One of the problems that students face in nursing school is a lack of organizational structure. Students fail to set up a system to help them stay organized throughout the semester, and as a result, they begin to fall behind and struggle. Exam dates creep up unexpectedly, and they may even miss assignments.
In this article and video, I’ll show you some simple tips you can use to stay organized in nursing school.
Tips to Stay Organized in Nursing School
The video below will go into much more detail, but there are three basic things every student should do. Here’s what they are:
Step 1: Get Supplies to Stay Organized.
You need to buy some basic supplies, and I’d recommend you buy them long before the semester begins. What supplies should nursing students buy? Here are some common supplies you’ll need:
- Backpack or book bag
- Loose-leaf paper, notebooks, folders, 3-ring binders
- Pens, pencils, whiteout tape, highlighter
- Stapler, hole puncher, staple remover
- Computer paper and ink for your home printer
- Jump drive or flash drive (or CD disks for backup)
- Calendar or planner
Step 2: Develop a “System” to Stay Organized.
My system in college worked like this: First, I’d get a folder or 3-ring binder for each class, and I’d mark the class on the front of that folder. I’d place the syllabus at the very front, and I’d keep all handouts, notes, PowerPoints, etc. in that folder.
Next, I’d write down all grades on my syllabus. This helped me keep track of my grades, and I always knew exactly where I stood in each course.
On each day for class, I’d empty my backpack, and then I’d put each folder, book, supplemental study material in the back for the classes I had that day. You MUST take your system with you so you can stay organized and keep track of everything.
For online classes, I created a folder on my desktop titled “Spring 2015 semester.” Then, I’d create sub-folders inside of that folder for each class. All assignments, papers, etc. would go in there. Make sure to back it up!
When taking notes, always write the date, chapter, the corresponding exam, and your name on them. Then, after you have the notes completed for a certain exam, staple them together and put them in your folder!
After you have your system setup, you can then use your syllabus and begin to schedule out your week in your planner or calendar.
Step 3: Develop a Running “Schedule” of at Least 2-3 Weeks in Advance
Take your syllabus and mark on a calendar all of the reading assignments, test dates, assignment dates, or other important information. This is critical to staying organized! You must read your syllabus regularly, record it onto a calendar, and then budget time to study.
In the video, I have an example of how you can do this. You can make it as detailed or as basic as you want, but at the very least, you need to include those important exam and assignment due dates.
My wife and I both used those tips in college, and they helped us stay organized. I hope these tips help you!