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Being a dorm Resident Assistant while in Nursing school...


Specializes in Critical Care (ICU/CVICU).

hello all! i just got a job as a resident assistant at my university where i attend my nursing school. at first i was a bit hesitant when i got the job, due to the rigors of ns, but then again, the free room and stipend would tremendously help my mom not have to worry about paying my rent (which is not cheap), as well as my future tuition (since my scholarship will cover me for only this academic year). so for those nursing students that are (or were) ras...

how do you manage to do it all??? the program planning, all the events, the 'on duty' or 'on call' schedule, room checks, resident conflict resolutions, etc. and still have time for your studies? nursing comes #1 for me and if i feel that i am overwhelmed i will not be hesitant to quit. but with this economy, and the competitiveness to even be able to even get this job, i don't want to lose it either.

if you have any advice on how you managed to do it, please share on how to survive. lol

I was an RA for 1.5 years when I was doing all of my pre-requisites for nursing school with the intention to enter an accelerated 2nd degree BSN program after graduating, so my experiences aren't exactly like what yours will be, but I'm sure we can relate to each other since I was cramming all of my pre-requisite classes into 3 or 4 semesters with a minor in a language. I did get through it, though, and I graduated with great grades.

If you are a procrastinator, try your best to break the habit. Get as much done early as you can. Make a list of what you need to do and get it done if that's what you need to do to stay on top of your work. That way, if anything unexpected comes up (such as a problem with a resident), you don't fall too far behind. I found that most of my residents stopped by during the evenings, so I tried my hardest to get my most difficult work done during the day so that I could leave my door open for a few evenings during the week so that they knew I was around.

It is hard, and there will probably be nights when you will want to quit. Do not (I repeat, do NOT) count on duty nights as free nights for homework. I did this one night during the week, and I wound up dealing with a hospitalization, a fire, and an alcohol incident with extremely uncooperative residents that ended with an intervention from a supervisor and Security. Since I was on top of my work already, I didn't fall too far behind, but it was a pain anyway.

Most of all, keep your sanity first. It's okay not to answer your door if you're having a bad day. You can't take care of anybody else if you can't take care of yourself. If it's that bad, your residents will knock again, get another RA, or they'll call your room phone. You'll learn pretty quickly when something's urgent and when it can wait judging by the type of knock on the door.

I hope I didn't overwhelm you (or scare you, ha). I hope it helped. If you have any more questions or anything, I'd be glad to help :).

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