Managing school and work is a challenging task

Time Management Tips for Nursing Students

Nursing students have a lot on their plates. Many work at least part-time – some full-time – in hospitals or other medical facilities while juggling family obligations and a social life. In pursuit of their BS in Nursing degree, it’s important for these professionals to practice time management. Understanding how to schedule one’s day can help nursing students complete their responsibilities in a timely manner.

Here are some helpful time management tips for those balancing both work and school:

Know yourself

The life of a nursing student can be unpredictable. Schedules can change at the drop of a hat. Professionals may be asked to stay late or come in early the next morning. As a result, it’s critical for people earning their BS in Nursing degree to be flexible with their study regimen. Sometimes, they’ll have to complete coursework before their shift, other times after their day has wrapped up.

While adaptability is an important quality for any nursing student, so is the ability to identify when they’re most productive, and then to take advantage of it. Those early to rise can benefit from completing assignments in the morning, and those who go to bed late may find evening hours best for their coursework. Understanding oneself can help nursing students find a schedule that works for them, while also mixing in enough flexibility to handle unexpected changes to their regimen.

Follow others’ leads

Studying for a BS in Nursing degree while working a part- or full-time workload is no easy feat. Yet, there are people who have completed this exact journey before and their stories can be life lessons for current nursing students. Professionals in this healthcare field should ask their peers and facility leaders for tips and tricks of the trade. In most cases, these higher level nurses will be able to provide valuable insight that nursing students can use to their advantage when juggling school and work.

Those who have already completed their BS in Nursing – and have potentially also tackled their MSN or DNP – can offer knowledge regarding work and managerial issues based on their additional experience in the field, according to a study published by the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research.

Don’t discredit a calendar

Nursing is a career that requires its professionals to be versatile. Yet, there are certain elements of the field that will continue to be priorities no matter what the situation. Just as the ABCs of emergencies – airway, breathing, circulation – will always be a crucial tool, so will calendars, as long as people are ready to adapt their actions to these practices.

The items written on these schedules are subject to change, but certain deadlines and assignment due dates will not. Writing everything out can help nursing students stay motivated and focused during times of stress. To ensure calendars stay up to date and useful, learners should designate their work and study schedules at the beginning of each week, instead of the start of every month. This will help nursing students set more realistic, manageable and attainable goals.

Build strong friendships

There’s a sense of camaraderie that comes with being a nursing student. People know that there are plenty of others who are in the exact same situation, whether they’re completing their coursework in the classroom or through an online forum. No matter the case, nursing students should foster relationships with those in their program.

These friendships can come in handy if professionals in this field miss a class or are having trouble grasping a difficult concept. In addition, these interactions can result in future opportunities for networking, as well as the development of a sounding board or online thread for the discussion of particularly challenging assignments, upcoming curriculum and teacher recommendations, according to Educause Quarterly.

Don’t be afraid to speak up

Every student is different. While some may struggle with certain classes and lessons, others may understand the coursework but face delays due to procrastination. Regardless of the issue impeding one’s studies, people should not be afraid to ask for help if they need it. Although this may be easier said than done, many programs recommend support from peers and educators alike.

Nursing students should reach out to instructors if they’re having trouble with an assignment or are falling behind in their coursework due to their jobs. These teachers can make decisions based on the situation at hand, whether they need to push back an upcoming exam or students require some extra help in specific scenarios. The faster students speak up about their problems, the better. With advanced notice, educators can develop a plan of action to help those students.

Shut down procrastination

Everyone struggles with having multiple tasks to finish, but wanting to do just about anything else. Procrastination is a huge time drain, especially for nursing students. This healthcare field relies on fast, but effective thinking and action. It’s crucial for professionals in this industry to find ways to prevent procrastination from taking hold of the valuable minutes and hours they have to complete certain responsibilities, especially those tied to school.

It is extremely important to be organized. This may mean gathering all materials needed to complete the task before actually beginning to work. It might also mean prioritizing your work. Reflect on ways to remove extraneous things from your life so that you can remain focused on your goal.

One of the first steps people can take is identifying what elements can cause them to delay their studies. Is it television, friends or familial interruptions? If so, try to eliminate these when there’s important work to be done. Secondly, nursing students can focus on one task at a time, according to a study published by Advance Healthcare Network for Nurses. Planning a reward for the completion of an assignment can help these professionals finish the obligation that much more quickly. The key to avoiding procrastination is setting realistic goals. Nursing students need to know what deadlines are fast approaching and set plans of action with due dates in mind.

Time management is a challenging endeavor, especially for those in the nursing field. While experienced nurses may have their own ways of completing their tasks in an efficient manner, nursing students hoping to gain their BS in Nursing from a renowned university like Rutgers need to develop their own strategies for success.

Professionals completing collegiate coursework need to rely on a support system of friends within their program as well as experienced leaders in the field in order to prevent procrastination, set a schedule while practicing flexibility and understand their own internal clocks and tendencies to deliver the strongest outcomes. A BS in Nursing from Rutgers University can make registered nurses more proficient and effective in their field, opening the door to additional career opportunities.

Recommended Readings:
What you Need to Know to Enroll in an Online RN-BS in Nursing Program

Tips for Managing an Online Degree as a Professional Nurse


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