The number of individuals enrolling in nursing school is on the rise. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reports that 259,100, prospective nurses enrolled in 2011, which is an increase an increase of over 20,000 people from the previous year. While this profession is certainly seeing a boom, the rigors of nursing school can take a toll on those enrolled. If you count yourself among them and are dealing with stress, there are several techniques you can use to alleviate it.
1. Track Your Emotions By Journaling
The stress of taking nursing classes, whether online or in a classroom, can be considerable and you may find yourself at the end of your rope before you realize it. If you find yourself losing sleep because you cannot turn off your brain at night or cannot focus because of anxiety, then writing down your feelings in a journal may help.
For example, if you are taking a full load of classes at the University of Cincinnati, you can use your journal to not only track how you are feeling but to empty out your mind at the end of the day. Jot down goals, both long and short term, and this may help you feel more in control as you navigate your classes.
Learn more about UC’s nursing programs and discover what you might expect if you decide to enroll there.
2. Work to Stay Healthy
Few things can cause more stress than having to take classes when you are ill, and a poor diet, a lack of exercise, and too many long nights and no sleep can all contribute to illness. Colds, flu, and stomach viruses may be able to attack more easily when you are run down, so working to stay healthy is crucial as you work toward your nursing degree.
Staying healthy can be a challenge, but there are several strategies you can use. Eating three meals a day and including fruits and vegetables that contain antioxidants, such as blueberries and raspberries, may give your immune system a boost. Adequate sleep is also a key point in staying healthy, so try to schedule your study time in a way that allows you to get enough. If you are already working in the field, check out these tips for nurse practitioners that may help you avoid illness on the job.
3. Focus on Endurance, Not Speed
When you first begin your nursing school classes, you will probably be filled with enthusiasm and strive for perfection in each one. However, you may find that trying to keep up a fast and complicated pace can cause you to burn out more quickly. Instead of working how quickly you can accomplish tasks, adopt a plan of endurance instead. This may help you stay focused and mentally prepared for the years that come. Remember to surround yourself with people who will want to support you as you work toward your ultimate goal.
Enrolling in nursing school can be an exciting journey filled with pitfalls and rewards. However, if you work to stay healthy and remember that you are working toward a fulfilling, positive career, your chance of success is sure to increase.