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Before nursing school I wish I knew.....?

Posted

I am starting nursing school in the spring. I would love if experienced students and nurses would share something that they wish they had known or reviewed before school had started.

SteffersRN87, BSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology/BMT. Has 2 years experience.

I did not catch onto this trick until the summer between my first and second years of school. Buy 2 or 3 NCLEX-RN review books with questions. After you cover a section, such as respiratory or GI, do the review questions. I found that many instructors took questions from some of those review books for testing. It will help you assess your understanding of the material and allow you to identify what you need to review before the test.

I wish I knew that I would graduate, apply for hundreds of jobs, and 6 months later still be unemployed...:crying2:

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

I wish I knew that nursing school is more than "taking a few courses", it is a lifestyle.

I wish I knew that nursing school is NOTHING like the real world of nursing.

I wish I knew that it really isnt a nursing shortage, despite how many times they drill that in your head while in nursing school.

Before nursing school I wished I knew:

-- how much time it requires, how tired I would become

-- about allnurses.com (their stickies, all the great info in some of the posts that can help you through nursing school)

-- drug dosage calculations

-- Saunders NCLEX book and test taking strategies

At my school for drug dosage calculations we were rushed through learning this in a few shorts weeks at the beginning of school and then were tested out on it. Those who did not pass that test had to drop out and hope to get back in the next semester.

Apparently it is not this way at all schools as I notice there are college websites that provide a "drug dosage calculations packet" for learning this on their website. It looks like some schools maybe provide this so their students can be prepared when entering there nursing program.

thank tlc2u. that is what i was looking for.... some constructive feed back on nursing topics that i should brush up on or be prepared for. did you ever try a math for nursing book?

RNRyan

Specializes in Cardiac.

I wish I knew the commitment that it takes to be a RN. I had worked at a hospital for a while prior to going to nursing school and thought that anybody could do it. You quickly realize after giving up time with your friends, family, and other things that if you don't have to have this job; you're not going to succeed. That being said though, nursing school was a few of the best years of my life and I wouldn't change anything. Not to sound cheesy but I think you get out of it what you put into it.

calinative84

Only used the textbook we were required to purchase for school and online websites. Honestly I thought the authors of the material online explained it better than our textbook.

Also our instructors asked a lot of questions on our tests that our textbook author only had maybe 3 examples of scattered throughout their textbook. I found that somewhat frustrating as we had so few practice questions in our textbook like the questions on our tests.

nursynurseRN

Specializes in TELEMETRY. Has 12 years experience.

I wish I knew that I wouldn't have a social life till it was over, That nurses at clinical s would make me cry, that I would question myself everyday about choosing this career, that its really worth it in the end, that people who supported you through this are REAL friends, many of the people you go to school will be long term friends, and that i wouldn't change one thing if I had to do it over.:cry:

I wish I would have relaxed more during my nursing school. Don't forget to take the time to relax and see your friends and family. It would definitely HELP!!!!

This is what I'm so paranoid about. Not finding a nursing job after I graduate from the nursing program and investing thousand of dollars. I don't want to have this huge gorilla on my back and no income coming in to pay for the massive debt. This is so stressful!

tokyoROSE, BSN, RN

Specializes in Operating Room. Has 2 years experience.

I wish I would have relaxed more during my nursing school. Don't forget to take the time to relax and see your friends and family. It would definitely HELP!!!!

I totally agree! At first all I wanted to do was stay in and finish EVERYTHING and neglected my social life (and eventually my sanity). About mid-semester, I was so burnt out. I had been working so hard for so long and it took a toll on me. I actually became quite lonely and depressed because I realized I never saw anyone anymore. Luckily the semester is slowing down and I'm in a better place right now.

If I knew what I know now I wouldnt go into nursing...

kajunnurse

Has 5 years experience.

I wish I knew that nursing school doesn't last forever and I wish I would have paid a little more attention in school. I also wish that I knew I would have to give up a lot of weekends once I graduated.

I totally agree! At first all I wanted to do was stay in and finish EVERYTHING and neglected my social life (and eventually my sanity). About mid-semester, I was so burnt out. I had been working so hard for so long and it took a toll on me. I actually became quite lonely and depressed because I realized I never saw anyone anymore. Luckily the semester is slowing down and I'm in a better place right now.

I totally know hiw you feel. I am in my senior year and do not know what to do when I graduate. I have totally stressed myself out, to the point of having to go to ER because I was having shortness of breath and my B/P jumped to 200/88. Note, that my B/P is normally 103/50...and has been my whole life. My whole family is driving me nuts, they cannot back off and give me some spacel they have to check in on me and everything. That resulted in a sheruff duputy come to my apt, because my family. I am seeking legal advice at this time and about ready to call it quites. I have never been so lost in this big world.

Getting an Nclex book and learning the style of testing will help tremendously. If you can, get your fundmentals book and start looking through it. I know my school gave us the first couple of weeks reading so we could get started. There is a lot of reading but if you break it up it is doable. I do take my book or something with me everywhere so I can read when I have time. They also gave us the math and a sample test before school so we could study and pass our first math test.

Start practicing doing your vitals (B/P, breathing, etc....) Start listening to lung and heart sounds and try to differenciate between the crackles and wheezes in the lungs and the murmurs or Lub Dubs of the heart. Get familar with your stethoscope. Learn to locate all your pulses (carotid, brachial, radial, popliteal, dorsal pedalis and posterior tibial)

Start looking through learning to do assessments. Starting at the head and working your way down.

You can get familar with some medications such as opiods, anelgesics, etc.. Just the basic or most common medications.

That is a lot of what we learned first quarter. I would definately learn the stlyle Nclex testing.

Oh yeah it is hard for sure and I do pass up some social things but I also make time for them too. Also when you are studying and are tired. Go to bed get some good sleep and wake up in the morning and study. Once your brain shuts down you are spinning your wheels studying and not retaining anything.

Do NOT wait for the last minute to test for your skills (if your schools does that) or the last minute to finish an assignment. It feels so much better to cross it off your list early and not have to stress about it.

Good luck and enjoy it! you worked hard to get there :)