Question for Nursing School graduates :)

  1. Hi,

    I'm going to start Nursing School in September and I have 2 q's for NS graduates/nurses.

    1) Looking back, what advice did you wish you got when you started Nursing School? What do you know now that you wish you knew then?

    2) If you could change one thing in your Nursing School exprience, what would it be? ....(why?) Do you have any regrets?

    Thanks.
  2. Visit Florence NightinFAIL profile page

    About Florence NightinFAIL

    Joined: Feb '07; Posts: 267; Likes: 558

    11 Comments

  3. by   avery
    Nursing school is truly something to enjoy in the moment. It is an experience and every moment of it will make you a better nurse.
    Get a NCLEX book and look through the questions in each section that parallel with what you are currently studying. The goal at the end is to pass NCLEX; it is never too early to start.
    You will meet some great friends for life who will understand you better than anyone!
    Have fun and work hard; it will pay off.
    Avery
  4. by   incublissRN
    Quote from avery
    Get a NCLEX book and look through the questions in each section that parallel with what you are currently studying. The goal at the end is to pass NCLEX; it is never too early to start.
    I recommend Saunders Comprehensive review for NCLEX. I used each section to study for tests and it prepared me for NCLEX as well. Lots of great information.
  5. by   battpos
    Okay, first thing I wish I had known about nursing is that the ultimate goal in nursing is to earn the RN certification. Therefore, it doesn't matter all that much whether you go to a 4 year private university or a 4 year public university or a community college or to a diploma program (yes, I do believe those are still in existence).
    Apply to as many programs as possible, since it's really difficult to get in due to the sheer number of people who have "discovered" nursing.
    Some people will argue that the BSN is better than the Associate degree in nursing. That will be true only if you care to pursue management positions or perhaps other niche positions like Certified Flight Nurse; in any case; with your ADN you can usually find a program that will give you a lot of credit towards their BSN. You can do that when and if you decide that's what you need to do.
    I made the mistake of applying to only 4 programs; I could've applied to more, but there were problems with meeting token requisites (I mean to say that perhaps one program was asking for something a little unusual -- perhaps it would've required a little more effort on my part). Anyway, none of the public universities I applied to accepted me (I can't get over that -- but I guess my science GPA was just shy of what all the other succesful applicants had). Anyway I was stuck (so I thought) between going to a program out of state that lasts an extra year (Drexel University in Philadelphia) and the University of Miami (overpriced !!!).
    How I regret now (I'm weeks away from graduation) on coming to UM. I am tens of thousands in the hole. They put a nice financial aid package together -- that is -- it looked nice -- but it had to be looked at in relation to the total cost -- you have to think about the fact that (in my case) I still was responsible for half the tuition bill (1/2 of 70K over 2 years = 35K) plus my living expenses -- which I didn't anticipate would be so exorbitatnt for Miami. Oh man, that's a thread unto itself there -- so Miami is incredibly overrated and overpriced and likewise the UM.
    What I would've done if I could -- at the time I was accepted to UM I was attending FSU in Tallahassee. i would have applied to Tallahassee Community College, gotten my ADN (way way waaaay cheaper), then perhaps right away or perhaps after getting some RN experience; I would've transferred to FSU to get my BSN -- I found out later that would only have meant taking 3 or 4 courses.
    What a dumas I am.
  6. by   Florence NightinFAIL
    ^Thanks for the advice. I was actually applied three times to a well known, highly respected University because I people pressured me into it. It was tough. Although I had more than the required GPA to get in, since they were accepting 60 people a year out of 400, it was cut throat competiton and I got denied both times. I finally went back and got in the waitlist of my local community college (which I wanted all along) and was finally accepted after 5 YEARS into the program I let people sway me out of. I still regret that 5 years later because I wasted so much time and money. I feel stupid. But we learn from our mistakes. And your DEFINITELY not a dumbass. It might have cost more for you to be an RN...but the end goal is still the same. Hopefully you can pay back the student loans quick after grad (if you took any).

    Thanks for your answers.
  7. by   BeccaznRN
    1. I wish someone would have told me how stressful nursing really is rather than just hearing "You're going to be a nurse? What a fantastic career! You'll never be out of a job!" While it's great that I'll always have a job in nursing, it sucks because the nursing shortage = not enough nurses = stress on the job trying to provide the best care for patients with not enough nurses. But still, I have no regrets becoming a nurse.

    2. I don't think I would change too much about my school experience. I studied hard, made great friends, made the best of my time with friends and family (what little time I had), and had great experiences in nursing school. Being a new grad, I kind of miss it now!

