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  • Writer's pictureJessica C

Stay Motivated as a Nursing Student

The research shows us that in fact our environment plays a major role in our empowerment. Motivation comes from positive emotions, and environments of empowerment. These are external and are outside of our control. Nursing students experience difficult exams, incivility in clinical practice or nursing programs, they often feel disempowered. Which leads to reduction in motivation.

Lets talk about what we can and cant control and how to be resilient.

There is this idea of grit "grit is a positive trait based on an individual's perseverance of effort combined with the passion for a particular long-term goal or end state (a powerful motivation to achieve an objective)." Grit consists of resilience, excellence, long term goal endurance, conscientiousness and courage.

However we have to also keep in mind the idea of weathering

"Being worn by long exposure to an atmosphere"

Therefore I want to say that because you feel this way you are not weak, or unable, you are weathered and that is ok. We can accept nursing school is tough.

What effects motivation in nursing students

Qualitative study by Saeedi and Parvizy Strategies to promote academic motivation in nursing student found:

  • strategies pertinent to professors (empowering and motivating to improve the quality of teaching)

  • strategies pertinent to clinical education (improvement of the quality of clinical training and optimization of the academic and clinical relationships)

  • strategies pertinent to faculty (providing extracurricular activities, proper curriculum programming, and educational and welfare facilities).

  • strategies pertinent to students (creating positive attitude toward nursing, empowering, and encouraging academic achievement)

Types of Motivation

4 external; 1 internal

  1. Extrinsic motivation

    1. external rewards and punishments

    2. internal rewards and punishments

    3. personal importance of an activity

    4. synthesis with the self

  1. Intrinsic motivation

    1. Interest, enjoyment, and satisfaction

Intrinsically motivated students are more competent and engaged in their learning than students who are not intrinsically motivated

If intrinsic motivation is not working look at extrinsic motivation

What can we do

  1. Focus on intrinsic motivation:

    1. why do you want to be a nurse, remind yourself why you are interested, why this career satisfies you

    2. Remember our perception creates our reality.

    3. Practice gratitude:

      1. a 2011 study by Robert Emmons and Anjali Mishra found that people feel motivated and energized when they experience gratitude, and that gratitude encourages them to make progress towards their goals.

  1. Find a mentor and reach out.

  2. Set achievable goals that allow you CONTROL

    1. exam grade % can be a let down

    2. instead goal of studying 2 hours 6 days a week. or complete all chapter practice problems.

  1. Reassess your responsibilities, are you doing too much?

  2. Make friends in your class, know you aren't going through this alone

  3. Nursing is not nursing school, some of the best nurses I know were C students.



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