Tips to survive nursing school... I need your help!

  1. Hello everyone, I posted this in the student forum but wanted to get some advice from you guys as well!

    I need your help! I am compiling a list of advice for incoming students to my nursing program and I wanted some input from this board. If you have to give one piece of advice on how to survive nursing school what would it be?

    Thanks and I really appreciate your help!
  2. Visit AggieQT profile page

    About AggieQT

    Joined: Aug '06; Posts: 178; Likes: 58
    RN; from US


  3. by   FireStarterRN
    1) Don't become too emotionally dependant on your classmates as friends.
    2) Don't boast or discuss your good grades on exams
    3) Learn to fake self-confidence without seeming cocky
    4) Don't get sucked into melodramas created by drama-queen classmates
    5) Study, study, study
    6) Show up for all clinicals
    7) Seek help early if you are struggling
    8) Don't be surprised if there is one teacher from Hades
    9) Eat healthy and try to find time to exersise
    10) Get as much sleep as possible
  4. by   JB2007
    Ask a lot of questions. Nurses at clinical sites and teachers expect you to ask questions, so ask the questions until you understand the material or how to do something. There are no dumb questions.
  5. by   mauxtav8r
    excellent contribution jlsrn!!

    A couple more . . .

    Nursing school is not like regular college. Don't expect to party like it is.

    You will find out that you can do more than you think.

    If an instructor says something two times, IT WILL LIKELY BE ON THE TEST. Three times, and this is something you should tattoo on the inside of your eyelids.

    Try to maintain balance in your life.

    Get some really good NCLEX review books and use them to study subject by subject as you go through school. (like, do the OB questions when you take ob). This will help your grades in the short term and will pay off like you cannot imagine when NCLEX time comes around.

    Not everyone is cut out to be a nurse. This is where you find out if you are or not. No shame in moving on if you find out you are not a nurse.

    that's all.
  6. by   AggieQT
    these are great! I really appreciate it! Keep them coming!
  7. by   AuntieRN
    Jump at any opportunity to do a skill even if you have done it a million times can never practice enough...
    Dont argue with the nurse when she tells you something...Learn quickly theres two ways of doing things...the textbook way and the real world way!!
    Do not look down on the CNAs, they are the rocks on the floor. Dont look down your nose at them when they ask for help...even nurses wipe butts and change beds....
  8. by   CB67
    Never give up.
    Live and breathe pathophysiology.
    Try to understand why things are being done not just doing the task.
    Believe in yourself
    Be proud of Nursing and you are acting as a Nurse while you are a student
    Never say I'm just a student, be proud of what you are doing not everyone can do it and not everyone will make it.
    Even the smartest test takers don't have the bedside manner, or what it really takes to be a Nurse and they find out down the road and either leave nursing or complain about nursing.
    You might struggle on tests but when it counts you will know what to do with your patient or where to get someone who does.:spin:

    I think it's like Boot Camp for Nurses.
  9. by   Rabid Response
    Start studying for the NCLEX from day one. Someone else mentioned this, but the advice is so good that it bears repeating. My friend and I took the NCLEX one week after graduation and both passed with flying colors because we'd been studying all along.

    Don't challenge every question you get wrong on an exam. There will be stupid questions, but sometimes they are just NCLEX style, which you need to get used to. You won't get to argue the questions you get wrong on the NCLEX.

    Don't pass up opportunities to perform skills in clinical. Even if you fail at something, your confidence will be higher just for having tried. You may never get another chance to perform that particular skill again until you start working as a nurse.

    Make yourself useful to nurses during clinicals. When you clean dirty patients, run errands, etc... you win them over and free up time for them to spend helping you learn the more interesting stuff.
  10. by   classicdame
    Accept that you will never know it all - and certainly it will not help to act like you do.

    Accept that you will be stressed and fatiqued. This is how nursing school is, and how nursing is as well. Learn how to take care of yourself and DEFEND your free time from old friends and others who want to suck it up. It is called prioritization.
  11. by   glamgalRN
    1. Purchase Saunder's NCLEX review book, it really helped me study for exams during nursing school.
    2. Try to have one or two people in your class who you can really count one, someone who you can call any time of the day or night and just vent, someone who you feel comfortable around. Besides your friends in nursing school and other nurses, no one else understands what you're going through. It gets me so angry when my boyfriend says "being a nurse can't be that hard, you just have to do what the doctor says." :angryfire
    3. Yes, you need to study a lot, but make sure you have time for fun. If you spend all your time studying you'll drive yourself nuts.
    4. Listen to everything your professors have to say. The amount of knowledge and experience they have is amazing and they have really motivated me to be the best nurse I can be and continue my education so I can be just like them!
    5. Know your lab values!
    6. Nursing school is difficult, but it's doable!
  12. by   PianoGirl20
    1.) Realize that NS is way harder than high school. I was the kind of student who did really well in high school w/o usually studying very hard...NS is generally the opposite. Don't let readings and test materials pile up, try to overcome (or at least tame) procrastination tendencies, and set aside SPECIFIC blocks of study time.

    2.) Along the same lines, try and find one or two people to study with-too many more, and it won't be productive. Also attempt to find study partners whose learning styles/paces/habits work with yours (do they learn through listening, writing, etc.? are they learning at roughly the same pace as you?)

    3.) If you make mistakes, don't endlessly beat yourself up. If you're honestly trying and NS really is for you, a few bumps in the road will be not be the end of your NS career. As someone who is about to be a junior, I look back and realize that wailing and gnashing of teeth over one bombed anatomy test (I didn't realize until much to late that I didn't know those origins and insertions of muscles as well as I thought...) and other similar disasters was a lot of wasted energy over something that didn't even dent my semester grade much.

    4.) Don't whine ENDLESSLY about NS. Newsflash: we all know that the tests are hard, clinical is too early, your clinical instructor is a monster and that nursing research class puts you to sleep . I know from personal experience that it's really tempting to whine and throw yourself a giant pity party, but doing it all the time just leaves you feeling even more stressed and wiped out than ever.

    5.) Of course you want to avoid any "toxic" people in your nursing classes, but try to find a couple of close nursing school buddies. My two closest college friends are nursing students. Honestly, I don't know what we'd do with each other. We're always cheering each other up and keeping each other's stress levels down...and really, who else will gladly hear your stories about the DISGUSTING greenish-yellowish sputum your patient spewed all over your face?

    6.) As people have already said, SLEEP and EXERCISE. Sometimes these things will be the only calming influences in your life. If you're really having problems sleeping, for crying out loud go to a counselor or doctor! This sounds extreme but I have seen waaayyy too many nursing students about to go off the deep end b/c they just weren't sleeping.

    7.) Give yourself some alone time to do some completely mindless, fun stuff. The occasional Saturday afternoon spent lying in bed and watching chick flicks while stuffing your face with junk food will help restore your sanity :-)

    And I'll stop now that I've written a book! :chuckle
  13. by   husker_rn
    I agree with the above. Find study partners who study with you; I had one for a brief time who only wanted to study what she needed. It has to be a give/take partnership. Surround yourself with positive support; people who give you negatives will only bring you down.
  14. by   mauxtav8r
    About the study group/study buddies line of thinking here, I couldn't agree more with the posters above.

    We were told THE FIRST DAY of nursing school that we could expect to fail out if we did not have a study group or study buddy.