How to Handle the Stress of Nursing School

NursingMarch 03, 2022

Nursing school can be challenging. The rigorous curriculum and workload are designed to prepare you for a career as a nurse—one that’s as demanding as it is rewarding. To not only get through, but to shine in nursing school, it’s important to know how to manage your stress. Your instructors (and future employers) want you to thrive. 

As you’re navigating school, consider these four methods for balancing the workload.

  1. Adopt Time Management Skills
    Instead of trying to cram for an exam or write a paper in one sitting, break down coursework into smaller increments that are more manageable. For example, create a study schedule, reviewing materials on a regular basis. Or break down a big project into smaller sections. Then enter these steps into your calendar. 
    Having a plan can help you prioritize and complete your work. Not only will it reduce your stress; it can improve your grades by helping with your retention. 
  2. Join a Study Group
    An African proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Instead of studying by yourself all of the time, consider joining a group of fellow students. Study groups allow you to learn and help each other. Studies show that students who study in groups retain more of what they learn than they would have if they’d studied on their own. Knowing material well enough to help others learn it is a great indicator of true comprehension.
    Being in a study group provides accountability particularly in terms of the amount of time you spend on learning your materials. Helping others grasp a concept reinforces your own learning and can be empowering. And getting support from others who are going through similar challenges can be reassuring. 
  3. Leverage Your Learning Style
    Not everyone learns in the same way, and if you understand the methods that are best for you, you can set yourself up for success. The main learning styles are auditory, visual, and tactile. Auditory learners learn best by listening and talking through their lessons. Visual learners learn best by looking at pictures and charts. And tactile learners learn best through hands-on lessons. And regardless of your primary learning style, using a mix of learning styles is often best.   If you’re not sure of your style, you can take this free quiz to find out.
    Once you know the best way for you to process information, you can seek out materials that fit your style. For example, auditory learners might do well watching videos, listening to books on tape, or simply talking through concepts with other students. Videos are good tools for visual learners, too. These learners might also seek out graphics that complement lessons. Tactile learners like to engage with physical learning materials. Using models that can be held and manipulated will help them learn concepts more effectively. 
  4. Take Care of Yourself
    Students often go into nursing because they want to take care of others. It’s a noble and rewarding profession. But just like the flight attendants tell you to put your own air mask on first before helping others, you’ve got to take care of yourself before you can care for patients.
    Eat healthy meals, exercise regularly, drink plenty of water, and get enough sleep. This advice is common sense, but it’s also easy to overlook when you’re balancing work, school, and family. When you take time to care for yourself, you’ll be better equipped to care for others. 

Nursing school is challenging, but the work is very rewarding. Fortis can help you get on the path with a great education. Click here for more information on our nursing programs or call us today at (855) 436-7847 and speak to one of our career counselors.