If you are a naturally caring and helpful person who enjoys being there for others and helping out wherever you can, nursing could be the perfect career option for you to consider. If you want to get into a career that allows you to do something meaningful with your life and enjoy many rewards and satisfaction, nursing can provide all this and more.
However, attending nursing school can be a lot of hard work, and students need to be ready because it can be stressful. This is especially true for registered nurses who want to progress in their careers by getting an MSN or similar advanced degree qualification while juggling work at the same time.
1. How Stressful Is Nursing School?
While studying for a program to work towards, becoming an adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner from Baylor University might not be a massive shock for registered nurses with experience, but attending nursing school with no previous experience in this field can sometimes feel like you have been thrown in at the deep end. No matter what level you are studying at, there will always be support available for students.
Still, nursing school comes with several stressors that will need to be successfully managed and controlled to enter a successful nursing career or advance your nursing career in the future. It can be stressful to continuously work at maintaining your grades to stay in the program, and for nurses studying for an advanced degree, trying to balance this with working can also be a source of stress.
2. Stress Impact on Your Health and Wellbeing
Getting too stressed and overwhelmed while getting a nursing degree can have some consequences for your health and wellbeing. When you are dealing with substantial stress levels, this can have some health consequences such as trouble sleeping, mood changes, stomach aches, and headaches, all of which can get in the way of giving your all at nursing school and achieving your education career goals.
Also, too much stress can make it difficult for you to think clearly and make wise decisions, which can pose a danger when working with patients and cause problems with your grades.
3. Managing Nursing School Stress
The good news is that whether you’re getting a BSN to start your nursing career or going back to nursing school to get an advanced degree for career progression, there are several steps that you can take to manage the stress and keep yourself in control. The first thing to do is be aware that nursing school is likely to be stressful for you at times, no matter what level you’re studying at.
Once you are aware of this and ready for it, it becomes much easier for you to plan for managing the various stressors that you might face, which is always easier than dealing with them only when they come up. Some of the main things that you can do to reduce your stress levels as a nursing student include:
4. Study Online
Getting your nursing degree online is now something you can do no matter what level you are studying at. If you are considering changing your current career to nursing, for example, but need to continue working while getting your BSN, an online BSN program might be an ideal option for you.
Similarly, registered nurses who want to get an advanced degree to progress in their career will often find that the online degree programs available are designed with them in mind and much easier to work around their job than studying on-campus in the traditional way. Online programs are often cheaper, which can help alleviate financial stresses, and are much more flexible, putting you in control of coming up with a study schedule.
5. Figure Out What Works for You
There are many different techniques that you can use to manage your stress levels and make it easier for you to get behind in control after a stressful day. Some people find that deep breathing exercises are practical, while others use exercise, meditation, or journaling to help them go back on top of things and feel more relaxed.
While it can take some time trying out new things to figure out which stress reduction techniques work well for you, it’s always worth putting in the effort to find a method you can rely on whenever you feel your stress levels rising.
6. Stick to Healthy Habits
The healthier your lifestyle, the easier it will be for you to overcome stress in nursing school. Healthy habits are not just crucial for your physical health; they will also significantly impact your mental health and well-being, including your ability to manage and get back in control of your stress. One of the essential habits to get into as a nursing student is to ensure that you are getting enough sleep at night.
While this might not always be easy when you’ve got so much work to do, it’s always a better idea to finish a task the next day than lose sleep over it and suffer from resulting symptoms, including lack of focus and irritability.
7. Take Regular Breaks
There’s no denying that nursing school can involve a lot of hard work, especially if you are studying for an advanced nursing degree while working as a full-time registered nurse at the same time. However, having a heavy workload doesn’t mean that you should work through all your breaks.
If you’re not taking a day for yourself at least every once in a while, then it’s going to be significantly more accessible for you to become burned out, overwhelmed, and struggle to maintain your stress levels as a result. Taking some time for yourself each week to do something you enjoy and clear your mind before returning to work and study will help you keep going without burning out.
Nursing school can undoubtedly be a stressful experience. Being prepared for stress management strategies and techniques will help you stay in control and succeed in meeting your career goals.