Going back to school is daunting, sometimes scary, often overwhelming, and just all around a lot to handle. But it doesn’t have to be! Here are my five top tips for surviving nursing and NP school. This is, however, just my basic list. For more in-depth information and some words of encouragement, check out my Top 5 Tips video too (click here).
1: Stay Motivated (easier said than done, right? Wrong!)
-Write down why you wanted to go to nursing school, and keep it in your planner or journal as a reminder.
-Create a visual representation of how excited you were to get into nursing school, and keep it with you.
-Take a moment to reflect on the first two when you are feeling depleted.
2: Organize Your Thoughts and Attitude
-Reframe how you think about nursing school: hard vs. busy
-Give yourself enough time to complete assignments. Cramming will only lead to overwhelm.
-Get a planner you will actually use. And stickers. Lots of sticker. They’re fun and bring joy.
-Before school starts, take one day and write down all the assignments and due dates for the entire semester. Color-code based on assignment type. And just let yourself feel overwhelmed on this planning day. It’s the only day you’re looking at the whole picture.
-Look at your assignments in manageable chunks. Look at what the next 3 weeks look like, and see what you can do this week. Make DOABLE to-do lists.
-Once tasks are planned out, only look at your current day and focus on those attainable goals.
3: Learn How to Really Learn and Study New Information
-Don’t just go into studying willy-nilly. Utilize learning programs online, like Lecturio, that focus on science-based teaching and learning methods that encourage natural and effective learning.
*You can also use my code NURSELIZ to save 50% at Lecturio
4: Don’t Freak Out After Your First Exams and Papers
-Use the first exam to learn the teacher’s style. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t do well. Most people don’t. Unless they are unicorns.
-Learn from the first exam and change your studying methods accordingly to better serve you going forward.
-Do practice questions to get used to nursing-style questions. While you are learning, ask yourself how the information would be applicable in real life.
-Remember, test scores are not an indication of what type of nurse you will be. Don’t dwell on things you can’t change. Learn from them and move on.
5: Understand and Learn to Handle Imposter Syndrome
-Recognize what imposter syndrome is and feels like, so you can identify it in yourself.
-Know that you are not alone. We all feel this. It is normal and expected.
-Remember that you CAN do hard things. How do we know? Because you’ve already done SO MANY hard things just to get here. Make a list of those hard things and look at it often. Add to it as you do more hard things. YOU. CAN. DO. THIS!
And that’s my list! What are your top study tricks? Share them below and help other students!