Strategies for managing stress during nursing school

Strategies for managing stress during nursing school

Congratulations you chose nursing as your field of study. There is so much demand for nurses across Canada and there will be no shortage of jobs when you graduate. However graduating nursing school is not walk in the park.  Bachelor in Nursing in Canada is typically a 4-year program and you graduate as a Registered Nurse (RN). The program prepares the RN to give direct care and to take on the role of coordinating care for individuals, families, groups, communities and populations in a variety of health care setting and with a variety of health professionals. Clinical instruction prepares the RN to take a leadership role when the care requirements become more complex. 

Going through nursing school involves a lot of theoretical knowledgepatient care, and practical skills.  As you are in your final years of school you might feel overwhelmed with the intensity of learning, passing the exams and the licensing process afterwards. 

However, following the tips should help your journey go easier and more successful:

Tips for surviving nursing school stress

1. Developing a solid routine

You need to understand that going through nursing school journey is not a sprint, rather a marathon. You want to pace your breath and ensure you have planned a solid routine and give yourself enough time to establish it.  A daily routine which is complemented with your weekly or bi-weekly school schedule, vision boards to keep yourself in check, having a support group to study and have fun, ensuring you have enough time for sleep, nutrition and self care are some of the strategies we can recommend. 

2. Recap What You Learn

There is a steep learning curve and a lot of material to learn and master. It would be very wise to have an inventory of your learning on a almost daily basis, i.e. recap what you learned after each class, identify your gaps and go back to fill those gaps well before your exams. This practise would not only reinforce your learning but also ensure there is no piling up which would make you feel like there is no way to get over it. The best way is to divide and conquer the material as it happens. 

3. Find an outlet to release your stress and recharge

The best way to release stress, combat anxiety and recharge your batteries might look different from one person to another. However there are some proven methods such as exercise. It sounds like it is a lot to ask but just putting your shoes and getting out there to a green belt for a walk is sometimes all you need. Walk, jog or do any type of exercise to get those happy hormones released and you will be happy you did. It also gives you a mental break from your studies and when you are back to studying you are fresh and can retain more information. 

4. Socialize with family and friends

Worst you can do is to isolate yourself during those peak study times. Catching up with a friend just for an hour will make you happy. It is those happy hormones again. Do not deprive yourself a good laugh. Sharing your struggles, getting an advice, maybe helping someone else will all elevate your spirits. 

5. Don't shy away to ask for help

Your proffesors, librarians, classmates are all resources you should leverage as needed. You should not feel alone and seek help when you feel you need it. Communication is one of the critical skills of a good nurse. Start now for yourself. Talk to your friends, teachers if you think you are behind or you need help conducting a research, writing your report.  Be your own nurse to get through school. 

 In closing:

Whether you are at the begining of your journey or getting close to the finishing line, managing stress effectively will help you get there in one piece. We trust these tips will help you on your way to becoming a nurse. And most importantly, thank you for choosing this field. We need you. 

Originally published on our sister site Scrubletic.