First of all, congratulations on starting nursing school
soon! It's a wild ride, but a worthwhile one.
I'm currently in an accelerated BSN program - I graduate in August (mine was a May starter, too). I know every program is different, but here are my best words of advice:
1. Study groups are such a huge help! I found two other girls who are good students and hard workers, and my exam grades are consistently higher when I study with them vs. studying on my own. Plus, they are two of my closest friends now :spin:
2. Voice recorders, if your school allows them, are also huge helps - I pick up "hidden" exam questions when I listen to lectures over again, and it helps me to learn the material overall.
3. Have a good support system in place, both emotionally and financially. There will definitely be times that test your strength, and it's good to know that the tuition can be paid... and that you have people who are rooting for you and providing emotional support.
4. Study your material every day - really helps reduce the "cram" factor when exams come around.
5. A good organizer/planner, preferably one you can see a month at a time (over a page or two), is a huge help - helps you to see what is coming up, what needs to be priority now, etc. Also, a rolling backpack helps save your back! Those books are HEAVY.
6. Since getting into our program was so competitive, every student was accustomed to being the top of their class. There's an intense drive among the students to be "the best", which means that we can be some of the best students... and also the most neurotic. Other students in ABSN programs have experienced this, and you may or may not, but if you have perfectionistic tendencies like I do, just remember: aim high and do your best, but don't make yourself crazy.
7. Have an open mind when you go into your clinicals! You may find an area you never expected to enjoy become your favorite.
8. Finally, take care of yourself as much as possible: intense programs like these can make your health take the back burner, but it's important to eat well and take care of your body. I find that when I make time to get SOME kind of exercise and eat fresh foods (versus vending machine fare), I feel better, and I learn better, too.
Hope this helps! Feel free to PM me if you have any questions - good luck!