As discussed last time in How to Manage Your Time in Nursing School, nursing students have a hard time juggling school, work, and personal time. And in order to have balance in your life, you need to find balance in your scheduling.
Try this for the next week, look at your schedule, and find out what your scholarly plans look like. When are your classes? In what order are your assignments due? Do you have tests or quizzes coming up? If you need to, work in the reverse. For example, if you think you need to dedicate 4 hours to study for an exam that is coming up, plan on studying for an hour a day starting as early as 4 days leading up to the exam date. There is no need to study for 4 hours all in one day – you’ll wear yourself down by doing so.
Finding that Balance
It is ridiculous to think that you can go to work, school, and study without some leisure time. You need to allow yourself breaks, so that when you do get back to work, school, or studying you don’t go completely crazy. Allow yourself time to do what you want for at least an hour every so often. Your brain needs those breaks, so that you can retain more information when you study. Just remember, don’t over-do the leisure time. If you need to use a planner, phone, or computer for scheduling, do so. This will ease the stress of trying to figure out when you have time to do everything.
In college, the first thing that seems to go is sleep, and the lack of sleep is more damaging than you may realize. Lacking sleep can throw your mental, physical, and emotional health out of whack, and your stress levels will increase. Also, keep up on eating healthy and staying hydrated. Just a hint: The more colorful your plate is when you are eating, chances are the healthier it is. Take time to exercise 2-3 days a week for at least half an hour. Your health is the most important thing to worry about when it comes to life, so making it a priority will benefit you in more ways than one.
Inside Glimpse from a Nightingale Student
We asked our student ambassadors for their intake on time management, and this is what Ashely D. responded:
“I spend about 30-35 hours a week studying. I think the recommended time is 2 hours of studying for every credit hour you have. I do not study every day, the way I plan my schedule is I work 12-14 hours Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and no studying. Then I work about 3-4 hours Tuesday and Thursday. I study Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday for long periods of time, but that is how I prefer to study. I do not benefit from studying for short periods of time every day. I am single and have no kids, so it is easier for me to work this way than it may be for others. I, also, seek out help from my fellow students, like we work together on study guides for exams so we can study from each other’s information rather than having to find all the information on my own. I also have help from my family and friends. For example, my dad comes over every week and does my lawn work.
I do not set a time limit on anything graded, I take however long it takes to finish the assignment and do the best I can. I prioritize my studies by order of due date. I do whatever is due first and worth the most points then move on from there. Usually discussion board posts do not take that long, so if I have a test coming up I study for that first then do the discussion boards last.
My job is very flexible because I set my own schedule, so I do have those open days (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday) where I shift my schedule around to accommodate surprises. I think it is always best to try your hardest to do things ahead of when they are due that way when surprises arise you are not scrambling to figure out how you will work issues out. It’s always helpful to notify professors if you do have a surprise come up that is not school related to see if they will allow you extra time to turn in an assignment rather than tell them after the assignment has already been due.
It was recommended to me by ‘Mr. H’ to always have one day of rest where you look at nothing related to nursing. I do not think it is necessary to study everyday but at least set aside a little time every day to make sure you know what is coming up in the course, check canvas for updates, etc. Studying for long periods of time 4 times a week is what works best for me.”
In addition, Nightingale College offers the Total Life Care (TLC) program and is available to assist in personal difficulties that might affect the quality of life. This program is a benefit to students and their families. They cover time and stress management, child care, home buying, college tuition, marriage and family struggles, etc. And if you still feel unsure about how to better manage your time, feel free to speak with our Student Services Department for more tips on how to manage your time.
Student Services may be contacted by phone at (801) 689-2160 and by email.
Daniel Jensen – Student Services Advisor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Amanda Shoemaker – Assistant, Student Services, email@example.com
Author: Mackenzie Whitten (Administrative Assistant, Operations)