Advice for Nursing Students
There are several things to consider when beginning nursing school. Becoming a nurse requires a commitment to hard work and starting out on the right foot will make a world of difference in your school experience. One important consideration for any nursing student is to establish a strong support system. This includes family members, as study time certainly takes away from family time. Establish a good support system with your fellow classmates as well.
Some other factors to consider include:
- Time management is very important. Find the best time to study on a daily basis that fits into your schedule. This is a way to develop good study habits.
- Organizational skills are essential. Nursing school is a fast paced environment and keeping a daily organized schedule will help you keep up with the work load.
- Never get behind on reading, completing papers or studying for exams.
- Read and reread your textbooks until you feel confident in your knowledge base.
- Utilize all possible resources, including; books, videos, tapes, CDs and online sites that may be helpful, such as allnurses.com.
- Ask your professors for help when you need their guidance.
What to Expect During the First Year of Nursing School
The first year of nursing school will consist of nursing classes at the college and clinical hours at a nursing home or hospital, which focus on learning basic nursing skills. Some classes that may be required to enroll in a nursing program, or sometimes they are included within an associate program include; anatomy and physiology, microbiology, psychology, sociology and English composition, depending on the college you attend. The initial nursing courses for an associate and bachelor degree program are similar, but obviously there are extra course requirements for the bachelor's degree programs.
Typical courses include:
- Introduction to the Profession of Nursing
- Health Assessment & Communication
- Wellness Promotion and Illness Prevention (classroom and clinical courses)
- Restoration of Wellness (classroom and clinical courses)
- Healthcare Policy
- Legal and Ethical Issues in Nursing
- Theory, Research, Leadership & Management (usually found in the BSN programs)
A patient head to toe assessment is taught during this first year. The clinical days consist of taking vital signs, bathing your assigned patient, assisting with feedings, giving medications and accompanying the patient to scheduled procedures. The focus is on what is normal, so by the second term the focus is more about what is abnormal.
There is also a heavy focus on learning the fundamentals of nursing, particularly during the first year. The fundamentals of nursing require a vast amount of reading.
Graduating with a Nursing Degree
Learning to deliver nursing care in an inpatient, an outpatient and a community setting will be the result of graduating from nursing school. Upon graduation a nurse must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to get a nursing license.
General advice for nursing students:
How to Be a Successful Nursing Student
Getting The Most Out of Nursing School
Advice for Clinical Days
Typical Nursing Classes for a Bachelor Degree Program
Nursing Classes for an Associate Degree