A Day in the Life of an RN to BS Student

By Melanie Flugel, RN to BS Student

There is no such thing as a typical day when it comes to being an RN to BS student.

Most of us work full time – some on days, some on nights, some three shifts per week, some at a Monday through Friday job and some on double shifts every weekend. Some of the students in the program are full-time students and some are part-time students. Some are fresh out of their two-year prelicensure programs and some are experienced nurses; some may be married or have children, families or other responsibilities to consider. Everyone’s week looks a little different, but I can offer my perspective and a glimpse into the life of an RN to BS student. 


If it’s not a work weekend for me, I spend Sundays looking at the week’s assignments on UB Learns (UB’s learning management system), filling in all the assignments and due dates on my weekly calendar in the office/craft room at my house and making sure I have everything caught up and turned in from the previous week. Then, I watch the Buffalo Bills game if it’s football season and try to spend the rest of the day focusing on anything but school or work if I can.


I work three 12-and-a-half hour shifts each week, sometimes picking up extra assignments due to the staffing shortage we are all suffering through right now. So, on a typical week, I might work Monday and Tuesday then again on Friday, which means I do zero school work unless I know there is something pressing that must be done. On workdays, I get up by 6 a.m., get ready for the day, and am at work by 7 a.m. I work my shift in the labor and delivery unit and head home at 7:30 p.m. Next, I have dinner and get ready for bed. Then I do it all again the next day. There just isn’t time for schoolwork those days unless it’s something urgent. 


On days I’m not working, I try to sleep in (usually not past 8:30 a.m., thanks to my dogs Walker and Georgia). After letting the dogs out and getting ready for the day, I usually grab a hot tea and quick breakfast and head up to my office at home to dive into my school day. I generally stay in there until noon when my husband comes home for lunch. I spend about 30-40 minutes with him until he leaves for work again and then I dive back into my assignments. Depending on the workload for that week, I may work on assignments until 8 or 9 p.m., but some days I can be done as early as 5 or 6 p.m. After that, I unwind with the husband at home, take the dogs for a walk or go to bed early if I work the next day.  


Our program is completed via distance learning, so everything is done online and from home. Typical weekly assignments for each class include:

  • Reading from our textbook
  • Reading scholarly articles related to that week’s lesson
  • Reviewing lecture videos and/or presentations
  • Completing discussion board posts related to the week’s lesson and responding to posts by peers
  • Completing research toward a larger assignment such as a presentation or essay (two to three of which may be due throughout the semester for each class)

Additionally, we may have virtual clinicals to complete, online quizzes or learning modules that may be due and several other miscellaneous assignments. Now multiply this workload by four or five classes each semester, and then you have a typical week for a full-time RN to BS student (two or three classes for part-time).

I do my best to balance work, school and home life as equally as I can. Some weeks, I have plenty of time to either pick up an extra shift or go out for a date night with my husband. Other weeks, I have no time for either of those things. Either way, I know the end result is worth all the work and I feel grateful to be a part of the RN to BS program at UB. 

Published March 14, 2022