“Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion, as hard a preparation, as any painter’s or sculptor’s work…”
Those entering nursing school already appreciate some of the dedication and work required to be a successful healthcare professional. Although a nursing education may seem difficult, individuals can conquer the challenges with the right set of tools. Below are five practical steps to help nursing students prepare for their studies.
Helpful Tips to Prepare for Nursing
Take Care of Your Body and Mind
Doing well in nursing school requires a great deal of physical and mental effort. Burnout is real. To avoid it, students should take care to develop habits that nurture their health. The National Alliance on Mental Illness suggests the following practices:
- Eat well. This includes getting enough whole grains, vegetables, and fresh fruit, as well as minimizing or eliminating sugar and other empty-calorie foods. Good nutrition can also help lower the risk of chronic diseases and stabilize your mood.
- Get enough sleep. Adults generally require seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Students should also avoid using computers and smartphones before bed.
- Refrain from using alcohol and drugs.
- Exercise daily. Regular exercise can release stress hormones and promote calmness.
- Take time to relax every day. This might include meditating, enjoying nature, or spending time with loved ones.
Read and Stay Informed
According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, nurses with higher levels of education help decrease patient mortality. Staying abreast of changing medical information is crucial. To do this, students often subscribe to professional nursing journals such as the Journal of Professional Nursing and the American Journal of Nursing, attend conferences, or participate in other professional development opportunities. Students should also make sure their pharmacology knowledge is up-to-date.
Organizational skills help students stay on task and increase their work efficiency. Monster.com recommends the following techniques for anyone interested in becoming more organized:
- Pay attention. Make a conscious effort to continuously turn your attention back toward the tasks you need to do right now. This will ultimately help increase focus.
- Keep track of things. Students should keep a schedule, agenda, or calendar and refer to it frequently. Color-coating assignments, creating designated boxes for certain tasks, and creating labels can all help students remember deadlines and follow through on their work assignments.
- Manage your minutes. Here’s a unique tip: Any time a task is assigned that will take two minutes or less to finish, complete it immediately. This small practice can greatly improve work efficiency.
Stay Positive and Connected
As mentioned before, nursing requires a great deal of physical and mental effort. The challenges of the field are unique. Nursing students should do their best to make friends with their fellow students, who will undoubtedly understand their experiences. Students should also go out of their way to avoid unnecessarily negative and draining experiences.
Sometimes, it helps to try and see where you’re going. Fast Company suggests that “visualizing success” can help individuals further their careers. In practicality, this might involve:
- Focusing on what you can control — and doing it.
- Practicing a certain task repeatedly.
- Outlining specific goals that are relatively easy to accomplish.
In applying this idea broadly, nursing students can increase their likelihood of succeeding in school and beyond.
Those who want to go further in their nursing careers will undoubtedly benefit from an exceptional education. The online RN-to-BSN program offered at Husson University is the opportunity for these individuals to gain the skills they need to succeed. The program features a convenient online format and can be completed in as little as one year.