Being a student is a full-time job. You’ll find nothing’s as rewarding as seeing all your hard work pay off.


One of the beauties of being a student is the instant gratification. If you put in the hard work for an exam, you will get the incredible results within a matter of days, or sometimes hours. This is extremely motivating! With this being said, study hard prior to an exam. Get that A you always dreamed of. Doing so will help push you through the semester.


Another habit to adapt is goal chunking. Being in a three year long program seems like it will never end if you are only focusing on your graduation date. I challenge you to look at the little goals. For example, your goal for week 1 may be to get an A on your Physiology quiz. Week 2’s may be to pass your foley check-off. Write each goal down and cross it off once complete. You’ll find the semester flies by! Before you know it, you’re halfway done with school…then graduated! It is also so fun to look back on all the little goals you accomplished to help you reach the huge goal of graduation!



DO NOT STUDY THE NIGHT BEFORE. Some people think this works for them, but in the nursing profession, you need to have retained your nursing school knowledge. This is not possible with just an evening of stuffing your brain. Begin studying a week before an exam or quiz. Break apart your material into little bits for each day. Then the last three days before the exam, go through all of the material. There will be little to no stress studying for exams if you apply this method. Not to mention, the length of time dedicated to studying each day decreases and your grade in class rises.

Figure out where you study best, when, solo or in groups, and how! Create your own study sanctuary. When you are there, you know it is time to work.


If you are a procrastinator, add more structure to your life. Get a side job or volunteer somewhere. This helps you balance your to-do list and manage your time.


Apply the “if you’re not early you’re late”mentality. You will lose respect from your teachers and fellow classmates by arriving late. It is a reflection of the type of nurse you will be. Being late in nursing is a huge no no. Your patients need you. It is your job to be present and on time. Your patient’s life could depend on your punctuality.

Practice waking up at  your first alarm. Don’t snooze your alarms until noon. If you set it for 7AM, you are up at 7AM. If you can’t rely on yourself, how are other patients supposed to rely on you?


Find someway to get organized. As I have told you before, organization is power and I mean that! You will NOT get hired as a nurse if you can’t stay organized. The super OCD nurses (cough cough, such as myself) belong in an ICU setting, where their hypersensitivity to details can be put to use. Regardless of being in the ICU, Hospice Care, or Med Surg, organization is imperative when juggling more than one patient.

Use a planner and treat it like your Bible. Transfer everything over from your syllabi to your planner on the first day of classes. Be the person everyone comes to for questions, not the person asking all the questions.


Don’t let your life fall apart. Continue to do your laundry, meet up with friends, or go to the movies! Your life doesn’t stop because of school. By catering time to yourself, it helps motivate you in the schooling world. Relationships are possible in nursing school and they should be maintained somehow!

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