One of the major obstacles a nursing student faces during nursing school is managing how to juggle multiple classes at once. Some nursing schools require students to attend 2-3 classes for six weeks and then switch to another set of classes. On the other hand, some schools require students to take 4-5 classes (along with clinicals) during a 4 month semester.
This can be very stressful for the student when trying to study for exams, complete projects, and attend classes. For example, some weeks a student may have two exams, a care plan due, and have to attend clinical/lectures all in the same week.
In this article, I want to show you how to juggle multiple classes at once and show you a real scenario on how to use a planner to develop a study plan.
Before you learn how to juggle multiple classes you need to ask yourself two questions:
- How organized am I? Do I need to work on my organization skills? Watch this video on “How to get Organized in Nursing School”
- Do I really know how to properly study? Watch these videos on “How to Study in Nursing School“
If you can perform these two things correctly it will make juggling classes a lot easier.
Video on How to Juggle Multiple Classes in Nursing School
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Study Tips for Nursing School
Get organized using a planner! I used one during nursing school, and honestly, I could have not graduated from nursing school without one. If you have blown off the idea of using one or questioned if it was for you, I highly suggest you just give it a try. You will probably find it will save time and avoid headaches (see the sample planner set-up below).
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can cram two days before the exam! Cramming before an exam hurts you in the long term when it’s time to take finals. Most finals are comprehensive and studies have shown that cramming before a test doesn’t give you enough time to retain the material. In a sense, after you take the exam you do a “brain dump” and forget much of the material you crammed for.
Prioritize Classes! Give more attention to classes you are struggling in and plan to study harder for them compared to the other classes. Your planner can help you develop a day-by-day study schedule.
How to use a Planner in Nursing School
Okay, let’s look at a typical nursing school scenario on to how to juggle multiple classes:
In this particular scenario, the semester includes the following classes:
Nursing Fundamentals, Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, clinicals on a medical surgical floor, and Nursing Theory & Research
I recommend on the first day of class, after you receive the syllabus, that you go home and plug everything into your planner. This will allow you to look ahead in the weeks coming up.
For example, look at the planner below and notice the week of the 15th (row in black). This week is a very busy week and includes an exam in NF (nursing fundamentals) on the 15th and on the 17th in Patho (Pathophysiology) along with a quiz on the 18th in Pharmacology (Pharm) and care plan during due the 19th.
Notice how the planner is laid out by times to study, what classes to study, when to work on projects, time spent in lecture class/clinicals, and days to take off. If you follow the planner week by week you will notice that I started studying and working on projects 2 weeks before they were due because of the very busy week of the 15th.
Tip: Have fun with your planner and make it your own! You can be as detailed as you want but just make sure you have giving yourself enough time to study and work on projects.
Here are some great planners sold by Amazon.com (note this is an affiliate link and if you choose to make a purchase through Amazon we get a commission which helps support this site)