Calling all nursing students! Do you want to learn some time-tested tips on how to survive nursing school?
Life as a nursing student can be tough. Nursing school can sometimes seem like a bloody battlefield every day, and it’s a real effort to survive classes.
If you are about to pursue Nursing this school year, take note of the following top ten tips to help you survive nursing school.
1. Always Be Prepared
Preparation is the key in preventing the onset of overwhelming stress. Always come to class ready and prepared.
After each lesson, organize your notes in your nursing binder and review your lessons for the day. Retention of new information learned will be easier this way. Some clinical instructors love to surprise nursing students with sudden tests and activities so don’t let your guard down!
2. Set Your Goals
At the beginning of each semester, determine your goals. Are you going to be on top of the class? Are you going to participate in extracurricular nursing organizations?
By determining your goals, you will have a clearer understanding of what you want to achieve and how you can achieve them. Your goals will serve as your motivation in finishing your nursing studies.
3. Develop a Study Habit
As early as possible, develop your own study habit. Once studying becomes part of your routine, it will be easier for you to prepare for a test no matter how short your prep time is. Just choose the most comfortable time you have for your study schedule.
If you do great with study groups, find study buddies to share hard lessons with. They can also become an important support group as you go through nursing school together.
Exercise is essential in reenergizing yourself. When the brain and mind become weary, they can be revitalized by physical activity.
Choose an activity you really enjoy and something that’s very convenient for you. It can be something as simple as running, Zumba, aerobic dancing, or brisk-walking in the park. The important thing is to get moving and sweating at regular intervals during the week.
5. Don’t Skip Meals
Most students asking about how to survive nursing school often take this tip for granted. No matter how busy you are, don’t skip meals. Being properly nourished is one of the keys in staying sharp at school.
Eat sufficient nutritious meals that will keep you energized for the whole day. Bringing snacks at school will be helpful too especially those labeled as “foods for the brain” like nuts and dark chocolates.
6. Get a Sturdy Bag to Pack All the Essentials
There are so many things you will need at nursing school so it is important to get a sturdy bag for classes and duties. A backpack or a big tote bag is great for this.
During regular classes, you will need to pack your nursing binder, pens, calculator, hygiene kit, textbooks, laptop and other items. For clinical duties, you might need to pack an extra pair of scrubs along with your meals. In hopping between classes and clinical duties, it is best to have one carry-it-all bag.
7. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Whenever you don’t understand something, don’t be afraid to ask. You will lose this privilege once you are in clinical areas so don’t hesitate to clarify. It’s better to clear up your confusions on the spot rather than to keep wondering for weeks.
If you can, make friends with nursing students in the higher years. Get intel on subjects and teachers so you know what to expect in the years ahead.
8. Learn From Your Mistakes
It is true that it never feels uplifting to commit a mistake. But instead of dwelling on your mistakes, learn from them and move on. It is more acceptable to commit a mistake when you are just a nursing student rather than making a mistake as a registered nurse. What’s important is you learn your lesson and vow to never repeat that mistake again.
9. Test Your Knowledge through Practice Questions
The best way to determine if you have learned effectively is to take practice tests. Fortunately, there are plenty of free resources online. You can go to nursing websites, install Nursing apps on your smartphone, or even play educational nursing games.
Use these free resources and answer as many practice questions as you can. After all, experience is the best teacher. Future exams will be easy for you once you practiced yourself well in answering sample tests.
10. Balance Your Schedule
Although nursing school may be hard on you, don’t be too hard on yourself. Don’t dedicate all your time on school. Balance your schedule and allot time for hobbies and social activities. By having a balanced schedule, you can avoid getting burned out from all the stress at school.
With these top tips on how to survive nursing school, you can now start in planning your way to becoming a nurse. Just always keep in mind that nursing school is just a tiny part of the battlefield in pursuing this career. In the end, all the hard work will be very rewarding once you become a nurse.
About the Author: Je Abarra is a nurse by profession and a freelance writer by passion. She is working as a staff nurse in the pediatric ward of a private city hospital for more than two years. During her free time, she usually writes about her fascinations in health and nursing. She loves to provide tips and fun facts about nursing and healthy living.