How I Plan Out my Schedule in Nursing School

My summer is, unfortunately, coming to an end, which means I am starting to prep for this upcoming quarter. Today, I am going to go over how I plan out my schedule in nursing school! I am breaking it down into 3 parts. The first part is how I plan out the quarter. Part 2 is how I plan out the week. Part 3 is how I plan out the day. I thought about breaking this into 3 separate posts, but I thought it would flow much better if it was all within the same post.

If you’re new here, let’s go into some background first!

I am in an ADN (2-year) nursing program at a community college. I just completed my first year and am set to graduate in June 2022. After that, I plan on attending the RN to BSN program at a university while working. Due to COVID, I didn’t get to go to clinical until this last spring quarter, up until then it was virtual simulations for clinical. Every quarter so far I’ve posted a recap of how it went, which you can check out below:

Other pre-nursing and nursing school posts that are up on my blog can also be found below:

Alright, let’s jump into the post and how I plan out my schedule in nursing school!

How I Plan Out my Schedule in Nursing School

How I study in nursing school planner on bed

Part One: How I Plan Out the Quarter

I am not much of a planner person, but I am a visual person. I do use a planner to plan out the first quarter just so I can visualize on paper what assignments are due what week. This also helps me get used to my class and clinical schedule when I am just getting into the swing of things.

I know that other people will plan out their quarter similarly. If you’re not one that likes using a planner, another option is to use Google Calendar, the calendar app on your phone, or another virtual-type calendar. I have also seen people use a whiteboard that they can look at every day!

To plan out the quarter, I will first open my school class schedule. I will note each class that I have scheduled for the entire quarter. Next, I add my clinical date and hours assigned. Once my classes and clinicals are down, I look at the syllabus for each class. In the syllabus, teachers will usually list what assignments are due and when (although not every professor does). I add in these dates and what assignment is due. This is extra helpful for those repeating assignments like pre-quizzes, care plans, and databases.

PROS:

This method makes it easy to glance at my schedule and get used to it. I don’t look back at it too often because I am a week-by-week kind of person, but it helps me shift focus onto the new quarter.

CONS:

By using a paper planner, I have to erase and change things if the deadlines were incorrect or my class schedule changes. This can be tedious and annoying, especially if things weren’t updated prior to the start of the quarter.

Part Two: How I Plan Out the Week

This is the schedule that is really most helpful to me. It can be overwhelming if you aren’t the kind of person that wants to see every assignment that you need to do.

The first thing that I do on a blank sheet of notebook paper is list out every class and the time + day that I have that class (check-off format). I then list all the repeating assignments that I have for each week.  Finally, I go through each class for the current module and continue the check-off list by writing down the chapters that I need to read that week, videos I need to watch, skills I need to practice, tests I need to take, and other assignments I need to complete. If I know a large assignment like a paper is also coming up in the next few weeks I will also add making progress on that to my list.

This check-off list can be long. It usually takes up every line of the paper and looks like a lot. Personally, this motivates me at the beginning of the week to check off as many things as I can get done. Once my list of every assignment is finished, I try to structure specific days each week about the same.

Monday

Usually, on Mondays, I don’t have class. On the first day of the week, I try to keep it chill and set myself up for success. Most of my assignments are due on Sundays so the weekend prior was reserved for finishing up those. What I typically do on Mondays is read the textbook. I try to accomplish as much of the reading as possible. I don’t read every single chapter, I pick and chose what’s important and what I will actually need to know. For something that is a review or that isn’t as important to know, I will usually just read the chapter summaries.

Tuesday

On Tuesdays, I usually have lectures for around 4 hours. I also try to finish any of the readings I didn’t complete on Monday. Another priority for Tuesday is completing all the little assignments like discussion posts, little quizzes and etc.

Wednesday

On Wednesdays, I will usually have class again (during my first year, at least). However, on this day my class is only around 2 hours. I try to finish any little assignments I didn’t get to the day before. I will also start working on my notecards for the week. To see how I study in nursing school (including notecards), see my previous post hereHow I Study in Nursing School.

Thursday

I usually have clinical or lab (depending on the quarter). I don’t really do any school work this day.

Friday

I usually have clinical or lab (depending on the quarter). I don’t really do any school work this day.

Saturday

On Saturday I try to complete any of my big assignments that need to get done. Most of the big assignments I need to go to clinical before doing, anyways. If I am getting burnt out on assignments I will do some notecards.

Sunday

On Sundays, I will finish up any of the big assignments I need to get done for the week and turn in. If I still have notecards to write, I will finish them up for the module of the week. When I am done, I will plan out the following week’s assignments as I listed above.

Part Three: How I Plan Out my Day

I do all my planning for the week on Sunday. Then, at the beginning of each day, I will take a notecard and write down everything that I want to accomplish. It’s a lot more manageable than looking at the long list that I made at the beginning of the week.

Usually, I try to limit myself to 5 things. I think 5 things are pretty manageable because I have options on what to do and some tasks are shorter or longer than others. For example, one task will be a class that might be 4 hours long (a non-negotiable since I can’t skip). Another task might be a post-test, which only takes 5 minutes. If I don’t finish a task that is negotiable, I will add it to the following day. At the end of the day, once I have completed the tasks on the notecard, I will cross out all the things I completed on the main list.

When I’m completing my tasks, I usually break my day up by walking my dog, working out, or making meals. I don’t do school work for hours on end, otherwise, I would get really burnt out.

How I Plan Out my Schedule in Nursing School

I hope this has given you some ideas on how to plan out your own schedule in nursing school. I know it’s helpful to see how other people are doing things and what has been successful for them. If you are currently in nursing school and have a system that you have found works for you, I would love to hear about it! Comments it down below 🙂

As always, you can find me on Instagram @maddie_deer here, or can follow me on my Facebook page to be alerted of any new posts here. I have a lot more nursing school-related posts ready to be posted, so be on the lookout for those!

 

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