Pointers for Making it Through Your Nursing School Year

By Nursing Student Taylor Haniford

It’s everyone’s favorite time of year again, back to school! I don’t know where the summer went, but it went by way too fast.  Say goodbye to the pool and swimsuits and hello to nursing uniforms and stethoscopes. The best way to start school is on the right foot (figuratively or literally, whichever way you take it), and here are some things to help you make it the best year in nursing school yet!

Take Care of You! Sometimes as nursing students, we’re so busy taking care of everyone and everything else that we forget to take care of ourselves first. The first step towards a successful year is to make sure you are feeling the best possible. Drink plenty of water (and coffee), get plenty of sleep, and exercise to get your heart pumping and blood flowing. A healthy body is a healthy mind.

Get prepared. In order to stay on top in nursing school, it’s important to start off each semester hitting the ground running. Make sure you have all your supplies and textbooks so you don’t fall behind in your courses. I always review my course syllabus and course calendar first thing and mark them in my agenda to make sure I am not missing any important dates for exams and clinical. 

Stay organized. The best advice I have is to get prepared, and stay prepared. Everyone has a different way of staying organized. Keeping a planner is my number one tip for staying organized. It’ll keep you on top of your assignments and help you meet all your deadlines. Our brains are already being filled with so much information, so the less we have to remember, the better.

Find study buddies. Finding people to study with is crucial in nursing school. You bounce ideas off one another, quiz each other, and bring up things that one may not of picked up in the reading. We make sure we are making our deadlines on time, and are always looking out for one another. They will also become amazing positive influences through the laughs and the tears of nursing school. How great it is to have people you can always count on!

Ask questions. The worst mistake I made as a freshman and sophomore is not asking enough questions! Your nursing professors and instructors are there to help you, so take all the help while you can. This also trains you for your nursing clinical and actual nursing career, where you will constantly be asking questions, so get used to it now! 

Take breathers. Nursing school can be consuming. Thirty plus hours a week in the library trying to make sense of textbooks, memorizing lab values, figuring out dosage calculations, and still trying to make sense of the difference between acidosis and alkalosis. Mental breaks are extremely important to your mind as a nursing student. Sometimes our brains are filled with so much information that we sometimes forget our name. Taking a breather will help supply that O2 back to your brain and get you feeling refreshed again.

Those are just a few nursing school tips I have learned throughout my years in college. Being in my senior year, I have finally mastered my routine down and what works best for me. Everyone is different, so find a system that works for you. Stay organized, focused, and keep your eye on the prize!

 

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