You’re enrolled in nursing school and juggling long shift hours and family life. There’s no doubt about it – you have your work cut out for you for months to come. The great news is that there are ways to stay on top of your game while working through school without stressing out too much or missing out on time with your loved ones. Here are three healthy habits you should start practicing immediately in order to maintain your success and sanity while earning your bachelor’s in nursing degree.
Above all else managing your time is going to be the foundation for your success in nursing school. Just like you, many nursing students are working shifts around the clock while attending classes either on ground or online. And they have to find a way to balance their time at work and in the books with their spouses and children. This is where sticking to a strict schedule will play in your favor.
Start by making a list of the things you MUST do, such as getting enough hours of sleep, then focus on the other important things like studying, work and time spent with family. It also helps to create a chart for you and your family so it’s clear what hours you will be at work and attending classes. You can also block out time for yourself to study. This will help decrease the stress of staying on top of everything you have going on each day.
Your spouse and children are just two of the various distractions you will have to manage while trying to study for exams and complete coursework. But there are several simple ways you can keep yourself focused and studying smarter.
First, eliminate any distractions. Turn off your TV, put your cell phone away and go to a quiet room away from others. If you’re using your computer to complete assignments, it’s wise not to have any browsers open other than the ones necessary for studying. The more time you take looking away at your favorite TV program or to catch up on the latest on social media sites the more time it will take you to re-focus. This is your time to study, so use it wisely.
Secondly, know what is ahead of you and give yourself plenty of time to study. Making sure you are aware of what the workload will be like for your next assignment or how much time you will need to study for your exams is crucial. This will keep you on task and on schedule.
Lastly, study in increments. Cramming for a test or trying to retain loads of information in a short amount of time is not very effective. Rather than study for several hours in one day, split up that time between a couple days. Feel free to study for a bit, then take a break and come back it a little later. Spacing out your studying sessions will help you memorize what you have learned.
When it comes to being successful in your BSN degree, it’s important to know from the get go what lies ahead of you. Make sure to read your syllabus and course expectations. Plan your schedule accordingly in order to allow enough time for assignments and studying. Add pending assignments and upcoming exams to your time management chart. It’s going to be a challenge to stay on top of school, work and family life, so writing things down in a place you check often is a great way to stay organized.