Time Management Tips for Nursing School

time management

When it comes to time management in nursing school, one thing is clear: the calendar is king.

Juggling school, work, family and other obligations becomes easier to manage when you use your calendar effectively.

At Chamberlain, the Center for Academic Success (CAS) is available to help students with time management skills. We asked CAS managers from campuses across the country for their best tips on how to tame the calendar of a busy nursing student. Their expert advice below:

Shirlean Pelham-Bennett, MSN, RN, CHE Arlington, Va. 

At the beginning of each session place important curriculum dates on your calendar, including exam and project due dates. Set reminders for yourself to be sent to your cellphone or email. Break larger tasks into smaller tasks that can be accomplished daily until your goal has been reached.

Patti Robinson, MSN, RN Indianapolis, Ind.

Determine what calendar works for you and fill it with all of your commitments.  Make sure you are listing “preparing” for all of your classes.  Spend the time reviewing and/or outlining the chapter that your professor will cover tomorrow.

Yvonne Moore, RN, MC, LPC Phoenix, Ariz.

The biggest mistake students make when they attempt to get organized is to try and squeeze all responsibilities into their week without taking into consideration that there are only 24 hours in a day.  Going without sleep, relationship time, food or exercise is not a good option.

Begin by prioritizing what is important and be honest with yourself.  Plot in sleep time first — a necessity to maintain optimum brain cell power.  Next, add in time that is immovable in red, including classes and clinicals.  Once that is done, plug in the things that are important to you, such as family time or church.

Next up is study time.  Keep in mind marathon study sessions are not beneficial, so fold some of the important things in during the study time.  Plan to study for 45 minutes and break for 15 minutes.  During the 15 minute break, plan to call a friend. Set a timer and let the friend know at the beginning of the conversation you only have 15 minutes to talk but you wanted to touch base.  When the timer goes off, let them know you have to get to your appointment (with the books).

The same process will work for little children, only in reverse.  Set the timer where they can see it and let them know when it goes off you will play a game or read them a story for 15 minutes.

Nurses, what tips do you have to manage your time and calendars? Let us know in the comments below! 

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