What should I do to get ready for Nursing School starting this Fall?

  1. 2
    I'm just going to start at the beginning: This June I got the dreaded rejection letter from the program I applied to, but I was put on the alternate list. Considering this school is the only (of a measly two) college with a Nursing Program in my area currently accepting students and is EXTREMELY hard to get into, let's just say getting put onto the alternate list didn't exactly give me hopes of anything. At that point I started looking for jobs so I could work and take some of the extra point classes part time. As soon as I get the job, not even 3 days later (last Monday) the program Director calls me and says that they were offering me a spot for this Fall. Now don't get me wrong I was excited, happy, surprised, ECSTATIC, but I was also VERY, VERY scared. I had in my head it would be at least another year before I would get in, so knowing I now only have a month and a half has kind of put me at a stand still. I don't have ANY clue as to how I should prepare.

    I want to know which books I should get, which materials I should have, what study techniques I should start learning, anything and everything about successfully getting through nursing school: I want to know. I figured the best way to find that out is through other nursing students and people who have already gotten through it.

    I do have somewhat of a background in healthcare. I got my CNA last year, did training at a Nursing home, and then worked in Home Health Care for 7 months. So I think Clinicals won't be a huge deal for me, it's the learning and understanding all the material that scares me.

    Anyways, sorry for the huge post, but I'm sort of freaking out here.

    Thanks ahead of time for any help, I appreciate anything I can get!
    Joe V and rmariee like this.
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  4. 26 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    Get a a nclex test for success book. Learn how to take the questions. Best way to prep. And relax. Go on a vacation. School is busy.
  6. 1
    Well, look at a practice NCLEX book from the library. Don't spend on the money on it right now till you're closer to your test date. I would also ask what books they recommend. I also would avoid spending on a bunch of apps or review books till you are close to the end date.

    I would also begin looking at prices for good stethoscopes. I love my Littmanns. I would also find out about uniforms and whether you have to go through a certain vendor. Some vendors will have have coupons for them. I would also find out about the rest of the gear. Do you need bandage scissors? What about hemostats? Do you need a penlight? What about shoes? Can you wear regular white tennis shoes or do you need leather tennis shoes with no mesh?

    Some things I've learned to love: Compression stockings. Stethoscope watch (I hate watches in general). Basic information badge cards to store behind your ID. I have one for basic labs, for vital signs, weight conversion, and pregnancy due date estimation.

    I'd also consider getting compression stockings for clinicals.

    Another thing some people love is the clipboard with a lot of basic info written on it and a calculator built into the top. I don't use one but some people love it.

    Look online for report charts. Some people love them.

    Bigwords.com will help you research book prices among a variety of sites for the best price.

    Don't jump ahead too much with the learning. Reading up on peds won't help you when you're in adult med-surg. I would ask your teacher for a syllabus and what book. 99% of the teachers have been willing to give me a syllabus and what book they use when asked.
    mostdesired3 likes this.
  7. 4
    Congratulations on getting into school! I do not recommend studying before school starts because you never know what your school is going to have you learn and there is plenty of studying to do after school starts. If you absolutely can't hold back, I think the only things worth learning are your basic medication calculations, conversion amounts from metric to standard (like there are 30 ml in 1 oz), and your basic lab values for Hgb, HCT, PLT, Na, K, Glu, Ca, pH, pCO2, pO2, and HCO3.

    I think the best place to spend your time is organizing your life and getting ready for being really busy. Clean out your room/apt and get everything organized. Set up a comfortable place to study with ample desk space to lay out all of your books. Read allnurses cuz there are tons and tons of threads on how to study and how to take exams. Also find time to hang out with your friends and have some fun. It may be your last chance for a while, lol.

    I would not recommend buying any supplies until you hear from your school. My school had us buy a supply bag that provided everything we needed at a discounted price. We also got stethoscopes.

    Good luck and I hope you enjoy school as much as I did. It's the best feeling in the world to be able to call yourself a nurse
    EhKim86, Kandy83, jdoyle33613, and 1 other like this.
  8. 3
    I just finished my first semester of nursing school and will be entering my second semester in the Fall. My best advice to you would be to just relax and enjoy the time you have left before school starts. Being a nursing student is by far the hardest, most stressful, timing consuming thing that I have ever done. I don't what your life situation is, but I'm married with 4 kids ages 10 to 3 and thankfully I was able to pull it off, but by the time the semester was over I couldn't take it anymore!!!!! Thats why all Summer long I have been relaxing and recovering from last semester! Don't worry about studying now, when you start school they will let you know what material you need to cover and you will be doing nothing but studying and reading! Good luck to you stay focused and on task and you will be fine!
    Kandy83, jdoyle33613, and lorirn2b like this.
  9. 1
    Prestige Medical 3309 Nurse Assist Clipboardere's a similar clipboard. I don't think it's the same one because I thought the rule of 9s was on the first side but maybe it is on the back side.

