me. I studied hard because that is my nature, and the faculty noticed that. I am a determined person with a goal to become a registered nurse, and NMC has done just that for me. I have learned an enormous amount from professors that I will take with me throughout my career,” said Eicke.

“Nursing school is not meant to be easy. It’s challenging to push you to become the best nurse you can become. NMC's accelerated BSN program is an intense and vigorous program, and you get out what you put in.”

Transitioning to a Nursing Career Post-ABSN

At NMC, students receive one-on-one coaching to help them find the right job.

Students get help with resume writing, learn what to expect during the interview process and get tips for answering interview questions.

Read more: How to Get Support With Your Job Search

Begin Your Journey at Nebraska Methodist College

Ready to successfully balance your life, work and studies? Discover more about Nebraska Methodist College’s ABSN program and start your journey towards a rewarding nursing career today!

Schedule a campus visit or contact the admissions office at 402-354-7200 or for more information.

Topics: nurse education, health professions, nursing, bachelor's degree, bsn, nursing degree

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