Many working adults dream of becoming a nurse. They want a nursing career but aren’t sure how to juggle working and the demands of nursing school.

If this is you, don’t give up on the idea of becoming a nurse. Completing an associate of science in nursing (ASN) degree is often a more flexible and less expensive option. ASN programs typically only take two to three years to complete at community colleges. Another benefit is that community college tuition is a fraction of the cost of a four-year university. Earning your ASN is a smart way to start a nursing career.

Here are some tips for juggling work with an ASN program:

1. Focus on Completing Your General Education Courses First

You will need to complete your general education classes before you start working on your nursing coursework. These general education requirements include classes such as composition and anatomy.

The good news is that these classes are often offered online or in person at numerous times during the day and evening hours which offers students maximum flexibility to complete them.

Focus on getting these courses complete and you’re much closer to your dream of nursing school.

2. Find a Flexible Job

Depending on the structure of your associates degree program, having a flexible job while you’re in school will offer you less stress in scheduling your classes and clinicals.

Some aspiring nurses manage to work a traditional day shift job and attend evening, weekend, and online classes.

Whatever your work situation, be sure to talk to your employer early in your nursing program to see if they are willing to work with your school and/or clinical schedule. You may be able to take a planned leave of absence or change your work hours to accommodate school.

3. Set Your Priorities

Once you’re in school you simply will not have as much time for other activities. If you have children, you will have to manage even more demands.

Let go of everything that isn’t a top priority including social and volunteer activities. The less you have on your plate while in nursing school, the more time you have to devote to family, work, and studying.

Working and going to nursing school takes a lot of hard work and dedication. But in the end, you’ll be well on your way to a rewarding nursing career.

Denene Brox

Denene Brox is a freelance writer based in Kansas City.
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