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7 Methods For Handling Life as a Student Nurse | Trusted Health

Katherine Wylie, BSN, RN
August 18, 2022
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Life as a nursing student can be challenging. Trying to juggle many things at once is hard while wanting to do your best and learn all that you can during your time in nursing school. These seven tips will help you learn how to better balance your workload as a student nurse with Trusted Health.

The Unique Challenges of Student Nurse Life

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported over 3.4 million nurses will be working in the United States by 2028. Soon, you’ll be a part of that number as a working nurse. But as a student nurse, you are balancing many things, including your course work, preparing for clinical days, your current job, spending time with family, taking care of housework, and caring for yourself. And then there’s your social life, or at least what little bit is left of it. It’s difficult. All of these things can easily lead to burnout or poor performance in your coursework. You’re definitely not alone in your struggle. 

7 Key Methods For Balancing Life & School as a Student Nurse

To gain balance in your life, consider trying these methods. They might just be the solution you’re looking for. 

1. Become an Expert in Time Management

Nursing student life is busy. Managing your time will enable you to feel focused and in charge of your life. Knowing what is expected of you is a great place to start. Choose either a paper or digital calendar to ensure all your tests, papers, research projects, group projects, presentations, and any other assignments are all in one place. This will give you a clear picture of what you need to prioritize. Set reminders on your phone for upcoming due dates. Time management for nursing students can make or break you. Don’t wait until the last minute to study for a test or write that research paper!

2. The Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro technique is a great way to help you focus your time management in nursing school. It focuses on having uninterrupted work time followed by a scheduled break. This could look like 25 minutes of studying followed by a 5-minute break. This can also work well if you’re struggling with getting household chores done or giving something else attention besides your course work. After 4 intervals of this technique, it’s recommended that you take a longer break of at least 15 minutes or more.

3. Lean On Your Advisors

The advisors at your school are there to help. They have helped countless future nurses just like you through many tough times. They know the flow of classes and when they should be taken. As they get to know you, they can gain a better understanding of what works best for you and your life. Lean on them for advice and suggestions. Let them help you be successful. 

4. Lean On Your Colleagues & Fellow Students

 Being a student nurse is easier knowing who you can lean on. Having someone who understands what you are going through in nursing school can help you get through the rough patches and celebrate your wins. Your friends, fellow students, and  the nurses you meet during clinical rotations may fit this role. Ask what has helped them in the past and even currently as they are trying to be successful just like you. 

5. Make Time For Mental & Physical Self-Care

Now that you have plugged all your assignments into your calendar, it’s time to schedule time for yourself. It may be overwhelming to try to squeeze more things into your life, especially when you think you don’t have time for anything else. Set a goal of having some time to set aside for yourself once every week, even if it’s only 30 minutes. Do something during that time that brings you joy, lets your mind relax, and puts your body at ease. If you are able, getting outside for some fresh air, sunshine, and movement each day will make your body happier. That may look like a walk around the library at your school, taking the long way back to your car, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or studying outside instead of inside. As you find your rhythm, you will be able to add more of these events into your schedule and create better self-care. Your mind and body will thank you. 

6. Let Others In

Whatever you do, don’t go through nursing school alone. There are plenty of people who want to help you along the way. Those people might be your parents, a spouse, significant other, friends, fellow students, colleagues, your advisor, a therapist, or a spiritual leader. Share your experience and give others opportunities for small ways they can help you through this time. That might look like asking a friend to study with you, doing a project with a classmate instead of alone, having a monthly check-in with a therapist to talk out what you’re experiencing, or a movie night with friends or family.

7. Use Your Nursing School’s Resources

Does your school have a library, learning center, or offer tutoring? These are options you can utilize and talk about with your advisor. Your nursing school may even be able to offer you an assessment to evaluate what kind of learner you are. They can then provide you with ways of studying that work best for your learning. Utilizing your school’s library and online database there can save time when researching. 

How Trusted Health Can Help Nursing Students

No matter where you’ are currently in your nursing school journey, stay with it. You can do it! The future is very bright for new nurses and there are many opportunities available to you. Trusted Health is a great option to consider. You can read all about how travel nursing works and how they can help. They even have a way to explore your future nurse salary!

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Katherine Wylie, BSN, RN

Katherine Wylie, BSN, RN provides written health content for W Health Publications. She has worked as a RN for over 10 years in various specialties. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outside exploring with her husband and two kids in North Carolina.

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