7 Hobbies to Make You a Better Nurse

All work and no play makes for a frustrating nursing school experience. Indeed, although going to nursing school is highly consuming, in order to stay balanced, you need to make time for some fun and entertainment. However, suppose you feel like a slacker when engaging in fun activities unrelated to your studies. In that case, you may want to try some hobbies that can actually entertain you while enabling you to become a more skilled student and nurse. That said, here is a list of 7 beneficial hobbies for nursing students.


It may sound cliché, but reading is fundamental. As a nursing student, you will have lots of reading material for school, but what about reading for sport? Doing so can enable you to learn new skills, entertain unique perspectives, learn more about the healthcare field, and much more. Although it may seem redundant to pick up a reading hobby while you’re in nursing school, it can help make you a more efficient reader and even help prepare your mind to read more complex materials in the future. This is especially true if you choose to read non-fiction, self-help, or other informative, skill-building genres. On the other hand, even if you read romance novels in your spare time, you will still reap many of the mentioned benefits.

People Watching

One beneficial, entertaining hobby for nursing students is people-watching. As a nurse, you need to be able to quickly assess patients and spot when someone is in pain or distress. Spending time watching people go about their daily lives can be a great way to prepare your brain for this heightened level of perception.

By simply sitting and watching the people around you for at least ten minutes at a time, you can start learning how to read a room better. If you really want to put your skills to the test, try carefully approaching someone who appears to be sad or in distress and offer to help. Start by introducing yourself as a nursing student and tell them you are working on your patient care skills and would like to ask them a few questions. Some may not be perceptive to it, but if they are, you just might make someone’s day or even save a life! However, the last step is totally optional and one you should never do if you feel unsafe.

Play Chess or Other Games of Strategy

Chess is a fun game that teaches you skills such as patience, strategy, confidence, concentration, problem-solving, sportsmanship, staying poised under pressure, and visualization. Therefore, playing chess can be highly beneficial for nursing students.

If you don’t know how to play chess, there are plenty of resources to help you learn. For instance, Lichess.org is a free site that teaches people to play chess using their online chess game simulator. If you can find other nursing students who enjoy chess, you can play with them during lunch, study breaks, etc. This can be a great way to bond and unwind with your peers.


Journaling and coloring are great pastimes for nursing students. This is because they enable students to unwind, practice mindfulness, have fun, be creative, and more. Coloring, in particular, is a fun way to express yourself and play with colors, textures, etc.

In the case of journaling, it can also allow you to write and reflect on your thoughts. Journaling can also be used to build skills, decompress, focus on goals, and much more. Best of all, they are lightweight, making it easy to transport and use them as often as you like. Moreover, there are various types of journals on the market, from bullet journals to goal-setting journals and more, enabling you to pick and choose and even create your own collection.

Listening to Music/Dancing

Dancing and listening to music can be highly therapeutic. In fact, each of these can be separate hobbies, or you can choose to do them both at once. According to North Shore.org, the benefits of listening to music are as follows:

  • Improves Heart Health
  • Boosts Mood
  • Reduces Stress
  • Boosts Endurance During Workouts
  • Relieves Depression Symptoms
  • Stimulates Memories
  • Manages Pain
  • Helps Pain Management

On the other hand, dancing can be a highly enjoyable workout that encourages people to be free, creative, coordinated, and joyful. Each of these are traits that can benefit nursing students.

Shadowboxing, Hiking, Jogging, Yoga, and Pilates

Exercise is essential, but this is especially true for a nursing student. Although most people realize how tedious the job can be, many don’t realize it’s also very physically demanding. Nurses spend an abundance of their time on their feet. They are also responsible for tasks that involve squatting, kneeling, pushing, pulling, lifting, etc. Therefore, you should be in good shape to be optimally effective on the job.

Additionally, we’re recommending these types of workouts, in particular, because they are great ways to channel negative energy and relieve stress. Although nursing school can be fun and rewarding, there will also be times when you are pushed to your limits and experience frustration, anger, anxiety, and more.

According to Fight MMA.org, some of the benefits of shadowboxing are as follows:

  • Discipline
  • Stress Reduction
  • Creativity
  • Weight Loss
  • Flexibility
  • Endurance
  • And More…

Therefore, this is a great workout for those looking for fun workouts that can relieve your frustration, all while providing you with other useful skills.

Cooking and Cleaning

Before you roll your pupils, cooking and cleaning can be fun and beneficial for nursing students for various reasons. First of all, learning to love cooking your own food from scratch will enable you to cook healthy meals for yourself, your family, and even your fellow nurses—nurses do love potlucks, after all. Teaching also teaches you to follow instructions and exercise patience, two traits that are highly important in nursing school and beyond. It can also help you learn about food safety and other things that can enable you to be a more effective caregiver to your patients.

Moreover, when you’re done cooking, you get to scrub down the kitchen. Yay! Seriously, though, cleaning as a pastime provides you with exercise, can enable you to exercise mindfulness and focus on the moment, and, most importantly, helps you more efficiently manage large messes.

As a nurse, you are not necessarily tasked with cleaning, but cleaning up after yourself and your patients makes for happier patients and a safer work environment for all. It’s easy to develop bad habits and simply rely on others to clean up after you on the job. Nevertheless, holding yourself accountable for the messes you create will make you less likely to leave big messes for others to clean. Cooking and cleaning as a hobby will help remind you of how important it is to go the extra mile at work as well.