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Asia Clayton

3 Common Struggles for Nursing Students

Nursing school can be both an incredibly rewarding and stressful experience, and learning how to pinpoint our struggles and attack them head-on can help us be successful in our program.

Asia Clayton is an LPN student who will graduate in December 2021. She shares three things she struggled with while in nursing school and a few tips that helped her through it.   

Nursing school can be both an incredibly rewarding and stressful experience, and learning how to pinpoint our struggles and attack them head-on can help us be successful in our program.  

Here are three challenges I faced and how I overcame them:  

1. Procrastinating

Preparing to read an assignment or write a long paper for class can feel overwhelming. So much so, that we put those daunting assignments off to the side with the hopes of returning to them later. This isn’t a good idea because you can easily fall behind, especially if something unexpected comes up in your life. I’ve found that breaking down each assignment into manageable pieces and working on the hardest ones first helps me to stay on task. Taking breaks between each section also helps to recharge my brain and allows me to return to my assignments with a fresh mind.

As nursing students, we’re managing many obligations, including work and school, and some of us have children. Keeping track of notable events for our personal life and school life in a calendar can be a huge help. As students, we decided to sign up for nursing school, so we must make time in our schedules to be successful in our program.

2. Not asking for help

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in the past is not reaching out to my instructors when I realized that I was falling behind. Please do not make that mistake. Our instructors are here to help and can guide us on the next steps to take to be successful. They can also help us identify what assignments or concepts are most important to help us prioritize.

They want to see us succeed, but if we aren’t asking for help when we’re struggling, how will they know? Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and most importantly, ask for help before it is too late – not at the last minute.

We also have many resources at our fingertips. YouTube is full of great explanatory videos for nursing students, and you could even hire an online tutor to help you. Forming study groups with your classmates can be beneficial as well – even if you need to meet virtually rather than in person. Someone in your group may have a better way of explaining something that you didn’t understand, and talking things through with your peers can help you process and retain information.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask your family members and loved ones for their help when you need it. For example, maybe your spouse or parents could take your children out for an afternoon to give you uninterrupted time to study. 

3. Not taking time to relax

I know it seems crazy to even think about relaxing while in nursing school – seriously, who has time to relax? You do, and you must take some time away from your studies to truly do your best. Relaxing can mean something different for everyone. It could include hanging out with your family, going for a walk, watching a new show on Netflix or simply eating your favorite ice cream. Whatever relaxing means to you, make sure to take that mental break for a little while.

It’s common to have self-doubts and question our abilities during nursing school sometimes, but we should try to combat our negative thoughts and focus on working hard to become the nurses we know we can be. Nursing school is challenging, but with hard work, motivation and self-care, we can be successful. Keep your motivation high and never stop chasing your dreams!

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* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2020. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.

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