How to succeed in nursing school with anxiety?

This post answers: How to succeed in nursing school with anxiety? Why is nursing school hard with anxiety? What is Anxiety? What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety? What are the therapy options for anxiety?

How to succeed in nursing school with anxiety?

Some ways to succeed in nursing school with anxiety are:

Seek professional help

The first step that nurses must take while in nursing school and are feeling overwhelmed is to speak to a therapist. Speaking to a therapist helps them identify and acknowledge their feelings. 

The therapist might help them to actively replace the negative thoughts and emotions that are leading to anxiety and replace them with more favorable ones. 

They might also help them identify those reasons that are causing them stress that they are unaware of and help them resolve these issues gradually.

Talk to a counselor

Apart from seeking help from a mental health professional individuals can also go to counselors available at the nursing school who might help to guide them through the process of getting through the nursing school successfully by keeping up with the academic requirements and deadlines.

Follow a medication regime

Following a medication regime provided by the counselor or mental health professional can help nurses to succeed in their nursing school anxiety, in the long run, it helps them maintain their mental wellbeing and keep their stress under control on a day-to-day basis which helps them perform the tasks effectively.

This medication regime might include taking medicines prescribed by the mental health professional, following self-help treatment strategies regularly.

Practice meditation

Meditation can bring about significant improvement in an individual’s mental well-being when done regularly. Many individuals also report its benefits immediately after practicing it for a matter of 15 to 20 minutes.

Meditation can help nurses succeed in their nursing school while they are battling with anxiety by helping them focus on the present and filtering out all the negative thoughts and emotions that might cause their anxiousness and impair their functioning.

Maintain a healthy diet

Nurses must also focus on a healthy diet while at the nursing school to keep up with the body’s requirements while they are going through a challenging curriculum this might require them to have meals rich in nutrients, minerals, fibers, and other micronutrients that might greatly impact an individuals mood.

Get sufficient sleep

Many researchers have indicated that there is a direct relationship between lack of sleep and mental imbalance. In that Individuals who lack a sufficient amount of sleep regularly might experience anxiety or even depression in severe cases.

To make it through nursing school with anxiety nurses must make sure that they get a sufficient amount of sleep of about 6 to 8 hours regularly to avoid accelerating their anxiety symptoms and making things more challenging for them.

Focus on your response to the environment

The key to getting through nursing school successfully with anxiety is to focus and be mindful about one’s reactions and behaviors to the various triggers around them. When an individual can identify adaptive and maladaptive behaviors and reaction working around the negative behaviors and reactions become much easier.

Study in a stimulating environment

Nurses with anxiety need to stay among individuals who stimulate them both mentally and physically. this helps to motivate some individuals and also helps them manage their mental health concerns more readily.

Avoid comparing

Another reason why succeeding in nursing school with anxiety might become more challenging is when individuals start comparing their performance, strengths, and weaknesses with that of their classmates. It is important that individuals focus on themselves and acknowledge the fact that every individual has their own sets of skills and flaws.

Why is nursing school hard with anxiety?

Nursing schools can be very hard to manage, experiencing anxiety for many individuals can be very overwhelming and impair functioning. With a vast syllabus to cover and various things to learn individuals might feel like they are not capable of making it through the line.

Going through a mental health condition such as anxiety might be the very reason why many students might quit nursing school during the first year. This is mainly because they lack professional help and do not actively use any coping mechanisms to deal with their anxiety.

What is Anxiety?

Problems and resulting stress are usually accompanied by some common emotions like confusion, feeling at the edge, a sense of helplessness, and recurrent negative thoughts which can collectively be seen as an individual experiencing what’s commonly called  Anxiety. 

Every human has their unique ways of dealing with these difficult situations and the following emotions, some try to adapt to the circumstances and find the best and most comfortable solution while others try to find an escape route for the same, in both cases the main aim is usually to get over the uncomfortable emotions of anxiety. 

What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety? 

Anxiety is characterized by a set of signs and symptoms such as:


  • Sweating
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sense of choking
  • Complaints of chest pain
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness
  • Fear of losing control over oneself and their environment
  • Fear of impending doom
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Increased heart rate

These symptoms vary in severity from person to person. However, it is noted that many people experience anxiety attacks that are not significantly displayed.

What are the therapy options for anxiety?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps an individual to control their anxiety by using strategies like relaxation and breathing. It works on the principles of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.

Exposure therapy

Exposure therapy is a kind of therapy in which an individual is exposed to a particular stimulus that they usually fear or are anxious about in a graded order.

As and when the individual gets comfortable with the situation or stimulus introduced or exposed to them with each session, individuals get more comfortable with a real-life situation that might have otherwise been a source for triggering anxiety.

Group therapy


It is based on the principle that when an individual interacts with other people who are suffering from the same fears they might not feel left alone or isolated. Group therapy usually involves a group of individuals who are experiencing similar symptoms and problems.


Anxiety can also be treated with the help of medication prescribed by a health care professional.

Though medication alone cannot help in reducing persistent anxiety it can help in restoring a sense of control and bring temporary relief. 

Online therapy  

In cases where reaching out physically to a professional is impossible or discomforting an individual can opt to seek help through the online medium. 

In this, the therapy sessions are carried out one-to-one over a video or audio call. Some individuals also prefer interacting with the therapist through text as well due to various reasons. One of the most common is the fear of being judged by the therapist or some personal hesitation. 

Online therapy can help individuals to regulate some aspects of their anxiety that aids individuals in carrying out a stress-free life over time


Nursing schools can be very difficult and challenging in itself it is, even more, overwhelming for individuals who have a history of anxiety. In this case, individuals must consciously take care of themselves by giving their body what it needs and also taking care of their mental well-being by staying in touch with the therapist.

Frequently asked questions: How to succeed in nursing school with anxiety?

Why does nursing give me anxiety?

While nursing comes with many advantages it is not stress-free. Nursing involves long working hours and even double shifts which can lead to physical and mental strains.

What can you do if you hate being a nurse?

If any individual regrets being a nurse they must first try and understand where these feelings are rooted from. If it is due to situational pressure they must try and understand that taking a break might help. However, if they aren’t comfortable with the rules and feel that they do not match their needs and skills then they must reconsider their career options.

Can you become a nurse if you have anxiety?

Becoming a nurse with an existing mental health condition such as anxiety is possible. Pre-existing mental health conditions do not act as barriers for individuals from being successful.


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