Nursing school is challenging, and nursing students know the work they put into their academic path will reap big rewards over a career. But at some point in nursing school both new and advanced nursing students need assistance to navigate the tough areas of their academic path.

What happens if you know you need help and support, but you aren’t sure where to get it? It might take a little investigating, but check with your school to see what kinds of services they offer. If your school doesn’t offer a resource you need, there’s likely an office that can at least connect you with someone who can. The back-to-school period is a great time to formulate a plan.

Here’s where you might find the help you need from your school.

Help with Finances

The financial aid office of your school is the hub for everything you need to know about tuition and costs. The office is also a place to go if you need more financial support and want to ask if they have additional resources. If you’re eligible for a work study job and need to know what’s available, this office can help with that as well. And if a personal crisis or roadblock has necessitated a withdrawal from a course or even the need for a semester off, visit the financial aid office right away to ask about how it will impact any financial aid you are receiving. They are there to help and support you for success.

Help with Studies

If a class is especially difficult, approach the professor at the first signs that you’re having trouble or falling behind. Visit their office hours regularly and connect with any teaching assistants they may have. Attend study groups for different courses (some are online and some are in person) or start your own if needed. Many schools have tutoring available at a tutoring center and there may also be a writing center if you have trouble organizing your thoughts for a paper.

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Help with Exam Accommodations

If you have a diagnosed medical condition that makes it harder for you to complete an exam in a certain time period or in a traditional classroom setting or if you need frequent or unexpected breaks (to visit the bathroom, for example), schools offer alternative exam and course work options. Get in touch with the student disability or accommodations  office before you need help to find out what paperwork they need and what accommodations are offered. Frequently, there are resources you might not even realize, such as videotaped lectures or note takers for students.

Help with Mental Health

The pressure of nursing school is serious and sometimes you might find yourself feeling overwhelmed by it all. Or maybe you feel a pervasive sense of sadness or anxiety and it’s interfering with your school work and normal activities. Almost every school or university has mental health support available to students or they have the resources to lead you in the right direction of getting the help you need. Look for the school’s counseling, wellness, or health office to start.

Help with Housing and Food

The student affairs office and residential services office are your go-to offices for finding housing (if not on campus, they may have resources to help you find something off-campus), helping if you need food assistance, or for mediating roommate disputes. These offices frequently have a broad view of student needs across campus so they are able to refer you to the right office, support,  or resource quickly.

As a nursing student, being able to focus on school is a top priority, so finding help you need is essential to your success. Find the right resources by reaching out to your school as soon as possible. Even if you don’t find the right person to help you initially, don’t give up. Look on your school’s website to help you connect with whatever assistance will get you on the right track.

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Julia Quinn-Szcesuil
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