18 Tips for a Successful Semester in Nursing School

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Chamberlain's St. Louis Campus President Janice DeMasters, PhD, MSN, RN, recently shared some helpful tips on how to have a for a successful semester in nursing.

We added to her list, sharing advice from the students and alumni in our Facebook community who have been there and learned the secrets to success in nursing college.

Whether it’s your first week at Chamberlain College of Nursing or your last semester, we hope this guidance is helpful in getting you off to a fresh start in the new semester!

Tips from Dr. DeMasters:

1. Form a study group of people who complement your strengths and weaknesses.

2. Have a back-up for your back-up. Babysitters, transportation . . . whatever it takes. Don’t let lack of preparation set you up for failure. Be ready for when life throws you a curve ball. Planning now will prevent a crisis later.

3. Try to get some sleep – sleep deprivation will sabotage your learning.

4. Avoid junk food. The carbohydrate haze will make it tough to get through class, clinical and labs.

5. Drink water – dehydration is also a brain numbing phenomenon.

6. Do the reading . . . really, do the reading and come to class prepared. Finding out too late that test questions can come from materials assigned but not covered in class can really be a problem.

7. Remember that you are in an accelerated curriculum. It’s not easy. It’s not supposed to be easy. But you can earn your degree way before your friends who went to other schools. That means a job, a paycheck and launching your career.

8. Ask for help, sooner rather than later. Don’t wait till things have overwhelmed you before you reach out.

9. Avail yourself of the resources available at Chamberlain, including: a. Student Services b. Center for Academic Success c. Faculty d. Library e. Staff f. Career Services

10. Know the policies that are helpful to you when life gets complicated, including when you can withdraw from a class or how to take a leave of absence. CAS, Student Services and our faculty are all here to help.

More tips from our Facebook community:

11. “One day at a time, one assignment at a time and do not try to bite off more than you can chew!!”— Beth Ann N.

12. “You get what you give. Give it your all and it will be amazing.”— Dana W.

13. “Don't procrastinate on compliance!”— Hailee Jo C.

14. “Take advantage of every free moment, and set a routine for yourself. While at work, take advantage of your breaks and READ READ READ. Let your co-workers know you can't chat because your school work is very important.”— Cat K.

15. “Study, read and keep a good balance in your lives!” – Laura D.

16. “Take procrastination out of your vocabulary......and your life!!! Do your reading!”— Corin S.

17. “Stand steadfast in working toward your goal while remaining optimistic, no matter what may befall you. Keep your eyes toward your goal and be proud of each and every accomplishment. Of equal importance, accept and know that the professors and counselors are there for you to guide you along the way.”— Brenda B.

18. “Don't wait until Wednesday night to make your first discussion post for the week!”— Elizabeth W.

Nurses and students, are we missing anything? Let us know in the comments!

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