6 Ways Nursing School is Just Life

By Justine Fischer, Nursing Student and ThriveAP Contributor

Nursing school can be a whirlwind. It’s easy to get caught up in exams, papers, and clinicals. But, in many ways, nursing school is really just life life in general. If you can manage the ups and downs that life brings your way, then you can make it as a nursing student. As you brave the challenges and face the frustrations of being a nursing student, here are a few things to keep in mind to bring a little peace to your chaos.

1. It is a mindset.

Ever wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Well, you’re not alone. Mindset is everything and your attitude will have a profound impact on not only your work habit but also your results. Going into a test negatively will ensure you receive negative results. The law of magnetism revolves around the fact that you will get what you think about most often. So, think positive fellow nursing students!

2. You get what you put into it.

If you workout on a regular basis at a local gym…you’re probably noticing some physical changes and undoubtedly feeling great about yourself (if you’re not working out, try it!). When you put that same level of effort into your schoolwork you will be blessed with similar outcomes because the more time you put into something, the better you will do. Hint hint: This is why our parents made us practice writing our name in kindergarten about 500 times a week.

3. It’s all in your reaction.

When you think about quitting, remember why you started. If a teacher gives you constructive criticism or you fail a test, how do you react? Do you smile, acknowledge the failure, identify the issue and problem-solve to improve next time? Or do you immediately blame someone else or blame the teacher and make yourself extremely upset and negative in regards to the whole situation? Examine your reaction habits and adjust accordingly.

4. Focus on being productive, not busy.

There is a difference. Have you ever seen someone in the grocery store and they ask how you are and you say “Oh my goodness I’ve been so busy!” Is “busy” a descriptor of yourself? If you’re feeling so busy, are you really accomplishing your goals on a day-to-day basis? Start making a list every day of 5 things you need to accomplish and focusing on being productive and not just simply busy. It will make nursing school run much more smoothly.

5. Sometimes you win sometimes you lose.

View everything as a growing opportunity. You will feel like you are losing sometimes as a nursing student and as long as you understand that and try to grow from the experience; it will have a positive impact in your life and career. If you fail at performing a procedure, identify what went wrong, find resources to help you next time, prepare and study, and you will undoubtedly be better prepared the next time and more likely to succeed!

6. You won’t regret anything because at that moment in your life it was exactly what you wanted.  

There will be moments in nursing school where you wonder what you are doing. Do I really want to be a nurse? Can I really be a nurse? Should I quit? Maybe you regret not studying last weekend because of a family BBQ and subsequently getting a C on your exam the next day. Don’t worry. In every moment we chose what means the most to us and as long as you are not always choosing the option that doesn’t involve nursing school, it is okay to give yourself breaks and chose not to study. The key is DON’T do it every time, because then it will become a habit and habits are hard to break!

You Might Also Like: A Nursing Student’s Advice on the First Day of Clinicals