Care for Self: Tips for Balancing Nursing School and Life

Time management is a valuable skill for anyone to have. Life may not always accommodate our plans, but work, family and personal pursuits are all important parts of a day.

If you’re unsure about what you can do to best manage your time between nursing school and life, here are some tips from current nursing students who have tackled their own obstacles in maintaining their desired balance.

What obstacles do you face in balancing life as a student?

. My house caught fire a week after I was accepted to Chamberlain. So I’ve had a continual rebuilding project to attend to. I’m also married with three children, working part-time.

- Stacy Decroix

I work part-time as a patient-care tech and am married with two children, one of whom is a newborn.

- Kimberly Brown

I work part-time at a hospital as well as at a local school. I’m married and have four kids who are involved with sports and other activities.

- Jennifer Kadel

I work part-time and also help as a caregiver to my husband’s grandmother. I’m married and we have two young children.

- Andrea Woods

How do you maintain the balance you want?

. I like to be extremely organized. I use a written planner to write out everything I have going on. Not only does it help me to see all my activities in one place, but just the act of writing it out helps me to better remember things.

Once I’ve got all my time-sensitive activities written down, I section off time to do activities like studying, homework or spending time with my family.

- Stacy Decroix

My husband is a great support system all by himself. He helps me manage my time by taking on a lot of activities around the house. But I also use an app on my smartphone called Cozi. It’s a scheduling app designed specifically with families in mind. It lets me coordinate my time with my husband. So I can add in reminders about assignments for myself, but also let him see when I’ve set aside time to study.

- Kimberly Brown

I utilize all of my support system. My husband helps me out by picking up everything around the house and attending to bills, while my kids help with laundry and the dishes. My in-laws and friends will help by taking the kids to their activities. Other parents help by carpooling to school and events. And even my coworkers help me out by giving me pointers for school or quizzing me while I’m at work.

- Jennifer Kadel

I keep myself on schedule by using a written planner. I’ll list out all of the activities for my family. It really helps me to have them all in one place. Then, I just update it as life happens. At the start of each session, I add in all the important dates from my syllabi. I try to look ahead as far as possible, adding in school schedules, activities, etc. for everyone else too. Once I’ve got it all down, I can plan around what’s going on.

- Andrea Woods

What other tips do you have for students looking to better balance school and life?

. When you’re planning out time, be sure to factor in time for yourself. Whether it’s to grab a coffee or get a manicure or pedicure. It’s important to relax when you can.

- Stacy Decroix

Make sure to give yourself time to have fun. Don’t overdo it on everything else. Mange your time appropriately so you can have some free time for yourself on the weekend or other day of the week. It can also really help a lot if you can give yourself an evening off during the week too.

- Kimberly Brown

If you’re working, it can’t hurt to talk with your manager about getting some flexibility in your schedule. There’s no guarantee, but by asking you at least make them aware of the different strains on your time and they may be able to give you some flexibility when you need it most.

- Jennifer Kadel

You need to schedule downtime for yourself. If possible, build in a window of time to sit and relax or exercise. Or just alternating between demanding and less serious tasks can help give you a break. It’s important to be aware of how you’re going to feel after a long day or week and insert time accordingly.

- Andrea Woods

What tips do you have for managing life as a nursing student? Share your ideas in the comments below.

You might also be interested in:

Take the First Step


Call 877.751.5783 to speak with an admission representative

Apply Now Request More Info