With the state of the world being different than ever before, many students are having to learn how to adapt to online nursing school. From being around your classmates and professors on a daily basis to only communicating to them through video calls or email, it is certainly an adjustment to what you are used to. You’re not alone though! We have compiled a list of seven tips to help you succeed and successfully navigate nursing school online.
Tip 1: Find a Daily Routine
Establishing a daily routine is a great first step to re-organizing your new school schedule. Creating a daily routine that is comfortable with you will help alleviate stress associated with navigating nursing school online. First, make a list of your daily duties between all of your online nursing school courses. This will help you to prioritize your coursework when you are most productive, but will also help you see when you can make time for other things. If you are a morning person, structure your day around studying for a couple hours in the morning, and leave time for yourself in the evening. If you are an evening person, do the reverse! The benefit of doing nursing school online is you can really tailor your learning to work best for you.
Tip 2: Create A Comfortable Workplace
Rather than being in class, your home will most likely be your new classroom. The second step to succeeding in an online nursing school program is to create a comfortable environment at home which is conducive for learning. If you can, set up a comfortable chair and get a desk you can use just for school work. You will be far more successful and productive working from a desk rather than from your bed or couch (it is a lot better for your posture too). Find an area with ample lighting where you can work from for a couple of hours a day. Let your family know your schedule so you can get the uninterrupted heads-down time you need to focus. If you can’t utilize your home for your studies, then find a socially distanced spot at your local library or even a nice picnic bench at the park and take advantage of some fresh air!
Tip 3: Utilize Your Syllabus and Introductory Material
Since you aren’t going to be in the classroom with your instructors or peers, it is crucial to become a student who is on top of their coursework. At the beginning of the semester, take your class syllabi and introductory material and read it over a couple of times. This way you can get an idea of what to expect, and you can also plan out your entire semester. Plan what days you have a big project due, clinical Zoom lectures, or even your midterms and finals. Being prepared and on top of what is to come will help you tremendously in the long run and help reduce procrastination and stressful situations.
Tip 4: Connect with Other Nursing Students
Making friends in school isn’t always easy, especially virtually. However, it isn’t impossible! This year is different from any year before as you don’t have the advantage of talking to the people sitting around you in class. Get a study partner! Engaging in online lectures, discussion boards, and group projects are great ways to connect with your other students. Finding other students who are going through exactly what you are will help you feel more motivated and far less alone in your healthcare journey.
Tip 5: Take Advantage of Office Hours
Many students overlook the power of office hours. Whether you are in a class of 20 or a class of 200, you should take the time to introduce and interact with your professors when possible. Make yourself known in lectures, and interact with the teachers when no one else does! It can be a daunting task, but we believe in you. Your professors are there to help you succeed and learn. If you have any questions about how to navigate online nursing school courses, reach out to them for advice, helpful resources, and support.
Tip 6: Use Varied Learning Strategies
An important part of being a successful student is learning how to study and using the varied learning strategies that work best for you. If you are an audiovisual learner, check out Picmonic! Picmonic is a mnemonic learning app that can help you remember the most important facts and concepts of your classes through memorable visuals and stories. You can use Picmonic to supplement your studies in a plethora of ways. If you are learning about a certain body system, check out the Picmonic playlist for it! Picmonic also links to the most popular nursing textbooks units and chapters so you can seamlessly study between Picmonic and your text. In addition, Picmonic also offers hundreds of free YouTube videos if you need more explanation and clarification on certain nursing topics. If you’re thinking about NCLEX prep, check out Picmonic’s free NCLEX Question of the Day as well! Finding learning strategies that work best for you during this time will help you now and in the future.
Tip 7: Don’t Overlook Your Mental Health
Studying alone and learning by yourself during the COVID-19 pandemic is a new experience for many. It is important to focus on yourself and your mental health during these uncertain times. Wake up every morning and get ready, say affirmations, or do something that makes you feel good about yourself. If you need ideas for some study break self-care activities, check out our study break self-care guide! There are so many helpful resources and tips to help you decrease loneliness, stress and anxiety during online nursing programs in 2021. Check out more social distancing and mental health tips from students like you.
We’re all in this together!