Earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is one of the best things you can do to create a successful nursing career. Program graduates enjoy higher earning potential, increased marketability and fulfilling careers.
Staying focused can be challenging, especially if you work, take care of a family or have other obligations. Following a few basic nursing school tips can help make the process less daunting. The online BSN program at the University of Texas at Arlington is flexible, designed with the needs of nontraditional students in mind.
The following are nursing school tips for staying focused.
Practice Intensive Self-Care
There are no magic formulas, of course, but maintaining your health and emotional well-being can help build energy and stamina, making it easier to focus on your coursework. For instance, Scientific American has detailed how the Mediterranean-style diet — based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and a moderate intake of low-fat meat protein — aids in cognition and overall health.
Getting adequate sleep is also essential to concentration. According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard University, both quantity and quality have a profound effect on the ability to focus. If you are unable to focus, learning and retaining new information will be more difficult.
According to Scientific American, we learn and think better when we exercise. There is evidence that exercise lowers blood pressure and increases blood flow to the body and brain. This creates more energy and oxygen, which is conducive to brain performance.
Reach Out to Other Nursing Students
An article in Scrubs suggests creating a study group. The author, Ani Burr, NR, says hearing others explain concepts helps reinforce what you have read. There is a good chance others in your class are facing many of the same challenges as you are. This applies to nonacademic issues, too.
Be Realistic With Scheduling
Jennifer Ward, in “Strategies for Nursing Students to Balance School, Career and Family,” suggests that creating an extensive to-do list can set you up for failure. She recommends making a list that keeps everything in perspective, helps you stick to your schedule, and creates a sense of accomplishment.
Higher Earning Potential
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for all workers in 2015 was $36,200; for nurses, the median pay was $67,490. Salary often correlates with education; BSN-prepared nurses can earn $57,000 to $130,000 per year, according to DiscoverNursing, in comparison with ADN and ASN nurses, who earn about $54,000 to $88,000 per year.
To give you an idea about the demand for nurses with BSNs, a 2014 American Association of Colleges of Nursing survey reported that 79.6 percent of hospitals and healthcare facilities responding strongly preferred BSN-prepared nurses.
BSN-prepared nurses often have the option of working in top-tier health facilities. Nurse managers and leaders at Magnet-designated facilities, for instance, must have at least a BSN degree, as required by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
DiscoverNursing lists 104 nursing specialties, many of which require a BSN or graduate nursing degree. A few examples include nursing informatics, nurse educator and nurse executive.
Increased Leadership Roles
The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health says nurse leaders will be an essential component in healthcare system redesign. A BSN prepares nurses to take on these new roles by coupling advanced nursing courses with a liberal arts program, which strengthens critical thinking, leadership and communication skills.
As a nursing student, it is easy to lose focus when you must balance multiple responsibilities. However, following some basic nursing school tips, such as practicing self-care, connecting with fellow students and maintaining a realistic schedule, can make the path less daunting. Staying focused on your long-term goal is paramount to success.
Learn more about the UT Arlington online BSN program.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing. (n.d.). UT Arlington online BSN program
Maron, D. F. (2015, September 1). Mediterranean Eating Habits Prove Good for the Brain. Scientific American
Sleep, Learning and Memory. (n.d.). In the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School
Rhodes, J. (2013, July 1). Why Do I Think Better after I Exercise? Scientific American
Burr, A., RN. (2010, April 20). 6 best ways to stay focused. Scrubs
Ward, J. (2012, August 24). Strategies for Nursing Students to Balance School, Career and Family. Nursing Together
United States, Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2015, December 17). BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook: Registered Nurse Summary
Find Your Path In Nursing. (n.d.). In DiscoverNursing.
Employment of New Nurse Graduates and Employer Preferences for Baccalaureate-Prepared Nurses. (2014, October). American Association of Colleges of Nursing
Initial Magnet Designation. (n.d.). American Nurses Credentialing Center
Explore Specialties. (n.d.). DiscoverNursing
Front Matter. (2011). In The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. The National Academies Press
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