March 24, 2023

As somebody who has accomplished each a B.A. and a full-time nursing scholar program, I received’t hesitate to say it: being a nursing scholar is considerably extra demanding than pursuing a daily undergraduate diploma.
That is primarily as a result of nursing scholar faculty wants to supply hands-on coaching alongside common lessons. The precise necessities for commencement differ from program to program, however you’re looking at between 700 and 1000 hours of clinicals earlier than you’re eligible to graduate. That is on high of all of the credit score hours, lectures, quizzes, analysis initiatives, and end-of-term exams you usually additionally want.

So what does a day within the lifetime of a nursing scholar actually appear like? Naturally, I can’t reply for each program or each nursing scholar – however I can let you know how my typical days have appeared since I launched into this journey.

What Must Be Finished?

Earlier than you may design a sensible schedule, you’ll want to know what to incorporate in it. Personally, I’m fond of making timetables, so this can be a ritual that I’m going by means of initially of each semester: as quickly as I register, I begin drawing charts and assigning time slots.

There are at all times some variations in each time period, however on the very least, a great nursing scholar schedule ought to embody the next:

Courses – each lectures and simulation lab periods, if any of your programs embody them.
Medical rotations – you’ll be attending a particular hospital or outpatient unit. Ensure to account to your commuting time: there’s at all times that one hospital unit that’s additional away from every thing else.
At-home assessment time – on common, I might want to spend 2 hours per week doing assignments or reviewing the fabric alone for every class I’m enroll in. Proper earlier than finals, I would want to extend this to three or 4 hours per class.
Self-care – this consists of primary residence errands, residence cooking, and exercising first, and precise relaxation second.
In case you are a full-time nursing scholar, you’ll almost certainly enroll in three to 5 lessons per time period. At my faculty, a 3-credit course would require a 3-hour lecture each week. A 4-credit course would add an hour or two on the simulation lab, so I might by no means take greater than a type of at a time.

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Pattern Nursing Pupil Schedule

After including up all these hours, you might be questioning what my days truly appear like by midterm.

My faculty is fairly good at bundling schedules to make sure we will squeeze all our lectures into two or three “research days.” This would go away three full days for “clinicals solely.”

On research days

Every time attainable, I might attempt to enroll in two consecutive lectures moderately than depart a free interval between them. Why? Primarily as a result of our cafeteria is pricey and gravitates towards deep-fried meals.

I favor to get the lectures do and out of the way in which after which have lunch at residence whereas I research.

Final semester, my research days have been Mondays and Thursdays. That is how my Mondays appeared.

6:00 a.m

Earlier than the day acquired too sizzling, I might exit for a 30-minute run, adopted by a bathe and breakfast. As I reside near campus, it’s only a 20-minute drive, even throughout rush hour.

7:55 a.m

Courses began at 08:00 a.m., so at 07:55, I used to be normally already in school, choosing out a spot and reserving seats for some tardy pals.

8:00 to 11 a.m.: Time for the primary lecture of the day. Throughout my final time period, this was Maternity Well being on Mondays and Diet and Illness on Thursdays.

11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m

The Maternity Well being lecture was at all times adopted by two hours on the simulation lab, which nearly by no means end on time. After ending the lab session, I might normally be left with half an hour or quarter-hour to seize a fast lunch earlier than the next lecture.

1:00 to 4:00 p.m

The second lecture of the day (Well being Promotion) was thankfully very conversational and required a number of energetic participation, so I had no drawback staying awake.

4:30 or 4:45 p.m

As quickly as I arrived residence, I might collect every thing I wanted for my assessment time, together with a snack, my notes for the day, and my cat for some firm.

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5:00 to 7:30 p.m

If no assignments have been due the next week, my “assessment time” consisted of transcribing my notes into one thing neater or creating flashcards for key phrases launched that day. This exercise at all times offered me with a great alternative for some spaced repetition. In any other case, I might draft any essays or put together for any upcoming quizzes.

8:00 p.m.: I attempted to be as strict as attainable about an “solely enjoyable after 8 p.m.” rule at residence. Due to this fact, 8 p.m. was time for dinner, adopted by an hour of gaming or winding down.

Thursdays have been a little bit simpler. Our morning lecturer normally completed quarter-hour forward of schedule, so I might simply head straight to my subsequent lecture (Pharmacology), which might final from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.I might then be residence by 2:15 p.m. (as there isn’t a site visitors at the moment), have lunch, and prep meals for the next day. I might then research from 4 to eight p.m., normally with a clearer head.

On scientific days

Clinicals have been a unique beast altogether. My faculty was affiliate with a big metropolis hospital that would home most of my scientific.

The one exceptions have been neighborhood well being, which I needed to do at a neighborhood government-run clinic. Psychological well being, the place I needed to attend a unique hospital an hour away.

Earlier than the pandemic, all our clinicals have been held at a constant schedule, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Final semester, they separated us into two bubbles to maintain nursing college students “socially distanced” and forestall overcrowding within the wards.

Every bubble would then rotate their schedule, attending from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. one week, and from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. the next week.

On the weeks I had the morning shift, that is what my day usually appeared like:

6:00 a.m

I rolled off the bed, made myself a hearty grilled cheese sandwich, and headed to the hospital.

6:30 a.m

I arrived on the hospital, ate my sandwich, and had an extra-large espresso inside my automotive.

7:00 to 10:00 a.m

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These have been persistently the busiest hours at nearly all hospital items.

I might normally start by listening to the shift handover, which gave me a superb opportunity to watch how skilled nurses utilized their scientific reasoning.

Then, I might have a couple of minutes with my preceptor, the place she would quiz me about how I might prioritize every affected person or arrange the duties for the day.

Over my final rotation I lucked out, as not all preceptors paid us that a lot consideration.

10:30 to 11:00 a.m.: Every hospital and ground has its personal system and tempo. On this unit, we might discover a slight lull round this time – offered nothing surprising occurred. It gave me time for some fruit and a fast break.

11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.: The top of the shift was hardly ever as hectic because the early morning hours.

Normally, the final half an hour sees quite a lot of working round as effectively, as nurses prepare at hand over to the afternoon shift – however the brand new “COVID schedule” meant I used to be exempt from this.

1:30 p.m.: I might get residence and instantly head for an extended bathe and a nap.

3:00 to 7:30 p.m

Relying on what was due the following day, I might spend these hours both working (paid work, both translating or enhancing) or making ready for the following days’ lectures. Coming to class having simply learn the chapter that we’re about to look at made it considerably simpler to comply with together with the lecture.

Within the weeks by which I used to be schedul for afternoon clinicals, I might strive arduous to be off the bed earlier than 7:30 a.m. (and persistently failed). Then, I might both work or handle family chores till lunchtime and depart for the hospital instantly after.

08:00 p.m

I attempted my greatest to assign half an hour for stretching, a night stroll, or some form of quiet time. Clinicals are bodily demanding, and you’ll spend most of them in your ft. Due to this, I don’t even attempt to go working on my “clinic days,” however stretching or conscious respiratory would forestall my legs from being sore the following day.