A career in nursing is by far one of the most fulfilling and rewarding careers that you can pursue. Nurses are the backbone of the medical community and provide an invaluable service to patients and physicians alike.
With all of the responsibilities that nurses are given, it should come as no surprise that the process of becoming a nurse is not the easiest one to undertake. Nursing school, complete with challenging classes and demanding clinicals, requires a great deal of perseverance and dedication.
Furthermore, advancing your nursing career via a master’s or doctoral degree also demands a certain level of determination. Such degrees are designed to equip you to take your nursing career even further and are understandably challenging.
Thankfully, whether you are going through nursing school or if you are going for an advanced degree, there are certain things that you can do to make the process of completing your education less stressful. Below you will find three of how you can make nursing school less stressful.
1. Choose the Right Format
These days, students pursuing all sorts of degrees have the opportunity to earn their education in either the traditional classroom setting or via an online degree program. One of how you can potentially make the process of earning your nursing degree less stressful is to choose the right format that suits your learning style best.
For some students, the traditional on-campus route to education is the right choice because of the stricter structure provided by this format. However, other students thrive better when they are given more flexibility via an online program.
This is particularly true for students planning to hold down a full-time or part-time job while earning their degree. While this is not necessarily something that can be done as a full-time nursing student, part-time would benefit from opting for an online nursing degree to keep up with the scheduling demands imposed by their job.
Furthermore, it is not uncommon for full-time nurses who are looking to advance their careers or specialize in a certain area of medicine to continue to work while they earn an advanced degree. Since the demands of an advanced degree such as a master’s or doctoral degree are great, it might very well be necessary to go with an online degree program.
Whether you are looking to earn your undergraduate nursing degree from a traditional four-year university or if you are looking into online DNP programs to advance your career, decide which format suits you best and go with that option.
2. Join a Study Group
Once your degree program gets underway, you will be faced with the sheer amount of information you will be expected to acquire throughout your education. Those looking to take a bit of the pressure off and share the workload can opt to form a study groupwith some of your classmates.
Study groups can be incredibly beneficial for nursing students. Not only do they allow you to share the work a bit, thus making things less overwhelming, but they can also provide a great framework for test and quiz preparation. Furthermore, they can help you to connect and network with your fellow nursing students.
It is important that you do not underestimate the significance of growing your professional network as a nurse. Doing so can have many benefits to your future career, including helping you to take your career further. In addition, the support of your fellow nurses can also prove to be invaluable to you down the line.
Forming a solid study group can take a bit of effort. You want to be able to work with other students who share your passion for nursing and your determination to excel in nursing school. Choose individuals who are reliable and can be trusted to hold their own in a study group geared towards success.
3. Practice Self-Care
No matter how prepared you are for your nursing school program, you will find the process challenging and filled with stress at times. Therefore, it is important to get into the habit of practicing self-care to protect yourself from a mental perspective.
The significance of practicing proper self-care when you are going through the process of earning a nursing degree cannot be overstated. Nurses and nursing students alike are expected to work long hours and give of themselves to their patients all shift long. It is impossible to spend your days working to help and heal others when you yourself are running on empty.
There are a number of ways in which you can incorporate self-care into your routine. For starters, make sure that you give yourself the chance to get enough sleep at night. Multiple studies have shown that poor sleep consistently leads to increased levels of stress and anxiety.
Before your classes even begin, take the time to optimize your sleep space. You want to ensure that you will be guaranteed to fall asleep as soon as you finally have the chance to lie down and get some rest. This means removing distractions like the television or your tablet from your sleep space. You should also make sure that your sleep space is free from clutter, as this can also serve as a distraction to your brain when you are trying to sleep.
Aside from getting enough sleep, it is also crucial that you make sure that you are eating properly and getting routine exercise, no matter how hectic your schedule becomes. In addition, it is important to fuel your mind and body with proper nutrition and not fall foul of the temptation to eat fast food regularly simply because it is convenient. Lastly, it would help if you also looked to schedule breaks into your day to keep your mind fresh and ready to learn.
With these tips in hand, you will find nursing school a little less stressful; you are not going through the process alone, and your fellow nursing students will be feeling as stressed as you are, you’re all in the perfect position to support each other.