What are the ways to manage anxiety in nursing school?

This blog answers: What are the ways to manage anxiety in nursing school? What are the main triggers of anxiety in nursing school? What are some ways to manage anxiety? What are the therapy options for anxiety?

What are the ways to manage anxiety in nursing school?

Some ways to manage anxiety in nursing school are:

Take time out

Individuals in nursing school must take out their time to indulge in activities that bring about therapeutic effects such as practicing yoga, mindfulness, and listening to calming music. This helps them to deal with their challenges more effectively and perform optimally.

Limit alcohol and caffeine

Even though the use of caffeine helps to give a sense of boost and aid in active performance Excessive use of caffeine might cause negative effects such as causing a sense of anxiety in individuals. Even alcohol used in large amounts might have negative effects on individuals’ performance and might hamper their career opportunities in the long run if not maintained.

Get enough sleep

Being in nursing school might be both physically and mentally exhausting. In such situations, an individual must take good care of themselves and maintain a good sleeping pattern such that they get a good 6-8 hours of sleep.

Lack of sleep can make individuals grumpy and also reduce their productivity and concentration which are very important in their field of career.

Acknowledge the fact that you can’t control everything

Many individuals in nursing school experience anxiety due to the lack of control over their situation and events. However, they must understand and make themselves realize that they can’t control everything that is happening in their environment and must accept what’s coming their way rather than trying to escape from it due to a lack of control.

Learn your triggers

To deal with one’s anxiety efficiently in nursing school they must be aware of the triggers that set off their attacks. These triggers might vary from small assignments to major academic requirements.

Talk to someone

Talking about your daily stressors with someone close brings about a therapeutic effect. Individuals in nursing school can consider talking to their friends or family or even professionals who can help them manage their emotions and reduce the symptoms of anxiety.

Individuals in nursing school can also try talking to their seniors who can give them more insight regarding various domains that can make them feel more confident and prepared for the upcoming challenges.

What are the main triggers of anxiety in nursing school?

Even though anxiety is seen among many individuals, certain triggers make some people more vulnerable to anxiety than others in nursing school. Some contributing triggers of anxiety are:

Health diagnosis

An individual is more vulnerable to experiencing anxiety in the presence of chronic or serious health diagnoses such as cancer or diabetes.

Triggers associated with health diagnosis tend to have a strong impact on an individual because of the strong negative thoughts and emotions that are associated with it.


It is believed that many over-the-counter medications may contribute to the symptoms of anxiety in some individuals. This is certainly because of the ingredients in this medication that makes an individual feel uneasy.

Use of caffeine

Even though it is said that the use of caffeine helps to activate an individual’s system, studies show that over-usage of caffeine might lead to adverse effects such as anxiety or even depression.

Apart from the overuse withdrawal from caffeine may also lead to anxiety. hence it is suggested that individuals take conscious amounts of caffeine per day.

Skipping meals

Apart from environmental factors ones eating habits might also contribute to an individual’s anxiety directly or indirectly. When an individual fails to maintain their food timings it might lead to fluctuations in their blood sugar levels.

These fluctuations might make an individual feel jittery which in turn triggers anxiety.

Hence maintaining a proper schedule and diet is important for various reasons not just for energy but also for maintaining one’s mood.

What are the ways to manage anxiety in nursing school?

Negative thinking

An individual’s behavior and emotions are certainly controlled by one’s thoughts. When an individual is upset and dwells on negative thoughts it further leads to discomforting emotions and detrimental thoughts causing a vicious cycle.

These negative thoughts are then projected to various areas of an individual’s life creating an overall sense of lack of control over oneself and the environment which triggers anxiety.

Financial concerns

Many individuals experience anxiety due to their financial standing. Learning to manage financial triggers requires seeking professional help such as from a financial advisor.


Daily stressors as simple as traffic jams to major ones such as strained relationships might contribute to one’s intensity and frequency of anxiety and anxiety attacks.

However long term or chronic stress leads to long term anxiety and a build-up of negative taught processes and emotions that impact an individual’s mental health



individuals might also experience anxiety as a result of interpersonal or intrapersonal conflicts.

The inability to resolve these conflicts might lead to the buildup of negative thoughts, emotions that overwhelm an individual and trigger anxiety.

Personal triggers

Personal triggers can be as minor as a smell, place, or even a song that reminds an individual of negative and discomforting experiences. Personal triggers can remind an individual of an unconscious or conscious dramatic event in an individual’s life that triggers their anxiety.

If you can identify and understand your triggers, you can work to avoid them and learn to cope with them. You can learn specific coping strategies to handle the triggers when they happen.

What are some ways to manage anxiety?

Identify and acknowledge the triggers

The most significant strategy that can be used to control one’s anxiety is by identifying and acknowledging those triggers.

Being able to recognize what makes an individual anxious makes them better equipped to take action.

Relaxation techniques


Even though anxiety can be bought under an individual’s control it cannot be predicted. In such situations, it is necessary that an individual actively carries out relaxation techniques.

These might include meditation, yoga, and deep breathing which helps to reduce the intensity of anxiety within a short period.



A key to reducing the frequency and intensity of anxiety attacks could be spending time with close family and friends.

The kind of emotional and practical support provided by these social and personal groups help the person feel connected and aid in distracting one’s mind from negative and recurring thoughts that lead to anxiety.

Apart from friends and families, individuals can also consider speaking to groups of people that are experiencing similar problems.

Set realistic goals

When an individual is feeling overwhelmed, setting goals and targets keeping in mind priorities can help resolve overwhelming feelings of fear or panic.

Setting goals provides structure and routine to an individual’s life reducing space for uncertainty which can be a major trigger for anxiety in many cases.

Take up new challenges

Apart from doing activities that an individual is usually fond of and has expertise in, trying new and challenging activities that put an individual outside their comfort zone in a healthy manner may help reduce the stress and anger temporarily.

Signing up for new activities also provides a path to meeting people with similar stories and concerns.

Lifestyle changes

An individual’s lifestyle plays a major role in their experience of anxiety. An unhealthy and busy lifestyle usually leads to unhealthy eating, lack of exercise, lack of adequate sleep.

A combination of a well-set diet, exercise, and sleep can help to regulate an individual’s mood and equip them with a favorable coping mechanism.

These coping mechanisms in turn help to get control over once anxiety concerns in a more adaptable manner.

lack of proper diet, sleep, and exercise can make an individual sluggish, dependent, moody and vulnerable to anxiety attacks.

Making journal entries

Last but not least having a journal to write down how a person is feeling and thinking when they are anxious helps them to reflect upon their thoughts and feelings.

Putting down one’s thoughts and feelings onto a paper helps to provide a sense of temporary relief.

In the case of journal entry, a person does not even have to fear being judged by another person regarding their thoughts and feelings.

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


Experiencing anxiety in nursing school is normal considering the nature of the study. Be it a test, laboratory classes, or active competition anxiety is difficult to avoid in a nursing school. However, individuals must recognize their triggers and work towards resolving them to perform optimally.

Frequently asked questions: What are the ways to manage anxiety in nursing school?

Is being a new nurse stressful?

Being a new nurse can be stressful due to various job-related or patient-related concerns. A nurse can feel overwhelmed and delusional about their responsibilities during the initial weeks. Some also experience a sense of helplessness and doubt their abilities leading to withdrawal from the role.

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.