If I only knew then, what I know now...
Let's see, where to start... First off, nursing is not a recession proof career!! Don't believe the hype!!
Second, grades are not nearly as important as they scare you into believing. My Nsg school suggested that we not work while in school in order to help ensure our ability to maintain a high gpa because according to them, a high gpa will make you more marketable and it almost always guarantees that you'll pass the nclex the first time... Well let me tell you this: I didn't work while in nursing school and I graduated at the top of my class and I did pass the nclex the first time...BUT, am I working as an RN, now 6 months after I graduated?! Nope. The students from my class that are working as RN's are the same ones who worked in healthcare all through school. And yeah, they all had lower grades than me and some of them did take the nclex twice, but in this economy, it's not WHAT you know, it's WHO you know, that will get you a job as a new grad!! So, I wish someone would have told me to do what ever I had to do, to get a job in healthcare, before nursing school, so that I could have worked while in school, allowing me to gain healthcare experience and make networking connections... Also, one more thing, and I will preface my statement by saying that I'm not sure if this is r/t the economy, my location or even both but: if while deciding to go to nursing school, you have the opportunity to choose between ADN and BSN, choose the BSN program!!! Around here, all the RN jobs clearly state, "BSN Preferred".