ten things you should know before you start nursing school

1. You probably won't keep your 4.0 GPA.

I know this sounds sad, but it is the truth.  In my nursing school experience they would say  "C equals RN", and this is so true.   It doesn't matter what your GPA is once you are in nursing school. What do they call the person who finished with the lowest grade in nursing school?  A nurse! 

The point is, you must keep your GPA up during your prerequisites so you can be accepted by the nursing program, but once you're in your squeaky clean GPA may get knocked down a bit.

If you are a perfectionist then you are gonna have to get over it. Nursing school is another animal. Very smart individuals find nursing school very difficult. If you get a few Bs or even Cs, don't beat yourself up over it. Others are going through the same experience and as long as you make it through each semester, that is all that matters,  When you interview for a job, they won't ask you for a copy of your transcript!


2. Critical Thinking

Nursing schiool tests you on NCLEX-type questions, they teach you how to critically think.  Sometimes you may find you can narrow an answer to a question down to 2 answers. But you have to use what you've learned to think about the big picture and what would actually be best for the particular scenario they have presented to you. No two patients are alike and that is why you have to critically think the questions out and pick the best answer. When I took the NCLEX, I had never seen any of the question on there before, but I passed it with flying colors because I knew how to critically think. It's a good idea to get a good NCLEX strategy guide and read it before you begin the nursing program. It will help you understand the principles of nursing and how to answer questions. The NCLEX stategy

guide I used was "Strategies, practice and review, NCLEX-RN," by Barbara J. Irvin and Judith A. Burkhardt

NCLEX-RN Strategies, Practice, and Review, 2013-2014
By Barbara J. Irwin, Judith A. Burckhardt




3. The word "busy" will have a whole new meaning to you.

Your Easter Sunday may be gone along with your Thanksgiving.  Spending time with your kids and/or family 

may be very limited. You will live, eat and breath nursing school. It will become all you are for two to four years,

so get used to it and keep your eye on the ball.  You will get through it and it will be worth it.




4. Reading a book?

During nursing school I wished I could read a book. Yeah, yeah I know, I read lotsa books, but they were all nursing related. I wanted to just read a book that I was interested in for leisure, not because I had to.  Unfortunately, this has to be put on hold till you graduate.


5. You will give bed baths and wipe butts

Many nursing students have the misconception that the won't do any 'menial' tasks. I have news for those that think this. Wake up and smell the code brown. You will be cleaning butts, giving bed baths and doing vital signs.  Many times, after you graduate there won't be a nursing aide avilaible and you will have to do these tasks. although they aren't anyone's idea of fun times, you 

 may as well get used to it because it won't just be a part of nursing school clinicals, it will be a part of your  daily responsibilities when you graduate.


6. Index Cards


  Index cards will be your best friend in nursing school. You will take them every where.  I remember standing   in line at the grocery store and studying my index cards.  While others are talking and socializing you will be  reading your index cards. It's best to write study material down in the simplest form and look at it every chance you get. It will pay off in good grades.


Get some good drug index cards and use them.  Once you begin nursing school you will want to familiarize yourself with all the drugs.  Mosby's cards are a great addition to your nursing school supplies.

Try to study up on medical dosage calculations before you start.  You will pat yourself on the back if you do.  You will most certainly be taking lots of nursing math tests and you can help yourself by grabbing this excellent book and studying up beforehand.

Medical Dosage Calculations For Dummies
By Richard Snyder, Barry Schoenborn

7. Study Buddys

Get some. figure out a meeting place and meet there as needed.  You will need others to discuss material and examination preparation. Remember nursing school is about critical thinking, so it's good to throw information around and learn from each other.  It's also a good idea to meet before a test to drill one another. You'll make friends this way, because you all have the same goals. I made some good friends in nursing school and we were in constant communication. It helps keep you sane.

8.  I'm not the teacher's pet

It takes a special kind of person to be a nurse, Not everyone is really cut out to be a nurse.  Nursing schools are ranked based on the NCLEX scores the students attain,  So if you feel like they are weeding out the weak, they are.  They are watching you to make 

sure you have what it takes to be a nurse and if your test scores are up to par.

 9.The glass is half full

  Stay positive and don't be too hard on yourself.  If you fail a semester you can take it again. try to utilize

 your time as best you can and try to have some fun.  Set goals of what you want to do when you graduate

  to help you stay focused. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and you will get there. It just persistence and positivity.

10. Don't procrastinate.

Get this out of your head before you every begin. This is a bad habit to have while in nursing school.  It is much less stressful to stay up to date on your studies and it will help you sleep at night.

 Good luck!  You can do it!