Surviving Nursing School 101


I know there have been LOTS of posts on how to survive nursing school but this is what has helped me maintain my sanity thus far…



  • Get. A. Planner. As soon as we got our syllabus for each class I wrote down every due date, assigned readings, exam, quizzes, check off… EVERYTHING. Each class is color coordinated as well. Yes, this took some time but it was super helpful to keep me focused and on track.


I love my Lilly Pulitzer planner! It is so colorful and fun 🙂

  • I also have one binder I bring to school each week for all my classes with that week’s lectures/assignments. At the end of the week I transfer everything to individual class binders. This keeps me from bringing so much stuff with me and helps me not to forget anything.

Set realistic goals:

  • Between assigned readings, case studies, pre-lab assignments, pre-class assignments, etc. there is NO way to get EVERYTHING done. Prioritize what is most important and what can wait.


Time management:

  •  This sort of corresponds with setting realistic goals but organize a schedule of what and when you will study/do assignments. I am working and going to school so I have a limited amount of time when I can actually get work done. I try to knock out all my assignments for the week the weekend before so I can spend my evenings reviewing lecture notes and studying.


  • Talk to other nursing students in your program. Find out what classes were crucial to read for and which ones weren’t so important. For our program, getting the Pharm book was a waste and reading for Assessment is crucial. Good to know! (We have a mentor program and my mentor has been SO helpful!)


  • I also have my schedule on my Google calendar to help visualize what my week looks like.
  •          calendar_2016-02-15_2016-02-20-3
  • Follow link to see a view of my typical week. (Ok, even I can admit that looks a little scary!)


Have a life outside of nursing school:

  •  Yes, you have to spend most of your time devoting your life to school. Yes, you will have to decline invitations to do things with your friends. BUT, you must make time for yourself. You cannot commit your life 24/7 to nursing school or you are asking for a burnout. If you know you want to have dinner with a friend Saturday night then spend most of the day studying. (Again with time management!)


Take care of yourself:

  • You only have one body, take care of it! We are studying how to care for other people so what does it say about us if we clearly are not taking care of ourselves?
  • I have always been a meal prep fan but now it is crucial because there is NO time to make food during the week. I usually make the bulk of my meals on Sunday’s.


{My Fit Mark bag has been a life saver! I holds enough food to get me through the day and the ice packs keep everything cold!}

  • I still find time to hit the gym 3-4 times per week (hello, endorphins).


  • And lastly, SLEEP. You cannot expect to be fully functional if you are sleeping 4 hours a night. Plus, at some point you really aren’t learning/retaining any information once you are just so sleep deprived.


The most important thing I tell myself every day is… “You can do anything, you cannot do everything.”



3 thoughts on “Surviving Nursing School 101

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