Whether you’ve dreamed of becoming a nurse all your life or it’s a more recent ambition, you are probably drawn to the profession because you want to help people. However, nursing school can be extremely demanding. The profession itself is demanding as well, so strategies to succeed in school can help you as you head out to work in hospitals and doctors’ offices as well.
Education isn’t cheap, and your first step should be to secure funding so that you don’t have to worry about money and can focus on your studies. There are a number of different sources for money, including your own savings, scholarships, grants and loans. When it comes to private student loans, you might need a cosigner. A cosigner is someone who essentially guarantees your loan, promising to pay debt off if you are unable to. This can be helpful if you do not have much credit history or your credit score is not in the best shape. You can review a guide that explains more about what to do if you need a cosigner.
Work on Good Study Habits
Nursing school involves learning a huge amount of material. Much of that will be vital to your success as a nurse and in keeping your patients safe. Good study habits can help you commit them to memory. First, figure out what kind of learner you are. Do you remember things better when you read them or when you hear them? Do you study best in a noisy environment, or do you need absolute quiet? Identifying the answers to these kinds of questions in addition to other study hacks and tips can help you find your optimal situation for studying. In addition, think about how you can commit information not just to your short-term memory, in order to pass tests, but to your long-term memory. Flash cards that you review periodically at longer and longer intervals can help you ensure that this happens. Keep in mind as well that memorization is only half the battle. You also need to truly understand the information you are taking in.
Write Down Your Reasons
Both nursing school and, later, being a nurse can be stressful. One thing that can help you stay focused is writing down all the reasons you want to be a nurse when you are feeling positive about the field. This might include helping others, doing something that you are good at, using your skills in math and science, making a good salary, and working with families through difficult times. You might also have a personal reason for being drawn to nursing, such as being inspired by a nurse who was helpful to you and your family when a loved one was ill. Whatever the reasons, writing them down gives you a document to review when you are feeling uncertain about pushing ahead in school or in your profession.
Your goal could just be saying get through nursing school, but more specific goals could be a lot more motivating. You may want to think about what types of grades you’d like to get on a test or in a class. You might also want to think about what you’d specifically like to do after you graduate. Do you want to pursue a specialty? Are you interested in working with children or older adults? Do you want to be a travel nurse? Are you working toward being a nurse practitioner? Being honest about your ambitions can help you make choices that will help you realize them.
Consistency will help you succeed in school and later as a nurse. The more you can extend this to every element of your life the better off you’ll be. Getting into a routine that allows you to get the most sleep, nutrition, and exercise that can help keep you in a good condition to do well as a nursing student and in your later career. Consistency also helps you avoid mistakes as a nurse. From taking diligent notes in class to carefully reviewing your patients’ charts, following checklists and communicating clearly to those on your team, you should strive to be consistent and even-tempered even when things are difficult.