What was your first year of nursing school like?

  1. 1
    Hello all!

    After stalking the post office for the last week my ACCEPTANCE letter finally came! I start a 24 month ADN program January 2012. Sheesh, I was shaking as I was reading it. As with most schools, the program is extremely tough to get into around here. They take 60 a year into the program and 35% of the schools 3600 full time students are majoring in nursing (per a recent news article).

    Soo, I wanted to get a little info from some others as to what I can expect the first year (particularly the first quarter). I realize most schools are a little different but I would still like to hear. Did you have clinicals the first quarter?

    Its a little bittersweet since I was getting my IUD removed 7/2 so the hubby and I could plan for kiddo #2. I think a slight change of plans is in order!
    GamerGirL337 likes this.

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  2. 21 Comments...

  3. 0
    Congrats! I know your excited and you should be. Getting accepted is not easy and you've proven you're up for the challenge to pursue your dream.

    I'm in my 2/4 semesters of my BSN program. Many days and nights studying, skills lab and clinical. When you get your book list, I would start reading.
  4. 4
    Congrats to you!

    I just finished Block (semester) 3 of an ADN program (already have a Bachelors and went back to get my RN at age 45).

    Not to scare you, but get ready for a life change! I would read the comments on here about how hard nursing school is and thought "how hard can it be?" Well, it is hard! There is a lot of info to learn in a very short amount of time. If you are a dedicated student you can do it! If others can do it, you can too!

    We had clinicals starting the second month of school. Our first rotation was in a long-term care facility, which included a lot of CNA type work (not being demeaning to CNAs- but it is a lot of bed making, helping patients dress and eat, etc.). You will get to give meds to patients after you pass a med skills check off at school. As you progress through school, you will learn new skills and use them (under the supervision of your clinical instructor and an RN that you shadow for the day.) At my school, the clinical rotations change with each block. We have 4 blocks and we have gone through Block 1 long-term care at a facility, Block 2 med surg at a hospital, Block 3 peds/L&D/med surg at a hospital. Block 4 for us will include psysch and then critical care. To give you an idea of how some of your skills progress, you will start out giving oral meds in Block 1 and by Block 3 you will be administering IV meds.

    At our school, the hospitals and days of clinical and lectures change each block. You do get to request first and second choices for which hospital you want to go to. Clinical days are enjoyable but can be tiring since you start at 6:30 and can be there for 12 hrs. Of course, hours will depend on your school. You also have to pick patients the day before, review their charts, and write the "dreaded care plans." Care plans are very time consuming and you may be up late into the night (especially when you first start out) doing them. You will definitely grow to hate care plans!

    Hope this info helps. Best of luck to you!!
    ChrystalAD, sweetjess321, bonnevie13, and 1 other like this.
  5. 3
    We spent the first 5 weeks working on patient assessment, actually on each other. This gets old pretty quickly. I think week 5 or 6 we began working in the hospital. We would go in the afternoon or evening before clinicals, pick a patient (and then 2 patients), write up a patient prep that covered the pathophysiology of the patient's condition(s), medical treatment, clinical manifestations, labs and the meaning of each lab value that was off, our plans for focused assessments, and then 7 nursing diagnoses for each patient. We would do lots of CNA type work, assessments, give meds (like in the 2nd term) and any other skills learned in the skills lab...... oh yeah, skills lab - we would learn the skill, practice it and then sign up for a time to demonstrate it with an instructor. Then there were the tests every other week. Pharmacology was a class all on its own. Then there were papers to write for both classes.
    Keep that IUD in place and keep on truckin' Congratulations !!!
  6. 6
    The only way I can describe nursing school is as a roller coaster. This past year has taken everything out of me-- physically, emotionally, PSYCHOLOGICALLY (lol). But it is so worth it. You will look back at the end of each semester and see how far you've come and how much you have to be proud of yourself for. You may feel like you're completely losing it some days, but it gets better and if you have supportive people in your life it is an amazing experience. Take the good with the bad, let the little things roll off your back, and keep the big picture in mind You'll be studying meds, learning SO much about assessments and documentation and basic clinical skills, and also spending time in clinical. Good luck!
  7. 0
    So true!!
  8. 3
    Intense....its the best way to describe it....no make that emotional....no make that amazing....than again a little scary....than again a lot of work. It's actually all of these things and more.

    I have a four year degree and went back to nursing school part time till clinicals started, just this past September. I was so use to being an expert in my field of work for the past 17 years. The first semester was most CNA type of work...geriatrics and rehab facilities. There was a lot of complete care and changing bed linens as well as taking vitals and med administration. The first semester was not mentally challenging with regards to the test but was with getting use to being in a medical facility for clinical.

    Switching it up second semester was unbelievable difficult with regards to the test but amazing clinical experiences. I had labor and delivery, medical-surgical and pediatrics. I have grown much more comfortable in the clinical setting but the tests taking really challenged me and my ego (not an expert in this field at all). I questioned why I was doing this to myself a lot this semester after every test and than I would go to clinical and come home and tell my husband..."This is exactly why I have returned to school for an RN".

    I have two semesters left (hopefully) I will graduate in December. It is no joke how difficult it is. Many of my classmates did not make it through this last semester. It is known as the toughest of the four clinical semester for my schools nursing program. It is often the make or break you semester. Classmates can be challenging....instructors are definitely challenging...and you may even find yourself to be your own worst enemy. However, when I am at that clinical site and I am helping my patients get better...feel more comfortable...or just listening to their concerns I know I have choosen the right field for me.

    Good luck and congrats!
  9. 6
    I got the cockiness beat right out of me. It's been a very, very humbling experience. Nursing school reminds me of a roller coaster with variable speeds and heights. It's interesting.
    aschamma, SeattleJess, oklahomagal, and 3 others like this.
  10. 1
    Agree it has been probably the most humbling experience I have ever had....very good point.
    SeattleJess likes this.
  11. 1
    First semester curriculum is very easy, its learning how to pick the right answer, and how to deal with so much information all at once thats tricky! Clinicals are very easy, you mostly just practice your new assessment skills, generally on geriatrics patients. Congrats, and good luck!
    SeattleJess likes this.

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