In fundamentals, you will learn the very basics of nursing; how to take vital signs, handwashing, give baths, make beds, how to safely give meds (probably just po at first), therapeutic communication, and basic nursing skills ( in the first semester we learned foley insertion, sterile dressing changes, simple physical assessments, enemas, etc.)
You will also learn the rationales for all of these things. You will be taught the steps of the nursing process; assessing, diagnosing, planning, implementing, and evaluating.
Everything you learn in fundamentals provides for the foundation of what you will learn throughout the program.
Absorb everything you can in pharmacology! For me, pharm was very overwhelming; you can't memorize a lot of it- you need to understand why you're giving meds, what the safe dosages are, side affects to assess for, lab values that are affected by meds, how the drug actually works in the body. I don't think most people (non nurses) realize how much goes into giving medications, you're not just "passing pills".
I'm a new grad, and one of my weak areas is pharm. I wish I had realized during my first semester just how important retaining all that knowledge is. Of course, experience plays a big part in feeling comfortable with meds. The more drugs you give, the more knowledgable you'll become. You'll learn that one of the cardinal rules of nursing is to ALWAYS look up a drug in your med book if you don't know what it is.
But that first semester of nursing school
is so exciting! You learn an incredible amount of information and it can be terrifying. Try to enjoy clinicals, I think most new students are probably scared to death when they first get out there on the floor. But remember, no one expects you to know everything. ASK QUESTIONS! Lots of them!
Good luck in school and welcome to nursing!
(A great book to read written by a nurse about her experiences in nursing school and first years as a nurse is "Intensive Care" by Echo Heron)