Date Published: November 19, 2019
Making strong connections during nursing school is one of the most important things that you can do to set yourself up for success after graduation. Think: scoring your dream job! The professors that teach your classes are knowledgeable about the industry and are passionate about helping you succeed, so it should be no surprise that they are some of the best people to network with in order to give your educational and professional career a boost.
Below we’re sharing some tips on how to build a strong relationship with your professor so you can benefit from all of the great expertise they have to offer.
Introduce Yourself Early
At the beginning of each new semester, every professor has new students’ names and faces to learn. Get ahead of the game and make yourself stand out by introducing yourself to your professor early, ideally during the first week of classes. There’s no need to prepare a big speech! Simply approaching them before or after class with a handshake, telling them your name and that you’re looking forward to learning from them this semester can make a huge impact on your professor’s memory of you. This stellar first impression will set you up to build a good relationship in the coming weeks.
Most educators love to answer questions from students during class. Not only does it show them that you’re paying attention to what they are teaching, but it also shows that you care about fully grasping the material and doing well in their class. To enhance your relationship with your professor, try to ask any questions that pop into your head while listening to their lecture.
Bonus tip: if you have a question about the material, there’s a good chance that someone else in the class is wondering the same thing, so speaking up and asking for clarification can help strengthen your bond with your classmates, too!
Visit Their Office Hours
Most universities require professors to host a certain number of office hours each week. Office hours are designated times where an educator makes themselves available to students for whatever you may need their help with, such as understanding a tough question on the homework, clarification over what will be covered on the exam next week and the like. Visiting a professor for help during their office hours is not only an amazing resource to help you be successful as a student, but it’s also a great way to build a relationship with them. Take some time at the beginning of the semester to figure out when your professor’s office hours are and make a point to visit them. No question is too small, and visiting provides a great opportunity to chat with your teacher outside of the classroom.
Talk with Them About Non-School Related Topics
Speaking of chatting with your professors outside of the classroom, don’t forget that not all of the conversations you have with a professor have to be about nursing school-related topics. Building a strong relationship with your professor means getting to know them on a deeper level and learning what makes them tick outside of teaching you how to be a nurse. Ask them about their family, where they are from, and what they like to do during their free time. Not only will asking them these questions make your professor feel valued, but it might also help you find something that the two of you have in common which will help you build an even stronger relationship!
Attend Extra Events that They Offer
Attending outside-of-class events that your professor offers or is involved in is a great way to strengthen the bond that you have been building with them during the semester. If they offer tutoring or review sessions before exams, make sure to attend and get all of the helpful information that they have to offer you. Similarly, if your teacher is the advisor for a campus club, try attending one of their meetings.
Let Them Know You Appreciate Them
Your professors work hard each and every day to teach you key skills and concepts you need to know to become a successful nurse. Letting them know how much you appreciate them and all that they do for you can be one of the absolute best ways to build a great relationship, and little compliments can go a long way. Take a moment the next time you are communicating with your professor to thank them for replying to your email so quickly or delivering a particularly energetic lecture this week. Even a simple, “Thanks so much for all of your help!” will make their day and help solidify the bond that you have with them.
Bonus tip: this is an amazing way to solidify relationships with all of the other important people in your life, too!
Ready for more nursing school success tips? Follow our blog for helpful resources that will guide you to a productive semester.