How to Balance Your Home Life With an Online Nursing Program

Are you thinking about taking an online nursing program? Perhaps you’ve already enrolled in one. If so, you may be wondering how on earth you’re going to manage taking care of your home and family while earning a degree.

There’s plenty written on work-life balance, but what about school-life balance?

First of all, the fact that you’re considering this question and reading this article means you’re already on your way to finding the answer. We’re here to help take the stress out of online nursing school.

We are going to explore some of the best ways to maximize your time and space to make you more productive. Whether it’s designing your study area, finding time for fun and family, or making the most of every minute, you will learn how to balance your home life and your academic life.

Dedicated Study Space

School no longer equals classrooms. Online education means that your kitchen table, bedroom, living room, or the cafe around the corner can be your classroom. Although convenient, this also means that your life can and probably will invade your study space.

Setting aside a spot for your schoolwork can help focus your mind on studying and not the next chore that needs to be done. A dedicated space doesn’t necessarily mean a separate room for an office—far from it. It could be a corner of your bedroom with a small table for your laptop. It could be the kitchen table after everyone has gone to bed. It could be facing away from the TV on one end of the living room. The location doesn’t matter, as long as you create an area that is just for school.

Have a tiny home? No problem. Try making a mobile study station with a folding table that you can put away when you’re not studying.

If you want a change of scenery, your local library can provide a peaceful environment where you can focus on academics and do additional research if needed.


Remember the days of trying to distract yourself in a classroom? With online schooling, it can be quite the opposite. Studying at home can bring a host of distractions and temptations, whether they be children, pets, a partner, the next episode on Netflix, or that nagging urge for a snack.

Pursuing a nursing degree online requires willpower and focus to not allow distractions to pull your attention away from your goals. Depending on how chaotic your home life is on any given day, this can be an energy drain all on its own.

To minimize distractions, try scheduling your study time in a quiet(er) spot during a time when there isn’t much activity. It may also be helpful to preempt requests by making sure any children and/or pets are fed and occupied. Letting your partner know you’re studying can prevent them from unknowingly interrupting you with well-intended questions or conversation.

Sometimes, the home environment itself can be a distraction. Home is where you kick back and relax. It can be hard to buckle down and stick to a schedule when the comfy couch is calling your name. In those moments, remember your dreams and what you want to achieve. Conjure up that drive that got you going in the first place, and it will carry you through to the finish line.

Family Obligations

If you, like many others, have a family to care for, you may find it difficult to fulfill personal obligations along with your school requirements. Between managing children’s school schedules, dealing with the inevitable colds and flus, and carving out some alone time with your significant other, there may not be much time left over. And let’s not even get into any extended family who want you to be there for every birthday and holiday dinner.

So how do you take care of your family and earn a nursing degree?

Have a solid plan of action in place beforehand with the understanding that it may need to be adjusted as you go along.

Since you can’t do everything, determine who and what takes top priority at home and what can be delegated or doesn’t need to be done at all. Discuss with your family members what you can and can’t do and what you will need to keep the home life running smoothly.

If you live with a partner, they may be able to help with housework or watch the kids to give you time and space to study.

Just as you set aside time for school, set aside time for family. Have a movie night once a week or a special family outing once a month. Don’t forget an occasional date night. This shows your family that they are still a priority in your life, and it gives you a chance to enjoy them while giving your mind a break from school work. Something as simple as going out for ice cream, laughing, and being affectionate will go a long way to nurturing the home environment and preventing burnout.

Managing Your Time Between School and Home

With online learning, the lines between school and home have all but disappeared, making it more challenging to separate them mentally and physically. Time management is crucial.

To avoid feeling like you’re in a perpetual tug-of-war between your home life and your education, take a mental assessment. How much time will you need to devote to studying each week? When are you most productive? Are there any blocks of time in your daily life? Can you get up an hour earlier in the morning while everyone is sleeping? Do you have young children who take naps? If you commute to work, can you listen to lectures in the car? Maximizing the time you have will cut down on the stress of feeling like you can’t get it all done.

If you have a partner or spouse, it’s helpful to discuss your game plan with them. Not only can they share the burden of taking care of the home, they can help keep you accountable to your study commitments.

The plus side of building your own schedule is that science has shown that self-directed learning leads to better long-term memory retention.


Completing an online nursing program while managing a home is no easy task. It may even seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Your loved ones can help motivate and support you in achieving your goals. By discussing your plans with family members beforehand, you can all be on the same page and work together to keep the home running smoothly. With planning, strategic time management, boundaries, and clear communication, it is possible to earn a degree and enjoy your home life.