Nursing schools are notorious for being tough on students. If you’re enrolled in a nursing degree/course, you may find it hard to juggle all your academic and personal responsibilities. Nerve-racking assessments, extensive practical work, and erratic schedules can be stressful. Chances are, you may start reconsidering your career choice midway.
Though passing nursing school may seem like an insurmountable challenge, it is not impossible. Successful student life involves thoughtful planning, good scheduling, and a few valuable study tips. By studying smarter with evidence-based learning techniques, you can tackle all the challenges that may come forth.
If you are an aspiring nurse anxious about the challenges lying ahead or a professional planning to seek higher education with success, we can help you out. Below are a few fail-proof tips to help you get through nursing school.
1. Select the right mode of learning
Creating a work-life balance is much easier with distance learning in this day and age. Online education can take away all your study woes. This method of learning is even better for RNs studying to upskill their practice in a more flexible manner.
But be sure to do thorough research before you enroll in an online nursing degree/course. For example, if you plan to further your education with an MSN in nursing education, read up on the FAQs about an online MSN in nursing education to satisfy all your queries. This way, you can get valuable information regarding accreditation, curriculum, financial aids, etc., that students need to know about. Also, ensure that your online learning provider is authentic and awards credible qualifications.
2. Set realistic academic goals
Decide your targets for the semester beforehand, either in terms of grades or learning a specific skill. When you set goals, you’ll figure out ways to approach them, which will make studying much more manageable.
You need to ensure your academic goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Ask yourself questions like what minimum grades do I require for applying to a particular program/job? How can I stay among the top scorers in my class? These fundamental questions will help you identify your academic goals and devise a workable plan to achieve them. Your goals will also act as a source of motivation throughout your study period.
3. Study every day
Do you know the secret to success in student life? Yes, you heard it right! Studying a little bit every day can help you understand and learn the coursework more effectively. After all, your mind can’t retain everything you dump on it the last day before the test. This technique will also reduce exam stress that otherwise may lead you to flunk.
Another important tip for understanding, memorizing, and learning better is identifying and sticking to your learning style. Many people learn well by reading and writing, some by watching videos, others through reading aloud, while many are tactile learners. So, identify the most helpful style in comprehending new information and memorizing it better.
4. Study in groups
Study groups enable students to stay connected with each other and learn more effectively. How? When studying together in a group of 4 to 5 people, each person shares their understanding of a topic. Then you can brainstorm together and find solutions to problems. In this way, you can also understand concepts you fail to grasp on your own.
Study groups also help to lend emotional support during difficult times. Moreover, study groups make you accountable to a group and help you stay motivated throughout your academic life.
5. Remember to take breaks
For nursing students who juggle clinical work with their studies, breaks are even more important. Not taking out time to relax can lead to stress and other health-related problems. It can also affect learning outcomes and patient care.
So, incorporate small breaks into your strict schedule and take some time to soothe your frazzled mind. You can do anything you like to do in your leisure time to help you recuperate. Cook, read fiction, play video games, hit the gym, or take a nap.
6. Take care of yourself
While it’s true that you need to study harder to succeed, you also need to look after yourself for success. If you are not feeling well, you can never do well in your academic life. You may forget meals during your never-ending work and classes, become dehydrated, work selflessly without taking a small nap, etc. But all these carcinogenic habits will affect you in the long run.
Regardless of the circumstances, don’t forget to eat healthy food and drink water on time. You can do meal prep in advance if you’re short on time or grab healthy snacks when you’re on the go. Also, try to avoid surviving on junk and high amounts of caffeine. You could do more damage to your health than you would expect.
It takes a lot of effort and courage to become a nurse. Maintaining your study schedule, being on calls, and on top of these, juggling personal responsibilities can seem impossible at times. However, incorporating a few smart tips can help you pass your nursing school with flying colors. We’ve mentioned a few tips to make nursing school feel like cutting a cake.
These include choosing the right program, setting realistic academic goals, studying daily, engaging in a group study, taking breaks, and prioritizing self-care. Adhering to this advice can help you muddle through your coursework and become a competent, qualified nurse.