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Articles > Mental Health April, 01, 2015

6 Stress Reducing Tips For Student Nurses

April, 01, 2015

Sophie Jones Student Panel member. Member since 10/09/2015.
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It is my second month as a Student Nurse at Bangor University and already the pressure is on for me. So to avoid you facing the same stress, read below for my 6 top tips for nursing that I wish I knew at the start of the course…

stressed student nurse

Photo by Jason Scragz with changes

There’s definitely a heavy workload that comes with nursing and we’re expected to know it like the back of our hands! But on top of all that I suffer from Depression and Anxiety.

There is definitely not enough support for a Student Nurse with a mental health condition and I fear the worst at times and think; what if I feel so lethargic that I don’t leave the bed? What if I have a panic attack? What if I just stand there and cry for no reason?

So if you’re a nurse with depression and anxiety or not, these tips will definitely help reduce the stress:

1) Do more the night before. Get your work done during the day or in the evening. Avoid at all costs being awake at 2am trying to finish that essay. Create a planner and get used to following it – as a nurse you must have good time management. Make your sandwiches, iron your uniform or sort your bag out THE NIGHT BEFORE. This gives you a more relaxed morning so you have time for a good breakfast and preparation for placement.

2) Ask questions. You are not expected to know everything that the Registered Nurse does. They understand that you are new and are more than happy to answer your questions and queries (as long as you aren’t interrupting the ‘Medicines Round’!) If you want, you can rehearse questions the night before or before your shifts. The more you ask, the more your confidence will grow.

3) Explain to patients that you are a Student nurse and may require support where needed. Patients see you as the one in uniform, not the student who has yet to learn the ins and outs of Nursing. If you tell them “I’m a Student Nurse. I will do as much as I can but I may not have the answer for some of your queries”, they are more likely to be understanding. Remember, they are normal people like you and I.

4) Keep in touch with your tutors. The tutors at University are there to support you and will usually be able to solve your problems. Any worries can be shared with them with no fear of judgement. You should tell your personal tutor about any health conditions, physical or mental.

5) Reflect. This is such a massive part of nursing and a very important skill for the registered student nurse to have. Think about any situations, what was good or not so good and what you can do to improve in the future. This can relate to your clinical practice or to your personal thoughts or feelings. Get into the habit of doing so because for me, this is really effective in helping me better myself as a nurse.

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And a bonus tip for anyone with anxiety or depression that wants to go into nursing…

6) Visit your GP. Do not underestimate the value of this step. They will be very supportive and can offer you medication as well as counseling or therapy. The GP was the first person I visited before starting University. I am now on medication to control my mood and hormones, as well as being offered counseling every week.

Good luck to you all in your Nursing journey and future career.

If ever you are unsure, talk to your tutors, your clinical mentor or probably most importantly, your friends and fellow Student Nurses. But if you have any tips i didn’t mention, just comment below.

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  1. Emma Davies
    January 12, 2016 at 1:30 am

    I’m a student nurse in my third year and I think you 6 points are great! I struggle with confidence but I practice my questions over and over again. I feel you are going to help so many student nurses get more prepared for the life as a nice and you have definitely gave me some tips.

  2. Charlotte Chesson
    September 6, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    I’m just about to start my nursing course at uni, such helpful tips thank you!

  3. Emily Chapman
    April 29, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    As a 2nd year student nurse i think you have head it on the head with your tips. Yes its hard and Yes its stressful but your tutors/mentors are there to help and you have fellow students who feel just like you do. Patients sometimes expect you to know everything but your still learning and its ok to ask for help. Good tips!

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