By Latoya Smith

Tips for Online Nursing School in the time of Coronavirus

Nursing school suddenly online? Say no more fam! Here are tips to help you conquer the new normal. I broke them down into 6 categories, so you could easily take what you need and leave what you don’t. Save a screen shot of the graphic so that you have access to the tips when you need them.



  • Beat Deadlines: You don’t want to add any undue stress by waiting until the last minute. Be proactive and turn things in early if you can.
  • Use a timer to keep you on task: Have you ever been on Facebook for a “minute” and looked up an it was a hour later? Exactly. This is why you need a timer or alarm (use your phone).
  • Plan, Plan, Plan: I mean everything. Time blocking is great for managing your time and planning when you will do things. Also, plan for child or elder care if needed.
  • Don’t over schedule: This is possible even if you are working from home. This is why it is important to plan your day to prevent over scheduling and double scheduling.
  • Don’t let people commandeer your time: You know that dramatic friend? And you know that friend who you tell that you are busy and they keep talking? Yes Them! Don’t let them take over and consume your time. Plan ahead and have an exit strategy for when they call.



  • Dedicated class/study area: It doesn’t have to be a giant space just a space you can call your own.
  • Make sure the temperature is comfortable: You don’t want to be wrapped in blankets or sweating bullets at home! Adjust the temperature until you’re comfortable and that will improve your focus.
  • Keep it clean and organized: I know this can be hard because we’re at home! But be respectful to your study space and keep it tidy and in order.
  • Open windows/blinds: Let that sunshine in girl! As simple as it seems brightening your space can improve mood and motivation.



  • Treat it like a job: Act is if you are going to school or work everyday. Get up, get dressed, and ready yourself just like you would previously. This will help you keep your schedule and feel productive.
  • Be engaged: If you’re like me, you drift off easily. Make sure to make paying attention during online class a priority. Don’t let texts and phone calls and social media distract you
  • Have a persistent yet flexible mind set: Yes we are at home. Yes it’s different. And, yes we can do it! But, know there may be wrinkles in this new fabric we are weaving so be ready and willing to work through them.
  • Reward yourself: Go ahead and order that meal from DoorDash instead of cooking!
  • Ask for help when needed: You are not island! You have access to assistance so use it when you need it.



  • Good nutrition: It’s easy to snack on junk foods all day at home. Don’t get caught in that cycle. Feed your body a variety of nutritious foods so that you are at your best.
  • Drink your water: Not juice and soda and frappes, water. You will thank yourself later.
  • Walk: Walk around in your house. Walk outside. Move your body.
  • Breath: Don’t forget to breath. Breathing helps you stay connected. If you are feeling scattered, close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths to center yourself.



  • Think in 3D: This is helpful when thinking about disease processes but especially with virtual clinical.
  • Break down projects into smaller tasks: Thinking about reading 20 chapters in 5 days sounds impossible. Reading 4 chapters a night for 5 days is easy.
  • Use your resources: Use the things that you have access to and most likely have paid for. Don’t let them just sit there.
  • Have a study group: Study groups function just as well or better online. Give it a try.



  • Maintain effective, consistent, and appropriate communication: Make sure you are engaging with your professors and your classmates. And Keep in touch and up to date with your professors so that you know what’s going on and feel comfortable going to them with problems.
  • Check email frequently: You have to know what’s going on. Some of the communication about classes and assignments will be through email so review this several times a day.
  • Get familiar with tech and software (i.e. Blackboard, new devices) before class starts if possible: Don’t wait until the day class starts. You could have issues and miss a class.



That’s a wrap. Tips to help nursing students navigate our new normal. Use these tips to drive your success in online nursing school. You got this!


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