Getting ready to start a nursing program? Consider this your ultimate beginner's guide to prepare for your nursing school!
Get Your Supplies Ready!
You'll need books, pens, pencils, notebooks, a calendar/agenda (paper or electronic) and a working computer (possibly a laptop — laptops are great for nursing classes). For clinicals, you will need a stethoscope, a comfortable pair of closed-toe shoes and your clean uniforms. A pocket calculator, a lunchbox and nursing apps for your smartphone are all a bonus.
Prepare Your Loved Ones
You are about to spend a great deal of time and effort on your studies, so talk about it with your significant other, your roommates, your parents and friends. Tell them that you will be pretty busy, but it is only for a few semesters, and that you would appreciate their support. If you have children that need care, find a babysitter you trust and a couple of backup sitters just in case. Make plans to spend quality time with them as much as possible.
You Will Crush Nursing School
What does that mean? First, it means that you will determine that you are going to do well in advance. Second, it means that you will come to class each day with the assignment already done. It means that you will not procrastinate about your papers. It means that you will be ready for each day of nursing school by completing reading assignments and researching the medications and disease processes before clinicals. Maybe you already have those habits built in from your prerequisites. If not, resolve now to become a proactive student and then make it so.
Find Good Friends
Seek out friends who are dedicated to learning, and it will greatly benefit you. A few good friends to gripe, review material, compare notes and share successes with will keep you going through the whole program. Be a good friend by supporting others, and you will be rewarded with help, as well. Becoming friends on social media with your classmates is also a good way to make sure you are all on the same page.
Plan to Be Early
This means, before classes even begin, plot your route to nursing school, drive there at the same hour as class time to see what traffic is like and then walk to class. Make adjustments as necessary. Do not be late to class. Do not be late to clinicals. Arriving 10-15 minutes early will allow you to settle in and chat with classmates about what is expected of the day, and you will avoid the stress of trying to get to class on time.
Remember, a nursing program is designed for your success. They want you to graduate just as much as you do. The courses are planned to have you learn as much as possible! Every professor and mentor that works in the program wants you to pass, so if you need extra help, don't hesitate to ask for it. Asking for suggestions from students further along in the program can also be beneficial, as they can give specifics about your nursing program. Nursing school is a challenge, but it is not impossible, especially with a good plan, hard work and a good support system.
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