4 Tips on How to Survive Nursing School with a Full-Time Job

By Adriana Carda

two nurses smiling

If you are a registered nurse (RN) earning your bachelor’s degree through an RN-BSN program, you may be trying to figure out how to survive nursing school with a full time job. An outsider may think it is nearly impossible to have any extra time to enjoy friends, family or relaxation.

With these few simple tips it could help make your life attending nursing school while working full-time a little less stressful:


Stay Organized

Staying organized is an essential part of balancing work, school and life. For example, having a planner can help lay everything out so little parts of your day do not slip through the cracks.

If keeping a small planner is not something that seems to suit you, try getting a large monthly planner. This will help you visualize everything that needs to be done, and it will show you all the spaces that can be filled with studying, homework or leisure activities.

Incorporate Downtime

While you may be eager to fill your time with activities, it is important that you make time for yourself. Are you a bookworm? Grab your favorite novel, sit down and relax. This will increase and conserve your energy so as to not become overtired and overworked.

If reading might not be your cup of tea, plan a night in to watch movies or catch up on your favorite TV show with friends or family. This way you are still relaxing, but you are doing it in the comfort of your own home while getting in some bonding time with those close to you.

Get Active

After long hours spent working and studying for your BSN program, it is likely the last thing on your mind is exercise. Even though you are exerting yourself, there is a great benefit to exercising.

For example, exercising improves mental processes such as memory and thinking. It also improves mood and sleep, and it greatly reduces stress and anxiety (Godman, 2014). Overall, this goes to show that working out is less detrimental to your body than you may have thought.

Say “Yes” to Saying “No”

With all of the different areas of your life that need attention, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed. Learning how to say no is an important part of keeping your life as stress free as possible.

If you struggle to say no, especially during times you are busy, it can be easy to feel worn out. While respectfully saying no is something that might take a while to get used to, once you get the hang of it, you will realize you have more time to breathe.

Grand Canyon University’s College of Nursing and Health Care Professions prepares graduates to provide quality care centered on best evidence to meet the unique needs of the populations they serve. To learn more about nursing and healthcare degrees at GCU, visit our website or contact us using the Request More Information button at the top of the page.

Written by Adriana Carda, a junior earning a psychology degree at GCU.


  • Godman, H. (2014, April 9). Regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory, thinking skills – Harvard health Blog. Retrieved June 6, 2016, from Harvard Health Publications, health.harvard.edu/blog/regular-exercise-changes-brain-improve-memory-thinking-skills-201404097110

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.