There are six principal strategies that every nursing student should adopt to survive nursing school. After choosing a school to attend, most students often lack the knowledge about nursing school physical, mental, and intellectual requirements.
I believe that the school orientation aimed to discourage procrastinators and students who did not appear committed to the program. It is vital to adopt six simple strategies to survive nursing school. For instance, nursing students should possess organizational skills, study skills, test-taking skills, collaborative skills. They should be resilient and fully aware of individual learning skills.
I was overwhelmed with a lot of information and quickly realized that the next two years were going to be exigent. For instance, I had to develop some organizational skills to manage the orientation week due to all the instructions that I received.
I met almost every staff in the nursing school department and received a handbook that included some bylaws and student code of conduct. Furthermore, I did not know what a ” urinal” was when I started nursing school? I had no prior clinical experience and looked forward to my clinical rotation. First, I will discuss the new nursing student experience in the paragraphs below.
Learning Strategies To Survive Nursing School
If you never cared for anyone before, you just have to believe in yourself, and you will achieve your highest potential. I suggest that you identify your learning preferences so that you can develop individualized strategies to succeed in nursing school.
It was a requirement for the students to take both lecture and clinical on different days of the week. Some days were better than others, and I successfully managed my stress and anxiety level. Thus, I joined a study group and spent many hours in the school library.
I remained in contact with an assigned mentor who shared her success story with me. This strategy truly enabled me to survive nursing school. Besides, my mentor graduated from the same nursing school that I attended.
The lectures became very intense, and the instructors did not have time to cover all the topics mentioned in the syllabus. Therefore, independent learning is common in nursing school due to the broad curriculum. I spent many hours in the library studying, especially before the exams.
When I was in school, the passing score was seventy-five. The instructors did not round the students’ grades. For example, any student who failed either clinical or the lecture portion had to be dismissed from the program with a chance to return in the future for one last time.
Fundamentals Of Nursing Education
I must admit that the first semester was the easiest, and the learning objectives focused on the fundamentals of nursing. I learned about ergonomics, safe patient mobility, the activity of daily living – ADLs, bed making, and all other basic patient care needs. Moreover, I completed a final exam on the lecture portion and skills demonstration for the clinical portion.
The most fascinating experience was when the faculty sat in a room behind a window to observe my clinical performance. However, I could not see them from the room. The experience was similar to an interrogation. This was a unique and memorable experience.
Did you know that nursing students in the state of Maryland can apply for Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) license after successful completion of fundamentals of nursing i.e first semester of nursing school? You can visit mbon.org for additional information.
Nursing School Testing Process
At the end of the hallway, the students formed a line while waiting to obtain the result of their clinical performance. I should mention that they all exhibited stressful behaviors about the unknown result? Unfortunately, many students did not make it to the next semester, and it was the beginning of a new adventure.
I shared some tears with my classmates and realized that I must remain motivated and resilient in order to complete the program. By the second semester, most of the classes lasted six weeks. Therefore, I had to learn at a faster paste, and I studied harder.
The classes became harder, and I started recording the lectures because I am an audio-visual learner. You should complete a free learning style assessment online to find out your learning preferences. The evaluation enabled me to identify my learning styles.
Completing The Learning Objectives
Can you imagine completing comprehensive learning objectives in six weeks for classes like Pediatrics, Mental Health, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Pharmacology, Health Assessment? You bet the books contained hundreds of pages with a lot of new medical and nursing terminology.
By the third semester, I was very stressed, and I decided to cut my hair short at the ear level. It felt so good cutting my hair at that time that most people thought I wanted to look cute. Besides, the sleepless nights and long hours in the library paid off because I graduated soon after and passed my board by answering the minimum seventy-five questions.
I obtained a job at a local hospital before my graduation. My nursing fellowship lasted thirteen weeks, and it was well organized. I believe that my nursing orientation contributed to the nurse that I have become today and added to my success in the healthcare industry
Nursing School Successful Strategies
Every nursing student should adopt strategies to survive nursing school. Nursing school is very challenging, and students must be strong and resilient to graduate. The classroom contents are very intense, and there is a clinical requirement in addition to lecture hours. Therefore, I believe that nursing students can survive nursing school if they follow these six simple strategies below:
Organizational Skills: you have to be organized to manage multiple classroom assignments, lectures, clinical rotation, and classroom tests. You can use a manual or electronic calendar. However, you just need a tool to record your current and future activities. You can keep your nursing materials in a binder or save them in an electronic folder.
Learning Styles: I highly recommend that you complete the learning preferences evaluation tool to identify your best learning strategy. For example, I recorded most of the lectures because I am an audio-visual learner. Therefore, you should incorporate learning activities that fit your learning style.
Study Skills: You should adopt the best studying strategies to maximize understanding and grade point average. I enjoy studying in a group, so I joined one when I was in school. You may also find highlighting key components helpful. Also, you should pay attention to the instructors during lectures because they often mentioned key terminology and relevant test contents in their presentations.
Additional Successful Strategies
Test Taking Strategies: I learned about some test-taking strategies when I graduated from nursing school. Those strategies truly helped me to succeed on the board exam. My test-taking approach is ” do not add to the contents nor remove from the contents.” You should avoid selecting ” calling the doctor” as the correct answer unless that is the safest action. You need to know when to collect additional data and when to implement the treatment plan.
Collaborative Skills: Being able to collaborate with others is beneficial to nursing students because the profession continues to evolve. You might learn something new from a classmate, or you can share your own academic experiences with other team members.
Resiliency: Nurses must be resilient because the profession is physically overwhelming. Therefore, nursing students should try their best at all times to succeed. If you fail a test, continue to study to do better next time. Some teachers will try to discourage you and might even recommend that you drop out. You should not drop out unless you have used all your will and power to succeed.
Many nursing students reduced their work hours to focus on school. Nursing school remains challenging due to the complexity of the profession and critical thinking skills requirement. It can be difficult to balance family life while in nursing school
Most nursing students can succeed in nursing school with a SMART plan ( specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-specific). As a nursing student, you should engage in learning activities that will enhance your academic knowledge and performance while in school.
Besides, you can adopt six simple strategies like organizational skills, learning preferences, study skills, collaborative skills, test-taking strategies, and resiliency to survive nursing school. You will benefit from a study group and a nursing network. It might be painful now, but it will be gratifying following graduation. I highly recommend that you attend a school with a high passing rate and a comprehensive nursing program.
Nurse Sophie has been a registered nurse for over a decade. I have a Master's degree in nursing, and my clinical experiences include staff nurse, clinical nurse supervisor, and manager, and most recently, nurse consultant in Patient Safety and legal nursing. I was always passionate about system operations and practice standards.
I have completed over 2000 hours of medical chart reviews. I am an expert in clinical investigations, and I also develop event timelines. I can assist the legal team with the Discovery process: Deposition, Interrogatories questionnaire, event timelines, locate expert witnesses, and more. I provide and formulate clinical opinions based on the investigative summary.
Nurse Sophie, MSN, RN, LNC
Legal Nurse Consultant
Patient Safety Specialist
Email: [email protected]