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One. Prioritize and Organize

In nursing school, this one’s a must. Not only does this keep you from forgetting what needs to be done, it also prevents you from cramming, thus, also preventing additional stress from happening. Make a mental note on what needs to be done for the day and make sure that these judgments are realistic. Determine what’s more important. Take for example, choosing to study on a Friday night for your finals on Monday knowing that you have 10 chapters to review than partying the night away.

Develop a study schedule and stick with it

You shouldn’t just study the night before the exams, instead, make it a habit to study every night. Try to identify when your best time to study is, determine what studying strategy works best for you. You learn best when reviewing with background music? Then go ahead. You study well in groups? Then arrange group studies. By doing so, you will not only absorb the concepts more effectively, but it will also lessen your workload when the night of the exams comes.

Two. Stay Healthy

Yes, we understand that due to all the things you have to keep up with, you sometimes forget to eat your lunch, and you stay up till the wee hours of the morning, but also remember that for you to survive in this battlefield called nursing school, you must be healthy enough to fight. Drink plenty of water, try to get as much sleep as possible, and eat fruits and vegetables. As part of a workforce that promotes health, we must also walk our talk and be models of a healthy lifestyle.

Three. Request a Nurse Mentor

Either choose someone you know who is a recent grad or a positive-thinking practicing nurse. You can ask your instructors if they could recommend someone who they think would be a good fit.  I know you won’t want to ask, but this will be a key component to success and can develop into a lifelong friendship.​

Four. Social Life

Doesn’t it feel better knowing that you’re not in this race all alone? Find a support system. This will keep you from burning out. Study in groups, not only will it be fun, but it will also help you learn more when discussing nursing concepts with your peers. Stressed? Tell your friends and family what’s going on. Venting it out to others who actually care is freeing and cathartic.

Five. Breathe

 Yes, nursing school may be tough, but you also need to take a break once in a while. Make time to yourself. Have fun. Go out from time to time especially when needed. Make time for doing the things you love, may it be painting, singing, going to interesting places and many more. It is important that you find balance despite all the things you are going through in nursing school. After doing so, you will be fueled enough to go back to the game and fight more determinedly. 

Six. See Opportunities

Resist the urge to panic!  It is easy to get overwhelmed by it all, but make a choice to look for opportunities everywhere. Search for opportunities for new friendships, opportunities to stretch your mind, opportunities for personal growth, opportunities to make a difference.  Think about a mantra you could repeat and/or keep in your wallet that would help you get through the challenges. Perhaps something like: I am a smart and capable person who is becoming an awesome nurse!

Seven. The Goal

There will be times when all you just want to do is quit, when those times come, remember why you started. Live on intention rather than out of habit, eyes on your goal. Always think positively no matter what happens and always believe that no matter how long it takes, you will get there. These will keep you going.


The road to being a nurse is a rough one. But you must always remember that no matter how bumpy this road maybe, when you reach your destination, your journey will always be worth it. The secret is to get going, no matter what. For one of the top qualities that make a good nurse is that he/she is never one to give up, even when the going gets rough. Good luck, future RN!

Eight. Get Help

The last but most important survival tip of all. Get Help. In nursing, the business of school and pressures of it all may become overwhelming. Do not hesitate to contact your professors or lab instructors if you need accommodations for deadlines or help with an assignment. They are more understanding than you think. Remember, mental health and wellness is important. If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental health concern, you are not alone. Western offers free counselling services and several on campus mental health resources for students (including information for international students).

Reach out and find support. 

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