Managing school alongside your personal life can get pretty chaotic, so I’ve decided to let you all in on what my week looks like as a second-year nursing student (and trust me, it’s not always perfect!).
To begin, I’m very passionate about my career path and getting involved in my community, and this includes the community within our campus (which is one of the many reasons I joined Her Campus!). Aside from my classes and HC, I have commitments as a member of the Publicity and Recruitment Committee on campus, am the Junior Treasurer of Nursing Society, the Vice President of External Affairs for Girl Up, a Research Volunteer, a team member of LEAD, and work part-time on Thursdays and Fridays as a Career Peer Advisor at the University.
One of my biggest takeaways to manage my workload has been keeping organized, and to do this, I keep an agenda updated with all of my upcoming due dates, meetings, events, and exams! I also love to add motivating tips or fun colours to my agendas to keep me motivated throughout the semester, because trust me, burnout can get real!
As nursing students, the course load can get heavy. In the fall of our second year, we are assigned 7 full-time courses. I decided to take a fall and winter semester course in the summer semester to decrease the class load in the fall to 6, and I highly recommend (and the same for winter).
Nursing students typically have theory courses every Monday and Wednesday. Classes begin at 8:30am and go on until 3:50pm, with about 10-minute intervals between the four classes (our noon class has about an hour interval). We are then given time options for our clinical placement, which we must attend once a week. I chose to do my placements every Tuesday at 6am, which means I wake up around 4:50am to prepare for the shift, including going over patient assignments for the day, packing bags, and gathering my supplies. I absolutely enjoy the hands-on experience in a practical setting! We get to interact with patients on our assigned floor at the hospital and are placed on a new floor each semester. It’s great to collaborate with all professionals on the floor as well, such as other nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, physiotherapists, dieticians, lab technicians, and many more. All of the professors within the Faculty of Nursing are absolutely amazing and approachable whenever the need be. The support makes the experience even more educational and beneficial in a real-world setting. These placement shifts are typically 8 hours in length. We must also attend in-person experiential labs once a week. Again, we have the option to choose the days and times we would like to have this course. I’ve chosen the Thursday morning class option and attend campus for approximately two and a half hours in our labs, where we get to practice and build our previous skills on peers and learn new skills as well. This is also where we can book extra lab time to practice our skills and where our practical skills testing takes place. This is also a great time to meet with professors, ask questions, and get to know one another. The remainder of the week is used to complete assignments, catch-up on lectures, attend meetings, and prepare for the many midterms that come along the way (and never seem to end after reading week). This is also the time to complete work for my extracurricular activities. Of course, I also try to spare time for myself and spend as much time with family as I can! The great thing about being a writer for HC is the flexibility in terms of our writing schedules. Since they’re released in the summertime prior to the commencement of the semester, I prepare all of my articles during my break so they’re ready for posting!
Although it may seem very busy, I’ve felt that nursing school is flying by, and I’ve enjoyed every bit. Not only have I learned so much and grown as a student, but I also continue to learn and grow each day as an individual and couldn’t be happier with the rewarding feeling of getting to assist patients with the opportunities we have to interact with them.