Nursing School- Any tips

  1. I had originally posted this under the general discussions area, but then I saw the Student Nursing area so I thought I would throw this out there and see if any of you have experienced what I am going through and how you have/are dealing with it.
    It has been a while since I have posted, things have been going pretty well around here for me. But lately I have realized a problem that I am having. Some background info first: I am currently in my second semester of nursing school at the University of Texas @ Arlington (Arlington, TX), I just finished my psych rotation- which by the way was not as bad as I thought it would be although I still have no desire to be a psych nurse. Anyways, my wife is a nurse in the Neonatal ICU in a large nearby hospital, she graduated last may and is loving her job. Together we have a three year old son. Here in is where my troubles start. I love my wife and son to no end, and I love nursing school and really want to do well in school. However, I have come to realize that lately I have not been able to concentrate and study regularly like I should/need to. My test grades are starting to slip and I hate it. I want to go on eventually to do a graduate program and I know that I need good grades now to get there someday. I want to study, I really do, but I just cannot concentrate- both when my son is running around the house and even when he is sleeping or at his pre-school. So I am turning to you guys and gals, I am hoping that maybe some of you have been through similar experiences and will have some helpful hints or tips for effective studying. I have tried studying after he goes to bed but I still have trouble concentrating, I end up falling asleep, or staying up too late trying to get something done and then I have a hard time paying attention in class. I am sorry that this is so long, but I feel I am at my wit's end; I really want to do well, and I really want to be a nurse, but right now I am going through a tough time. Please help! Thanks in advance!!
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    About bigwavedave

    Joined: Mar '02; Posts: 37
    RN-Trauma ICU


  3. by   babynursewannab
    I, unfortunately, can offer you no advice -- only empathy.

    I'm in my second semester with the desire to go on to grad school and am having the exact same problem. So, if nothing else, know you are not alone.

    I think we're just fried.
  4. by   Stargazer
    Personally, I've always found it harder to study at home, because it's too comfortable and there are too many distractions. Very easy to say, "Oh, I'll just take a break for 5 minutes and [check my email/get a drink/see what's on the news/get the mail/put my laundry in the dryer/whatever]" and then the 5 minutes stretches into 30 and when you finally do drag yourself back to the books, you're not really concentrating.

    ...or maybe that's just me, because I am a procrastinating, underachieving slob with terrible study habits.

    When I really needed to get something done--study for an exam or for finals, write a big paper--I went to the library and locked myself away in a study carrel. Is it possible for you to carve out some time every day--even an hour--or a chunk of time once or twice a week to do this?

    Also make sure you organize yourself before diving in. There can be so much material that it's overwhelming. If you need to do a lab write-up for one class and read 2 chapters for another class and study for an exam in the 3rd class, you really need a plan of attack. Divide it up into manageable tasks, sort it in order of importance. Set a time frame to complete the task.

    Part of it, too, is just learning to compartmentalize. Tell yourself that when you're studying, you're going to concentrate completely on studying; and set aside some time at home to concentrate on your family. It kind of sounds like when you're studying, you're thinking about your family and when you're with your family, you feel guilty that you're not studying.

    Good luck!
  5. by   kellye
    I will start back at clinicals in two months and have a husband that works nights. I also have a 7 yr old girl and 3 yr old son. They will be in full time daycare this summer, so i utilize the daytime hours that i am not in class or clinical as a study hall to catch up on studying for exams, writing papers and any other assignments. Since i am basically a single parent at night, my husband and i have agreed that i will use our "date night" babysitter if i have any extra studying or work to do that was not completed during the daytime. Last summer i treated class and clinicals like a job. Monday thru Friday 8 to 5 my butt was at school or in a book and it worked out well for me. I do not work outside the home and my DH says my job is to make it thru nursing school. I figure that if i am paying for full time care for my kids i am going to make the best of it and get as much accomplished as i can. Some days or weeks may require extra time and that is where the babysitter can come in handy. Hope this helps and good luck.
  6. by   marilynmom
    I agree it can be hard, especially with kids.

    The only time I have to study is when my kids are in 2 kids are 4 and 14 months. A lot of times I get tired, especially if I am on the couch studying I go right off to sleep. I stay home with them all day and then go to school at night and study at night, I feel like I have no time at all sometimes but somehow I am making good grades!

    I agree with the above poster if you can go to the library or somewhere else. If I study at home I sit at the kitchen table and do it cause I do tend to focus more there.

    I know not much advide but I DO know what you are going through. I am sure we have all been there at some point. I too am planning on getting my Masters eventually.

    One thing I do when I need to study when my kids are awake (and I know you can imagine how hard it is with a 14 month old climbing all over you...ughh) is I go back to there bedroom where they will play some and I lay on the floor or sit there and try to get some reading done. That way I am *there* with with (sometimes kids just want you near them) and I play off and on with them, but I do get at least some reading done. Even if its just 5 mins here and there to study it does add up.

    Also for me another thing that helps is to get a tape recorder and record things you need to know, I also record my lectures at school and play those during the day. Half the time I cant hear it cause the kids are too loud but it really does help some.

    And sometimes we all dont make the best grades, that does not mean you will never get into a graduate program! I think your just going through a slump right now, you will get through it!!