How Can a Nursing Master’s Improve Your Work-Life Balance?
Nursing is a demanding profession, and nurses have to work in a variety of settings like schools, hospitals, private clinics, and more. Their work may require them to work during night shifts or even travel to different cities and countries. If not managed properly, these demanding aspects can seriously affect the work-life balance of nurse professionals. A poor work-life balance can affect their mental and physical health, negatively impacting their job performance. Therefore, maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for nurse professionals. An advanced degree in nursing can help you achieve this balance to some extent.
An advanced degree in nursing can be a valuable investment as it offers higher salaries, more career advancement opportunities, research opportunities, and better work hours. A terminal degree in nursing can also make you eligible for leadership roles in the industry and qualify you to become an educator and train the next generation of nurses.
Several colleges offer various advanced nursing degrees across the US. Online degree options can be ideal for nurses already practicing their profession. The University of Texas offers an RN to MSN Program online, which allows you to either work as a nurse administrator or a nurse educator. Apart from career advancement opportunities, an MSN also improves your work-life balance.
In this article, we will discuss how a master’s in nursing can help to improve work-life balance.
What is A Work-Life Balance?
Work-life balance is the level of priority that you give to personal and professional activities. The definition of a healthy work-life balance can vary from person to person. However, for most people, it can mean giving an equal amount of time and attention to all aspects of life. Basically, a work-life balance is not letting your work commitments consume your entire time or vice versa. A poor work-life balance can affect you in the following ways;
· Physical and Mental Impact
Not having enough time to look after yourself can result in several physical illnesses, leading to mental health problems. Nurses with a poor work-life balance are more prone to heart diseases, strokes, anxiety, and depression.
· Social Impact
The social impact of a poor work-life balance means not being able to spend quality time with friends and family. It can break friendships and weaken familial bonds. A healthy social life is vital, and not having a healthy social life can ultimately impact your mental and physical health.
· Negative Impact on Patients
The negative impacts of a poor work-life balance can affect the performance of nurses at work resulting in poor quality patient care.
Maintaining a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Completing your tasks at work and making time for friends and family at home while also taking care of yourself by eating and sleeping well represents a healthy work-life balance. It also involves not worrying about work at home.
Nurses have hectic work routines, and it can be more difficult for them to leave work behind when they come home. Therefore, people in the nursing profession should make even more effort to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Some ways that an advanced degree can help nurses to improve their work-life balance are;
1. Better Work Hours
New nurses with BSN degrees or registered nurses generally work 30-40 hours per week. They may also receive fewer benefits and low hourly wages, which pushes many nurses to work part-time jobs elsewhere. Therefore, maintaining a social life or taking time out for yourself can become challenging with such a demanding career.
An advanced degree like an MSN or a Ph.D. can help nurses become specialized in a single field of nursing. Working in a specialized role can help reduce their workload. Moreover, with a terminal degree, you may qualify for leadership positions, which can increase responsibilities but also provide you more control over your time. If you choose to work in academia after graduating with an advanced degree, you will work minimum hours but, you will also receive plenty of benefits including, a higher salary.
Therefore, we can conclude that an advanced degree in nursing provides you with the freedom to work limited hours, and in return, you receive several benefits. With more control over your time, you can spend your free time with your family, hang out with your friends, or pursue your hobbies.
2. More Job Opportunities
Fresh BSN graduates have limited job offers. They don’t have much say in their job conditions. Their main priority is to get hired. However, an advanced degree in nursing makes you more marketable, and you can accept or decline job offers accordingly.
More job opportunities allow you to choose a workplace that allows you to maintain a healthy personal and social life outside of work. Moreover, if a job is affecting your work-life balance, you can always resign and apply for another job.
3. Higher Salary
An advanced degree can increase your earning potential. Employers are mostly impressed by the extra knowledge and skill that you obtain from a master’s degree. Nursing administrators, managers, and professors can expect to earn a six-figure salary.
A higher salary gives you peace of mind, and you can relax after work instead of working a second job like many nurses with a BSN degree do at the start of their careers. A higher salary also improves your lifestyle and allows you to spend more quality time with your family. You may also use your free time and hard-earned money to pursue your hobbies.
4. More Authority
Advanced degrees make you eligible for leadership roles, providing more opportunity and authority in your industry. Nurses in leadership roles can help introduce reforms that will regulate the job conditions of all nurses.
They can help introduce new policies that provide staff at a lower level with more benefits for increased job satisfaction and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
The Bottom Line
Nurses often find it difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance. However, leading a happy and healthy physical, mental, and social life is extremely essential. A poor work-life balance can negatively impact all aspects of a nurse’s life, resulting in the provision of low-quality patient care.
An advanced degree can offer several benefits like better work hours, higher salary, more authority, and better work opportunities, which can help nurses to improve their work-life balance. Hopefully, this article will help you understand how a master’s in nursing can improve your work-life balance.