    Best of luck as you begin your own journey in nursing school!
  8. by   pcicurn7
    1) Looking back, what advice did you wish you got when you started Nursing School? What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
    The best advice i got was from a nurse on my 2nd clinical rotation...just get through school. What you will learn in school and what applies in real life are 2 different things, so just figure out how to graduate. Don't sweat the small stuff...school will teach how to be a critical thinker, the rest works itself out.

    The advice i will give to you is to just hang in there. There was a lot of stress and anxiety and lots of tears (i was in a night program and most people worked F/T and/or had kids, so everyone was stressed to the max...so this was true for us). Just get through it. I think the beginning may seem overwhelming because you have so much to learn, whereas the later part of nursing school, you will build on the knowledge you have (however, its still stressful). Prioritize. Don't be a follower, but know when to lay low (especially with evil instructors/professors...) Don't be afraid to make mistakes, BUT ALWAYS ASK or/and do your research. Be prepared. When things get tough, have a drink, a good cry, and get back to work .

    2) If you could change one thing in your Nursing School exprience, what would it be? ....(why?) Do you have any regrets?
    I wouldnt change anything. As much as parts of my journey sucked, its what made it unique. And its always amusing how nursing students respond to their challenges....it made for good memories, and lots of friends. Enjoy every moment...i really miss my friends now...

    Oh, and graduation is the sweetest moment...ranks right up there with passing your boards and getting your first RN job (i start mine tomorrow)...and, HEY! all these things happen pretty quickly and very close to each other, it will be lots of fun.
    Last edit by pcicurn7 on Apr 8, '07
  9. by   Halinja
    Hmmm. Maybe I'm seeing through the opposite of rosy colored glasses. I kind of thought nursing school, especially the first half, was not fun.

    My advice:

    Just do the work, keep your head down, try not to get caught up in the politics that will inevitably crop up.

    Work hard, learn as much as you can...that's what you're there for. You aren't doing it for the grade, you aren't doing it for the current test, you're doing it so that you can eventually do the job to the best of your ability. Might as well learn as much as you possibly can.

    Take advantage of clinical time. Ask questions. Seek out new information. Look stuff up when you get home that you didn't understand.

    Take time for yourself. Schedule it if you have to. Cross out an hour now and then where you do NOTHING school related.

    Make sure you laugh at least once every day. (not hysterically, if possible)
  10. by   Pumiky
    hmm...I wish someone have told me before starting school, that "there are things that are nice to know and there are things you need to know" that would have saved me a lot of time and stress. On our very first day in school, we had two third year students coming in to talk to us. One of them said "Always do you readings" and that was framed into my mind during the whole first year. I went crazy trying to read hundreds of pages which is just not reasonable. So my advice to you is, yes, do the readings, but do it the smart way. Before coming to class go over the chapters assigned for you to read BRIEFLY, so you'll have an idea about what class is all about, but mainly focus on your notes when studying for the test. DO NOT miss classes because this is were you find out what questions will be on the test. If you don't understand something ask, ask, ask (that also goes for clinical).
    One thing I would have changed would be my studying habits. I found the prefect study group during my second semester in second year and that really helped my grades. If you find that studying in group helps you too, form one. Just keep in mind to keep it small and have serious ppl to study with.
    Good Luck !!!!
    pumiky
  11. by   ann945n
    Im just starting my last year of my RN program and the one thing I have figured out in the last year is pick your attitude. There are going to be plenty of less then helpful/nice teachers and clinical instructors and classmates. Ive learned to just not let them get to me, do my work, and be happy. Negatice thinking can eat you alive. Also you will meet some amazing people that will become some of your best friends, thats the best part.
  12. by   carrie13
    As a recent grad and newly licensed RN my advice is:

    start preparing for NCLEX early. Buy a NCLEX review book (Saunders is great) and when you are studying for your exams do some of the NCLEX practice questions on that topic. It really helps during school and gives you a headstart for your NCLEX review.

    Nursing school is stressful - but try not to let it get you down. You will have bad exams, bad instructors, bad clinicals, etc. But you have to keep a positive attitude. If you don't understand something - ask. Don't worry about looking dumb - probably half the class is wondering the same thing but is afraid to ask.

    Figure out what your study habits are - do you do better on your own or should you join a study group. My study group was VERY helpful and I made some great friends through it. Plus if you are trying to defer some of the costs associated with review books, etc it can help to share between your group.

    Good luck!
  13. by   HairCanada
    I am graduating in December and the big thing for me is...research your career path and institution!!!

    I wish I had done a BSN program at a traditional University. I feel like I got dooped and suckered in at my ADN program. In the end I will have put in 4 years and come out with an associates!!!...plus I have been nothing but frustrated and dissatisfied the whole time!...half of my effort has been dealing with Bullsh*t..and the other 50% for actual class!

    So if you are looking for a program to stay away from in the Detroit area PM me and I will give you advice!

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