6 Tips for Nursing Students to Combat Burnout

burnt out from work

burnt out from work

Burnout is when you feel mentally and physically exhausted to the point that you can no longer function properly. Nurses don’t only experience burnout on their job; it also impacts nursing students worldwide, preparing for their demanding job after a nursing degree. 

A nursing degree demands hard work for memorizing, understanding, analyzing complicated concepts, and solving case studies and scenarios. All nursing students go through a challenging period where they try to do everything on time but end up experiencing burnout.

The efforts required by nursing students, coupled with their other daily life responsibilities, family and social engagements, etc., make their degree even more overwhelming. Ultimately, a time comes when they feel detached and disinterested and on the verge of quitting. 

Like nurses, burnout is very dangerous for nursing students. Feeling disinterred won’t let you concentrate on your studies properly, which can be risky for your future patients. Therefore, you must take actions to combat burnout. If you are a nursing student, here are some tips for you. 

1. Dedicate time for self-care

Studying late at night, getting up early, and attending classes all day long is part of nursing students’ lives. Their busy schedule often doesn’t allow them to focus on themselves. However, focusing on self-care is essential to prevent burnout. 

Nursing students need to dedicate some time in their day to self-care and to do what they like. Saving half an hour daily for activities like yoga, meditation, enjoying nature, etc., can significantly reduce the mental and physical exhaustion caused by your academic responsibilities. 

One way to manage your time is to go for online education. It is especially suitable for RNs going for BSN. An online RN to BSN degree lets you manage your time more effectively and helps you continue your job. 

Online education does not require you to meet the pace of the rest of the class like an on-campus degree program. You can manage your study time more effectively and commit some time to self-care. 

2. Pick the nursing field of your choice

Students feel burned out when forced to study something they don’t like. Do you also get up every day wishing you were not required to attend certain classes? 

Nursing students who are not passionate about their educational choices are more likely to feel burned out. Therefore, if you always feel detached from your field and dread attending classes, reflect and ask yourself if you like the domain you are studying. 

Asking yourself these questions will help you look for solutions. You might realize that the problem is not with the nursing field in general but with the nursing specialty you are pursuing. Maybe you are not emotionally strong enough to handle trauma cases but might excel in geriatrics, anesthesia, or physical therapy.

Nursing offers a plethora of options for specializations. If you feel a misfit in your current domain, ask the school administration about changing the specialization. Once you get into a career you love and are zealous about; you will feel more interested in your degree program.  

3. Choose the right degree program

You can get your nursing degree in many different ways. There are fast-paced programs, bridge programs, and general nursing degrees. 

You might have enrolled in a fast-paced program to get your degree in a short time. But this fast-paced program might be burning you out. Always choose a degree program according to your learning capacity. A normally-paced program might take more time to complete, but it will prevent you from getting engulfed by stress and harming your performance. 

4. Make a schedule 

It is easy to feel overwhelmed with assignments, homework, skill labs, simulations, and projects. But sometimes, it happens due to an absence of a proper schedule and time management. 

Invest some time in designing your schedule. Never forget to include breaks in between various tasks during the day. When you have a thoroughly planned daily schedule, you feel in control of your day. Also, making a schedule allows you to make time for non-academic activities that help combat burnout. 

woman doing push ups in the office

5. Exercise every day

The benefits of exercise on physical health are well-known. Physical activity makes you feel energetic, reduces body aches, and improves digestion and immunity. Nonetheless, exercise has mental health benefits as well. It improves cognitive functions and is a way to reduce stress. Physical activity decreases confusion and anger and increases energy. 

Exercising daily for half an hour is strongly associated with combating burnout. Physical activity also improves mood; you may feel more lively and energetic during the day regardless of your tough academic life. 

6. Unplug from technology regularly

A major part of a nursing student’s day is spent working on a computer/laptop, listening to lecture recordings, making assignments, and so on. Too much reliance on gadgets makes you stay in your own cocoon and get detached from your family and friends. Spending time with your loved ones often acts as a therapy for stress relief. 

Therefore, unplug from technology occasionally, spend time with your family and friends, and play with your pets. 


Nursing school will always be challenging; after all, it prepares its students for a crucial role in society. So, there will always be times when you struggle with your life and academics. 

However, some tips mentioned above can surely help you reduce the burden of your struggles and reduce stress, leading to reduced instances of burnout. Following these tips might not eliminate the challenges and stress of a nursing degree. Still, it will surely help you combat it.