It is an indisputable fact that pursuing a career in nursing is very challenging. Performing well in exams, scoring and maintaining good grades, transforming all that knowledge into skill, and trying to secure a profitable future as a nurse can be difficult to manage. So, take a deep breath if you have just started your BSN journey. You can do it!
It might be overwhelming initially, but it only takes a few steps to make it work in your favor. So, incorporate new strategies and smart study habits in your daily routine to succeed in pursuing your nursing degree. Here are some tips that may prove to be advantageous in your nursing school journey:
- Study efficiently
You must have studied a particular way in your previous school or college, but you might need to adapt to new and better study methods in nursing school. Try the learning styles and strategies that make you learn fast and efficiently. Meanwhile, remember to apply that knowledge in real life through case studies and practices, especially if you are working as an RN while pursuing a BSN. Learning alone will only bear fruit if there is a practical application of what you have learned.
Multiple study methods work for different nursing students. However, an interactive type of study is the best one. You can exchange information with your fellows and make each other learn something new. It will also help enhance your communications skills if you interact throughout the learning and prepare you for the work-life ahead. And communication in nursing is critical because, as a nurse, you will have to interact with patients daily. Having exceptional communication skills is one of the traits you need to master to be a successful nurse.
- Establish a proper study schedule
A helpful advice for nursing students with limited time is to create a personalized study plan based on their specific schedules and stick to it consistently.
The Pomodoro method is a famous time management strategy that works well for nursing students who need to complete extensive assignments or who wish to avoid distraction. Here are the fundamental steps:
- Concentrate on a single project or work simultaneously – don’t multitask.
- Start working after setting a timer for 25 to 30 minutes.
- When the timer goes off, take a three-minute break.
- Repeat the steps above.
- After the fourth session, take lengthier gaps between sessions.
- As you go, check off each session as completed.
Nursing students benefit from the Pomodoro technique because it keeps them focused while preventing burnout. Furthermore, the one-small-step-at-a-time, controllable method calms nerves and discourages procrastination.
Also, given that many nursing students do their assignments at home. They can find or create a specialized study space by doing things like:
- Stay away from beds, couches, and armchairs – becoming too comfy can contribute to drowsiness.
- Clutter can be distracting and make it difficult to find study equipment.
- Using a window or lamps, equally light the study area.
- Using ambient noise or music without lyrics to muffle outside sounds
- Stop Cramming
Nursing is already challenging enough. Do not make it more difficult by relying on cramming for your exams preparation. Contrary to public belief, cramming is not an ideal form of learning. Students mostly rely on cramming when they have little time to prepare for exams. Therefore, learn to manage time and study every day instead of cramming the course outline one night before your exam.
There are many reasons why cramming is not a beneficial studying technique. It can lead to stress and anxiety, affecting your ability to concentrate. Consequently, you will not be able to perform well in your exams, and your grades will eventually drop. So study consistently throughout the year.
- Remember to take breaks
While trying to learn efficiently and score good grades on tests and exams, do not forget that studying 24/7 is not great. It can make you feel stressed, exhausted, and overwhelmed. You will soon lose consistency and motivation due to an excessive workload. Therefore, remember to take breaks amidst your busy routine.
To avoid getting exhausted and overstressed, add fun activities to your daily routine that will keep you relaxed. For instance, you can go for a walk or run, go shopping, hang out with friends, watch a TV show, etc. Research proves that taking breaks while studying can enhance your productivity, boost your energy and improve your ability to focus.
- Ask questions
An essential part of effective learning is asking your instructor or professor questions. You can reach out to your instructor during the class or text them afterward. But do not be afraid to ask. Asking questions will add to your knowledge and clear any misconceptions about the topic taught in the respective lecture. Not only that, but it also helps improve your communication and stimulate critical thinking skills.
- Practice Self-care
Self-care is essential while pursuing a demanding nursing degree. Feeling overwhelmed and stressed due to excessive study hours can lead to burnout. To avoid that from happening, make sure you add some self-care activities to your everyday schedule because you will only be able to give your best if you are in perfect physical and mental health.
You can follow some tips for self-care:
- Do not compromise your sleep to study. 6-8 hours of sleep is essential for normal functioning and growth of the human body.
- Remember to be physically active. It will keep you physically as well as mentally fit. Go for a walk or jogging every morning or establish a workout/exercise routine. Devote 30-40 minutes to exercise every day.
- Eat a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients your body requires.
- Do not forget to reward yourself for milestones. Treat yourself by going out shopping or doing similar fun activities.
By following all these tips, you can keep yourself calm and relaxed.
Nursing school can be difficult, but you can manage it perfectly if you develop new study habits and make some changes to your schedule. Keeping a balance between study and personal life is the key to success. You can achieve all your goals and aims in school if you know your priorities. Efficient learning, time management, and self-care can make nursing school a successful experience for you. Besides maintaining good grades in school, remember to apply that knowledge practically.