The nurse who chooses to return to school is secure, is not afraid to face change, and views education as preparation for the future (Altmann, 2011). Nonetheless, returning to school can cause disruption, which may lead to feelings of self-doubt. Developing coping strategies helps to alleviate these concerns. Personally, the decision to continue my nursing education revolves around my job. As an advocate for the mental health population, I want to become a leader who influences the future of mental health services in our region; education will help me achieve these goals.
Many associate degree registered nurses never return to school, as they believe with no perceptible job differences or salary enticements, there is no need for further education (Orsolini-Hain, 2012). However, studies show that continuing education improves the critical thinking skills of the nurse, and improves patient outcomes (Barreto et al., 2013). Education is necessary for the nurse to provide superior care.
Reentering school causes feelings of uncertainty, leading to vacillation, and thoughts of failure. Balancing a nursing career, family, and the demands of school can become overwhelming (Blais & Hayes, 2011). The pressure of school causes stress and fatigue. The returning student goes through several stages and many changes before finding balance (Blais & Hayes, 2011). Through this process of acceptance, the nurse learns to embrace the new role, of student, and allows the learning process to begin.
Scheduling and planning are necessary to be successful as a working student. Setting time aside for school assignments is a priority, but it is also important to build in personal time for you, your family, and friends (Blais & Hayes, 2011). Success depends on creating harmony.
The nurse considers many things when deciding to return to school. It is important to be motivated, and establish goals. A goal can be the driving force for a positive outcome, and provides focus during times of uncertainty. Determining why you are returning to school is important. As well as, determining what you hope to achieve by continuing with your education. A personal nursing priority may be the motivating factor:
• The nurse may believe that education, beyond the associate degree level, is necessary to improve the nursing services to the...