Many students pursue a career in nursing to join the most respected industry in America. However, becoming a nurse is not easy; your academic journey will be filled with many hurdles. No wonder nursing schools have a dropout rate of 10–39%. On average, 1 in 4 nursing students will drop out of their course due to a rigorous study schedule. So, how can you make it through successfully?
Choose the right nursing degree
The first step in making it through your nursing studies involves choosing the right degree option. You must go with a study program that complements your passions and aligns with your future goals.
For instance, many students wish to enter the nursing profession quickly and traditional study programs aren’t just cut out for their goals. Similarly, many RNs wish to hone their qualifications to get promoted swiftly. An online Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) degree is ideal for such students. You can finish these accelerated BSN nursing programs within two years and gain the clinical expertise necessary to advance your nursing career. These BSN courses also have a 95% pass rate.
Prepare your classes in advance
Make the most of your nursing education by preparing for classes beforehand. It’ll help you properly understand complex concepts and improve your nursing expertise. Familiarise yourself with the study material by coming prepared for every lecture. Watch relevant YouTube videos, skim relevant material, and learn the relevant vocabulary to get a head start on tomorrow’s topic.
This practice helps you stay organised and make a professor’s lecture easy to understand. Now, do this all through the semester, and you’ll pass your exams with good grades.
Get to know your professors
Your professors can serve as your mentors and guide you through this difficult learning phase. Keeping a good relationship with your teachers is the building block of a successful nursing career. As a nursing student, you should start networking ASAP and begin with your professor. Here’s how you can navigate nursing education with your teacher’s help. They can
- Advise you on giving NCLEX
- Suggest nursing organisations
- Write letters of recommendation
- Share their experience in this field
- Serve as a source of internships or practicums
Understand your learning style
Your academic progress depends on your unique learning style. Understanding your learning style will help you perform exceptionally well in class.
Generally, you are an audio learner, a visual learner, or a tactile learner. Audio learners process information out loud by exchanging ideas with their peers. They need to discuss a concept with their classmates for better comprehension. Visual learners need peace and quiet to understand a concept as their brains convert information into pictures/drawings.
Tactile (kinesthetic) learners learn with gestures and hands-on experience. They like to learn by doing, touching, and manipulating objects. Now, choose which learning personality suits you.
Try the 45–15 learning strategy
This involves studying for about 45 minutes and then taking a 15-minute break. Force yourself to focus on studying during these 45 minutes; no reaching out for your phone and paying attention to any distractions. Then, use the 15-minute break to stretch a little, check social media, and eat healthy snacks.
Create study groups with friends
Your job as a nurse will require collaborating with your colleagues. How about getting a little taste of teamwork right now as a nursing student? You can form a study group with your classmates; even online classes let you communicate with other students and support each other.
Collaborative studying makes education more fun. You can improve your study skills, learn better note-taking techniques, and learn how to manage your time more efficiently.
Create a proper study schedule
Create a proper study schedule to manage your time effectively. Studies suggest there’s a connection between stressed-out nursing students and ineffective time management. Nonetheless, you can easily excel in your studies by creating a timetable. Here’s how you can do that:
- Don’t overload your schedule; this leads to burnout.
- Break your study session down into manageable chunks.
- Allow flexibility in your schedule for unexpected events or changes.
Avoid cramming for your exams
Stuffing your short-term memory with a lot of information hours before an exam isn’t the appropriate or even honest method of pursuing your studies. This habit increases anxiety and frustration, making you sleep-deprived and harming your critical thinking skills. You don’t have time to process all that information you’re cramming. Instead, prepare for exams by:
- Getting all your assignments done ahead of time
- Review every test after getting it back to rectify your mistakes
- Actually reading your course material
Don’t disregard your well-being
Nursing education can be pretty overwhelming and challenge your patience throughout your studies. Surveys show that 46% of nursing students suffer from burnout, and the stress of their education may hinder their academic progress. Instead, you should focus on self-care and cater to your well-being while pursuing your BSN degree. Here’s how you can keep yourself healthy:
- Sleep well. Nursing students understand the importance of adequate sleep more than anyone else. Therefore, get at least 7 hours of sleep daily to wake up fresh every morning.
- Stay active. As long you stay active, you will remain confident about studying hard. Exercise frequently, take frequent breaks between study sessions, and avoid a sedentary lifestyle.
- Eat healthy. Your body needs nutrition, so eat healthy meals and avoid consuming junk items. A balanced diet keeps you energised enough to focus harder on your education.
The nursing career is dedicated to compassionate caregiving in healthcare. However, the path to becoming a nurse is riddled with many hurdles. You can easily overcome these challenges and muddle through a nursing degree by following the guidelines in this blog. Understand your learning style, make strong ties with your professors, stick to your study schedule, and focus on self-care when studying diligently. Most importantly, choose the right programme to strike the ideal balance between enjoying your time in college and honing your skills and knowledge.
Samantha Green, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.