Are you planning to take the next step and pursue additional nursing education? Going back to nursing school can be overwhelming, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve studied and prepared for exams. Some nagging questions may be in the back of your mind – Will it be too hard? How will I fit in? Am I too old? Should I be doing this?
We’re here to let you know that many adults are going back to school, and no, you’re not too old to be getting back to school for nursing. If anything, it is a brave choice and you should applaud yourself on having taken it. Though students of all ages have their own strengths and weaknesses, older students may have an advantage over the younger students – with more discipline and a sharpened focus - thanks to life experiences.
With nearly 89,000 new jobs projected by 2026 in just licensed practical and vocational nursing careers alone, nursing jobs are on the rise. Earning your nursing degree can be fulfilling at any age, and plenty of students belonging to varied age groups in several programs are evidence of this. With just a few things to consider before you make your decision to return, you are well on your way to getting that additional qualification that will increase your chances of success in a very fulfilling career.
Since going back to school is an endeavor in itself, a few approaches can help ease the process and lay a strong groundwork for your success. Here are some helpful tips for nursing students:
Back Your Passion with Reality
Before you set out on this new journey back to school, it is important to ensure that you are passionate about it. Getting back to studying and attending nursing school can be stressful and will push your limits. If your rationale behind the decision is not backed by enthusiasm, it is highly likely that you will struggle more than those who are passionate about going back to school.
Another reality check would be to ensure that you have factored in how to make the tuition payments, including additional costs such as books, travel, a laptop, and school supplies. If money is a concern, consider applying for a scholarship and alternate financial resources.
Organizing your day well will go a long way. Odds are that you’ll be juggling several things - coursework and assignments, family, and work. You must be committed to attending classes, studying, researching, and completing clinical rotations or practicums - in addition to commitments to your family and friends. So planning and managing your time effectively is vital. If you decide to continue working while you attend school, effective time management is essential.
Don’t forget to schedule time for course readings and studying. It may be helpful to spend time every day reading over class notes, or accessing the learning management system so that content is reviewed regularly. While using this technique may help you avoid cramming for exams, a systematic review also ensures that you have time to ask questions on the material ahead of time.
Today, a lot of learning encompasses some amount of computer usage. You may have to be tech-savvy to complete your coursework and assignments quickly and efficiently, in the interest of time optimization for yourself.
Ask Yourself: Is the Program a Good Fit?
When you are researching programs, it helps to come up with some facts that will form the deciding criteria - knowing if the program is a good fit for you, and if it matches your career needs, personal goals, and learning style is important to helping you succeed. The faculty-to-student ratios, availability of faculty outside of normal class time, course requirements, and clinical requirements, are also factors you should consider.
Hopefully with these nursing student’s tips for success, we have heightened your motivation to return to nursing school. Just a little bit of planning and getting organized can make going back to school for nursing a more fruitful and enjoyable experience. At ACC, we believe that one change changes everything, and encourage students to take the next steps in their educational career. For more information, feel free to contact us.
ACC cannot guarantee employment. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.
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