Parents want the best for their children. They want to be able to provide for them now and into the future. While love goes a long way, income is a significant factor in raising a family. In a majority of two-parent families, both parents are working full- or part-time jobs.
With so much already going on, it can seem overwhelming to think about adding on another layer in the form of studies. Pew Research Center's recent survey of working parents revealed that 50% of employed moms and 39% of employed dads say being a working parent makes it harder for them to advance in their job or career. Many working parents have less time for continuing education or other career-advancing activities.
Fortunately, our digital world has made going back to school much more doable for working parents — particularly nurses.
Flexibility Allows for Family First
One of the greatest benefits of online RN to BSN programs is flexibility. David Dorris, a dad to two young children and graduate of the online RN to BSN program at Arkansas State University, found the online format a perfect fit for his hectic schedule.
At the time he began the program, David was working at two hospitals, and his wife was working full time as well. Knowing the pressure from the healthcare industry to have 80% of nurses obtain BSNs by 2020, David knew it was important to take this next step. But, he also didn't want to sacrifice spending time with his kids. Thanks to the online program, he didn't have to.
"There were realistic deadlines. I was able to complete my work on time. I didn't have to leave anything behind. I didn't have to stop working full time. I didn't have to stop raising my kids. I didn't have to stop doing the things that I did," he noted. "I was able to completely add this to my life instead of having to take something away from it to fill the void. The program is absolutely geared toward working nurses."
Single mother Mekeilah Johnson found the online format similarly convenient. "Online was better for my family life and my full-time job," she shared. "I could do things at my own pace but still have a set schedule. It is a little pressing driving to campus, sitting in class and knowing you have so much to do."
Graduate Nicole Clute, a mom of four, also relates. Her kids are all involved in sporting activities — something she didn't want to miss out on by going back to school. "My day-to-day life stayed exactly the same … we still had our normal family activities, we still took trips together, we didn't miss baseball games or basketball games," she said.
Offset Distractions With Self-Discipline
Online programs, while convenient, do require discipline. Parenting can be full of distractions — attending soccer games, helping kids with homework, taking care of sniffles plus all the laundry that's piling up.
"You have to stay focused," cautioned Johnson. "Just because it's online doesn't mean you shouldn't set goals and set a schedule for yourself. Set a schedule, stick with it and you'll stay ahead."
There are many reasons working parents can rationalize putting off earning their BSN. Clute argues working full time as a parent shouldn't be one of them.
"Don't wait any longer. Just do it. Waiting isn't going to make it any easier — it's just going to put it off longer. It's absolutely doable here," she assured. "Like I said, I was able to do it and still be a mom and still work full time. There's no reason to keep putting it off. Just do it."
Learn more about Arkansas State University's online RN to BSN program.
Sources:A-State University: Nicole Clute Earns BSN, Achieves Childhood Goal