Whether you're just starting LPN school or transitioning from RN to PN programs, one thing that is a known fact is that any type of nursing school comes with a lot of studying and a whole lot of stress. Of course, the more stressed you are, the more tired you get, and the harder it becomes to buckle down and retain the stuff you're expected to know. Below you'll find a few tips for managing stress while in nursing school that every nursing student should know.
1. Always Eat Right
The busier and more stressed you are, the easier it is to fill up on potato chips, cookies, and hit up the fast-food joint on the way home from classes. While it might take a little more time, eating food that is healthy for you will result in your stress levels being lower and your attention to detail higher. Stress eating is not going to help you pass that nursing exam, but healthy eating just might.
2. Set and Keep to Your Schedule
The first thing you should do when starting nursing school is to set a schedule and then keep to it. Some type of organization is essential if you hope to get through nursing school with as little stress as possible. Set your schedule around your classes and study groups, but don't forget to schedule a little downtime every week as well.
3. Join a Study Group
No one can get through the rigorous demands of nursing school without a little help, and very few people understand just how hard the program is. That's where joining a good, reliable study group comes in. Studying with a group will not only keep you on track, but it can also be fun as well. Just make sure that the study group you're a part of is as dedicated to becoming a nurse as you are.
This might seem like a no-brainer suggestion to anyone who hasn't been to nursing school, but it bears talking about. You can't function on 2 to 3 hours of sleep a night and still hope to graduate. You need to work sleep time into your schedule if you ever hope to succeed and keep your stress at a manageable level. Seven to eight hours a night is required if you're going to get the A's you dream of and graduate on time.
5. Go to Class
Perhaps another no-brainer for some, but going to class is essential if you're going to get the information and instruction you need to be a good nurse. The instructors will give you pertinent information that will prepare you for not only tests but your clinicals as well. Missing one nursing class can throw you behind, so try not to miss unless you absolutely have to.
6. Know How to Study
Nursing school is unlike any course you might have taken in high school. It's not only about memorization, but it’s also about critical thinking as well. You have to be able to make split-second decisions that may end up saving or ending someone's life. From PowerPoint presentations to study guides and from flashcards to studying together as a group, you need to learn how to study the right way for maximum learning and effect.
Nursing school is hard and don't let anyone tell you differently. When you graduate you will have the life of others in your hands, so you have to be prepared the right way. These tips will help you make it through the years in nursing school as stress-free as possible.