Nursing school, no matter what level you're attempting, is going to be intense and time consuming. Your clinical classes will take place during any and all shifts to give you exposure to the real world as a nurse. Being bright-eyed and bushy tailed at 6:30
There are a number of online resources for time management tools such as calendars and communication tools. “Yahoo!'s groups” offers a free site for chats, calendars, message boards, study groups, posting information, sharing notes, etc. This can be set up by a small group of students, or your nursing school may set up a group for your school. There are many generic groups for nursing students to share information or to vent frustrations with students from other schools. Each individual can add information to his own portal for his own reminders or to share schedules with family members.
Time management skills and tools are essential to surviving nursing school even for the student who has no outside obligations. Learning to use a calendar and to schedule everything in your life including meals and sleep will become second nature to you.
Students with children or other family obligations often find themselves neglecting family and friends altogether especially during peak periods such as midterms and finals. Using tools such as calendars can help your family and friends to know your schedule and to help you find a few precious moments to share together.Study Groups
Finding and forming study groups with your fellow nursing students is one of the most important steps you can take. The sooner you do so, the better. No one is going to understand the challenges you face better than a fellow nursing student.
You will also begin to form the kinds of bonds that will teach you (and reinforce) the basics of teamwork. Some students will emerge as natural leaders and others will learn support skills. Of course, there will be one or two who don't keep up their responsibilities at all and you will learn how this affects the team and how to deal with them.
Forming study groups also helps you to begin to learn to network, to build friendships, and to have an outlet for expressing fears and frustrations.
You will encounter students from all walks of life. There will be Type-A maniacs, teacher's pets, geeks, and some of the dumbest people you'd ever hope to know. You will all share a common bond of wanting to be nurses. Working together and bonding will help each of you to build a solid foundation to become the best nurse you can be.
Working in groups helps you learn to share tips for studying or remembering facts. Sometimes a fellow student's explanation of something will make much more sense than the textbook or the professor does.
Stress management is another vital tool to surviving the rigors of nursing school. It goes hand in hand with time management, but stress management goes further toward helping you to cope especially when time gets away from you or just cannot be managed. Nursing school is intense and if you cannot find some time to relax and relieve the stress, it will get the best of you, guaranteed.
Taking time to practice yoga or to take a run or brisk walk might seem like time better spent studying, but the truth is, taking the time to de-stress and to clear your mind can be better than hours of endless, intense studying. A balance is essential to a healthy mind and body.Use Your Time Wisely
Take advantage of every spare minute you have. Study or do homework in between classes. Read your texts on the bus ride to and from school. Hang post-it notes with questions or important tidbits of information in places such as on the mirror in your bathroom to review while brushing your teeth. Or on the refrigerator or other places you frequent in your dwelling to help you review as you go about your activities of daily living.
Call or text message a study group member for a quick quiz on a troublesome subject a few minutes before that dreaded exam. Tape class lectures to review them in the car.
Try to minimize your outside responsibilities. If you need to work, then try to work only as much as you absolutely have to in order to meet your very frugal budget. If you have a family, get family members to pitch in as much as they can to help around the house or hire some part time help. Schedule some special time to be with your loved ones. This could even be used to have them quiz you or to be your patient to practice making an occupied bed or giving a bed bath.
Sometimes you will find that you do have to sleep or take a break rather than study, but you need to be honest with yourself. Are you actually procrastinating? And if you are, why are you putting off that task? Often it's because you may not truly understand what you need to do. Some people have more difficulty with tasks until they've seen an example of the expected result. Rather than wasting time finding all sorts of other things to do instead of jumping in, ask to see an example from a previous student. Or network with students who have already had this class or who have done this particular assignment. Once you have a better idea of what you have to do, you won't find everything else quite so distracting.