The challenges of learning nursing

Dec 10, 2020 by

Whether you’re studying for a PhD or taking an early stage training course, being a nursing student can be tough. Knowing what to expect makes it easier to cope with the day to day problems you’re likely to face. Fortunately, a lot of people have done this before so you can draw on their experience as you prepare.

Time

This area of study is particularly time-consuming. You’ll have a lot of work to do and clinical tutorials often overrun, making it difficult to manage your schedule. As well as attending lectures, you’ll have to do homework and further reading in your own time. All this can leave you with very little downtime, but it’s important to make sure you get enough sleep and spend some time with friends so that you can cope with the emotional burdens of your course.

Money

Because you’ll be spending so much time working on your course, you may find it impossible to hold down a job at the same time. If you’re learning in affiliation with a hospital or clinic, see if you can get work there, even as a porter or cleaner. Doing so will give you valuable experience and your employer will understand your need to strike a balance between work and study.

Self-perception

Because the workload in courses like this is so heavy, it often leads to people feeling overwhelmed. It’s especially tough for students from minority backgrounds or deprived backgrounds, who are more likely to lack confidence in themselves to begin with. If you don’t see many other people around like you, you may struggle to feel that you belong and that this is something you can do. Just keep in mind that many people have felt this way before and most have succeeded regardless.

Managing project work

If you’re doing a diploma or a nursing PhD, you’ll have a lot of project work to complete. That requires a lot of self-discipline. On top of the additional time management issues, you’ll need to organize your research and find your own solutions to the difficulties you encounter. You will have supervisors you can turn to if you find yourself stuck, but the more you can manage on your own, the more you’ll learn.

Taking it all in

With so much going on, it can be difficult remembering everything, which makes exams intimidating. The best way to work around this is to build a program of revision into your regular schedule – so that, for instance, you sit down at the end of each month and go back over what you’ve learned. This will help you to take in information properly even if you’re worn out a lot of the time, and it means that you can quickly identify, and fill in, gaps in your knowledge.

Overall, the most important thing you need to do is believe in yourself. This is going to be tough, but you’re up to the challenge and it will be worth it.

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