Mailbag Monday…motivation is key

nursing school

Oh boy, do I know the challenges our friend R is having. Here’s what she has to say about motivation:

I found your blog in the early summer and wait around like a crack addict for a new post. 🙂 Right now I am in the midst of 1st semester pre health (term Canadian’s use i/o TEAS for American’s I think). In any case, I am having the absolute hardest time finding motivation. The 1st 2 weeks of classes were difficult as I have been in the work force for a while but my job was not my passion.

In any case, I was hoping you could write a piece on how you stay motivated thru the tough school times? I don’t think you really do though as you are a rock star student and seem to love every minute of it. But still, if you can.

Ok, enjoy your day.

Motivation is one of the HARDEST things to maintain while in nursing school. Well, that and a clean house…haha. As for staying motivated, I absolutely thrived on being a good student, but there were times when I was completely and mind-numbingly exhausted. What kept me going was the dedication I felt for my future patients AND my fellow students. Even in nursing school I offered up my notes, shared my flashcards, published my recorded audio quizzes…all in the spirit of helping my classmates succeed. I was lucky in that I didn’t have to work, didn’t have any children to care for and basically could dedicate all my time to school. Many of my compadres had plenty of other responsibilities outside school and my little bitty heart just went out to them…nursing is a TEAM SPORT, ya’ll! You’ll figure that out soon enough once you’re working (provided you work on a good unit…not all are blessed with the team spirit I am so lucky to enjoy at my workplace).

So, at the risk of rambling here, I suppose the biggest motivation would be to determine WHY you are putting yourself through this endeavor. Is it to help others? Let those future patients of yours be your motivation. Is it to get a good, steady job so you can support your family? Look at the faces of those dear to you as your motivation. Is it to rock the heck out of a pair of Koi scrub pants? You get the idea 😉

How do you stay motivated?

2 thoughts on “Mailbag Monday…motivation is key

  1. Rhona

    I hoped to inpart a bit of something to your pre health reader. Motivation was something hard for me to come by also. The first month of pre health was a killer but I found some methods that might get you motivated.
    I just completed pre health (Canadian here also, eh!) and it was a pill. Like you, I have been in the workforce for a bit but needed to follow my dream. I remember the 1st week I was soooo out of sorts. I could not get organized for the life of me. I was used to working and shopping and going out with my friends and vacations. School I did and enjoyed and I was a contributing member of society now so returning to post secondary was a eye opener after that long.
    After not being able to get my crap together I went to student services (or whatever your equivalent is) and got help on how to organize my time. It was the best thing I did. Please take the advise Nurse Mo has on this blog on and also scour youtube (please on the weekend and only a max 1hr – you have too much work to even play around). Find your learning style, get an organizer, set up your office. Do what you have to do. Once you do, you will feel better.
    After I took the advise from the counselor, I got my organizer in check, got all important dates in order (thanks Nurse Mo!). I sat down for a few hours on a Saturday and did this. Also, make sure your student card is loaded with $ so you dont have to be scrambling to print out lecture powerpoints. Or, print them all out if they are available by the prof.
    I also recommend to read or skim the chapters before class the night before. I know you are exhausted but this helps a lot. You will see that classes are so much easier and concepts are grasped better when info is already in the brain. I loved this so much as I felt I was so ahead of the game in class and could do in class assignments and get homework done quicker.
    Stay on top of homework. Try to fit it in. It will greatly improve your marks when you get your quizzes and tests back. We had something called mastering biology. We had about 8 to 11 assignements per semester. Some people did not complete them as it seemed like a waste. Well, they are 1% each and that 8-11% makes a huge difference in overall marks. Plus, this is also a good way to pre study before class. I recommend to do a few questions a day (if you have something like this) so you do not feel too overwhelmed with the total amount. The hard work will pay off.
    Also, if you work, please try to do so during the weekends only. It might be hard but expecially 2nd semester, you will be understand.
    And, try to get enough sleep. I personally found that I would waste time “studying” when I was beyond exhausted bc nothing was retained. Even if I went to bed and woke up a few hrs before I had to leave for school and studied it was better than the sleepy way.
    Start your projects early and ask for help asap if you need it. Don’t wait.
    I hope this helped but once I got organized and told myself this is a short stint and that I am smart, my motivation levels skyrocketed.

    1. Nurse Mo Post author

      All excellent advice…and I am a HUGE believer in getting enough sleep. In nursing school I was always in bed by 11pm without fail. Thanks for your input!!


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