If you’re headed to nursing school, that means one thing: you’ve tackled the first hurdle and been accepted into nursing school. Congratulations! Now, in all honesty, the hard part begins. The next several years will be filled with soaring highs and the deepest lows. It will be challenging, exciting, overwhelming, and full of growth. To help you successfully overcome the next few years, take note of my best tips for surviving nursing school!
How to Survive Nursing School
I’ve been in your shoes. I remember exactly how I felt as my first day of nursing school approached. Nerves were high and my thoughts raced. If I could go back and give myself a few pieces of advice on how to get through nursing school, this would be it:
- Be Intentional About Making Friends
Your nursing school friends will be your number one support group. After all, they’re living through the same experience. Also, one of the best tried-and-true ways to study in nursing school is through study groups. Shoutout to TJ, Nikki, and Jess – my nursing school buddies, who I could not have graduated without!
- Get Organized
Organization is the key to successfully learning, growing, and surviving. I’ll give it to you straight: you’ll be stretched thin. Between classes and studying, your time management skills will practically make or break you. I recommend perfecting your time management abilities now.
- Limit Distractions
Let’s face it: today’s world is filled with distractions on a daily basis: social media, news reports, Netflix, etc. Limiting your distractions is the best way to stay laser-focused on your nursing goals and studies. Remember: sometimes we have to sacrifice in the short-term to gain in the long-term. Nursing school isn’t forever, but it’s important to make the most of it.
- Study, Study, and Study More
This one might seem oversimplified. But, it serves as your friendly reminder that you’ll get as much out of nursing school as you put in. Take your studies seriously. Set aside time, daily, to study without distraction.
- Make Time for Yourself
Over the next several years, you’ll be working your butt off. It’s important to intentionally set aside time to take a break, mentally and physically. Weekly (or even daily), indulge in a little self-care, such as exercise, an outdoor walk, deep breathing, hot bubble baths, or dog cuddles. You are your best self when you make your mental and physical health a priority.
- Make Sleep a Priority
Sleep is essential for every kind of brain function, like learning, memorizing, understanding, etc. Avoid pulling all-nighters at all costs. In fact, sometimes getting enough quality sleep is more beneficial than cramming during overnight study sessions.
- Avoid Last-Minute Cramming
On that note, ditch any ideas of last-minute cramming. What you don’t know the night before an exam, you certainly won’t learn in the wee hours of the night. Again, organization and time management is key. Make a plan to allow for plenty of study time in the weeks leading up to an exam.
- Utilize Hands-On Experience
There is nothing better than hands-on experiences. Make it a goal to volunteer, work, or train in a health care setting, such as a hospital, emergency room, outpatient facility, etc. After graduation, you’ll be a step ahead of your classmates!
Your years spent in nursing school will be ones for the books. You’ll likely make some of the best memories, while also experiencing more stress than you ever have before. So, take heart. Utilize these tips to the best of your ability and you’ll not only survive nursing school, but you’ll thrive.