So, you’ve decided to take the leap. You’ve decided to go to nursing school. Good for you! It’s definitely an ambitious and admirable profession; one that definitely serves the community in a wonderful way.

Now all you have to do is figure out how you’re going to go to school, maintain good grades…oh, and keep your job so that you have a place to rest your head after all of those studies sessions.

If the thought of it all seems a bit overwhelming, that’s understandable. You definitely are about to have a lot on your plate. But, it’s not impossible to balance work, school and still be able to have somewhat of a social life. All it takes is a bit of organizing and that’s why we’re here—to help:

Plan out a schedule. There is absolutely no way that you’re going to be able to maintain a level of stability and sanity without a schedule. So, whether it’s a wall calendar, a daily planner or you’re going to use the scheduler on your mobile phone (or all three), definitely dedicate a day or so to write out your work schedule, your school schedule and your study time. Also, don’t forget that you have to sleep, eat and commute back and forth to all of those places and so those things should be factored in as well.

Speak with your job and your school. Both places certainly have the right to expect you to show up on time to do your work. But, when you’re balancing both demands, there may be instances when you’ll need one (or both) of them to extend a little grace and mercy. Employers and instructors tend to be a bit more lenient when they are aware of what is going on. So, make sure to speak with both of them about your life schedule so that no one is caught off guard should an unavoidable emergency arise.

Get on a strict budget. All of us should be on a budget, whether we’re in school or not. But, when you’re balancing the demands of school with work to pay bills, you definitely need to make sure that you have a pretty strict budget in place. One reason is because sometimes there are fees or unexpected requirements that you will need for your classes. Another is because school costs and the more money that you can pay upfront, without relying on loans, the more thankful you will be once you graduate.

Make time for fun. Balancing school and work tends to be pretty stressful and honestly, you’re not doing anyone any good if you’re missing out on both because you’re out sick due to a lack of sleep or exercise. So, make sure that you make time for yourself to get (at least) six hours of sleep, 30 minutes of exercise and that you try and catch a movie with friends 1-2 times per month. All work and no play doesn’t just make people boring; it also tends to totally exhaust them.

Stay focused. If you’re someone who is working on getting your BSN degree and you’ve gone to a website like to get a bit of information on what’s required, you may already feel like you’re not going to be able to finish the work. Don’t be so hard on yourself. There are going to be good days and there are going to be not-so-good days. The key here is to make sure to keep focused by keeping your eyes on the prize: your degree. Put motivating quotes on your bathroom mirror. Take yourself out to celebrate when you’ve aced a test. Ask your family members and friends to keep you encouraged. When you continue to remind yourself about why you’re doing what you’re doing, it’s far easier to get “it” done.