Are you considering applying for nursing school? If yes, you’ll need expert tips on how to succeed in school. Of course, you might have picked up snippets of the dos and don’ts of nursing school, but that’s not enough. It would help if you were prepared beforehand. Adequate preparation is as vital as going to school itself. Experts recommend that you hear from nurses and health workers that have passed through nursing school if you want to get your pieces together. Read on to learn about some of the things you should do to walk through the doors of nursing school, feeling confident and ready for the challenges ahead.
What Should You Know Before Starting Nursing School?
The whole idea of starting a career in a field as big as nursing can be intimidating. But this shouldn’t be the case for you. Instead, you should be inspired, knowing how respected the field is and the opportunity it gives you to make a difference in people’s life. However, it takes a lot of dedication to forging your own nursing school exploration.
Indeed, nursing school comes with so many challenges, but it’s the challenges that prepare you for the challenging nature of the job itself. Everyone would jump into it if it were easier than it is. Therefore, you shouldn’t let any obstacle prevent you from pursuing your dreams in your nursing career. Here are some of the things we think you should know before starting nursing school.
You’ll Have A Growing Support System of the Bat
Most people do not realize the level of support they’ll get until they start. The truth is that most nursing schools operate an accelerated nursing education system that provides students with everything they’ll need to succeed. Therefore, students often realize that they have a bigger support system than they envisioned once they start.
These schools often have dedicated admission counselors who serve as the go-to cure for application anxieties. These counselors are typically easy to access and would channel their advice and recommendations based on your specific circumstances. As part of their duties, they usually help new and existing students to develop personal enrollment plans. The support continues several years after you’ve moved on from admissions.
You are in Hot Demand
You’ve certainly made a smart decision to enroll in nursing school. To date, our country continues to face an alarming level of shortage of health workers. This opens an opportunity for graduates of nursing schools to work in a variety of medical settings and be guaranteed job security.
With the baby boomer population rising geometrically, studies show that shortages will widen across the entire care spectrum. Nursing is one area where the shortage would be most felt. Therefore, you can expect that the coming years would open more opportunities for you and every other person in the nursing field.
You are Entering a Very Fast Route
Most nursing schools around the country operate three-class starts every year. This typically means that you can become a career-ready nurse with a quality BSN within 16 months. However, a nursing degree’s rigorous and fast-paced nature means that you can only view it as a full-time job.
It’s true; the curriculum would surely challenge you as you take each step. But with the right community, you’ll get the best guidance to make you not feel alone through the journey.
Additionally, you’ll need to continue to remind yourself of the end goal. Nursing School is stressful, but you’ll get a strong feeling of pride and accomplishment once you can pull through.
You Don’t Need Any Prior Healthcare Experience
We’ve heard stories of people who tend to limit themselves because they thought they need to have previous healthcare experience to be able to apply for a nursing program. But that’s a wrong notion. All you need to be eligible is some college credits from an accredited institution. For further clarity on eligibility, contact the admission counselor of your prospective school.
You’ve made an important decision to pursue a career in nursing school. With explicit knowledge of what to expect, you should be ready to start on the right foot. The next sections show you more on how to get through nursing school.
5 Tips Before Starting Nursing School
As you might have known by now, pre-nursing school preparation is quite stressful, but the right knowledge of what to do puts you in the proper place to achieve greatness. Here are tips that will help you get through the difficult aspect of studying throughout nursing school.
Take a break when you need one
Certainly, there’ll be so many materials to study as far as nursing school is concerned. Getting through these materials is difficult, forcing most people to forget when they need rest. Not taking rests might feel like covering more, but in the end, it becomes counterproductive. Be sensitive to know when you genuinely need a break from studying. Avoid falling into the trap of thinking that you’ll need to power through and continue cramming. Studies show that taking breaks helps to make you more productive. Therefore, instead of spending several long unproductive hours in the library, learn to take short breaks between those hours to get your brain ready and refreshed.
Identify your learning style
Of course, different students have different learning styles. If you want to be productive throughout nursing school, you must identify your learning style. Identifying your learning style helps you plan accordingly on how to make the best out of it. Perhaps you may be in the class of people who learn by reading or those who learn by listening or writing notes. The most important thing is that you recognize what’s right for you and stick to it. Always remember that there’s no “right” way to do it. Just keep experimenting until you find out what’s excellent for you.
As a visual learner, for instance, you’ll learn more from watching videos and pictures instead of reading. Thankfully, several YouTube videos can help to make studying easier for you.
Learn to reward yourself
Like in every other thing, rewards work for studies too. To motivate yourself to study more, set achievable rewards. For instance, you can postpone that new episode of your favorite TV show that you are dying to watch until you’ve finished studying. Tell yourself that you must first complete a few topics or at least a specific amount of practice questions before watching the episode.
Other rewards like going on a date or treating yourself to your favorite candy bar can also do the magic. The whole idea is to motivate yourself to accomplish something for school by grabbing your reward.
