Open Letter to Incoming Students

  1. 11
    Over the summer when I was reading this board and about what was going to happen to my life when nursing school started, I have to admit, I was skeptical yet still worried that they were right. No sleep? No social life? Emotional wreck?

    Here is my experience after my first semester.

    1) I never pulled an all nighter.
    2) I got at least 8 hours of sleep every day.
    3) I had enough of a social life that friends still knew who I was and how things were going.
    4) I never had an emotional breakdown/crying session.

    How I did this
    1) I read all my textbooks before the semester started. The ones I didn't have the syllabi for I read cover to cover. I barely touched the books during the semester.
    2) I had a planner and used it, trying to stay ~1-2 weeks ahead on papers.
    3) I asked questions about questions I missed and concepts I didn't understand.
    4) My goal wasn't to memorize information but to understand it.
    5) I reviewed all information for all my classes at least 2-3 times during each week. No cramming come test time.

    Things that helped me
    1) I do not have a family.
    2) I live with a parent figure.
    3) I did not have to work, though I worked a little.
    4) I have previous/current work experience in the medical field.
    5) I have a previous B.A. in psychology.

    Other information
    1) I work every other Saturday night shift (7p- 7:30a) which made the first few Monday's after working really interesting.
    3) I am in an entry level Master's program.
    4) I took 5 classes which was 18 credits in total when "full time" is considered 9 credits.

    Nursing school does NOT have to consume your life. Every person is different and every program is different. A lot of the positive posts get buried here and a lot of negativity show up in them. Not everyone fails a test, has a breakdown, or gets no sleep.

    Do not let the "negative" threads worry or scare you or the positive threads make you think it's going to be easy. It's going to be what it's going to be for you in your own program. No one can tell you what that is going to be.
    havehope, Chinook2, himilayaneyes, and 8 others like this.
  2. 35 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    I was not believing the hype of nursing school is your whole life and the big bad monster.

    Why? I know lots of nurses and none have depicted nursing school in the manner I see here. Even the married ones with kids do mot depict it the way i see depicted here. I am a wait and see person because things do not effect everyone the same way. Plus, i befriended some that are already in the program and their stories were not full of horror. Except around finals time,lmao.

    Congrats on your semester going well!
    mletort likes this.
  4. 12
    I have pulled an all nighter. I have never once cried. And I would like to see anyone read my fundamentals book cover to cover before the semester even begins. Besides being a huge waste of time, since the instructors hop all over the book, you would be filling your brain up with information that your instructors may not require you to know. I'm sorry but that is not good advice to tell people to read an entire textbook before their program even starts.
    fetch, Swest739, bamwife06, and 9 others like this.
  5. 3
    Quote from lorirn2b
    I have pulled an all nighter. I have never once cried. And I would like to see anyone read my fundamentals book cover to cover before the semester even begins. Besides being a huge waste of time, since the instructors hop all over the book, you would be filling your brain up with information that your instructors may not require you to know. I'm sorry but that is not good advice to tell people to read an entire textbook before their program even starts.
    My book is over 1800 pages, I will not be reading it all. The ladies I know told me we jump around.
    bamwife06, mletort, and lorirn2b like this.
  6. 4
    Quote from lorirn2b
    I have pulled an all nighter. I have never once cried. And I would like to see anyone read my fundamentals book cover to cover before the semester even begins. Besides being a huge waste of time, since the instructors hop all over the book, you would be filling your brain up with information that your instructors may not require you to know. I'm sorry but that is not good advice to tell people to read an entire textbook before their program even starts.
    Agreed! What's the point in reading a complete textbook?
    I have pulled all nighters my first semester, did well, never got a full 8 hours sleep before a test my second semester still did well. I have a family, (husband 3 kids) , I never read ONE page in a textbook.. Did well.....I don't have to work .... And still had date night and did family things. I know many with bachelors degree that failed courses in basics and med surg and advanced med surg.. I myself only hold an associates degree.. No matter what degree u have. None is like nursing school.
    bamwife06, RunBabyRN, mletort, and 1 other like this.
  7. 2
    Oh and I NEVER cried! Ever..
    mletort and lorirn2b like this.
  8. 1
    Quote from lorirn2b
    And I would like to see anyone read my fundamentals book cover to cover before the semester even begins. Besides being a huge waste of time, since the instructors hop all over the book, you would be filling your brain up with information that your instructors may not require you to know. I'm sorry but that is not good advice to tell people to read an entire textbook before their program even starts.
    I never told anyone to read the entire textbook. I was stating what worked for ME and helped ME through my first semester. I read my health assessment book cover to cover and almost read my pathophys book cover to cover, then I got the syllabus and finished only what I needed. I had the fundamentals syllabus before I started reading it and the pathopharm book so I only read the required readings for those.

    I also do not think it is a waste of time reading materials that is not required. I enjoy what I am reading and it gives me more of a big picture and a better understanding of how everything fits together. Just because you're not going to be tested on something doesn't mean there is no reason not to know it. If it doesn't work for someone else, that's fine, but it works for me.

    Quote from nursewr
    Agreed! What's the point in reading a complete textbook?
    I have pulled all nighters my first semester, did well, never got a full 8 hours sleep before a test my second semester still did well. I have a family, (husband 3 kids) , I never read ONE page in a textbook.. Did well.....I don't have to work .... And still had date night and did family things. I know many with bachelors degree that failed courses in basics and med surg and advanced med surg.. I myself only hold an associates degree.. No matter what degree u have. None is like nursing school.
    It's awesome you can do so well with a family and not reading textbooks. I don't know how my friends with families do it. I don't think I could. I could never not read the textbooks. Just not my way of doing things.

    And I really do think my B.A. and the rigors of my undergrad had a lot to do with why the first semester wasn't as stressful for me as it was for some. Previous experience, academic or otherwise, can definitely make a difference.
    SoldierNurse22 likes this.
  9. 4
    I worked full time, never, or very very rarely, opened a textbook, definitely cried, always got sleep, and always had a social life.

    What works is different for everyone.
    bamwife06, bebbercorn, mletort, and 1 other like this.
  10. 1
    While I also did very well first semester, have previous education, slept fairly well, and did not actually cry (lol), don't kid yourself about the first semester. I think it's a bit of "break in" period. Things get tougher from here and I believe the work is about to double from looking at the next syllabi. I understand wanting to read everything. I have the same inclination, but do not believe it is possible and still keep up. My advice is firstly to attend lecture! And yes, ask questions. Speak with your profs. And use the text for the areas you need more clarification on. Also, use the online resources so many texts come with. I found they help a lot. Also a good NCLEX book. Mainly, be involved. Think about how everything relates to each other. Practice! And yes, stay current and don t get behind. It's a marathon, not a race.
    mletort likes this.
  11. 3
    It all depends on who you are. Some cry. Some push everything away because they feel distracted. Nursing school doesn't change who you are. It might bring out the best and worst in you, but it doesn't turn a person of steel into a cry baby or a social butterfly into an introvert. I get tired of people (no one here ... I'm just rambling) talking about nursing school like it is the hardest or worst thing in the world. It's difficult, but it isn't too difficult.
    fetch, mletort, and Naeema_rnhopeful like this.


Top