Four Steps to Protect Against Burnout During Your RN to MSN Program

November 18, 2019

Shauna Smith

Registered Nurse, RN to MSN Student

You worked hard to earn your RN and now you’ve committed to working even harder to earn your master’s in nursing. But even the most resilient student can hit a wall – juggling work, school and family is no easy feat. With so much on your plate, burnout is a real danger.

If you feel like you’re about to hit your limit, push pause and take a moment to look through our tips for avoiding burnout when you go back to school for a master’s in  nursing.

Keep whatever is most important in your life No. 1. Whether it’s your family, job, church or social life, hang on to what brings you the most joy and don’t allow school to negate it. If you do, you’ll begin to resent your RN to MSN program. Furthering your education is a positive addition to your life, so don’t allow it to become a bad cloud that takes over everything else.

Learn to say no. Set healthy boundaries with relationships and activities that demand an unnecessary amount of your time. Look at your calendar like your overly cluttered basement. What can you get rid of and never miss? What can you donate half of and still be able to live the way you’re used to?

Plan out your week. Avoiding burnout means keeping school from bleeding into each and every hour of the day. Schedule your “school time” the way you would any other appointment. If you set aside 8 to 11 a.m. to work on school assignments, then stop and switch gears promptly at 11:01. Be sure to also schedule time off so you have concrete brain breaks.

Ask for help. It can be scary to ask a question when you don’t understand something in school. Fortunately, online programs make asking for help less daunting. When you find yourself struggling over coursework, send your questions directly to your instructor. You’ll get the help and time you need to truly understand what you are learning as long as you take the step to ask for it.

When you’re pulled in too many directions, even the smallest things seem impossible to accomplish. When you find yourself hitting that wall, be sure to take the time you need to reset priorities and refocus. Even when it doesn’t feel like it, remember that you have the power to complete your master’s degree and realize your dream nursing career.

American College of Education is committed to making advanced degree programs like our RN to MSN program possible for busy, working adults. Visit our programs page to learn more.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of American College of Education.
Shauna Smith
Shauna Smith, Registered Nurse, RN to MSN Student

Shauna is a registered nurse living in Cleveland, Ohio. She loves health, nutrition, and living the mom life to its fullest.

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