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How to keep on top of your workload as a new student nurse


Do you worry about keeping on top of assignments, placement, portfolio, exams…? Let Lisa ease your worries with these simple tips

We all know at least one student who leaves things until the last minute, apprently unfazed, one student who finds deadlines stressful but plans ahead and gets there, and one student who finds impeding deadlines so stressful, they become ill.

Stress is a big problem on nursing courses because on top of exams and essays, you also need to manage placements. Placement documents, assignments and reflection pieces always seem to be due in around the same time and it can be tempting to let your studying eat in to your spare time. But my number one tip is to relax and make sure you have some time for you. Think about it, if you are stressed, are you really in the right frame of mind to train for the career you’ve always wanted to do?

Stress has caused many people to make stupid mistakes and then leave the course. Some of these people would make fantastic nurses.”

Nursing degrees are far from easy, but the end result is worth the hard work - you just have to make sure you get there first. Proper time management and stress relief can make sure you don’t make mistakes and you become the fantastic nurse you are destined to be.

Here are my top tips to help you do just that:

Tip 1-  Be prepared. If you know you’re particularly weak on a subject, put the reading in!
Tip 2 - Keep yourself calm and happy. Take regular breaks from essays and spend time with your family or friends doing something different to university work.
Tip 3 - Talk to your lecturers. Extensions are possible if you are struggling - they are there to help.
Tip 4 - Get involved! Take the initiative and get involved in activities through your university’s student union. This will get you out of the house, away from the books and give you the chance to meet students on other courses. These opportunities may even help you meet other health professionals, which will prove valuable throughout your training and future career.
Tip 5 - Don’t go out and buy every book ever written. You won’t use them. Ask current nursing students about the books they actually use and refer to your reading list. Check if the library has the book you want, you’ll be surprised how much books can cost!

Everyone struggles with stress and problems with time management from time to time, even if we don’t like to admit it. Be yourself, don’t panic and don’t leave things until the last minute. Remember your health is more important then getting top marks - keeping this in mind may even make you more likely to get those top marks!


Lisa Barton is in her 2nd year studying Adult nursing at University of Lincoln


Readers' comments (2)

  • really useful, nice to read as well. hope you are doing well

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  • Katie Sutton

    As an additional note to the tip about books, check with previous students/people in the years above you if they've got books they no longer need, or look on eBay/used book sites. Most state what condition they're in and you can find good-as-new copies for a fraction of the price!

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