Things to Know About Nursing School

The summer is now over and the fall semester has approached rapidly. Maybe you are starting nursing school or plan on starting nursing school in the future, You have gone through orientation for school and now you're anxious about starting the new program. You were told what to expect and how to prepare, but was that enough? You may know some senior nursing students or even Registered Nurses and  have asked questions on their experiences. You hear the stories of not being able to be YOU in nursing school and now you have mixed thoughts about starting. 

At this point, do you feel like you know what you need to know to make it through nursing school?  I know for me, I was ready to take on anything. Nursing school is very challenging. Transferring from a University to complete my prerequisites to a private nursing school, I had to adapt very quickly from day one.  With my experience, I did not have many individualsto ask for advice about nursing. So I decided to write this blog post to help those of you beginning a nursing program, and hopefully I am able to answer some questions. 

Here are a few tips to know before nursing school:

Nursing school is challenging and takes a lot of your time and focus. From before the courses begin to the very end, there is work to be done. If there are no assignments due the next day, there are papers, projects, lab work, clinical care plans, and more that are due in the future. Word to the wise: do all assignments before time so you will have more time to study for exams. For most programs, assignments are not “officially” calculated in the grading system until all exams are within passing rate. They will be added in the grade book, but if you do not pass your exams, you will not pass the course.

It is important to learn time management. Planning in a planner and designating days for all assignments and studying will decrease the amount of stress that you will have. And you will have stress no matter how high your grades are and how much you study. You never know what to expect in nursing school. Some assignments may change throughout the time of the course. And there will be times where your personal life may intervene with nursing school. 

There will be several times (most of the program) where you will not have a social life.

Social life in nursing school is nonexistent, well for me it was. On top of working full time as a CNA in home health or PCT in the hospital and going to school full time, I did not have time to go out. The time not spent studying or doing assignments were meant for sleep. And sleep and I were estranged friends. I witnessed many nursing students partying and going out every weekend, but with this comes consequences. They were either studying at the last minute, doing assignments the night before it was due, or even taking the course all over again because of failing. It is ok to struggle and be alone in nursing school. When you have completed all of your nursing courses and passed your exit exam, you are able to party and celebrate as much as you like. 

You will lose friends while being in nursing school.

With nursing school comes sacrifices. When you are focused on your “soon to be “ career and do not want any distractions, you may or may not lose friends during the process. From my experience, I have had friends that were done with college or no longer in college that were basically enjoying their lives. They would take weekend trips or even go out in the city. But the bad thing about it is that when I declined going out, they wouldn’t understand. “You are always studying. All you do is stay at home and work. You never have time for us.” In reality, I was only preparing myself for a better future. When you are in nursing school from the beginning to the end, you are looking forward to finishing. Not everyone will understand the depth of nursing school and how important it is to complete.

Honestly, nursing school is what you make it. It is indeed challenging, but nothing in this world comes easy. If nursing is your passion and this is what you want to do for a long time, you will do everything in your heart to make it through. No one’s nursing school experience is the same as the next person. Everyone balances nursing school based off of their personal lives. My advice would be to push towards your goal of becoming a Registered Nurse and everything else will fall into place.