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Advice for students going to Nursing School?

I'm quite nervous yet excited for Nursing School so I was wondering for those already in school (or nurses) if you can give tips/advice for us newbies haha

Thank you :)

Prepare to meet a wide and strange group of people. Your classmates will not be what you are expecting.

Do not expect to walk out of school and get a job right away.

Listen, think, and then ask.

Relax when you can, sleep when you can. Do not procrastinate on your course work. Tomorrow comes faster than you think.

The nurses on your work experience time are not paid instructors. We like to buddy with you and show you the ropes, monitor your skills, we are not there to teach them to you, that is your instructors job.

We want you to be successful, if you show interest and initiative we will love you.

I am just a recent graduate from nursing school so I can give you my two cents on what I experienced from school, but I am not in experienced in the working field yet. Fiona59 is correct that students cannot expect to be handed a job out of school, although it does happen that you can receive offers before graduating, it's not as easy as it sounds.

As in school work load, there will be a lot of readings! It is better to read ahead than play catch up. These include articles, chapters assigned to you before labs, and lecture notes etc. I highly recommend reading lecture notes before the actual lecture so that you are better prepared to take notes. But do not feel overwhelmed if you are a bit behind, it is common. The work is manageable though. If you plan ahead and stay organized, for example, set a side an hour or 2 a day to read your notes, you'll get by fine. By reading your notes ahead of time, you are also prepared to ask your professor questions during class on topics you need clarification on. Profs usually do not like to repeat themselves or have to point out that the information is on the slide.

Same rule applies for clinical/placements in hospitals, try to take initiative and look up things that you are unsure of, so that you can bring questions to your preceptor. Nurses have a pretty busy day (this is an understatement), and they appreciate the help they receive from students but they do not want to feel like they have to hold your hands through everything. If you come across a nurse who does not seem nice, do not take it personally. Most of the time, nurses love to teach students so it is great if you show you are eager to learn and like to take initiative.

If possible, form a study group with students that have similar goals as you. Certain courses are easier to get through and understand when you study as a group.

Practice your math, and by this, I mean not relying on a calculator. Students will be expected to do medication calculations without calculators. This involves the usual BEDMAS rules, but it is key you know how to to do multiplication and long division by hand.

Some classes may appear like a joke but remember that this will eventually be your career, you have this great opportunity where you are learning from experienced professors and nurses, and any material can come in handy in your future. Do not think "I will learn it later in the real world", this is the real world. School tries to prepare you fully to enter the nursing profession but a lot of the effort is on your part. After college/uni, you're on your own to finding a place to work and expected to hold your own.

One more thing, do not pull all-nighters if possible, they tend to do more harm than good. To repeat Fiona59, do not procrastinate.

Overall, nursing school is a fun and exciting experience. Everyone has their unique experience but take it day by day and do your best to apply yourself. Good luck!

Edited by CaffeinePOstat
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Congrats on starting nursing school. Where will you be attending?

I'm heading into my third year. It's been an unexpected ride so far, but my clinical placements only started last year so it's getting better.

I agree with Fiona59, expect all different kinds of people as your classmates.

And agree with both Fiona59 and CaffeinePOstat do NOT procrastinate.

Review your notes more often to save yourself from having to cram. Get sleep the night before your tests and exams, it is more important than the all nighter. you will be more likely to actually remember what you have learnt.

Find a buddy in your classes that you can get notes from in case you get sick and can't make it to class.

The biggest one for me was to realize how important your grades in all your courses are and that they will affect your final placement. In the UofO program you can go out of province for consolidation if you have an CGPA of 8.0 if I remember correctly. Keep your grades up to the best of your abilities.


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