This content was updated for accuracy and relevance on November 13th, 2023
Whether you’re about to start nursing school and looking for the right nursing school supplies to buy, or you’re already deep in the trenches, your days, weeks, and months are quickly filling up. With the multitude of classes, clinical rotations, and exams coming your way, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the day-to-day of nursing school. But the key to nursing school success?
Staying organized looks a bit different for everyone, but one thing nursing students can agree on is the importance of having a great planner. Keep reading to discover the best planners for nursing students. You’ll find out what type of desk or daily planner might be right for you, what the benefits are of each, and we’ll toss in a few more organizational tips for good measure.
Desk planners can help nursing students get ahead by displaying the “big picture” of their nursing school journey. It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day details, and due dates, so large monthly planners are a smart way to take a step back and look at what’s ahead.
Benefits of using a desk planner as your nurse planner include:
- You can keep your daily to-dos separate from your monthly to-dos.
- It’s easier to keep long-term goals and projects in perspective.
- It has ample space that can be easily decorated with stickers, notes-to-self, or gold stars (because you deserve them!).
- A large planner lives in your workspace and won’t get lost as easily as a smaller planner.
Consider one like Bliss Collection’s Monthly Planner Tear Off Pad—it’s handmade, comes with 18 sheets, and has a section on the side for additional notes. It would be the ideal nursing planner for a desk or hung on a wall nearby.
DAILY & WEEKLY PLANNERS
While big-picture planning is helpful, when things start to get busy, scheduling the hours and, perhaps, minutes of each day in nursing school can help you stay on top of your schoolwork and improve your productivity. That’s what a daily and weekly planner is for.
By writing down your day-to-day assignments, reminders for events like the Nurses week, due dates for papers, etc., you’re actually helping your brain internalize that information (reducing those “Oh no, the quiz is today?” moments). Plus, having a paper planner with a weekly view makes it easy to stay organized and when tackling a busy week. Research shows that writing things down by hand can actually improve learning and retention.1 A good tip for organization and for studying especially if you’re a nursing student!
Have a look at NurseInTheMaking’s Complete Nursing School Planner. Designed specifically for nursing students, it has both a monthly and weekly task list along with a few other fabulous nursing-student approved features like:
- Weekly nursing school tips
- Test and assignment tracking
- A pocket guide to pharmacology available as an add-on
For the tech-forward nursing student, a digital planner might be a perfect choice. Often available in monthly, weekly, and daily formats, digital planners allow you to keep everything organized without adding an extra book to your bag. This is a good planner if you want to track all your important dates directly through your electronics.
Other benefits of a digital planner to consider:
- Less paper waste, for those keeping an eye on their carbon footprint
- Easily customizable academic planner with an array of templates to suit your specific needs
- Instantly downloadable to your laptop or tablet
- Option to print pages you’d prefer to have a hard copy of
The Nursing Student Planner by LuxBook, a highly rated digital planner, has earned rave reviews because:
- It has a multitude of templates, including a medication study sheet, group project templates, and grade trackers
- Compatible with apps like GoodNotes and Noteability
- Digital stickers—need we say more?
While having a nursing student planner can do wonders for your organization and productivity, that’s not all you can do to stay on track. Before sending you off, better-equipped for the challenges of nursing school, here are a few final nursing tips to help keep you organized:
- Make time for breaks – One of the best ways to combat nurse stress is to take breaks. Whether you burn off steam by running or recharge your batteries by grabbing with a friend, scheduling downtime is just as essential as scheduling study time.
- Don’t always study alone – Quiet, alone time is sometimes necessary, but don’t undervalue time spent exchanging ideas, notes, and study tips with your classmates!
- Pace yourself – Scheduling frequent but brief study sessions are often better than hours of cramming the night before a big exam. If you know you have an exam coming up, set a goal to study a little each day so you can stay on track and prepare calmly without stress.
- Press record – Instead of writing your nursing notes down in the middle of class, consider recording your lectures. This might allow you to focus more completely on the concepts being discussed. Replay the recordings later and take notes then.
ORGANIZING AN AMAZING CAREER IN NURSING WITH HOST HEALTHCARE
Nursing school might seem like a formidable opponent, but if you can come up with an organizational system that works for you—and stick to it—then you’ve already won half the battle. While nursing school may have its ups and downs, remember that you’re not alone. Many of us at Host Healthcare have been there, too.
Host Healthcare is an award-winning travel nurse staffing company that has helped place thousands of talented nurses in positions all over the country. We specialize in connecting nurses of all backgrounds to exciting travel nurse career opportunities, allowing nurses to travel, gain valuable experience, and connect with others in their community. So when you’ve completed your coursework and are ready for your next adventure, consider filling out a travel nurse application with Host Healthcare!
In the meantime, stay organized. Stick with it. We’ll be cheering for you at the finish line.
- Staff, NPR, and James Doubek. “Attention, Students: Put Your Laptops Away.” NPR, NPR, 17 Apr. 2016, www.npr.org/2016/04/17/474525392/attention-students-put-your-laptops-away