How To: Nursing School

If you are thinking about nursing school, here are a few wise words: BRACE YOURSELF

And welcome to the Nursing Community! You are loved and you are great.

Think you can’t do nursing school? Think you don’t have what it takes? Do you have the slightest clue about it?

Do not fret, I am here to save you!

Either you are thinking about nursing school or in pre-nursing classes or in nursing school already, here are some helpful tips and recommendations to guide and help you from all the madness.

I do not want to discourage you guys to not go to nursing school. I just was to give you advice and a reality check of what it is all about. No one ever said it was going to be easy, and I will not sugar coat a thing. But the struggle is what makes it all worth it when you finally finish a semester. All those late nights were all worth it. All those “can’t go out days” were all worth it. All those endless library trips were all worth it. And becoming broke from that cup of joe were all so worth it.You come out a brand new person every semester with an overwhelming appreciation of the nursing profession that you will get to soon indulge in.

First, I want you to say this out loud to yourself: I am strong, I am great, and I am a future nurse.

Little words of encouragement will be a vital part of your journey to becoming a nurse.

I just finished my second semester of nursing school at Florida State University and oh-Mylanta! (Mylanta is an Antacid which relieves heartburn, indigestion, or upset stomach). Eventually, you will see how funny all these references are when you get there, I promise. 😜 My first year of nursing school was rough. Tears were shed, the stress level was way over my head, there were many times where I did not think I could make it, but guess what. I did. So did many other people. I lost one of my very good friends who unfortunately did not meet the requirements to continue in the program, but life goes on. Her path will be quite different. Life has a funny way of showing you the better things in life if something doesn’t work out; it’s for a reason.

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Remember: Input equals output. All the energy that you put into yourself and your life, it will attract it right back to you.

The essentials to survive:

  • On a calendar, agenda, sticky notes, or on your computer- what every it may be to help you get ORGANIZED, do it. This is so critical. Write a bulleted list of what you need to get done for that day. Have a routine so every day will be planned out and you will be able to get things down earlier so you can have some time for yourself at night.
  • Make sure you are eating a balanced diet with at least 7 hours of sleep to go along with it. Nothing will matter most than your own health and mental state.

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  • Stay hydrated with water with the amount of coffee that will be consumed. Your school will be your second home, bring lots of snacks.
  • When you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed or even overworked, speak with your professors. Any which one you feel the most connected with and vent to them. They know exactly how you’re feeling. They were in the exact position as you are in, they can give you words of encouragement to keep going. If you aren’t the type to do this, go get your heart pumping! Go for a run, do yoga, lift some weights, sign up for a workout class! If that isn’t you again (like me) take a nap. But don’t abuse these wonderful sleeps! Plan accordingly and promise yourself you’ll be productive after!
  • Books. Books. And more BOOKS! Honestly, some books they tell you to get are helpful, but most of the time I don’t even open them! My professors teach off powerpoints and the content there is vital and most likely going to be on the test. If I had any other doubts I used a long time friend named Google. Orrrr another good way is to ask a classmate if they would like to split monies for the books! I didn’t even open my books not once these past two semesters. 😤
  • A book that I highly recommend though and useful for every class you take is Saunders Comprehensive Review for NCLEX-RN I did not find out about this book until my second semester and I wish I had known earlier! It gives you a bulleted breakdown of each subject that is easy to understand with questions at the end of every chapter. Grade change-r!
  • An app that is extremely helpful too and my favorite thing to use on the go or when I just want to lay in bed without having a big book on me is Lippincott NCLEX-RN. It also lets you have a free 24-hour access. Trust me, I am not a fan of buying apps and this is the first app I have ever bought, honestly.
  • Always go to class. Simple. Even if you slept for 4 hours, GO.
  • If you are looking to buy a good stethoscope, I highly recommend buying a Littmann one. They are pricey but so WORTH. I have used my friend’s stethoscope once and it was just not the same, I could not hear well or something about it was just off. But of course, go with something that is affordable for you. I like to think long term, and my Littmann will probably be the only one I buy unless I lose it of course. 🙎
  • Invest in a good clipboard. Preferably one that has lab values and other important information that is good to have on hand because let’s face it, while you will be in clinical rotations you will not know everything from the top of your head. At least I didn’t because of how nervous I was throughout my rotation. This was an indeed a life saver!
  • Say goodbye to a social life, say goodbye to Netflix (that was the hardest to cope with) and say goodbye to sleep. Seriously though plan accordingly. I still struggle with balancing school with my social life but it is all a learning process and you and I may have differences when coming to terms with this but whatever works best for you. Take one day a week off that you have nothing due the next day and dedicate this day to yourself either to catch up on some Z’s or watch movie’s all day long eating comfort food! Your mental health is important!
  • DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT procrastinate. I am queen at procrastinating. It has gotten better because I have paid the price for it and I try my best not to do it again. You can’t procrastinate taking care of your patient, so make this into a habit by finishing whatever you need to finish on time.
  • You will need hand sanitizer. LOTS of it. You will soon become a germophobe!
  • The last and final thing I will mention is: stay strong and confident. You might think that everyone in your class is smarter than you or you might think they all have their life put together- but no. No one there has their life together. They are all crying inside. Trust me.

Let’s go save lives!