Getting into nursing school is an accomplishment in itself, but completing your nursing program successfully is the ultimate goal to strive for. Of course, the best way to achieve this goal and get your RN license is to study hard. Something else that might help, though, is standing out as a good, hard-working student in the eyes of your instructors. Here are 5 of the best ways to stand out (in a good way) as a nursing student:
- Come Prepared
Have you ever had an anxiety-fueled dream where you find yourself completely unprepared for one of your school or work responsibilities? Well, to keep this dream from turning into a real-life nightmare (like a course failure), you need to plan out your school days carefully, stay on top of assignments, and remember to bring your equipment when necessary. Nothing is worse than showing up to class late only to realize that you completely forgot about the homework due on that day. Now, while it’s true that coming to class prepared might not be enough to make you stand out as a star student, it will definitely keep you from drawing negative attention to yourself.
- Ask Questions
You’ve probably heard the phrase: “There’s no such thing as a stupid question.” A few of your nursing instructors may have even said it at one point or another. For the most part, this phrase applies to nursing school quite well, and you should be willing to ask questions about any procedures or concepts that aren’t entirely clear. However, you do want to put some thought into your questions to show that you’re making a good effort to understand the material. So, don’t be the student who asks off-the-wall questions or about concepts that would have been clear had they completed the assigned readings. Instead, be the student who asks thoughtful questions pertaining to the topic at hand; you’ll surely earn a few brownie points.
- Be Enthusiastic
Nothing kills nursing students’ enthusiasm faster than the combination of late-night studying and early morning clinical rotations. If you’re lucky, or if you aren’t overloaded with other responsibilities outside of school, you might be able to avoid at least one of these things. Unfortunately, the odds aren’t in your favor. Most nursing students are tired and stressed out most days until they manage to graduate. Despite the stress and lack of sleep, some students do manage to remain enthusiastic. If you manage to remain enthusiastic, even when you’re starting your clinical day at 5:30 in the morning, people will notice. Your patients will have better things to say about you, and the nurses you shadow will be more willing to share their experience with you. Of course, your instructor will also take note, which will only help you with your final evaluations!
- Encourage Others
Surprisingly, more than a few nursing students have told me that going through nursing school is just like being back in high school again. From their tone, it was clear that this wasn’t a good thing. For some reason, there’s something about the nursing school environment that encourages a certain degree of childish behavior. In our class, rumors spread like wildfire, and students were often at odds with each other for no discernible reason. Needless to say, this wasn’t conducive to learning, and it made nursing school more stressful than it really should have been.
When you’re at school, try your best to remain professional, and be sure to encourage your fellow classmates. Not only will you make the nursing school experience slightly more bearable for everyone, your efforts will be noticed and respected by students and instructors alike.
5. Work Hard
After a long week of exams, clinical days, and countless readings, it’s pretty easy to fall into the habit of slacking off on at least a few assignments. Your instructors know that you have a busy schedule, but they still expect you to work hard. When you still manage to give your all, even when there’s not much left in you, your instructors will notice. Besides, when the week of finals hits, all of those extra points you earned throughout the semester really start to matter. If you’re a poor test taker, they might even save you from a course failure!
Have you found any unique ways to stand out as a star student in nursing school? If so, be sure to help your fellow readers out by leaving a few tips in a comment below!