What All New Nursing Students Should Know By Eileen O'Shanassy

Being accepted into nursing school means you’ve already cleared one major hurdle on your path to a good career. But the next challenge of surviving nursing school is a big one. By now, you’ve probably heard how tough it is, and you’ll have a lot to think about and prepare for. Here are some things you should know as you prepare to enter nursing school.

You’re About to Get Busy

All of us have skipped the occasional weekend event because we were too busy. While in nursing school, you truly will be too busy for a lot of extracurricular things because you’re studying for a test scheduled for Monday. You’ll have to adjust to the time constraints and be sure to find a balance. Make sure you’ll have the time needed to devote to studying, tests, and readings, as well as balancing your social life on the side.

Get Used to Bodily Fluids

If bodily fluids make you queasy, then nursing might not be for you. Your clinical rotation isn’t the time to learn how to deal with blood, urine, and feces. Make sure you’re prepared to face the worst.

Comprehension is Key

While grades are certainly important, focus instead on comprehension as you learn. Learn the material while developing your critical thinking skills. If you’re developing your mind and growing in knowledge and skill, then you’re succeeding. Be sure you also make time to understand extra systems like IT, communication, and Health Data Archiver responsibilities. Knowing how each part of the job works will make your life a lot easier.

Join Study Groups

Finding a group of friends to study and share your experiences with is a major plus in any major. Nursing especially can help you network, learn in a different way, and share information between classes.

Be a Team Player

Working with others is a fact of life in nursing, and you’re going to need help from peers (and they’re going to need your help). No nurse can function on an island, and knowing how to mesh with a lot of different personalities can help you in any position you procure.

There’s a Lot to Read

There are going to be days, especially early in nursing school, when it feels like the mountain of reading just keeps growing taller. One of the best ways you can keep from falling behind  is by being organized and using a planner or calendar of some kind. Make sure you set aside enough time for readings and keep things on schedule.

Do the Dirty Work

If someone tells you that – as an RN or BSN – you won’t have to do things like give bed baths, deal with bowel movements, take vital signs, and more, they would be wrong. As a nurse, you’ll have to do all of those things, plus paperwork.

The bottom line is, nursing school will provide you with plenty of challenges and demand more from you than you thought possible. The importance of time management and staying on track cannot be overstated.

Eileen O’Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.