It is no secret that a one-year Accelerated nursing program is demanding, fast-paced and intense.
Here at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, we always field questions from prospective and incoming students on how to manage that workload, especially when they have young children.
One of our Accelerated BSN students, Sarah Hernandez, shares her wisdom to fellow mothers:
I’m a student in the Accelerated program finishing my second term. I also have two-year old twins. While the program and schedule is very demanding, it is doable if you have good time management and a strong support system.
I treat school like a full-time job – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday with weekend hours as needed. While a lot of time is spent in class during the week, I make sure to use the time in between classes to study, read, or do homework. Whenever there are breaks between classes, days that start late, or if we get out of class early, I try to use that time effectively. This allows me to be present at home for the kids in the evenings and most weekends.
Also, I choose to come to school or go to the library in order to do my work. I found that if I stayed at home I would get caught up in the housework, emptying the dishwasher, making dinner, cleaning the house, and doing the laundry. And with my kids being so young, they do not understand or allow for mom to have “study time” at home. So when I am home, I am home to be with them.
The support system is essential when it came to childcare – either taking or picking them up from daycare and watching them during the weekends when I have to study. I know that I count heavily on my husband and mother to take over a lot of tasks that I would normally have time to do for the kids. If you have those two things covered you can accomplish this program.
For those who may need additional help, our Student Services department offers one-on-one sessions with students to help them develop reading, note-taking and test-taking strategies that work specifically for nursing school, and also advise on how to manage their time effectively.