Health is the name of the game for nurses, but as anyone working in a high-pressure job knows, it’s all too easy for your own health to fall to the wayside. Add in a degree, and the difficulty of staying healthy and well can feel impossible.
You deserve more than just scraping by. You deserve to give it all for your degree and for your career. It isn’t just you that will benefit, either. A healthy nurse can provide a better level of care for their patients simply because they have more ability to offer compassion and will have greater attention to detail.
The same applies to their degree. If you are studying while continuing to work either part-time or full-time as a nurse, you need a brain that is on it. Being healthy means your memory works better, you’ll understand new concepts better, and memorization will be much easier.
Add in the fact that you also have a personal life and personal responsibilities, and this health and wellness concept can seem like a fairy-tale. The good news is that it is possible, but it requires discipline, a great routine, and a lot of help.
This guide will help you regardless of whether you are working full-time or working and studying. It can even help those not currently working in nursing, as health and well-being are universal, and their importance is ubiquitous across the human experience.
Feel better, be better, and smash through your goals with this guide and you’ll thrive as a student nurse:
When Pursing Education, Make Sure it Offers the Right Support
If you are working while studying, and you don’t have the support, it can feel like you are being dragged through deadlines and pressure day after day. Online degrees have made it so much easier to balance your career and your education, but being online is just the start. You deserve a degree that offers extended periods of graduation so that you can complete your degree at your own pace. Clinical placement services should also be offered.
The FNP program at TWU, for example, offers a transformative student experience that is supportive, immersive, and innovative, and also offers a very high first-time pass rate for the state exam, so not only will you get dedicated help during your degree, you will also be prepared to get through the exam and earn your FNP license the first time.
Being supported by the university and the faculty makes a huge difference, especially if they understand and work with you so that you can continue to offer life-saving care in your role as a nurse.
This has only become more important throughout the pandemic, with high numbers of admitted COVID-cases and increased pressure on the rest of healthcare to offer the same level of care while preventing COVID from infecting at-risk patients from within their walls.
Having support and understanding from your faculty and workplace makes a huge difference, so ensure you have that before using the rest of these tips:
It Is Okay To Take a Step Back
Not only is it okay to take a step back, but it can also be for the best. If you cannot keep up with the daily stresses that come with working in a hospital, for example, relocating to a smaller hospital or a clinic can be just what you need for your health, well-being, and career goals. Just like you would seek out the advice and guidance from those on your course, talk to those above you at work. They may be able to help ease some of the stress you are feeling.
Nurses are needed throughout healthcare and in many different capacities. If you are not a good fit for one, that does not mean you are not a good nurse, just that your talents and energy are better used elsewhere.
The knowledge and experience you can learn in a large hospital can be invaluable, but it doesn’t have to be the end of your career, especially not with telehealth becoming more widely adopted. You can work with patients remotely, work in clinics, work in urban areas, or work in specialty areas that focus more on science and after-care than working to assist critical patients.
Prioritizing your Health and Well-being
When it comes to your health, the best way forward is through a routine. This applies to everything, from your diet to your sleep schedule. If you can eat healthy consistently, you will have greater natural energy levels, have a stronger immune system, and be emotionally more fortified than if you struggle to eat well and on time.
A good way to eat well consistently is to either invest in a meal plan, where food is pre-prepared for you and easy to cook, or in at-home meal prep where you spend one day a week creating your meals that can be easily reheated or added to.
Sleep is another aspect that really benefits from routine, and there are ways to ensure you get a better night’s rest even if you operate in shifts and have hours of studying to complete.
When it comes to your mental health and well-being, know that professional options aren’t just for when you are in a crisis. Feeling overwhelmed is natural, and seeking out therapy can help you process how you feel, understand why, and what you can do to change it. Even support groups and being more open with other nurses can help tremendously.
Of course, when it comes to your well-being, looking outside of healthcare and studying is also going to make a big difference. Try art, or take up a hobby craft for when you are at home. The arts are a great way to relax and engage in a different area of your brain so that you can relax and find new, important ways to express yourself.
Managing your time better is all well and good, but if you feel like you are overwhelmed, it doesn’t matter if you have the time, you won’t have the capacity. Care for your health, and then use that improved health to benchmark your mental well-being. Look into professional care, support systems, and wellness activities to help you relax, release your stress, and succeed as a student nurse in every endeavor.