"If I could do nursing school over again" advice thread - page 2

by ravenpuff

4,864 Views | 23 Comments

Re-direct me if this thread has been done before. I'm starting my BSN program in a couple of weeks and I'm looking for advice about study habits, school-work-life balance, any random tips, etc., from current nursing students... Read More


  1. 1
    I would have continued on until I reached the level I'm currently pursuing (BSN), and entered into the military as an officer and be retiring right about now at the age of 48 instead of dreading work tonight, hoping to get out on time in the morning so that I can make that 3 1/2-hour drive home in time enough to get some sleep so that I can wake up and log on as soon as the BSN courses open up on Sunday evening.

    (That loaded sentence is an English instructor's sitting-on-ready with a red marking pencil dream-come-true!)
    besaangel likes this.
  2. 0
    I'd buy an NCLEX-RN book to coincide with our lectures. I should have done this while i was in Nursing school...oh well.
  3. 1
    I wish I'd known that, while nursing school doesn't cause breakups, it does exacerbate existing problems because it takes a toll in family finances, responsibilities and roles. It may also change the power structure and affect egos.

    I have a few ladies in my class whose husbands and children's fathers decided that her choice to attend nursing school would be his impetus to kick her out. I've also seem lots of adulterous affairs. And other affairs.

    Ok, what else do I wish I'd known? You need a gas budget. Clinicals could be super far away. Most of mine were about an hour away, which is a lot of gas.

    I had to face the fact that I couldn't be there for all of my children's activities any longer. It was a sacrifice I had to make.

    Nursing school has a tendency to make you gain weight unless you actively work against that.

    Nursing school has been (academically) easier than my prerequisites.
    Stephalump likes this.
  4. 2
    I wish I knew in the beginning that studying the night before doesn't mean it'll be retained for the exams.

    That most study groups ended up being social gatherings and unproductive.

    That lateral violence starts in nursing school and should not be tolerated by anyone at anytime.

    Scores on a test or in a course are no reflection of how you will perform as a nurse.

    Friends chosen wisely can be your best asset....no one else besides your classmates knows what you are going through and you need that person sometimes to calm, support, and encourage you.

    If you have the time...volunteer as much as possible as soon as possible.
    Stephalump and besaangel like this.
  5. 0
    I would have relaxed more and stressed less. My perfectionist tendencies have earned me high grades in my classes, but to the detriment of my overall health and happiness. It's a work in progress.
  6. 3
    I am starting my senior year of nursing school. Time has flown as everyone has told me it would. I already have a previous degree so I thought converting a BS to a BSN would be relatively easy. It has been a huge wake up call. Here are some things I have learned so far that I think can be helpful for those starting out:

    1. It IS hard and your family WILL suffer with you through this. Let the guilt go as you are bettering their lives and they are learning from you that hard work will pay off (for those of you with kids like me).
    2. PRN jobs are good to be able to work around nursing school schedules.
    3. Plunk the money down for Bose quiet comfort headphones now. They will let you pay $25 a month on a credit card without getting their credit card. Then you can study w some pandora classical music anywhere. I can drown out ALL noise with those babies and I'm thankful I got them in the beginning on advice from a student going for her masters. Worth every penny.
    4. While people say nursing school gets harder every semester, they fail to mention that you adapt, learn better and quicker ways of accomplishing things, and it evens out overall. Yes, it gets harder as the expectations generally increase every semester. BUT you get so much more efficient and confident that I would say it almost gets easier when you take everything into account.
    5. Record your lectures and listen to them during your commutes. Several times I literally didn't have time to study for a test due to absolutely no free time after clinicals, school, kids, and work. But listening to lectures while driving saved my butt in those circumstances.
    6. Keep your class paperwork organized from the beginning. I have several large binders that I put all class paperwork and power points into at the end of the class. Because I did that from the beginning, I am organized really well all the way back to first semester.
    7. Wen studying for tests, take the nclex questions related to that in your nclex book so that by the time it comes, you have done 5000 nclex questions and you'll be ready to rock it.

    You've got this!!!
    Stephalump, besaangel, and janellemf like this.
  7. 0
    great stuff everyone. thanks for the advice!
  8. 0
    Academically, I wouldn't do anything different. In my personal life, I would have taken better care of my health and emotions. I would listen to my body more and rest, exercise, and eat healthy. I would have cut some Negative Nellys out of my life faster. I would completely ignore anyone and everyone with an attitude problem, entitlement complex, chip on their shoulder, or affinity for drama. And that includes classmates, instructors, family, bosses, "friends", and boyfriends. Nursing school has helped me grow as a person. I feel like I've learned to take care of myself and to cut out the bs.
  9. 0
    Very well put, a lot of people don't know how to block the negativity like yourself. Good job!!
  10. 0
    I would have double-majored in something that would enrich my career options later in life. I took electives in many different fields -- and I know a little bit about a lot of things. But about mid-way through my career I found myself wishing I had a solid foundation (and credentials) in a secondary field so that I could combine it with my nursing expertise to do nursing work beyond the ordinary.


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