A Nursing Student's Weekly Plan - Owning Your Nursing School Journey

by Meris Shuwarger BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN January 03, 2022 Updated: June 16, 2022 5 min read

In this video, Meris describes each component of the Nursing School Planner weekly view and how it can help you keep track of your academic and personal life and get ahead on your tasks!

A good nursing school planner helps you keep track of these important things on a weekly basis:

  • Assignments due
  • Tests/quizzes upcoming
  • Other things to do, for example:
    • Business
    • Kids
    • Work
    • Friends
    • Family
    • Personal development
  • Plot your labs, simulation, and/or clinical schedule
    • Including the Date, time, location, and required homework for each!
  • Plan out your future assignments
    • Think more now, panic less later
  • Track your studying with positive reinforcement
    • Consistent, habitual studying is the single most important factor for nursing school success!
  • Track your weekly goals with positive reinforcement

The Level Up RN Nursing School Planner was designed with all of these within one weekly spread. We'd love for you to send us pictures and videos (@LevelUpRN) of your own Nursing School Planner!


Full Transcript

Hi, I'm Meris with Level Up RN. And in this video, I wanted to dive deep into our weekly overview here and tell you why I think that this is so special for nursing students. As you can see, we do have a lot of different places to keep track of things, but it's with good reason and with intention. For instance, our assignments being due is a very different kind of task and priority than tests and quizzes that are coming up. A test and a quiz requires that I study, which I can track right here in our study tracker, while an assignment requires that I actually put work in, in terms of sitting down to complete a specific assignment. So personally, I like to have these two things separated out so that I can think about them in different ways because they do involve different types of work.

Now the other thing is pulling out here other things to do that don't have to do with school, and this is because you do have a life outside of school. And it's important, in my opinion, to separate that from your school to-do list, from your work to-do list, what have you, so that you can see specifically, "What do I need to do in this part of my life?" Now the reason I called it Other Things to Do is because I don't know your life. Maybe you own a business, and you want to use this space to track things that you need to do for your business. Maybe, like me, you're a parent, and you need to track a lot of stuff, like the kids' laundry and calling the pediatrician. Or maybe you work two jobs, and you want to keep track of all of the different things you need to do for work. This is the perfect place to do that.

Now another thing that's unique about nursing school is we don't just have class. We also have labs. We have simulations. We have clinicals. We have a lot of other activities that are not just showing up to class. And it can be really difficult to remember, especially if you have a schedule that changes. For instance, when I was in Community Health, my clinicals were not on the same day every week. They were different days at different places in different times, every week. But if I missed a clinical, I failed that class. So it is the highest priority that I know when and where I'm supposed to be at all times because you better believe, I am not failing a class because I forgot to show up to SIM or I forgot to show up to clinical. All of those things are very important, so we gave them their own section here.

Now this right here, future assignments, I think this is the key to success in nursing school when it comes to not procrastinating. As you can see here, I pulled out one specific assignment that I want to focus on, which is a pharmacology paper that is due towards the end of January. As someone with ADHD, I need to break it down into specific tasks, subtasks that need to be done, and I also need to assign a date because if the only thing this says is that I have a pharm paper due, my brain says, "Great, we'll worry about that at another time." But by breaking it down into the things that need to be done in order for this paper to be done, I give myself the ability to think in concrete steps to be more successful in tackling those big assignments rather than just living my life, filling out my planner, and then I turn the page, and I see, "Oh my gosh, I have a huge paper due this week. What am I going to do?" So future assignments, whether you do it like me and you have the assignment with specific subtasks or if you are going to write down every big assignment that you have coming up this semester, however it works for you, as long as it's keeping it in the forefront of your mind, you are doing great.

And then weekly goals: you have goals even if you haven't put words to them, and this gives you a space to put words to those goals. So for instance, I am terrible at staying hydrated. I really am. So here I have my goal is to drink two liters of water. I'm not going to do that every day, I can tell you. But by having it written down and giving myself the satisfaction of coloring in these boxes when I do it, it gives me a desire, it gives me sort of a positive reinforcement when I do accomplish that task. You could put anything in here, whether that's you want to call a friend every day or you want to read a book or read in a book, if you want to go workout, if you want to meditate. Whatever it is, we've given you space to track it here because we don't know what is the most important to each individual person except we know that studying is the key to success in nursing school. It is not about sitting down and studying for eight hours at a time. It is about making it a consistent habit, something that you do every single day. So that doesn't mean studying for four hours a day. But maybe on Monday, I'm doing an hour; and on Tuesday, 30 minutes; and on Wednesday, maybe I'm only able to study during my lunch break; Thursday, I have a little bit more time, maybe I'll do another hour and a half there; Friday, aw gosh, I'm working again, maybe only half an hour. But if I do that, I can color these little books in and have a nice complete stack of books at the end of the week. Studying every single day, no matter how much time it is, but putting in that time, being consistent in your studying habits, that truly is the key to success in your nursing school career when it comes to test taking and mastering the material. So we thought it was so important we gave it its own space to be tracked.

So that's an overview of how I suggest using the weekly planner, but again, remember, the best way to use a planner is the one that works for you. I hope this was helpful for you. Please, please, please, if you use this planner, I would love to see pictures of it. I want to see how you use your planner and how you make it your own. And you never know who else might see those pictures and pick up a really cool way to use their planner from you. Be sure to tag us in those photos, @LevelUpRN. I can't wait to see, and I hope you like this planner as much as I do.


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