Nursing Students and Procrastination

Did you know that nursing students experience higher levels of test anxiety as compared to other fields? Due to the high levels of test anxiety, nursing students uses avoidance as a coping mechanism. Yes, I am talking about procrastination. Nursing students and procrastination habits.

There has been numerous studies that examined nursing students and procrastination. A study conducted by Custer (2018) examined the relationship between test anxiety and procrastination among nursing students. The results showed that there was a significant relationship between these two variables. Simply put, when test anxiety increases, nursing students increase their use of procrastination. This causes poor performance, poor test results even in nursing license exams and low self-esteem. This highlights that there is a problem between nursing students and procrastination

We are all guilty of procrastinating and putting off assignments until the next day or using the “I will do it in the next five more minutes” excuse. Some of us have developed the skill of getting things done even when you have procrastinated. You stay up all night and cram everything that you were suppose to learn during the semester and settled with a lower grade.

Why Do Students Procrastinate?

In order to understand the solution to the problem, it is important to understand the etiology between nursing students and procrastination. Procrastination is caused by lack of confidence, motivation and comprehension. Often times nursing students might not see the relevancy of the project at the point in time, do not understand the assignment or just do not know where to begin.

Here are some steps to help boost confidence, motivation and comprehension among nursing students.

1. Self-Assessment

Assessing yourself allows you to know the cause of your procrastination. Is it lack of motivation, comprehension of confidence? Being able to answer these questions would allow you to take further steps towards reaching your goal.

2. Invest in a Planner

Often times we buy a planner and never use it. However, a planner is an amazing tool to help you with procrastination. As a nursing student, let planners be your guide. It helps you to prioritize task, stay organized and be flexible.

3. A regular study time

Have a regular study time. It does not matter how long you allocate towards your study time. What matters is how effective you use this time. Are you on Instagram whilst trying to study?

4. Limit Distractions

Have you ever started an assignment, decided to google something and all of a sudden realized that you have spent 3 hours on Facebook instead of googling what you needed? Yes, limit those distractions. Friends, social media etc. Make your study time meaningful. Tune off all other distractions from the few minutes and hours you have set aside.

5. Reward yourself!

After completion of a task, reward yourself. This would keep you motivated towards completing your task

6. Ask for Help

Do not be afraid or shy to ask for help from a classmate or the teacher. Nursing school takes team effort. You cannot do it on your own.

7. Be consistent

Consistency is key to stop procrastination. Practicing these steps and making it your own would allow you to proactive rather than reactive.


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My name is Fiskvik Boahemaa Antwi. I am a registered nurse in Trinidad and Tobago and currently pursuing my masters degree in Nursing. I attended the University of the Southern Caribbean for my bachelor's degree.


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