Getting into nursing school was an accomplishment in and of itself. But walking across the stage at graduation will be an even bigger one. All of the work put in between those two milestones speaks to your perseverance and dedication.
You’ve probably heard by now that nursing school isn’t easy – but it is doable. And it’s a little easier with some support and encouragement.
You’ll be happy to hear there are plenty of nursing student resources out there to help you graduate with flying colors. As you prepare for nursing school or are working your way through, make note of the nursing student resources that could be the difference between sinking and swimming.
1. Seek out a student mentor
Reach out to a student that is further along in the program. Students who are a bit further along have the unique perspective of knowing the challenges you will face firsthand. Developing a relationship with someone like that will give you valuable insight and camaraderie. Buy them a coffee and ask some questions about the program. If their answers are helpful, you will be a few steps ahead of the other newbies.
2. Follow nursing blogs
There’s a reason blogs are all the rage these days. It gives anybody an opportunity to learn from seasoned experts and industry thought leaders with just a few clicks of the mouse – including nursing students! Instead of wading in blind, check out this list of 24 Nursing Blogs You Need to Read to get started.
3. Connect with your dean
Most students don’t take full advantage of the resources their university provides. Arguably one of the most important resources at your disposal is the faculty. Each nursing program has a dean at the helm. Make it a goal to connect with yours. They make important mentors while you are in school and are valuable networking allies after graduation.
4. Get social
You’re already spending too much time on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest – why not use them to your advantage? These social networks are great resources to network with other nursing students, sharing ideas, struggles and commiseration. If you’ve ever seen a hilarious meme about the exact struggle you dealt with one day, you know the value of hearing what other people in your shoes have to say. Read this guide to Top 12 Nursing Twitter Accounts and start following the ones that most appeal to you.
5. Load up on some nursing apps
Yes, there really is an app for everything! That includes a whole slew dedicated to making your life as a nursing student a tad easier. Need help with terminology memorization? Anatomy charts? Nursing task checklists? What about an organizational app tailored for a nursing schedule? Find them all and more in this list of the 25 Best Nursing Apps For Any Stage in Your Career.
6. Download a time management app
While you are in the app store, you might as well check out some organizational apps for mastering time management. One of the chief difficulties in any program is balancing the new workload with your job, children or other commitments. Time management tools can be a great asset for nursing students. Popular apps like IStudiez Pro, Evernote or RescueTime could help save you a lot of time and stress.
7. Use the Learning Nurse Resource Network
The Learning Nurse Resource Network is an online platform that describes itself as an “independent, free and safe resource for nurses to assess, maintain and enhance their professional competence.” The website boasts a tab for nursing apps, games and quizzes as well as easy-to-navigate learning material. It also offers information on professional development, nursing statistics and job links across the globe.
8. Interview a working nurse
When your eyes need a break from all the screen-staring that comes with school and networking these days, try an old-fashioned resource. Call a local hospital to find out if there are any nurses willing to do an informational interview. This one is worth double points: one for connecting with a professional in your field, and another for learning more about a hospital (and potential employer) in your area.
9. Check out Nurse.com
The student division of Nurse.com offers a handy dictionary of careers in nursing. Browse through a large list of positions in nursing and read the required education, salary, setting and task breakdown for each. The website also provides news relevant to nursing students, Facebook and Twitter networks and a hefty list of financial aid opportunities.
Rely on your resources
Now that you have an arsenal of nursing student resources to draw from, you won’t have to try to survive nursing school in complete isolation. While knowing you aren’t alone should make things a little easier, it doesn’t mean school will be a complete walk in the park.
To hear some advice from successful graduates, check out these Expert Tips to Survive Stress and Get Through Nursing School.