Nursing, undeniably, is one of the most challenging yet incredibly gratifying careers in healthcare. The professionals in this field are always on their toes, work long shifts under significant stress, and suffer from compassion fatigue to deliver optimum patient care. And while this might not be an easy undertaking, it pays off in the contentment of bringing light and making a real difference in patients’ lives.
Today, many students pursue advanced degrees while doing their jobs simultaneously. However, there’s no denying that a nursing student’s life is intense and hectic – many professional nurses can testify to this fact. There are medical terminologies to remember, clinical rotations to attend, grades to maintain, and complex exams to prepare for nursing school success.
With the constant juggling between complex workloads, carving out time for recreational activities, and part-time jobs, nurses have a great deal of work on their plates. Although no one asserts nursing school to be an easy feat, after all, earning a nursing degree is a significant investment. Nonetheless, there are several ways nurses can put themselves on the right track to success.
Ahead are a couple of study tips for professional nurses to survive and thrive at the nursing school:
Leverage online learning
Students who wish to earn a pay-check yet at the same time make a headway in their career trajectory can benefit from online learning. Online nursing schools allow students to manage their studies flexibly while commencing their jobs.
Nursing schools offer degrees such as Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in an asynchronous format, allowing students to study course material and complete assignments at convenience. However, individuals who wish to complete their education in a shorter time frame can go for accelerated programs.
Today, eLearning offers accelerated BSN online programs for students who want to shift their career focus and meet the growing need for RNs. Individuals having undergraduate degrees in any discipline can enrol in these programs. Besides theoretical knowledge, accelerated nursing programs allow aspiring nurses to gain hands-on experience by completing clinical rotations and residencies.
Create study groups
You probably might have heard the famous proverb, ‘two heads are better than one.’ And this becomes specifically true in the case of nursing schools. Just as you count on your fellow nurses to survive the long shifts, in the same vein, you can depend on study partners while studying.
Individuals who have never been to nursing schools can’t relate to your experience—the sadness of being away from the family, assignments, workloads, and academic stress. However, with study partners in your corner, you can create your own little family that can smoothly help you get through nursing school. Additionally, constructive relationships with peers are crucial for healthy development and socialisation.
Therefore, reach out to your course mates, find the ones you get along with, and create a study group. These study groups can help you keep tabs on deadlines, stay motivated, and hold yourself accountable. Not only this, but these groups also open doors for networking. However, be sure not to compare your study pace with other members.
Figure out a learning style
Have you ever wondered why you understand and pick up concepts of some topics better than others? It’s because the study strategy aligns with the way you learn.
So, before you go diving headfirst, identify your learning style. Suppose you intend to pursue an online degree program. In that case, all the more so, it’s critically important to determine the learning style since you will be mainly studying all by yourself.
First, figure out at what time of your day your brain gives peak performance. For instance, do you feel comfortable studying at night, or do you prefer to wake up early morning? It’s relevant to note that there’s no right or wrong time; it depends on your preferences.
Next, find how you learn the best. For example, some people are visual and auditory learners. In contrast, others prefer to jot down notes to retain information in long-term memory. And if you are still unsure, experiment – get creative and try out multiple methods to process and comprehend information.
You are ambitious to become a nurse; however, it doesn’t imply you need to burn yourself out. While it’s true that self-care often drops by the wayside when studying for a nursing degree, you can’t achieve much if you aren’t in the best of your health.
Over-studying can prove detrimental to your health. It can cause stomach aches, disrupt your sleeping pattern, and adversely impact your performance at nursing school. Taking restorative breaks in between not only rejuvenates your mind. It also enhances concentration and increases productivity.
Therefore, set aside a particular time for study, define goals and targets, and refrain your mind from wandering into thoughts. Once you’ve met those targets, reward yourself with a break. For instance, watch a quick show, treat yourself to a cookie, take a casual stroll, or play a musical instrument. Do whatever you are fond of; enjoy these ‘off periods’ to your fullest.
Nursing school is demanding – no two ways about it. Incorporating these study strategies and learning how to prepare well for exams requires practice, dedication, and time. However, nursing per se is a practice that you will build and hone during your entire career journey.
The secret sauce to success at nursing school isn’t about studying continuously and being good on papers. Instead, it’s mainly about balance. If you can commit the better part of your day to studies while also prioritising self-care, you already have a great shot at acing the exams.
Sure, striking a balance between career pursuits and enjoying life is a tall order. And you won’t be very good at attaining it. Nevertheless, exceptional learning experiences emerge from letting go of being a perfectionist. Instead, developing the resilience required to move onward and upward makes you the phenomenal caregiver you already are.