    3M Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope Series - 27" Total Length - Littmann Cardiology III l ReddingMedical.com
    This is one of the best stethoscopes in my opinion. I am in love with mine. Some people will tell you that they think others are just as good. If you do buy an expensive one, get it engraved on the head and not the tubing.

    Cherokee Products CLWSLIPTHRU Watch Slip Thru Stethoscope | Discount Nursing UniformsStethoscope watch that I am in love with after three days or so. They make it in black but this company ships fast.

    The pocket guide book for critical care and emergency nursing is supposedly really good. I briefly looked through it. I would get it later on in the career though. Emergency & Critical Care Pocket Guide: Informed, Paula Derr, Jon Tardiff, Mike McEvoy: 9781284023701: Amazon.com: Books I have used the paramedic one a lot when I was on the squad and in paramedic clinicals. It is awesome.

    Amazon.com: Complete Vertical Badge Card Reference Set Pocket ID Guide Graduation Gift Set: Health & Personal Care The vital trend cards I have and I like them so far.

    Ebay is great for getting basic things like trauma shears, pocket organizers, pen lights, hemostats, bandage scissors (yes, there is a difference), etc. The shipping can take some time. I picked up a penlight that uses triple a batteries for like a 1.24 with free shipping. Does it's job. I think I paid a dollar for my trauma shears and they are sharp. Plus they are purple. Trauma shears are not necessary for most nursing units. In fact, I usually just use that pair to cut my finger nails.

    Bigwords.com is great too once you find out your ISBN numbers.

    Those are examples of products. Do a search for the best price.

    I would contact your school and find out about health requirements. You may need to get titers drawn or show proof of vaccinations. You may also need a physical. I would search around for the best price for titers if your health insurance does not cover blood work.
    mostdesired3 likes this.
  10. 1
    Sleep while you can!
    Kandy83 likes this.
  11. 0
    Quote from green34
    Prestige Medical 3309 Nurse Assist Clipboardere's a similar clipboard. I don't think it's the same one because I thought the rule of 9s was on the first side but maybe it is on the back side.

    3M Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope Series - 27" Total Length - Littmann Cardiology III l ReddingMedical.com
    This is one of the best stethoscopes in my opinion. I am in love with mine. Some people will tell you that they think others are just as good. If you do buy an expensive one, get it engraved on the head and not the tubing.

    Cherokee Products CLWSLIPTHRU Watch Slip Thru Stethoscope | Discount Nursing UniformsStethoscope watch that I am in love with after three days or so. They make it in black but this company ships fast.

    The pocket guide book for critical care and emergency nursing is supposedly really good. I briefly looked through it. I would get it later on in the career though. Emergency & Critical Care Pocket Guide: Informed, Paula Derr, Jon Tardiff, Mike McEvoy: 9781284023701: Amazon.com: Books I have used the paramedic one a lot when I was on the squad and in paramedic clinicals. It is awesome.

    Amazon.com: Complete Vertical Badge Card Reference Set Pocket ID Guide Graduation Gift Set: Health & Personal Care The vital trend cards I have and I like them so far.

    Ebay is great for getting basic things like trauma shears, pocket organizers, pen lights, hemostats, bandage scissors (yes, there is a difference), etc. The shipping can take some time. I picked up a penlight that uses triple a batteries for like a 1.24 with free shipping. Does it's job. I think I paid a dollar for my trauma shears and they are sharp. Plus they are purple. Trauma shears are not necessary for most nursing units. In fact, I usually just use that pair to cut my finger nails.

    Bigwords.com is great too once you find out your ISBN numbers.

    Those are examples of products. Do a search for the best price.

    I would contact your school and find out about health requirements. You may need to get titers drawn or show proof of vaccinations. You may also need a physical. I would search around for the best price for titers if your health insurance does not cover blood work.
    Very helpful and thanks for the links

    Sent from my SCH-R830 using allnurses.com
  12. 0
    I'm with aubgurl: sleep while you can. For now: Sit back and relax. Your instructors will tell you all you need to know. Definitely would supplement their coursework with an NCLEX book to further understand material and questions. I came from university and did very well, but the questions are tricky in nursing school. I found teachers like to model NCLEX questions to an extent, so it's a good idea. All the best!
  13. 0
    Thanks! I'm mostly going to relax, but I'm also taking A&P2 which is what I mainly want to study ahead for. But relaxing sounds like my number 1 priority now haha.


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