Richa Madaan

Richa Madaan

6 Strategies for Nurses to Balance Work and Personal Life

  Jan 17, 2024
Reviewed by Ravinder Kaur


Key Takeaways

  • There are nearly 5.2 million registered nurses all around the United States of America.
  • It is necessary for nurses to take care of their personal health and well-being so that they can take care of others.
  • With the help of telehealth, healthcare professionals can evaluate or examine patients from a distance with the help of modern technology. 

We all can feel the necessity of doctors and nursing staff in our lives. Talking about nurses, have more involvement than any other sector in the healthcare profession. All across the USA, there are 5.2 million registered nurses. As a nurse, you are often the first person that patients see when they come to the hospital. 

Nurses provide primary and preventative care in many settings, including private practices and nursing homes. As such, they are intrinsically linked to a country’s ability to address healthcare concerns. When responsible for the health and well-being of others, it can be easy to get caught up in the demands of your profession, which can result in causing you to neglect your own well-being. 

Be it any profession, your work-life balance should be appropriate and should not compromise your personal life. It becomes more necessary to maintain the perfect balance since being a nurse, there are thousands of patients’ health that depend on you. Hence, you should be fit enough to take care of others as well.

Determine Your Priorities

Not everyone is alike, and your responsibilities outside of work may differ greatly from your coworkers’. Take some time to list your priorities, including professional development. Ranking your priorities in terms of how vital they are to you will allow you to focus on tasks that require immediate attention without being distracted by other responsibilities. Establishing your primary focus will also help you decide how to allocate your free time.

Consider Pursuing Higher Education

It may initially sound like an additional responsibility, but earning further degrees, like a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), can certainly pay off. Consider joining an online RN BSN program to broaden your professional horizons when working full-time. Investing in a BSN degree comes with a significant pay raise and makes you eligible for a wider range of roles. 

According to a 2020 survey, 82% of employers strongly prefer to hire nurses with a BSN. This will make your job search much easier. It can also allow you to choose a nursing role that suits your needs ultimately leading to a better work-life balance. 

It can also open up certain leadership and administrative positions, such as nursing management or research-related roles, which offer more predictable schedules and a more balanced lifestyle.

Set boundaries

Two-thirds of nurses will likely experience burnout at some point in their careers. The reasons for this can be chalked up to the emotional cutout from patient care. If this happens, chances are that you would not be able to cure the patient as you are not connected to them with empathy. 

It is coupled with the physically demanding nature of the job itself. One of the most paramount strategies for avoiding burnout as a nurse is to set strong boundaries. This can refer to limiting how much work you’re willing to commit to and disconnecting from work after the day. 

Communicating these boundaries to your coworkers and supervisors will allow you to prioritize your well-being and maintain a better work-life balance.

Invest in Your Relationships

When dealing with a demanding work life, it can be tempting to deprioritize your social commitments. You can always take a moment to call or text your loved ones to let them know you are thinking of them. 

Investing time and effort into building positive relationships is of utmost importance, as it will reduce stress and ensure that you have a strong support network around you that you can comfortably ask for help when you need to.

Look Into Virtual Opportunities

Typically, we consider nursing to be a very hands-on profession. It means you may find it difficult to imagine working remotely as a nurse, but that’s not the case. There are several jobs that nurses can do from the comfort of their homes, including telehealth jobs. 

Telehealth allows healthcare professionals to provide evaluations and consultations without requiring an in-person patient visit. It reduces the overall costs associated with healthcare and will enable nurses to provide care more efficiently. 

Since the process is more accessible than a hospital visit, patients are likely to seek care early on, which reduces the strain on hospital staff by decreasing the overall patient intake. As such, telehealth can be beneficial for the healthcare industry. 

Working remotely is a great option for nurses searching for a better work-life balance because it provides greater flexibility in terms of their schedules. It also reduces time spent commuting to their workplace and allows them to be present at home during the time helping patients. 

This graph shows how much flexibility in jobs plays a significant role in work balance.


Take Care of Your Health

Taking care of your physical and emotional health is vital to balance your professional goals and personal needs. A lack of sleep can result in impaired judgment and difficulty concentrating, so sleep for at least 7 hours a night. 

If you work longer shifts during the week, try to prepare nutritious meals during your time off to ensure that you maintain a healthy diet. You can also incorporate exercise into your daily routine to improve physical health.

At the same time, do not ignore your emotional health. Nursing can be a very high-stress profession, so you must find an outlet that allows you to process difficult situations. Learn stress management techniques or consider journaling to unload your thoughts. If you feel that you require more help, don’t hesitate to reach out to a counselor. 


As rewarding as it is, nursing can also be a rather taxing profession. It does not matter if you are a young nurse just starting in your career or a seasoned professional, it is paramount to maintain a proper work-life balance. Doing so will help you become more focused and productive, and will noticeably impact your overall well-being. 

Nurses are increasingly seen as leaders in the workplace, so use your power to address factors limiting work-life balance for you and your colleagues. Speak up against unnecessary processes that create extra stress for the nursing staff, and advocate for nurse work-life balance by creating healthier frameworks.