It’s true, organization IS power in nursing school! Not only are you juggling nursing courses but also clinical, skills hours, simulations, GE classes, minors, organization involvement, and outside jobs. During my program I was involved in the Nursing Student Association as my class representative for three years. I also was a member of the Oncology Nursing Society. I minored in Neuroscience, volunteered at the skills lab, and worked full-time for a plastic surgeon as a nurse assistant. I managed to do all of the aforementioned while finishing as one of the top students in my program with the highest of honors. How you may ask? Organization.
Do yourself a favor and purchase a planner with plenty of writing room. My favorite planner is by Day Designer. Once you get your courses’ syllabi, begin to input all the important dates into your planner, both on the full month spread and weekly breakdown. Each class should be given a different color post-it to correspond with it; Pathophysiology=pink, Nutrition=green, Neuroscience=blue, and so forth. Anything pertinent to a class will be in the class’ color. Exactly a week before an exam, mark the upcoming exam and begin to study at least a week before. Then mark the exam date where indicated. Write everything down that needs to be done for that week and check it off once completed. This gives you a sense of accomplishment and helps motivate you! Keep your planner out every class, this way when something pops up in class for you to do, you could write it down. Don’t forget you can always reach out to friends if you missed something! Focus on the small goals of nursing school like finishing a test and try to avoid counting down for graduation. Directing your attention this way helps you feel more accomplished and supplies a sense of moving forward!
If you are a tactile learner, like myself, purchase binders to put the printed course slides into. I was able to fit three classes worth of material into one binder by removing the printed powerpoint slides midterm. Each course had two tabs: the first tab was the syllabus and the second was the class’ slides/notes. At the front of the binder in protective plastic coverings were my course due dates from my syllabi. In the top right corner on the appropriate post-it color was my class time, room, and course number. This served as an easy to access weekly breakdown. Everything was in one, accessible place.
If you like to type your notes, create desktop folders with the semester’s name like “Sophomore 1.” Within the folder create class folders; “Pathophysiology, Nutrition, Neuroscience.” Once the powerpoint slides are accessible, download them into the proper folder and title it with the week number, the content to be covered, and the date: “Week 1: RAAS, 03/20/16.”
Everyone has their own methods of what is best for them so fiddle around and see what works for you.