First Impression of Nursing School

  1. I've been a Nursing Applied student for a bit over a semester now. I recently went to the Nursing Seminar in Mt. Laurel, NJ (Burlington County College, for any of you that know the area).
    It was quite an experience. There must have been 40 people packed in this small classroom. There weren't even enough chairs for everyone to sit down and since I came in EXACTLY on time, I was too late to grab a seat. So I stood in the back of the room next to, what appears to be my future classmates.
    We had this Matron like lady standing up the front, all brass and knuckles from the looks of her, but she was very precise, clear-cut and understandable. A no-nonsense type of lady you laid out in front of us all the tasks and obstacles one has to go through to even become a Nursing Student, accepted into the School of Nursing! All the pre-reqs... which isn't a problem, the NET, the time frame in which the NET has to be taken (within three years of getting accepted into Nursing School) and how there is a waiting list and those living in the County (i.e. me) have a better chance, but it could still be a wait up to 2 years....
    It's going to be quite the experience I can tell already. There are 60 students every semester and 10 of those students actually get clinical placement, which would be awesome. It's going to be very competitive I can tell. I could smell blood curdling in the classroom as everyone seemed to be sizing everyone else up. Marking their competition and setting their eyes for the gold...
    Some young, still in high school (yeah good luck my friends), some older (second career choice perhaps, since NOT ONE of the people at the seminar were LPN's... which I found strange), some obviously foreign, and some male and female, I being of the prior gender.

    So right now, I'm a nursing applied student and working a full time job with the state (Direct Care of Mentaly/Physicaly Disabled Individuals) and about to take my second set of pre-reqs: my Chem and Chem Lab... joy... *prints out periodic table and memorizes now, to save me time later*.

    I guess we'll just have to see how it goes...
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   PANurseRN1
    Why the snarky comment about the younger (high school) people there? There are plenty of excellent nurses who went to nursing school straight from high school. There are many second career RNs out there too who are wonderful, for that matter.

    Ageism is an ugly business, whether it's directed at younger people or older ones.
  4. by   collegebound
    It does sound competitive but I think these days all the programs are. Best of luck to you and remember to keep the pre-req grades top notch!!
  5. by   MBARNBSN
    I know what you mean. However, I would not have titled this thread and "First Impression of Nursing School" since nursing school is not this way. The competition to get into Nursing School can be cut-throat. The sizing up you experienced is pretty intense even within the pre-req and co-req courses. Wait until people get accepted and you are still waiting!!!

    I have not started yet but from what I hear from RNs I know, Student Nurses develop a bond in Nursing School and become a family in the process. I attended my informational after getting accepted and some people walked in the room sizing others up. Some of them were stone faced sitting away from the group while others formed cliques and began whispering. :trout: The instructors were not present at the time.

    I dismiss this because I am sure it was out of habit. Most, including myself, noticed and we openly discussed the situation to try to put a stop to it right now. We are all accepted, so what are we competing for now? We all have an equal shot at becoming a Registered Nurse. No one in the room will take anyone else's spot. It seemed to work and by the time the meeting ended everyone seemed to be relaxed and talking to people they had never met before.

    Try not to let people with bad attitudes bring you down. I know, that is easier said then done. A good way to deal with the situation is to confront people and introduce yourself. It is what I did to feel comfortable in my ground courses. Good luck to you, it will be a long journey.
  6. by   portiz86
    Quote from collegebound
    It does sound competitive but I think these days all the programs are. Best of luck to you and remember to keep the pre-req grades top notch!!
    I'm setting my goals high. IF I get my way (and I'm going to make sure I take my time), I'm going to go for summa cum laude..., I believe if your going to set a goal for yourself, push yourself to your limits, even if I don't get summa, I will know that just by having that goal I will have done my best.

    As for competition... I really don't mind a little FRIENDLY competition from time to time. I think it encourages excellence... if we are taught that "losing" never takes away the experienced gain and the wisdom learned.

    You are right, even at the Seminar, even despite the scary looks, there was a sense of comradery.
  7. by   MySimplePlan
    Um, being EXACTLY on time is still late in Nursing school, especially in those first meetings when things may still seem unclear to everyone. Arrive a bit early every time and stay ahead of the game. In that vein, try to sit up front rather than back in the class....many times, the instructors 'could have sworn enough handouts were prepared' and the students in the back never receive one for the day - they had to wait until the next session - a real drag when the lecture is 2 hours long.

    The competitive vibe you felt is real, but fades as you all find your places in nursing school. For us, it took about midway through the semester (still too long, I know) before everyone had each others' backs, and a real sense of comeraderie developed. You will especially bond with those in your clinical group. I adore everybody in my class, and I know they like me. (I stumbled a bit halfway through, and a lot of people offered help, support, and kind words.)

    Don't worry about the initial wariness. It's mostly nerves, shyness, and a bit of a holdover from the competitive pre-req days. It won't be long before the 'we're all in this together' attitude begins and deepens until those strange, unfriendly looking people own places in your heart.

    But trust me on the early thing.
  8. by   motownrn
    I am in my first year as a nursing student at BCC. Let me tell you it was worth the wait. I was in your position a year and a half ago. I got all my pre reqs done first. (highly recommended). I am so excited to be here. I can't believe how much i've learned already. Just to let you know it's not 10 students get clinical. The 60 student's are divided up into 10 per section. Each section has a clinical. I was at a LTC facility. Now i'm at Virtua Marlton. I love it. We are just a little over halfway through the semester and we've already had 8 drop outs. It's demanding but SOOO worth it. Good luck
  9. by   mcknis
    ; ; -----first impression

    :smilecoffeeIlovecof<--------how I feel now when school has 6 more months left. actually think there is light at the end of the tunnel know (don't know it for sure yet, but gets brighter and brighter every day)
  10. by   catzy5
    I dismiss this because I am sure it was out of habit. Most, including myself, noticed and we openly discussed the situation to try to put a stop to it right now. We are all accepted, so what are we competing for now? We all have an equal shot at becoming a Registered Nurse. No one in the room will take anyone else's spot. It seemed to work and by the time the meeting ended everyone seemed to be relaxed and talking to people they had never met before.



    Oh I was thinking of this exact thing, I start my program in the spring, they only take 20 people and it's only on GPA, so I am thinking my class is going to be full of cut throat Type A high achievers, should be very interesting.
  11. by   MB37
    I'm almost through with my second semester, and my program really isn't too competitive against each other, even though no one had less than a 3.5 (my school only looks at GPA) and since I'm accelerated, my group all already has a degree. I know that I'm still getting As, but I'm not bragging about it. I know that most other people have resigned themselves to the fact that they're not anymore, although they're still doing their best. Anyone else who's still getting As is quiet about it too. My clinical group is great - whenever anyone creates a study guide for an upcoming test, we all e-mail it to each other. I always make my own because it helps me to learn the material, but then I print out the other ones that I've gotten, incorporate everything I missed into mine, and send a pretty comprehensive one out. It's nice having people to bounce things off of, and to know that if I got bogged down with another class, my group would help me out with study guides if I couldn't make my own. Pretty much everyone contributes too, so it's nice to have such a helpful group.

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