Now that you’ve moved from high school to an advanced learning institute, you’ll need to change your learning strategy. While cramming might seem like a perfect thing to do to pass high school exams, it won’t work that way in nursing school. Experts often advise that you ensure enough time to study all the contents before your test carefully. Cramming won’t do you much good at this point. So you’ll need to start studying from your first week in school. Don’t wait to jam-pack different materials together. There are several study planners online today. You can download one to help remind you of when tests and assignments will be due. Another tip that helps is to do a lot of practice questions. Refer to our best materials for answering NCLEX questions to help you get the right material.
Form a study group
Studies show that students tend to retain more when they study with their peers. Apart from the retention aspect, studying with like-minded people would help to provide you with the encouragement and moral support you’ll need to go on. Once you are in nursing school, get together with a few of your fellow nursing students to learn and improve your performance. Statistics show that study groups of three are typically the most effective.
5 Effective Ways to Prepare for Nursing School
As explained earlier, nursing preparation is certainly not easy. However, the challenges ahead should not stop you from working to achieve your goals. Here are some practical ways to prepare for nursing school.
Prepare your support network
Nursing schools generally require a total dedication of time and energy. Most people find it going alone. You’ll need friends to help you study, shoulders to lean on, and people to help with your home activities while you are in class throughout your study. Preparing your support network beforehand would generally make your study easier.
Get to know nurses in the field
A vital step to take when you want to learn any new skill is finding people experienced in that area and picking their brains. Nursing is one job where this strategy works all the time. If you don’t have a nurse on your contact list already, it’s a good time to ask family and friends if they know one. If you are serious about it, you can also contact a hospital near you for an informal Q&A session with one of their nurses. Remember that these nurses have gone through nursing schools themselves, and their insight and wisdom will help to set you on the right path as you get to school.
Follow nursing blogs and forums
Thanks to the current wave of digitization, the internet has now become an important search tool. Internets and blogs are perhaps the easiest and most overlooked places to search for information before nursing school. With the internet, you can quickly gain new knowledge and connect with a broader nursing community. Search and follow nurses on social media like Twitter and Facebook. You can also search for top nursing blogs on Google.
Plan your schedule
The rigorous nature of nursing school might mean that you’ll need to change your accustomed schedule. However, you’ll still need to prepare yourself in advance by understanding the nature of your new schedule and adjusting accordingly. Being in nursing school shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the things you love, as long as you can adjust to accommodate everything at the right time.
Understand the cycle of emotions
As much as starting nursing school is exciting, it is also very nerve-racking. Both feelings will naturally wear off as the process continues. You should be ready for these waves of emotion as they come. You can talk to a counselor to help you understand and manage the emotions as they come.
What’s the Hardest Part of Nursing School?
While studying the tips for starting nursing school, students often want to know the most challenging part of nursing school. Hence, it has become a trending question.
For many people, the most difficult aspects of nursing school are the congestion of study materials and nonstop assignments. Once you’re in nursing school, you’ll soon begin to find the excessive workload overwhelming and suffocating. There’ll be so much to keep you busy at all times. From projects to constant assignments. There’s also the stress of preparing to pass the HESI, TEAS, and NCLEX exams. You can refer to ide on the best materials for HESI exams.
How to Prepare Financially for Nursing School?
Nursing school can be costly. Without adequate financial preparation, you could easily land yourself in trouble. Community colleges are typically less expensive, although they do not offer the best programs in nursing. Before starting, you’ll need to find out the pros and cons to decide what would be best for you. Here are tips that can help.
Reduce unnecessary bills
The best way to prepare financially is to prioritize your expenditure. Cut off expenses that are not exactly necessary at the time. For instance, instead of registering in a gym, get a good exercise schedule, and workout at home. This way, you’ll be able to pay off some bills each month.
Nothing beats learning how to save when preparing financially for nursing school. Bear in mind that the rigorous nature of nursing school would mean complete inability to take part-time jobs. Therefore, your best bet is to save most of the money you’ll receive as gifts and grants.
Don’t Take More Than Your Need on Students Loan
Here’s something most people fail to understand, you’ll need to pay students’ loans back. Most times, it becomes a burden to pay them back. Therefore, it’ll be best to cut down students’ loans to barely enough to cover your tuition fee.
Wrapping Things Up: How to Prepare for Nursing School
Preparing for nursing school can be more complicated than it seems. This is why you’ll need the best tips before starting nursing school. However, with adequate preparations, you should be able to handle any difficulty that will come. Throughout this article, we’ve detailed everything you’ll need to know before enrolling in nursing school. You can also refer to our nursing school study guide to find the right things to study before nursing school. These tips would not only help you prepare better; they’ll also help you pass through nursing school successfully.
If you want to find out the difference between TEAS, HESI, and NCLEX exams, be sure to check out our ultimate comparison here:
> HESI vs. TEAS: What’s the Difference? Which is Harder?
> HESI vs. NCLEX: What’s the Difference? Which is Harder?
Check out our ultimate guide to becoming a nurse here.