6 Things You Need to Know Before Starting Nursing School

Posted by MANSResolutionsChair on August 22, 2015 at 1:00 AM

It is the end of the summer and your first nursing semester is about to begin! You have done all of the pre-requisite classes and now it is finally time for nursing classes and nursing clinicals! If you’re anything like me, you sat through an orientation thinking, “Oh my gosh, nursing school is going to be really hard! Can I do this?”

Well let me tell you, it can be done! Here are some tips that will hopefully help you get through your first semester.

1. It is not as bad as the teachers make it sound!

I will never forget during my nursing orientation, my teachers spoke for an hour on the struggles of being a nursing student. They talked about how you need to tell your friends and family that for the duration of nursing school, they will not see you. “You are expected to study for twice the amount of time you spend in class, and that does not account for the time you will be doing the homework.” When I heard my professors say that, I shuttered. I am here to say that even though the professors are right and your social life will greatly decrease in nursing school, you will always be able to make time for friends and family! It is all about being able to schedule your time properly. I believe one of the reasons the professors hype up the difficulties of nursing school is because if you assume the worst, nothing will catch you off guard. Just remember that if you are diligent in studying, you will find time to relax!

This brings me to my second point…

2. Relax!

You need to be able to find some time to do things you enjoy. You may not be able to relax every day, or even every week; but any chance you have to take some down time, do it! Getting away from the norm and collecting your thoughts will be incredibly beneficial for your ability to think clearly.

3. The Teachers

The people who have taken the positions as your nursing educators are there because they believe in the future of nursing. They believe in you! They are not out to get you, and they do not want to see you fail! Sure, some teachers are a little bit tougher than others, but in the end they want to see you succeed. Please show them the respect they deserve! The more respect you show them, the more respect you will get in return.

4. The Hospital Experience

I will never forget walking through the doors of the first hospital I went to during my first clinical experience. It was terrifying! I felt like everything I learned up to that point I had instantly forgotten. DON’T WORRY! It’ll come back. Clinical instructors understand this is your first clinical. They will guide you and help you throughout the experience. You pick up skills as you go through nursing school. You are not expected to know everything right away. Have fun with your clinical rotations! After all, this is what you want to do as a career!

5. Find a Study Group

Earlier when I was saying you will lose some time with your friends and family, it does not mean you will be alone in your room studying. You have an entire class that is in the same situation as you are! Study with them! Through time they will become some of your closest friends. You might even consider some of them family. These are the people that you will know for life. They will get you through hard times and you will do the same for them. Having a close-knit study group is an invaluable asset during your time as a nursing student.


6. Get Involved

When I first started nursing school, I had it in my head that I would go through the program not joining any groups. I figured, “Who has time for that? How could it help me? It just seems like extra work.” Little did I know that the following semester I would be diving headfirst into my school’s student nurse association. Getting involved with your school’s student nurse association as well as getting involved with the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) has opened my eyes to the diversity within a nursing career. Even as a student nurse you all have the ability to lobby in DC for bills that are in support of nurses, the ability to volunteer in outreach programs that build up the community, and the ability to network with students all over the U.S. to see how they are making a difference in their communities. Joining the NSNA and joining my school’s student nurse association is the best career move I have made so far and I strongly suggest that everyone does it!

Alright everyone well thank you for reading! You will hear variations of everything I have said from teachers and nursing students that have been in the same boat you are in now. I just wish a senior nursing student had sat me down and gone through this list with me when I was in my first semester. I find that sometimes it helps to hear information like this from a peer.

If anybody has any sort of questions that they would like to ask a nursing student in his last semester of nursing school, please feel free to email me!

-Joshua Steward

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