6 Nursing School Tips For Success

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Nursing school can be one of the most challenging periods in your life. The complex exams, supervised clinical rotations, lengthy concepts to memorize, and research papers to compile can be as daunting as climbing Everest. As a nurse, your journey through nursing school is a long one. You will need to go from a BSN to an MSN and soon specialize in a field of your choosing. This is essentially signing up for a life of studying, exams, and constant learning. 

So it is understandable if you feel stressed out and second-guess your capabilities as a nurse. But, with some guidance and push in the right direction, you will conquer nursing school in no time. Like any sector, in order do you to thrive, you need discipline and structure, so here’s how you hustle through school:

1. Find Online Programs

Online schools are nothing short of a blessing. They are far more convenient to enroll in. They offer you the same quality education as most traditional nursing schools. However, with online degrees, you have the liberty of choosing your schedule, using online recorded videos, and facilitating education through nursing forums instead of relying on class-provided resources. 

Even lucrative and highly professional qualifications like an MSN FNP degree are easily attainable online. You can pick up on advanced practitioner skills by clicking on any linked information, watching videos, listening to lectures, and submitting all your hard work, whether a research paper or an assignment, from any smart device. 

In addition, you get to access all these facilities for an affordable cost, which removes immense financial stress off your shoulders. When you save time, prioritize your well-being and choose a flexible method to acquire a challenging degree, you will shine as a nurse.

2. Study Smart Not Hard

Cramming and studying in large chunks the night before the test is never a good idea. You may confuse yourself, mess up terminologies, or not comprehend the depth of a concept. In addition, nursing is a specifically technical field. You need to know all the techniques, from working with various patients to administering medication in different forms. Therefore, studying in small clusters every day will allow you to retain necessary details and perform much better on paper and in person during a mock medical test. 

You can make a study group for yourself if you feel it can help tackle the coursework. Numerous online nursing platforms connect you with students worldwide to discuss, share and exchange resources. You can create smaller nursing groups with selective study partners on these platforms, like making a separate group on Facebook or a Subreddit on nursing specializations. If you want in-person learning, try forming a study group with a few of your nursing peers studying for the same exam. You can even use websites like nursing online or Medscape to become more articulate with concepts.

3. Know Your Study Style

One size doesn’t fit all, and if you choose a technique that doesn’t work for you, it wastes your time and causes you to lag in your coursework. For example, you may want to download all audio lectures, YouTube videos, and read-aloud if you’re an auditory learner. 

Kinesthetic learners need a physical medium to study. Applications like good notes and Evernote can help you digitally write notes and sync them across your devices. Design flashcards for yourself and study them while on breaks if you’re slightly old school. 

Visual learners need to see what is happening to connect concepts. You can turn to online videos that demonstrate nursing methods on patients or practice specific techniques on medical mannequins in hospitals. In addition to knowing your learning style, you should also try making sense of what you’re studying. 

The purpose of your skills is to be a better medical professional, so try building your knowledge with an idea of how it will benefit your patient. For example, if you study implicit bias in nursing, consider how racism and prejudice towards certain patients can violate their right to medical treatment.

4. Make Time For Yourself

You cannot neglect yourself for the sake of your degree. You’re still a human being who needs rest, breaks, and proper nutrition to function. So while you may have a stressful routine, try to get at least a few hours of sleep. If you cannot manage that, attempt six hours of sleep with at least a thirty-minute nap. 

Try to spend time with your friends and family. Cooking can also be challenging, especially with an online degree and a full-time job. So go for weekly meal preparations. An alternative option includes eating from healthier outlets and restaurants which offer low-calorie meals. Don’t forget to go easy on the caffeine and never self-medicate to pull an all-nighter. 

Exercise and meditation are excellent ways to take your mind off work and school. You can jog, go for a walk, or try mindful meditation when you feel overwhelmed with work. When you give yourself a break, you’ll feel refreshed, more optimistic about studying, and better retain information. Lack of leaves will only burn you out and cause you to become frustrated enough to give up on your career.

5. Speak to Your Mentors

A mentor can be anyone from a professor or a senior nurse at work. These seasoned experts have the knowledge and experience that can come in handy for your career. You can choose to meet your mentor in person or email them to understand how to navigate through nursing school better. Your questions can include advice on appearing for the NCLEX. Pitfalls to avoid as a student and how not to draft a research paper. 

You can also learn about nursing organizations and clinics where you should intern to get relevant exposure. Speaking with a mentor is also an excellent opportunity to cultivate a relationship with a certified professional. This can help you network, get letters of recommendation, and fast-track your career by applying to certain states for work. It also helps listen to someone who went through the same hardships as you. Finally, the conversations can comfort you and reassure you about the future, especially if you feel like you’re struggling in school.

6. Maintain A Schedule

Time management is an essential feature of being a nurse. There is a delicate balance between your professional and academic life. When these overlap, you may become frazzled and start making mistakes while working with patients or giving an exam. Your schedule should be realistic and easy to follow. 

Applications like reminders or google planner can help you download your curriculum and sync important testing dates into your calendar. This will help you build a suitable schedule. Pen down the hours you need to put in the clinic, appointments you need to keep up with, breaks, and a slot for downtime. 

There will be days when you can’t keep up with your schedule, which is fine. However, don’t let it become a habit, or you’ll lose sight of your goal. A one-year program can quickly become a four-year one if you’re not careful with your time.

Final Thoughts

There are endless rewards of becoming a nurse, but you still have many hoops to jump through before you can claim them. A nursing degree is complex and challenging and requires you to pick up specific skills. So you need to find ways to get through nursing school and emerge victoriously. You can start by choosing an online degree instead of going to a traditional school. 

Train yourself to study in a more manageable manner that prevents you from cramming or missing out on crucial details. Of course, taking breaks is also a part of the process, so make sure you give yourself some downtime. 

A neat trick in ensuring you have plenty of time to work and study is planning out your day to the T. You can also facilitate your learning by consulting your mentor or using online student forums to become more confident about your degree. With these methods, you should have no trouble breezing through as a nurse and accomplishing your goals.

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