Becoming a nurse is, hands down, one of the best career choices. The utility and happiness you attain as a nurse are unmatchable. Moreover, the nursing occupation’s impressive perks, including competitive salaries, job security, professional development opportunities, and many others, make it a highly in-demand profession. Nowadays, getting into nursing school has become much easier with the wide range of degree options available. However, keeping up with your nursing school studies, especially while balancing work and social life, is the real challenge.
Nursing school is highly challenging, and there are no two ways about that fact. Managing work and life along with your nursing studies can often become difficult when the syllabus starts piling up, and the amount of content you need to cover becomes insurmountable. Surviving nursing school and staying ahead of your studies requires effective planning, time management, and utilization of several study techniques to ensure success in your nursing education.
A few study tips to help nurses juggle work and academics include:
1. Follow a study guide
If you need help figuring out the most effective way to plan and sort your study materials, following a study guide for reference is best. You can find study guides online, some even specific to nursing.
While pursuing higher degrees like online BSN nursing programs, a study guide will offer added convenience. Most online programs provide students with a study guide before the start of the degree. These study guides usually have the most effective study practices mapped out for students for the next 4 – 5 years, along with several external links.
A study guide can help you organize your study materials and create a plan for what to study and when. Moreover, study guides help you manage your time effectively, focus on essential topics, build confidence, and enhance efficiency by providing a clear roadmap of your study material.
2. Make a schedule
Scheduling is one of the most effective ways to study efficiently. Following a schedule lets you know what and when you will learn, saves time, increases productivity, and results in more successful studying. Nurses must follow a plan for their studies to effectively manage their time and stay on top of their coursework. By setting aside dedicated study time each day or week, nurses can ensure enough time to review and retain critical information. A study schedule can also help nurses stay organized and prioritize their workload, allowing them to balance their academic commitments with their clinical responsibilities.
A schedule or a study timetable brings routine into your life, saves you energy, helps in de-stressing, and helps avoid procrastination. However, you must put together a timetable for your study plan, which includes preparing a realistic schedule, picking the time of the day you feel most productive, and regularly reviewing your progress.
3. Prioritize projects
When you have a packed schedule as a student, it’s crucial to prioritize various class projects and assignments effectively. It involves setting realistic goals, determining the urgency and importance of tasks, and strategically organizing them. It would help if you tailored your prioritization strategy to your strengths and weaknesses as a student. For instance, allocate additional time for relevant assignments if you find a particular subject difficult. As you work on projects and keep getting new ones, update your prioritization list accordingly.
Prioritization reduces stress and increases productivity, helps you create room to check your errors, and gives you more time to relax. Furthermore, it enables you to avoid procrastination, keeps you motivated, brings efficiency to your workload, and enriches your physical and mental health.
4. Form a study group
Forming a study group can be an effective strategy for nurses to improve their learning experience. Collaborating with peers in a study group can enable nurses to share knowledge, insights, and ideas, ultimately enriching their understanding of the subject matter.
Furthermore, being part of a study group can help nurses stay accountable and motivated by contributing to the group’s discussions and activities. Studying in a group also provides a supportive environment where nurses can ask questions, seek clarification, and receive feedback from their peers. Collaborating with peers in a study group can help nursing students develop critical thinking skills.
One of the key benefits of working in a group is that you get to hear different perspectives and approaches to a topic, which can expand your knowledge and understanding. And this is particularly important in nursing school, where students must demonstrate strong critical thinking skills in various exams and assignments. By actively participating in group discussions, nursing students can absorb the insights and knowledge of their peers, which can help them improve their critical thinking abilities.
5. Prioritize well-being
One mistake most nursing students make while studying for their exams and assignments is overlooking their well-being. You must understand that your health is crucial to your success. Therefore, never compromise your well-being over your studies. The better you feel, the more efficiently you can focus on your course material.
Your academic success will only improve if you care for your physical and mental health. There are several ways that nursing students can prioritize their well-being, including practicing self-care, time management, seeking support, establishing boundaries, and mindfulness.