A Beginners Guide of How To Survive Nursing School

Out of everything I have learned in the past 2 years as a university student, it is the skills of survival that are the most valuable. Not just academically, but independent living, long distance relationships and self care survival skills.

Nursing school is one of the most life changing experiences you will go through as it provides you with the opportunity to learn both technical skills as well as interpersonal relationship skills that you will use for the rest of your career. Caring for patients and their families in all stages of life from birth to grieving the loss of a loved one, being a nurse is an honour.

Here are the things you need to know to survive nursing school:

  1. Learn the art of time management. This will be the single thing between stress free and STRESSED OUT. Whether this be through colour coding, using a calendar to keep yourself organized or mapping out assignments at the beginning of the semester, this is an imperative skill for any nursing student. This is also a lesson and skill that will be transferable once you become a practicing nurse.
  2. Ask lots of questions even when no one else is willing to. As my professors and clinical instructors say like a broken record, “If you’re thinking it, so is someone or everyone else in the room.” Asking questions will not only provide you with answers but it will further your knowledge and understanding of why you are doing what you’re doing.
  3. Find an environment that is conducive to learning to study in. This is super important because if you are constantly distracted by things or the environment around you. For me the library is far enough away from my apartment but yet close enough that it doesn’t take a long time to travel back home at the end of my study session.
  4. Find several different ways to engage in self care activities that enhance your mood. Taking time out of my hard days or the days where I’m just not feeling 100%, I’ve learned it’s important to take care of myself before taking care of assignments and school. For me this includes reading a book for pleasure, Netflix series, going for a Himalayan salt bath, or simply spending time with friends.
  5. Fuel your body with healthy food and lots of fluids. Not only does your body need certain nutrients but if you feed your body healthy things it will make you feel better and healthier. The more junk food you eat the more sluggish and unproductive you will be. Drinking enough water too prevents dehydration which curves fatigue.

These are just some of the survival skills I have in my nursing school survival kit, but these are certainly the most important ones. The best part about coming to Nipissing is that everyone around you is there to support you if you just ask. The office of Student Development and Services has a wide variety of staff, services and events that will aid you in developing your own survival kit.

Until next time, Keep Calm and Survive Nursing School.

McKenna