5 New Year’s Resolutions for Nursing Students

Nursing students in a simulation room.

-By Ashley Dang, RN to BS Nursing Student

It’s that time of year again. The new year is a time for many of us to reflect on our lives. It’s a chance to reevaluate our goals and create a plan of how to best reach them. As nursing students, we're an especially busy bunch who are always on the go and helping others.

To help you start thinking about the new year, here are five New Year’s resolutions for nursing students.

1. Improve your time management skills.

This is a very important skill to improve as your time is limited. Besides being in nursing school, going to lectures, studying for exams, and juggling clinical rotations, you have family, a job, and personal life. This is a lot of pressure and expectations. For the new year, I suggest keeping a planner and making time for the most important things in your life. Prioritizing is key. 

2. Learn to say “no” and ask for help.

Being a nursing student is hard work and time consuming. You can’t do it all. Work on not committing to too many things as this will lead to burnout. Communicate to your family and friends that you have blocked out a time where you may be unavailable due to your studies. Reach out to those closest to you for help when you feel overwhelmed. It’s important to know your limits. 

3. Make more time for yourself.

It’s important to prioritize your personal time and have a few hours where you allow yourself to just do absolutely nothing or catch up on your favorite TV show — whatever your happy place is. As nursing students, we spend a good amount of time helping others. In the process, it’s easy to forget about your own personal and mental health. It’s important to schedule that break for yourself and allow yourself to unwind. 

4. Remind yourself why you started.

When the times are tough, you may forget why we even began this journey. You may feel like you’re just going through the motions. It is necessary to remind yourself “why” and not lose sight of your long-term goals. It may be the motivation you need to keep going. 

5. Stay positive.

Nursing school is full of challenges. However, the challenges don’t stop after graduation — you'll have even more in your career. Learning how to maintain a positive mindset now will help you cope with the challenges you’ll come face-to-face with. Remind yourself daily what you are grateful for in your life. Keep a journal and write them down. On bad days, you can go back and read them. We can be grateful for the smallest things in life. One day, maybe you’ll look back and realize they weren’t so “ small” after all. 

Published January 4, 2021