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How to Manage the Stress of Nursing School


Nursing is a great career to consider if you are the type of person who enjoys helping others and knows that you want to do something truly meaningful and rewarding with your life. But it’s no secret that nursing school and the job itself is no walk in the park. Perhaps you are wondering just how stressful nursing school really is, or if it’s really as hard as you’ve heard it is. Nursing students have a lot of responsibilities and stress is often one of the biggest problems that they face while preparing for this high-demand, high-responsibility career. Learning how to manage your stress in learning school and make wise decisions in terms of stress management will not only help you throughout your degree program but will also help you in the future when you are working as a nurse.

How Stressful is Nursing School?

Attending nursing school comes with a number of stresses that you will need to learn how to manage if you want to be successful in the program. The stress can come from various different sources and in different forms for each student, but there are some common factors regarding attending nursing school that typically will cause stress and anxiety for aspiring nurses. For example, many students find that grades can be a source of stress since they will need to maintain a certain GPA in order to stay in the program. Study sessions can also be stressful, especially if you are trying to balance nursing school with a job or family, since you may need to study for four hours a day or more for your classes. Clinical experiences can also be stressful since you will be getting hands-on experience in different aspects of nursing for the first time. Last but not least, finances can be one of the biggest stressors for nursing students since tuition fees are expensive, and there may not be enough time to work many hours and earn additional money as you study.

How Stress in Nursing School Can Affect You:

There are numerous consequences of stress while in nursing school. If you are unable to manage your stress levels, you might experience health issues that can impact your studies, from headaches and poor sleep to mood changes. This could have a knock-on effect on your grades, making it harder to maintain your grades and take in what you are learning. Stress symptoms like poor sleep can cause a vicious cycle, leading you to perform poorly in coursework, clinical experiences, and in tests and exams, which can in turn become a source of stress in itself.

Could Studying Online Help?

While nobody enjoys being stressed out, the good thing about stress is that you can manage it with the right tools and approaches. Studying online has become a popular choice for nursing students these days who want to manage their stress better. While clinical experiences still need to be done in person, the classroom side of your degree program can be done online, making it easier for you to manage. Studying online removes many of the smaller aspects of attending nursing school that can add up to cause more stress, like getting stuck in traffic on your commute to class or struggling with money since you are unable to find work that fits around set lecture times. When studying online, you can complete a lot of your nursing degree from home in your own time. Putting you in control over this can make it easier for you to manage your stress in the best way for you, and the additional flexibility will help to remove a lot of common stressors for nursing students. Click here to learn more about online nursing degrees and figure out if it’s the right choice for you.

More Ways to Manage Stress in Nursing School:

Along with the prospect of studying for your nursing degree online, there are several further things that you can do to manage your stress better and ensure that it is not affecting you badly while studying to become a nurse. Some of the best ways to manage stress include:

Get Enough Sleep:

Studies have found that people need at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night in order for them to perform at their best. Managing your time well, especially during the evenings, will help you manage stress and avoid losing out on sleep that you’ll need while studying or on clinical experience. While it might be tempting to stay up into the early hours of the morning finishing your work, this can have a profound effect on your performance the rest of the week.


Physical activity isn’t just good for your physical health – it can also benefit your mental health in many ways and help you to avoid stress and anxiety. Exercising regularly is one of the best natural stress relievers, and the great part is that you don’t have to do a huge amount of exercise throughout the day to get the benefits. Just twenty minutes of gentle exercise like walking or yoga three times per week can be very helpful. And if you’re always busy studying, you can even get exercise bikes that attach to your desk so you can multitask.

Time for Yourself:

Studying constantly without taking a break is sure to lead to burnout quite quickly. And, being burned out since you’ve got so much to do and can never catch a break will definitely leave you feeling stressed and anxious, which will, in turn, impact your performance at nursing school. Sometimes, it’s good to take a day off to get away from everything. Designate a portion of your day to self-care and doing something for yourself and have at least one day to yourself each week to do something that you enjoy or spend time with your family and friends.

From money worries to stressing about maintaining your grades, nursing school is not easy. Thankfully, there are plenty of things that you can do from the start to manage your stress levels and get in control.



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