Going to nursing school is a great option that will lead to an amazing career in the world of healthcare. Going back to nursing school presents a variety of challenges for those students who have been away for a while. Whether you are getting back after a regularly scheduled semester break, or if you are returning after a year away, it can be difficult to get back in the swing of things. If you want to make the transition as smooth as possible, have a look at the following tips for some advice on how to make going back to nursing school just a bit easier.
- Get Organized Now
Don’t wait until classes start to get yourself organized. It can be tempting to wait and feel out how the semester is going to go, but resist as much as you can. Instead, get a plan ready to help you make the most of your time at school. Get a calendar, whether on paper or as a digital app on your phone or computer and get used to using it. As you prepare for the new semester, fill in the activities and tasks you need to do each day to train yourself to get used to using it and checking it each day.
Once classes start, check all of your syllabi and class information and fill in your calendar with specifics. Include the exam schedule, class times and locations, and project due dates. Filling in this information at the very beginning will make sure that you don’t overbook your days or create scheduling conflicts.
Don’t forget to plan out your personal or extracurricular activities as well. Making time for yourself and your own hobbies and interests will help you get into the habit of a good work/life balance, which will make your schooling and career a bit easier.
You should also record academic goals so that you don’t forget them throughout the year. Think about the grades you want to achieve, the clubs you want to join, or books you want to read.
- A New Beginning
Whatever happened in your previous time at nursing school, it is in the past. If you did great and got all As, that is wonderful! Ride that momentum but do remember that you need to continue trying your hardest. If you didn’t do so well, don’t put yourself down. You have a new chance to attack the upcoming challenges with enthusiasm.
In the case that you didn’t pass your previous semester, now is the time to create a plan to improve on what you did before. If you failed because you didn’t do well on the final exams, it might be a good idea to buff up on your study skills. You may want to consider consulting with your instructors to see where you went wrong and get advice on how to proceed.
- Be Engaged
You should be attending each class, every time. But this is sort of the very basic of expectations. In addition to being present, you need to be actively engaged in your own learning experience. This means participating in class discussions, creating an open relationship with your professors, and working with your classmates.
During class, you should be paying attention, taking notes, and asking as many questions as you need to gain clarity on difficult concepts. By being an active participant in your own education, you will experience a deeper involvement and understanding of topics.
- Don’t Forget the Textbooks
In addition to attending lectures and keeping good notes, you should also purchase and read your textbooks. This sounds obvious, but there is a growing trend for nursing students to assume they can do everything by themselves or by doing simple research online. However, your instructors may cover very specific concepts that are found in that textbook.
- Take Great Notes
Note-taking is a skill that can be practiced and improved. As strange as that sounds, you will find that it is true as you go throughout your schooling. If you need help figuring out the best way to take notes that works for you, a quick online search will reveal several techniques that you can try out. One word of advice: avoid taking notes on the computer. Studies have shown that the brain remembers information far longer when notes are taken by hand versus through typing. Make the most of your effort and use good old-fashioned pen and paper.
- Hang Out with Friends
You may not think you need to be told to socialize, but when nursing school gets into full force, it can be a challenge to remember to put down the study materials every once in a while. However, this is an important part of making sure you do your best. Socializing can reduce stress and give your brain a break from focusing on schoolwork, which means you’ll be refreshed and ready to go on Monday morning.
- Stay Healthy
Another important element of acing nursing school when you return is staying physically healthy. Nursing is a stressful career and setting good health habits now will help you in the long run. Make time each day for moderate exercise. If working out isn’t your thing, try to get in a simple 30-minute walk to raise your heart rate.
Another thing to focus on is healthy eating. You will be short on time with all the classes you are taking, but make sure you squeeze in some time to eat healthily. For example, you can take a day on the weekend to do some meal prep for the rest of the week. Make sure to get plenty of protein and carbs to keep your brain and body running smoothly.
Stay hydrated each day with lots of water. If you need a bit of a caffeine boost, try black coffee or unsweetened tea since. Avoid sugary drinks like soda and energy drinks since these could cause you to crash later on.