Don't Make These Planner Mistakes - Owning Your Nursing School Journey

by Meris Shuwarger BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN December 20, 2021 Updated: August 09, 2023 4 min read 1 Comment

In this video, Meris shares with you the biggest mistakes she made when she was trying to learn how to manage her time using a planner while in nursing school.

Learn from her mistakes, and use your planner so it works for you!

Full Transcript

Hi. I'm Meris with Level Up RN, and today I'm going to share with you some of the biggest mistakes I made when I was trying to use planners in the past and tell you why the nursing school planner that we created for you, specifically with you in mind, is going to help you to avoid those mistakes.

So, first and foremost, my biggest mistake was thinking that I didn't need to use one. I just remember, when I was younger, thinking, "I'll remember that." Right? Or, "I have a syllabus. That's all I need. I have a list of the assignments and the dates. That's all that I need."

But it's not because you need a place to be able to plan your real life and your nursing school life and your work life and your clinical schedule and all of that in one place.

And spoiler alert, you will forget. I know you think you're going to remember because that's a lie that I told myself for probably 30 years, but it's true. You're not going to remember. So stop telling yourself that lie and start writing it down in a planner.

The second mistake that I made when trying to use planners was thinking that the fanciest planner on the market was going to be the one that would make me successful when I used it.

So I spent a lot of money trying out different planners and thinking, "Oh, this big name brand is going to be the one. It's a big name. Everybody uses it. It must be the best," and then finding out that this wasn't made with me in mind. This doesn't work for me. And then it would just sit on my desk or languish in my backpack and I wouldn't use it.

So now I have a really expensive planner that I'm not using, which is doing nothing except for having taken money out of my bank account. So that was the second mistake I made.

The third was thinking that I needed a lot of really fancy extra supplies.

I wanted to get all the washi tape, all of the stickers. I had to have all the really nice pens and highlighters, all of these fancy stickers made for planners that you could write on and fill out information on.

Because, again, I thought that if I made it cute, I would end up using it. And what actually happened was I didn't use it because I felt like I had to make it cute, but I didn't have the time or energy to put into making it cute. I didn't have the time or energy or desire to sit down and put all the stickers in there and plan it out and figure out how to make it look as aesthetic as possible.

It didn't happen. So then I didn't use it. Again, waste of time, waste of money. I didn't use it. It did me no good.

The fourth was using a planner that wasn't made with nursing students in mind. And this is, I mean, kind of hard to come by.

It's not like you can just walk into any local store and they're going to have a wide array of planners for engineering students and medical students and nursing students, right? It's usually just a planner catered to what the average person needs, but nursing students are not the average person. You are juggling so many things, and you need to have time to do all of those things, and it sometimes feels like there's not enough hours in the day, right? I mean, at least it did for me.

But when you're trying to use a planner that is not made with nursing students in mind, you end up not having a place to put some things, and you have to sort of Frankenstein it in, right? You got to squeeze things in, cross things off, rename it, whatever you got to do. But it's not going to do you any good if it's not made to fit your life.

So in our nursing school planner, we made this to fit your life. We have room in here dedicated for, "Did you study today? What are your assignments this week? What are your tests, exams, and quizzes this week? What are your assignments coming up due in the future that you need to be thinking of and not forget about? What's your lab, clinical, or simulation schedule this week?" Those sorts of things matter for a nursing student.

And it matters that you have a place to keep track of them all, which we gave you in this planner. We also put in our incredible reference pages so that anytime you have your book, you have reference pages right here at the back for the things that you are looking up the most, like lab values, EKG information, milestones for pediatrics, pediatric vaccination schedule, the cranial nerves. All of those things that you look up all the time, we've got them in here so that you have them with you all the time.

We truly made this planner to be for you because we've sat where you're sitting. We've gone through the things that you have gone through, and we know what you need to be successful and how to make a planner work for you.

Don't make the same planner mistakes that I did. Instead, learn from my mistakes and all of the things that I put into this planner for you based on the mistakes I made in the past. I can't wait to hear what you think about this.

These are available on our website, If you have one already, I would love to hear your feedback. But otherwise, I can't wait to hear what you think of it when you get your very own. Thanks so much, and happy studying.

1 Response

Emily B.
Emily B.

July 24, 2023

I am a future nursing student completing my final 2 pre-reqs this fall so that I can apply to LVN school. I purchased the Comprehensive Nursing Collection and the planner was a free added bonus and I love it! I only have one complaint – I wish the planner was not pre-dated. I won’t start nursing school for another year so I will need to purchase another one but it would have been nice to have been able to save this one to use if it wasn’t specifically dated for 2023-2024. I love the layout of the planner, the reference section is fabulous and I am so happy I found your resources online!

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