Daily NCLEX Challenge: A Few Tips for Surviving Nursing School During Covid-19

Simona Golebiewski, RN is the cofounder of Daily NCLEX Challenge, an online tool that aims to help nursing students pass their NCLEX (nursing boards) exam. Since launching in 2018, Simona and her husband Maciej have grown the tool into a platform that helps thousands of users prepare for this important exam.

What started as a simple question of the day has evolved into a fun, gamified, social study tool. In fact, last month marked the launch of a new set of features that encouraged nursing students to compete with each other while studying. As a competition incentive, Medelita was kind enough to help out and offer scrub jackets to top performing students. This is an incredible gesture, and one that’s greatly appreciated. After all, it’s not like they were dealing with a crisis of their own and had a hundred other things to juggle. DNC is grateful to them for prioritizing the next generation of nurses and always helping out when they can!

Maciej, Simona, and the folks at DNC understand that nursing school is hard as it is. They created the app because they believe that studying for the NCLEX doesn’t have to feel like a chore. With DNC, it can even be fun and one less thing to stress and worry about!

Worry and stress can feel all too commonplace these days with the Covid-19 outbreak taking its toll on everyone, everywhere. Nursing students are no exception as they prepare themselves for a career in a medical field forever changed by this pandemic, all while studying from home during social distancing and quarantine. Maciej and Simona are here to talk about a few ways nursing students can reduce stress while studying from home. The pair have been working from home for the past three years so they’ve got some expertise in this matter and they’ve compiled some tips that can help.

Create a routine

As Covid-19 unfolds, our work, school, and day-to-day lives are changing in many ways. Without the anchor these activities provide, it can be tempting to lounge around the house in pajamas all day, floating from one activity to the next without even so much as a glance at the clock. But Maciej and Simona want to remind nursing students that routine and schedule are more important now than ever. You still have all the regular responsibilities and timelines that come with your studies and you need a way to stay on track. Maybe you’re the sort of person who will benefit from an ultra-organized plan which details the events of your day from morning to evening. And maybe what works for you instead is just establishing a few blocks of work time during the day and making sure you stick to your commitment. Whatever form of organization feels best to you, keeping a routine or schedule is an indispensable step in eliminating stress and worry from your day.

Create a dedicated study space

Having a dedicated space to study and work in will help you stay focused and accomplish more during each study period. Honor the way that you work best without giving in to your desire to just stay snuggled up in bed all day. No matter how tempting it may seem, your cozy comforter is not going to help you complete that next paper or project. Choose a space which is organized and free of clutter. Be deliberate about what you allow into your space as well as what you do there. Establish this as a place of focus, clarity, and productivity and you’ll be on the fast-track to at-home, stress-free, study success.

Avoid Distractions and Multitasking

Commit yourself to showing up for your education. What you learn in the course of your studies is what you take with you into your career. You want to come off as a well-prepared, knowledgeable professional when you begin your work as a nurse. That’s only going to come from your own responsibility and drive, and right now is when it really counts. Without a class schedule to stick to, we need to be diligent in monitoring how we use our study time. If you’re scrolling social media during an online lecture or watching your favorite television program while reading an article,  you’re not getting the most out of your education. In fact, you’re much less likely to recall anything from a distracted state of multitasking.

Have a mindfulness practice

We’ve talked about behaviors, routines, and spaces that can help you make the most of your studies, increase efficiency, and keep you zeroed in on your at-home nursing study accomplishments. The final, and perhaps most important step, is choosing a mindfulness practice. Yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises are all fantastic options if you don’t yet have a practice. Not to mention that with the whole world in stay-at-home mode, online access to these resources is easier than ever before. If none of the above appeal to you, a quick search of the internet will offer you a plethora of options for self-care. Choosing a routine that feels right for you and incorporating it into your day will undoubtedly reduce your stress and worry levels and increase your study success.

Stay on top of new Telehealth medical trends

As a final word of advice, Maciej and Simona encourage soon-to-be nursing graduates to look into the field of Telehealth nursing. It’s clear that this pandemic will result in an increased demand for patient care that won’t require a face-to-face, potentially infectious encounter. Current nursing students should be looking for opportunities to become involved with development and training in the Telehealth field as it will surely see a rise in demand in a post-Covid-19 world.

These intense times of change can feel frightening and overwhelming, especially for nursing students getting ready to enter the medical field during Covid-19. But Maciej and Simona aren’t worried about the incoming crop of nurses. They know that, in the end, trials and tribulations are what ultimately help to shape us and that folks who are drawn to nursing are tough stock already. Everybody knows what they’re in for when seeking to join the medical community and most everyone is doing it out of genuine desire, passion, and drive. They know that nurses are resourceful, compassionate, and dedicated to their mission of helping and healing and that not even the Covid-19 crisis can change that. They are confident that students will come out of this experience stronger and better equipped to be great nurses upon graduation and they look forward to seeing these future nurses succeed.

For more information, be sure to visit Daily NCLEX Challenge.

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