Do you want to be a nurse? If so, you’ll have a lot of hard work to do. It might sound blunt to say it quite like this, but it’s the truth – nursing is not an easy career choice, and it comes with a lot of work to do, not just in terms of your initial studying but throughout your career. That said, nursing is also one of the most rewarding careers it is possible to have. This is why it’s something that so many people choose to do, despite the hard work they’ll have to put in. In fact, for some people, the hard work is all part of why they want to get into nursing; they want a career that will challenge them, and nursing will certainly do that.
You might be going back to school after a time working in another sector because you’ve realized you’re unfulfilled and you want to be a nurse. You might always have known you wanted to be a nurse, so you’re ready to start studying as soon as you leave high school. Both routes – and plenty of others – are perfectly viable, but all routes are just as tricky as each other when it comes to the amount of work you’ll have to do. With that in mind, here are some of the things you’ll need to consider if you want to study successfully to become a nurse. Read on to find out more.
You Need To Be Organized
There are a number of different ways to study nursing. You might attend a traditional college and go to face-to-face lectures there at specific times each day. This can be ideal for those who like the idea of learning with others and who don’t have any other responsibilities to consider. However, you might prefer online learning with a highly regarded school like Holy Family University. This kind of learning is great for those who have other jobs – full-time or part-time – or who have families to take care of. Online learning means that you can study at your own pace when you have the time, and although it might take longer than the traditional route, it opens up nursing (and other courses and qualifications) to a lot more people.
No matter what option you go for, it will help if you are extremely organized (and perhaps this is even more important if you choose online learning, as it’s likely you’ll have other things to do other than study). The more organized you are, the easier it will be to learn what you need to learn, and you won’t miss out on anything.
Although being organized is different for different people, some ideas include:
- Taking good notes. Your notes are something you can refer back to time and again, so the better they are, the more you’ll understand and take in. Although when you undertake online learning, you can refer back to various classes whenever you need to, it’s still important to take your own notes. You’ll be putting things in terms you understand and clarifying points to help you remember them better.
- Having your own study area. Another way to be organized is to have your own study area. If you have a space (ideally a room, but if this is not possible, a desk in a quiet area can work well), then you can keep all your study materials where you want them and not have to keep putting them away (potentially running the risk of losing them or at least losing your place) when someone else needs to use the space. Make sure your study area is free of distractions. If this is not possible at home, perhaps you might consider working at your local library or similar space. If you can’t leave the home, noise-canceling headphones could be a good alternative.
- Making to-do lists. To-do lists really can help you be more organized as long as you think carefully when making them. They will need to be written in order of priority to ensure you can be as organized as possible and complete the most important tasks first.
Set A Schedule
Although technically this is another way to be organized, it’s such an important point that it should be considered by itself. There is so much to learn as a nursing student that unless you have a set schedule in place that you can easily follow and that makes sense in terms of your other responsibilities (and allows for a good work-life balance, so you don’t become overwhelmed and burned out), you might not be able to learn as much as you need to. You might not get past your examinations or be able to keep up with your assignments and practical work. It’s crucial to make a schedule and to be happy that you can follow it. This will help you make the best of your time and ensure you become a qualified, highly knowledgeable nurse.
There are online learning tools that can help you set up a schedule, and this can be the best way to organize your day, week, or month, for example. Not everyone will want to use technology, however, and it can be just as useful to block out a certain number of hours each day for work, study, and downtime. Sticking to these hours (and allowing for some flexibility when need be) can ensure you have a schedule that works for you.
Think It Through
Are you absolutely ready to start your nursing studies? If not, you’ll find that the course, no matter whether you learn online or offline or take an accelerated learning option, will be much harder than it would otherwise be. For many people, having the right mindset is crucial and will get you further than simply learning because you feel it’s the right thing to do.
In other words, you need to think things through properly before you commit to any course. The same is true when you qualify, and you are applying for jobs. Think about all the pros and cons and make sure your decision is the right one. You’ll be more motivated if you are sure you’re on the right path, and that will make your time studying to be a nurse more enjoyable and interesting, not to mention more successful.
What do you think about studying? Do you think it’s all about an expert telling students information and those students taking it all in for use in exams and potentially in their careers? If so, you’re missing out on half of the point of study. It’s true that experts will impart information and knowledge to their students, but they will also expect those students to help form their own education by asking questions. If no one asks questions, not only will studying be boring, but you might miss out on important information.
This is why it’s important to come up with questions for every class. There is always sure to be something you want to know more about or need to have clarified – no one understands everything right away.
It’s important not to be afraid to ask questions and get more information. This is as true in your nursing career as it is in your nursing studies, so it’s a good habit to fall into and keep up with. The more questions you ask, the more you’ll know, so that has to be a positive. Don’t be shy when it comes to asking questions; if you need an answer, you have to ask for it.
Make Study A Habit
It might seem obvious that you have to make study a habit when you are studying to become a nurse, but it’s not something that everyone understands. There are some subjects you can study where you only need to go to class and not do any additional work or research. This is not the case when it comes to nursing. There is so much to learn that you’ll have to work hard between classes, and you’ll have to make time to study. If you can make studying a habit, this will be much easier. Rather than being a chore that you ‘have’ to do, studying will simply become part of your life. Again, this will stand you in good stead when it comes to your nursing career, as you need to continue to learn for as long as you are a nurse, thanks to the many new ideas and techniques that are sure to develop over that time.
It’s very easy to let your studies take over your life, and perhaps some of what we’ve said above makes this seem as though it’s the right thing to do. The truth is that although studying – and working – is crucial, and you won’t get far if you don’t do it, practicing self-care is just as important. You need to have the ideal balance between the two.
Some ways to ensure you practice good self-care include:
- Sleeping well and getting enough sleep
- Not skipping meals
- Taking breaks from study
- Rewarding yourself
When you have a good balance in place, study becomes easier, and you’ll be more productive too.