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surviving nursing school

Having survival tips for nursing school will help you get through the worst days. As a student nurse, it is essential that you have a tip or two to follow while you are in school, and in this post, we got the best ones you can follow!

Getting accepted into nursing school is a significant accomplishment. You came this far; from working and volunteering for hundreds of hours, working as a CNA, and nailing your job interview, you now have the opportunity of becoming an actual nurse. But before you become a nurse, there are a few things you need to know before starting nursing school. 

Survival tips for nursing no. 1: Be ready

Nursing school will be challenging, and this is not even an exaggeration. As someone who went to nursing school, I can remember how nervous I was on my first day, but don’t worry. Being prepared for your first day will help you survive the following years. [1]

Start your semester organized and print out your schedule to avoid getting lost or late for classes. If you can, do an advance reading on the subjects you are taking. Make sure to stock up on school supplies – highlighters, post-its, binders for your notes, pens, etc. Get a checklist of the other things you need, like a lab coat, clinical uniform, medical scissors, stethoscopes, and other items that your school requires you to have. Gather everything before class starts so you can save time. 

Be prepared to study a lot of materials and dedicate time to review your notes. Be aware of your study habits, and make sure to take in as much information as you can. Yes, going to nursing school will be challenging, but as you adapt to your schedules, you will get the hang of it in the long run. 

Survival tip for nursing no. 2: Workload is overwhelming

There’s a misconception about nursing that your first year won’t be as hard as later but guess again. While your clinical rotation might not begin until the second semester (or year, depending on where you are studying), it doesn’t mean you can sit back and relax. It’s true when people say that nurses don’t get a timeout even before the actual work, I agree, but it’s all for training to be the best nurse! 

Many new nurse students get overwhelmed with the daily and weekly tasks in their first year in nursing school. A survey done in 2014 showed that out of the 150,000 college freshmen, 34.6% of them felt the stress and overwhelming workload of schoolwork. Add other commitments to their schedule, the effects of the pandemic, and it can be a demanding course to take. 

Although it’s understandable to feel stressed, it shouldn’t take over you. When things get tough at school, make sure to take a step back and breathe. It’s just schoolwork, after all! The best approach that you can take is to take care of yourself and your psyche. Get enough sleep, eat well, exercise, and take a breather. It can help you get through the most challenging days!

Survival tips for nursing no. 3: Reading a Lot

When I was in nursing school, I remembered I was always reading my notes wherever I went. In my case, I read my notes in case there’s a pop quiz in my class. I want to be ready for that. I hated reading textbooks then, but take down important notes to read the topic in one glance when I could. That strategy worked for me and helped me out until I was able to graduate.

Reading a lot of books is a prevalent theme in nursing school. It can be overwhelming, too, especially if you aren’t a reader or not used to reading books with medical terms. The bad news is you cannot escape this scenario. That said, I am telling you now to prepare yourself by facing books, notes, pages, syllabus, and other reading materials related to nursing. The good news, however, is you can find a way to tackle all of that.

Find a way to work on your notes and reading materials in an organized manner. You can use an app to help you sort out the books/notes you need to read or organize them by the calendar – either way, you know what works best for you. Just don’t overwhelm yourself too much!

Survival tips for nursing no. 4: Comprehension Matters

Some people go to nursing school thinking that they will become the best nurse if they get the best grades. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. As a former nursing student, I know many students who didn’t do well at school but are now working as one of the best in the nursing field. Some even have high positions in hospitals abroad! 

You see, grades don’t matter in the real world. Although yes, you should aim to pass nursing school and get a passing grade. However, when it comes to becoming the best of the best, it’s your comprehension that matters most! 

If you ever sat down next to an overachiever in class, don’t panic. Let them get As and Bs, but as I have mentioned, comprehension matters – it’s the secret weapon and advantages of being a nurse. Rather than being obsessed about getting a high score during tests, focus on how you understand the topics discussed in class. Develop your listening and critical thinking skills – you need this in the future, and remember, you cannot become a good nurse without developing your skills by thinking like one. 

Busy as a Bee

Your time in nursing school is one of the busiest days you will ever have. With the clinical rotations, return demonstration classes, patient care, studying for exams/quizzes, and other activities at school, you will be facing many challenges ahead. While this sounds like you don’t have a life anymore, I highly encourage that you take a break whenever you can and spend time with your friends and family. You cannot be a successful student if you eat and breathe nursing notes all the time, right? 

You don’t have to spend every waking moment in school, although expect that you will be around the campus most of the time, you must also make way for fun. Of course, what I am saying isn’t far from reality, but you must also understand that your previous life or schedule before entering nursing school will be a whole lot different. As you go through nursing school, take time to balance your personal and school life. Your schedule may have changed, but it’s for the best, so I hope you are ready for everything! [2]

Take on the Challenge

As a former nursing student, I can attest that nursing school isn’t a walk in the park. Yes, it will be challenging, extra busy, and yes, there will be times when you will feel frustrated with all the work in front of you. But when things become overwhelming, stop and take a break; you are human, after all. 

The best nurse uses critical thinking, the correct assessment, logic, and intuition – so don’t worry too much about getting the highest grades. Instead, develop these skills; it will help you in the long run. The challenges will always be there but use them well so you can enjoy the advantages of being a nurse. Of course, do your best as you go through nursing school, and don’t forget to have fun! Once you balance all of these, you will realize that nursing school isn’t so bad. Trust the process, and you will make it! 

 

 

 

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