How to Reduce and Deal With Nursing School Stress

August 27, 2020

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be over 3,400,000 nurses working within the United States by 2028. Of course, before becoming a registered nurse, these individuals will have to complete nursing school — a notoriously challenging program to complete. Resources like The 9 Circles of Nursing School Hell and How to Stay Motivated During Nursing School further underscore this point. Fortunately, there are ways to cope and emerge as a successful professional in the field. Keep reading for important tips to reduce nursing school stress.

Why Is Nursing School So Stressful?

Nursing schools stress

It’s important to recognize that nursing school comes with a whole lot of work. School curriculum cover a wide range of subjects including physiology, chemistry, microbiology, statistics, sociology, math and more. It’s not uncommon for nursing students to pull all-nighters in attempts to get through all the material assigned.

Internships and certification hours add even more to the plate. These experiences will introduce nursing students to a world of injury, illness, trauma and suffering. This initial exposure may become overwhelming to first-time students.

Nursing students must consider what kind of course load they can handle, and for how long.

Associate’s degree programs typically take around two years to complete while bachelor’s degree programs take four.

Still, how long nursing school lasts is just one part of the equation. Nursing students must be prepared to handle stress during the course of the journey.

How to Handle The Stress of Nursing School

How do nursing students cope with stress? The answer depends on who you ask. Check out our list below for some easy techniques to help minimize stress when in school.

Maintain a Schedule

Nursing school throws a lot at you, which means it’s important to remain organized. Minimize stress by setting a schedule. This will help manage your school work along with important everyday tasks. Start by looking at your school schedule. From there, you can figure out how many hours a day you need to designate to study time, personal time, and sleep!

Create a Study Group

Understand that you’re not in this alone. There is an entire school full of students out there able to relate to what you’re going through. Reach out to them for support. Unpack lecture topics as a group. Compare notes, quiz each other on important topics and prepare for exams in person. It’s also a great way to pepper in a little social time while studying!

Review Your Notes After Class

We know, the last thing you likely feel like doing after a long day of class is reviewing your notes. But setting apart some time each day to go over what you’ve learned could save you when it comes to preparing for tests. Cramming for exams is stressful. The more you can retain throughout the semester, the less time you have to pack into the days leading up to major assessments.

Reach Out to Your Professors

When attending a large nursing school, it’s easy to feel as though you’ve been swallowed up by the crowd. Remember, your professors are there to support you. Reach out to them outside of class to get better acquainted. Ask questions and don’t be afraid to rely on them as a resource.

Get Some Physical Exercise

It’s true; as a nursing student you will have an enormous amount of work to get through. Still, it’s important to practice self care throughout the program. Make sure you carve out enough time for some exercise every day. If you’re really strapped for time, take your study group on the road and discuss important topics while out for a walk! In the end, it will help you maintain your focus and get through study materials faster.

Find Time For Simple Pleasures

Of course, self care expands far beyond exercise! Before calling it a night, try to de-stress by squeezing in some time for something you love, whether it’s a good book, your favorite TV show, or simply getting into a hot bath. You don’t have to commit for an inordinate amount of time, just whatever you can afford!

You can also look into things that bring you joy without taking you away from your school work. Head to your favorite coffee shop to study and treat yourself to a special drink. Grab yourself a new piece or art to put up in the house. Maybe take home a new house plant to enjoy!

Maintain a Healthy Diet

There are two things that a good majority of nursing students lack: time and money. That combination can wreak havoc on a diet, with many students turning to cheap and ready-made meal alternatives.

Of course, everyone is entitled to the occasional treat. But in general, try to incorporate fruits and veggies, healthy proteins and high-quality fats into your daily diet while minimizing sugar and fast food. This will help improve memory, alertness and information processing.

Keep a Journal

Don’t let racing thoughts keep you up at night. Jot them down in a journal and dismiss them before bed. It may seem like a hard sell to the cynics out there, but journaling has been shown to decrease feelings of stress and anxiety. It will also provide an easy-to-reach location to store important notes and reminders.

Go Easy On Yourself

There will inevitably be moments where you don’t perform as well as you would hope. Forgive yourself. Remember, nursing school is a journey that cannot be completed without making a few small errors along the way. Think of these moments as teachable experiences. Try not to  stress. Learn from it, and move on instead.

Begin Your Nursing Career With the New England Institute of Technology

dealing with nursing school stress

How long is nursing school? It’s an important question to consider, especially considering the amount of stress it can introduce! The Associate Degree Program in Nursing at on of the best nursing school New England Institute of Technology can be completed in as little as 18 months.


Earn your degree in Nursing from NEIT and begin your new career path today!




The program offers clinical and laboratory experiences as well as classroom learning to help you tend to diverse populations. Students will acquire clinical skills and high developed judgement skills throughout the program and be prepared for employment in a hospital, healthcare clinic, nursing home or outpatient facility.

Students will also develop high-tech and decision-making skills required to provide high quality care. They will have the opportunity to train in our fully equipped labs, stocked with the latest nursing simulation technologies.

We also offer a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) program online to help working nurses further their positions. Recently, the program was ranked 25th in the U.S. in “Top 50 Best Value Online RN to BSN Programs 2017” by Value Colleges. We should also mention that our tuition rates fall below those of most other bridge programs across the country.

All classes are taught by faculty who are experienced professionals and clinicians who make sure the syllabus remains up-to-date and relevant to today’s dynamic healthcare environment.

Both nursing programs are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). You can begin the application process for our associate and bachelor’s degree programs by filling out this form. You can also find out more information by calling us at 855-899-1497.

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