Nursing school is known for its tough coursework and challenging assignments. But then, overcoming challenges is part of learning. Wouldn’t you agree? You will be taking care of patients whose lives will depend on your ability to provide excellent care.
Though the level of study required in nursing schools is justified given their nature and consequence of work, it is still overwhelming. There always is newer material to learn, new concepts to familiarize yourself with, and grades to maintain.
In addition to all that, you’ll have to master your clinical skills and hone them with consistent practice to be good at what you do. If you are someone who has to juggle work with their studies, then you know how hard it can be to concentrate well on any one these, not to mention the family commitments that can come knocking without notice.
So, how would you then, faced with all of these odds, make sure that you ace your nursing studies and make the journey through nursing school less taxing and stressful? Well, a little planning and organizing is required to make the most of what you have.
The key is finding the right balance in life. If you struggle to find your footing, it might be due to a lack of proper guidance. Besides, nurses are the most burnt-out professionals of them all.
Faced with a constant anxiety, you might find it hard to focus on the studies. Studying for a degree, like the RN to BSN Degree, is no small feat, but it will mean that you’ll be asked to put your best foot forward and leave nothing in reserve in order to excel at the profession.
Work according to the exam guide
When you are juggling multiple responsibilities in life, looking after your family and work, you have to change your study tactics a bit. You cannot afford to spend hours upon hours cramming all the concepts simply because you don’t have enough time.
So, consider studying smart, not hard. Use your available time wisely and keep the final nursing exam in your crosshairs at all times. Follow the nursing exam guides and prepare accordingly. By following them, you will know about all the important concepts.
Though you won’t be able to prepare all the concepts as they don’t make up the mock exams and guides, you will still be able to prepare the most important nursing concepts.
Select a study area
You cannot waste your limited time gossiping with your family or getting distracted when studying. So, make sure to appoint a study space for yourself in the house. This corner should be your refuge from all the distractions of the home. This place must be far away from the living room where your family spends their time eating and chatting.
Most importantly, it must not be near the TV area. Research also proves that distractions in your surroundings can reduce your productivity and impact your memory retention. Hence, making it very difficult to focus and understand difficult concepts.
Even if you don’t study at home, have a designated place to spend productive study time at the hospital. To cancel noise from the surroundings, you can use noise-cancelling headphones. The same strategy can be employed if you study at a public place, such as a coffee shop.
Don’t put off everything till the weekends
You might be tempted to put off your tasks for the weekend, but this strategy can prove to be disastrous, as cramming all the nursing concepts in one or two days wouldn’t be possible.
Besides, having so much to do on the weekends might be overwhelming. So, even if you are tempted to compress your weeks’ worth study into a few hours on the weekend, you shouldn’t be doing it.
Instead, choose to study a little every day by setting out an hour or so out of your schedule for studying. You don’t have to allocate time at all, and study based solely on how much you should be covering each day. This could be a chapter, a section, a concept, or your homework, the key is to do as much as you can consistently work on.
Another helpful strategy tied to this is to break down larger projects into smaller ones, i.e., instead of daring yourself to cram a whole chapter, divide it into sections that you need to understand in order to build a wholistic view of the chapter.
Instead of burying yourself into books and notes over the entire weekend, continue with your daily routine and spend the remaining time with your family. Many studies have espoused that spending time with family is like therapy; it reduces stress and improves mood. So, ensure to strike a balance between your work and study lives.
Revise the topics discussed in your class
When you plan your daily study sessions, try to focus on the concepts already discussed in your class. The topics could be from online or on-campus classes.
When you go over the concepts on the same day they are taught, your retention and memory for those concepts will improve. This way, you’d be able to ask intelligent questions and make clever observations when the topics are still being discussed on forums or in class.
Ask for the tutor’s help
Whether you are trying to grasp complicated concepts or learning about improved patient care strategies, a tutor can help you enormously. Taking their advice can help you soar through the course, leaving behind a trail of exceptional performance.
Your tutor can help you get your head around complicated concepts, help you create studying strategies, and fill in your knowledge gaps. Having a tutor is recommended because talking to someone about your study and work can uplift your spirits.
Actively participate in discussion forums
Often, in nursing, there are study forums where teachers and students can come together to participate in healthy discussions. Joining these study forums can really make your life easier. You can discuss your problem and seek advice, from teachers and students alike, on the course materials you are wrestling with.
Teachers often use these forums to give valuable feedback on students’ work and discuss the common issues they might have found in the assignments and homework. But these forums are as helpful as your participation in them. The more you participate, the more ideas you will be able to absorb. Also, they’re great places for gathering new information around the topics which cannot be found in your course books.
Reward yourself for the good work
Rewarding means appreciating yourself when you achieve certain study milestones. For instance, you might be planning on watching the latest episode of your favorite Netflix show. Set up a reading session, or a study goal, before you can binge on the show. This way, you’ll be challenging yourself to complete the study task quickly so you can get on to watching the show, which will be your reward.
Nursing is a challenging profession on its own. But when you have to juggle between your professional work, home and family responsibilities, and managing to get through nursing school, all at the same time, it can all be really challenging. Therefore, if you want to make it through the nursing school unscathed and come out as an exceptional nurse, ready for her frontline duties, you’ll have to incorporate certain study habits. These include: making study plans, sticking to your work and study schedules, rewarding yourself, breaking down concepts and course material into incremental chunks, and asking your peers and professor for help whenever you feel stuck.