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5 Tips On How To Get Through Nursing School Successfully

by Martha Simmonds
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When you first start nursing school, it can be both exciting and overwhelming. You’ll learn a lot and gain a lot of important experience for your future career as a nurse, but if you can’t handle the challenges that you face, you won’t get through nursing school successfully.

In order to be successful, you’ll need to fully dedicate yourself to the coursework and practice labs. If you aren’t passionate about the work, you’ll find it is much harder to pass than you thought. If you aren’t willing to ask for help, you’ll also have a much more difficult time passing your classes and, eventually, nursing school.

Nursing school is difficult, but it isn’t impossible. By following the following tips, you can improve your chances of passing and make the work easier on yourself.

#1. Get Organized

Nursing school is intense and things can get overwhelming or scattered very quickly. If you want to increase your chances of success, then you’ll have to make an effort to get organized in a number of different areas:

Area 1: Note-Taking

Nursing school involves taking a lot of notes, but those notes aren’t useful to you if you don’t understand what they’re supposed to say. Scattered notes that are spread sporadically throughout your notebook will do very little to help you retain or understand the information you cover, so make sure that your notes are legible and organized.

When it comes to note-taking, you don’t need to have an aesthetically pleasing notebook. Taking good notes is something that you learned over time and even if your notes are just an outline or the topics you cover, if they’re organized and clean, they’ll still be helpful when it comes time to study for exams.

Area 2: Study Space

In order to ensure that you can focus on studying, you should create a designated “study space” for times when you review notes, prepare for exams, and read through the assigned content. This study space should be just as organized as your notes.

Having a clear, organized workspace is proven to improve productivity. As you’ll be covering a lot of content, you’ll want to do as much as you can to remain productive and focused.

Area 3: Your Schedule

Planning out your day will help you stay on track and get everything done that you need to. It’s also a great way to improve organization in other areas of your life.

When you first get your timetable for nursing school, write out a weekly schedule that you will follow. Include what time you’ll go to bed and wake up, the times you have class, when you’ll study, and when you’ll take a break. You may need to adjust your schedule as things come up, but it’s important that you do your best to stick to it as it will help you feel more organized as a whole.

#2. Ask Questions

No one gets through nursing school successfully on their own. If you’re ever confused about something or you aren’t sure you heard your teacher correctly, raise your hand! Nursing is complicated and you’re most likely not the only who who doesn’t understand.

If you’re in class, try to get the answer to your question either during class or right after. If you’re studying your notes at home, send your teacher an email asking them to explain a certain concept again or for resources that may help. If you have friends in your classes, shoot them a text to see if they can help!

Nursing is all about working with others, so never be afraid to look for help when you need it. Not only are you more likely to be successful, but you’ll also start building a network that you can depend upon.

#3. Don’t Fall Behind

In high school, it was possible to make up work or put it off until later. In nursing school, this is a fatal mistake. Whether you missed a class or you have an exam coming up, it’s important that you stay on top of things and remain proactive in getting the information you need. Ask a friend for notes, schedule extra study time, or arrange a meeting with your teachers.

The topic you cover one day is going to be relevant again in the future, so it’s important that you know what your teacher is talking about and that you stay on track with the syllabus. The things you learn build on one another and if you skip one or fall behind, you’ll be sorry in the future.

#4. Rewrite (By Hand) Your Notes

We know: These days, everyone uses a laptop or tablet to take notes during class. While this is a good way to get information down quickly, it isn’t as efficient for retaining information.

Writing notes by hand improves your memory and increases the odds that you’ll retain the information. Fortunately, this can be incorporated into your study time so you won’t necessarily have to dedicate even more time to notes and review.

#5. Take Care Of Yourself

A lot of nursing students get so caught up in studying and staying on track that they overwork themselves. While it’s important to keep up with your studies and take the time to review your notes, it’s equally important to save time for yourself and to practice self care.

Taking care of yourself will help reduce burnout. You don’t have to schedule a full spa day once every week, but make sure that you’re eating healthy, getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly, and taking breaks from your studies. Including self care in your schedule will make it easier to remember to take a break and breathe.

Take On The Challenge

Nursing school will come with a lot of challenges, both mentally and physically. You’ll be expected to do and know a lot, so don’t be afraid to look into extra resources if you need help and set aside time to study outside of classes.

There’s no perfect trick to getting through nursing school successfully, but if you follow the step above, you’ll improve your nursing school experience and be much more likely to pass with flying colors!

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