Tips for Balancing Homework with Family for Online Nursing Students

American Sentinel University’s healthcare blog, ‘The Sentinel Watch,’ launched a new eight-part nursing blog series: ‘Back to U – Karen’s Corner’ available at and guest blogger, Dr. Karen Whitham, assistant dean, undergraduate nursing programs shares her personal experiences about what it’s like going back to school mid-career and offers valuable insight about balancing work, life, and school to earn an advanced degree for career advancement.

This is part six of an eight-part series.

For those of you with family, going back to school may seem like an impossible balancing act that may leave one or more members of your family feeling short-changed. However, I am living proof that you can emerge from your completed program with your relationships and family unit intact. With a little help from your loved ones, you can earn your degree and still participate in family life. You may need to experiment a little bit to find what works for you, but below are some guiding principles.

Carving Out Your Space
Are you the kind of person that needs a quiet room to concentrate? If so, is there a room in your house where you can get 10-15 hours a week to study without being constantly interrupted? If not, it may be faster and easier to get class work done outside the home. As for me, I wanted to be in the living room where I could study and not feel isolated from my family. This had the added bonus of setting a wonderful example for my children. The point is, you need to find what works for you and then just stick with it.

Include Family Events in Your Calendar
If you’ve been following my blog, you know that my favorite bit of advice is to keep a calendar with everything in it: work schedule, study time, project deadlines, your kids’ school plays, date night with your spouse, your favorite Aunt’s birthday, etc. The few minutes you spend planning will save you countless hours and the potential heartbreak of missing important family events. This allows you to work ahead on class projects to free up time for the things you don’t want to miss.

Just Say No
As nurses, we are in a helping profession. We have a tendency to want to do for others at the expense of our well-being. Look at your calendar and prioritize: family, work, study and self-care. Don’t always assume that you can rob your sleep and skip exercising so that you can avoid saying no to other things. Let your friends and family know that your BSN is important and that you appreciate their patience, understanding and support while you are in the program.

Stay tuned to ‘Karen’s Corner’ as Dr. Whitham shares more helpful tips about the RN to BSN program.

The ‘Back to U – Karen’s Corner’ blog series will run through September 7 and covers such topics as:

-So You’re Going Back to School…At Your Age?

-Is This the Right Time to Get Your BSN?

-How to Get Your BSN and Still Have a Life

-The Virtues of a Virtual Classroom

-Study Tips for the Online Student

-Balancing Homework with Family

-No Stress, No Struggle: Ask the Question
-Making Time for You

If you’ve ever dreamed of earning your BSN learn how American Sentinel can help make that dream a reality and earn your BSN in under one year and for less than $12,000.

American Sentinel University offers market-relevant, high-quality nursing degree programs, including a CCNE-accredited RN to BSN program that is ideal for nurses who want to expand their knowledge base, become more marketable and enjoy greater career stability and mobility. The RN to BSN can be earned in less than one year and for less than $12,000. Learn more about American Sentinel University’s RN to BSN degree program at or call 866.922.5690.

About American Sentinel University 
American Sentinel University delivers accredited online degree programs in nursing (BSN, MSN, and DNP) and healthcare management (MBA Healthcare, MS in information systems management, and MS in business intelligence and analytics). Its affordable, flexible bachelor’s and master’s nursing degree programs are accredited by the Commission for the Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), of One Dupont Circle, NW Suite 530, Washington, D.C., 20036. The DNP program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) of 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, Ga., 30326. The University is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, DEAC, 1101 17th Street NW, Suite 808, Washington, D.C. 20036, (202) 234-5100,

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