Design Your Day, Manage Your Month - Owning Your Nursing School Journey
by Meris Shuwarger BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN January 24, 2022 Updated: August 10, 2023 5 min read
Hi. My name is Meris. I'm with Level Up RN. And in this video, you're not going to see my face, and for a good reason. I'm going to be showing you more in depth about our nursing school planner. So I want to show you a little bit about our different layouts that you can see here. So I have filled out the first month of January as though I am taking med-surg and pharmacology. I have some clinicals, I have a simulation, I've got papers and tests and quizzes, plus all of the stuff that I have to do at home, like taking care of my kids, going to work, so on and so forth. So first up, I want to show you our January monthly overview here. So here you can see I like color. That is just who I am as a person. I'm very visual, so I like color. And because of that, I use a color-coding system using highlighters. You can see here, though, that everything that has to do with school - that is a deadline or a test or something along those lines - is going to be highlighted here in red so that it really catches my attention and sticks out as something I need to do. My class times I have here. I have them highlighted in purple. And then any of my simulation or clinicals I'm going to have here in blue. My work schedule, personally, I like to have in yellow, and then anything having to do with money, like my mortgage being due or payday, I have that in green. And then, personally, I like to do fun things in pink just so that they stand out a little bit and I can see that, hey, I've got something fun coming up.
So here's my monthly overview where I have kind of all of the big, high-level items here so that if I need to do an at-a-glance and look at what's coming down the line, I can very easily see what I've got here. Plus, we still have our awesome cool chicken hints on every monthly overview. And I have a to-do list for the month, which is things that are maybe not necessarily something I need to do on a specific day, but something that I need to do that month. Now, I want to flip to show you the weekly and daily overview. So everything that was on the monthly overview, I also move onto my week and daily view, but I get a little bit more detailed. So I did not put small homework assignments in my monthly overview because I think it makes it too busy. It's too detailed and not a high-level thing. So here in my assignments due, that's what's due this week, so I have the date and what it is. And if you look, January 6th-- if you look over at January 6th, Renal Worksheet is due. Then for tests and quizzes-- this is in my monthly overview, but on January 7th, I have my first med surg quiz due. So here it is. Quiz one is due. Now, other things that I've got here-- I've got my sim lab coming up, so I have that here, and a reminder to myself that I do have homework that goes along with that, and that is due the night of 1/3. So I also have here on 1/3 that it is due. If I had other labs or simulations or clinicals, I would put those here.
Now, this is the future assignment page, and this is what I think is really amazing. For someone like me with ADHD, I have a hard time remembering what's coming down the line if I don't put it in my planner so that I can see it week to week. So in this hypothetical case, I have a really big pharmacology paper coming up, and that's the biggest assignment that I really want to focus on at this time. So what I've actually done is I wrote here, January 23rd, my pharm paper is due. But I broke it up into pieces saying here that by 1/6, I want to have picked my topic; by 1/13, I want to have found my sources; by 1/17, I want to have written my outline; and by 1/20, I want to have written a rough draft. So as you can see also, if you look at 1/6, here I have pick paper topic as one of my non-negotiable tasks. Other things on this list would be things having to do with my life outside of school, because, believe it or not, you do have a life outside of school. So here's my to-do list for stuff I need to do this week. I need to do the kids' laundry. I need to do the grocery shopping. I bought some clothes; they didn't fit, so I need to return those. I got to call the pediatrician to make an appointment, and I need to mail that care package to my best friend. So those are just some other things that I need to do. I also have my weekly goals list here. So some of my goals that I might have decided is that I want to drink two liters of water every day, I'd like to journal in my notebook, and then I'd like to read in a book. So every day that I do that, I can check it off or color it in or whatever. I mean, I would definitely color it in because I like color, but however you would want to do it, you can. And then we also have our study tracker here, because this habit is so important that we pulled it out separately. Here. I would color in a book if I studied on that day, so that way I could have a nice, beautiful, colored-in stack of books at the end of the week.
And then just some other things that I want to show you here. On the daily side, I have what I call my three non-negotiables, and those are the three things I need to do every day to make that day a success. So for every weekday here, we've given you space to put those things down. So, yes, I didn't actually write that I needed to pick a paper topic here because I've got it over here, but that's one of my non-negotiables for that day. But on the third, you can see that my non-negotiables are go to class, do my pre-sim questions, and call my mom. Right? It doesn't necessarily have to be some sort of big task. It's just something that I feel I need to do that day to be successful. Man, if I don't do the kids' laundry on Tuesday, they're not going to have any clothes for the rest of the week, so that is non-negotiable. I've got to do it that day. And here I reminded myself to start the worksheet that is due on Thursday. As you can see, on workdays, my non-negotiable tasks are to go to work, to drink some water, and to be home in time to put my kids to bed. So this is just an overview of how you can see that we've laid out our planner, and some of the different views that you can see and how I suggest setting up this planner. However, the best way to set up a planner is the way that works for you. So if this doesn't work for you but another way does, by all means I want you to take it and run with it. I hope this helps, and I cannot wait to see pictures of how you use your planners.
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by Meris Shuwarger BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN January 17, 2022 4 min read
by Meris Shuwarger BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN January 10, 2022 4 min read
by Meris Shuwarger BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN January 03, 2022 1 min read
Want more information on how to use the weekly spread of our Nursing School Planner? Check out this video, where Meris describes each component of the weekly view, and how it can help you keep track of your academic and personal life and get ahead on your tasks.
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