Trying to work and go to school is challenging enough, but throwing kids into the mix makes it three times as hard. Yet many mothers are working on a nursing degree so that they can afford to take care of their families or increase the odds they can give their children a better future. Here are four essential tips for moms pursuing a nursing degree.

Research Educational Benefits

If you’re a mom with kids, money is probably tight. The desire to earn a higher degree so you can earn more money makes the time and money it takes a worthwhile trade-off. What if you don’t have to actually give up money to earn your nursing degree? If you work for a medical institution already, ask about their educational benefits. Many institutions pay for you to earn a degree related to your profession on the condition you work for them for a certain period of time afterward. They may pay the institution directly. More often, you pay the tuition and fees and they reimburse you after you show them that you earned the requisite grades; you’ll be reimbursed in time to pay the next semester’s tuition.

If employer reimbursement of educational expenses isn’t an option, research tax credits you can use to receive a lower tax bill next year. Be wary of loans offered as financial assistance.

Utilize Online Education

Don’t assume you have to give up several hours every evening for your education. If you enroll in online doctoral nursing programs, you can attend courses online on your schedule.

You don’t have to miss out on the social aspects of the course since the instructor should be available for questions via instant messaging, whether presenting live or checking in on messages throughout the day. You can also network with other online students for review sessions and to ask each other questions.

Recognize the Importance of Degree Selection

Don’t earn a degree unless you know you’ll receive a strong return on the investment. For example, a nurse practitioner doctorate degree results in pay of $90,000 or more for degree holders. If you are willing to work evenings in a doc in a box clinic or weekends in an urgent care center, your pay rate will be even higher. Don’t spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours earning a degree in holistic nursing or credentials employers won’t reward with a higher pay rate.

Study Hard, Parent Hard

Multi-tasking is not a productivity booster but a productivity drain. Every time our attention is pulled away from the task at hand, our productivity at whatever we were doing drops for several minutes after we return.

What is the solution?

Don’t try to take classes online while the kids keep coming up for help with their homework or refereeing the latest sibling dispute. Invest time with your children before class, helping them with homework, enlisting everyone to help with chores and getting kids settled in for the night. You can then focus on your class, while the children are either relegated to the playroom to watch a movie, in bed for the night or assigned to someone else’s supervision.

Being a good parent and a good student might seem like a juggling act, but with the proper preparation, you can excel at both.

Talk to me in the comments, please:

What tips would you add to this list?