5 Tips for Dealing with a Disorganized Nursing Program

disorganized nursing school

I was recently asked:

How to address the disorganization of a program. Conflicting due dates and disorganized instructors seem to make everything harder than it has to be.

You know, when I graduated nursing school, I thought mine was the only school that was a bit unorganized . . . turns out, many students feel this way.

In this podcast, I provide 5 tips for handling the disorganized nursing program.

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Podcast Transcription

Welcome to yet another episode of the nursing.com podcast. Thank you so much for taking some time out of your day to listen to me. I think it’s so fun that we get to have these conversations and talk and when I get to meet you guys in person at different conferences and things, it’s so cool to hug you guys and to hear your stories and to hear your successes. And specifically today we’re going to be talking about one of the most common frustrations with nursing school, which is dealing with the disorganization that can occur. Specifically. The question that was proposed was how to address the disorganization of a program. Conflicting due dates and disorganized instructors seem to make everything harder than it has to be. Now, if you rewind the clock back maybe four or five, four years or so, whenever a NRSNG was started, the first thing that I would tell everybody is nursing school doesn’t have to be so damn hard and people will get mad at me.

They’d say, yeah, it has to be hard. It has to be hard. It’s school of hard knocks. It was hard for me. It’d be hard for you. So there were those that thought, yeah, we need to make it intentionally hard for students just because, you know, it was hard for me, which that’s just ridiculous. That’s asinine. And then there was another set of people who would say, well, you’re learning about the human body. You’re learning about caring people. So it has to be hard. And those ones I can agree with that. Yes, learning about the human body is complex. It is difficult. That’s what makes it hard. Dealing with organization and due dates and instructors should not be hard. There’s no reason we need to make that hard. And so what I want to do

is talk to you guys about some of the things that uh, we did and that I did that really helped with this issue. And I’m going to tell you guys that this, I honestly thought that my program was incredibly unique because I went to a small private school, uh, in Illinois for nursing school. And so I thought, well, maybe they just couldn’t find the best instructors and they weren’t sure, you know, how to organize and structure a program. So it’s just my program’s unique. But then when I started sharing this idea that nursing school shouldn’t be hard. And, and a couple of my stories, I got emails that said, this is it. I thought you were talking about my school and I thought, wait a second, was my program not unique? Is this a common problem? And I realized that nationwide and the United States, this is a common problem that nursing school can be incredibly over complicated for no reason. And we’ll talk to students who go to a wonderful schools and it seems like every cohort is a Guinea pig for something, whether it’s for a new pilot program or for a new way of teaching or for a new this or that. Everyone’s kind of a Guinea pig. And

I don’t fault the schools. I don’t fault the instructors. I don’t fault the professors because the U S is facing this nursing shortage and there’s so many people entering nursing school and, um, it’s hard to figure out how to do this and how address this problem [email protected] we think we’ve provided a great solution for learning nursing. Um, I do want to talk about some of the things that you can do specifically within your program and your journey to make it a little bit better. The first thing I’m going to say, guys is be willing to ruffle feathers a little bit. You’re paying a lot of money for your education and you’re doing a lot of hard work. Be willing to ruffle feathers and call, uh, sit down with your professors and tell them this is what you say when you sit down with your professors. And this has worked over and over and over again for myself and for other students, sit down with them and say, look, I am doing all the required readings.

I’m doing all these assignments, but I still feel like I’m missing something. What am I missing? Because my grades aren’t reflecting the work that I’m putting in. And what that immediately does is it shows that you’re not just lazy, you’re not looking for a free handout, you actually care and you want to do well. And so have those meetings set up those office hour times. Call the administration. If you have to work your way up the chain to to talk about, look, we need to find a way to make this better. And I had one meeting with the president of our school and the Dean and some of the professors and I said, look, I’m not asking for nursing school to be easier. If anything, I want it to be harder, but I want it to be harder for the right reasons. I wanted to be harder because we’re getting deeper understanding and deeper knowledge.

I don’t want it to be hard because of the disorganization. And while things might not get better for you and for your cohort, things might start to improve for others, right? And we’re all in this together, so it’s very important that we do that. The next thing I’m going to share with you guys is to find your quote unquote cheat code. Find those things that allow you to study more efficiently and to save time. We found that with the students who use nursing.com the average one saves about four hours of study time per week. Many of them no longer open their textbooks in the six minutes or eight minutes that the video on diabetes lasts on our platform. They’re able to condense the couple hours of learning that they would have to do a self directed through textbooks and PowerPoints. So I ran invite you to use nursing.com I’m convinced it will help improve your grades and it will help to decrease your study time.

Now let me tell you about a couple of things that we did in my program. Aside from this, the first thing would be developed really strong relationships with other students. Now, not talking about every other student, but I’m talking about a set of students who truly is very focused on becoming a phenomenal nurse and develop strong relationships with those students. I’m out now seven or eight years from school and I still have relationships with some of the people that I went to school with. Once you develop those strong relationships, set up a private face book group or a private WhatsApp or a private chat channel where you guys can talk about due dates so that if someone notices before the others that in Blackboard or canvas, the due date on this was changed. You can share back and forth, you can discuss, well what did this assignment mean?

Why, what are they changing? What’s the new due date? What’s it look like? So that you’re not all responsible for keeping track individually, but you can all work together to keep track of changes and that will help relieve a lot of the stress of you trying to stay on top of all the changes that are happening while you’re also being a parent and studying and working and all that. And then discuss assignments, uh, as groups and not talking about discussing answers. I’m not talking about anything like that or cheating. I’m talking about discussing these due dates and, and what the assignment means and what might be working. Another benefit to this as it can provide a private channel to vent a little bit. Look, I’m not saying to go out and bitch and complain and everything about all your professors, but what I am saying is that having a place to vent, especially if you don’t have family and, and friends that you live with or significant other that you can vent to, it’s helpful to have someone who understands what you’re going through, that you can vent with.

And I’m saying to make this a positive place where you can complain, you can vent and then you can move on and you can celebrate the successes as well. Having that is truly helpful, um, to, uh, getting off that negative energy and then moving forward now with this group, set up study groups and just develop this really tight knit group. One of the things that we would do is one of the girls in our study group is she would kind of collate all the different assignments that were due, what they were worth and what class it was from because you’re spreading out five, six syllabi across all these different, uh, classes and they’re all worth different things. So she would, every Monday she would pull together all of them into a, just a Google doc, a Google spreadsheet, and she would share that across the group and then we could each take it and modify it and we can make comments on there of what it was, do, how many points it was worth and things like that.

And that was very, very helpful in bringing it all together. So the biggest thing I can give you guys to help you through this is first of all, don’t be afraid to ruffle feathers. Find your cheat codes, something like nursing.com that can help you reduce the amount of time you have to spend to understand concepts and then develop a strong network of students, not just to complain, not just to go drink after exams, but to support each other through this. Um, through chatting, through talking and through sharing, uh, what you’re learning about assignments and things. Look as, this is not an easy journey, but we know that you can do it and we know that you can find that success in having that tight group is one of the best things you can do. When you do join nursing.com you become part of the most supportive nursing cohort on the planet and invite you guys to do that. We really want to see you succeed now. Go out and be your best self today. Happy nursing.

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