While I do agree with the above comment, I have to admit as a fairly new grad, reality does bite. But here is some advice that I have passed on to friends a year behind me...
1. It helps to ask questions, ask lots of questions, don't act like you know everything. You will get some nurses that complain but you just find some that are willing to answer. And it's better to do that then not do things because you don't know, leaving things for the next shift. I have been told that because I ask lots of questions my patients get better care than those that don't. Eventually you can make it through a shift without asking a question every hour.
2. While in school, take every experience you can while you have instructors there to help. Nurses also tend to be more leinet when you are a student. Take the confused patient that no one else wants... because when you are done, you'll have that pt anyway with no choice in the matter.
3. Practice your assessments and charting, use the time to in school to streamline both.
4. Here anyway, sometimes our instructors were against giving us a full pt. load. If that is the case, lobby to take a full pt. load. Do it while you have your preceptor to back you up. Learn how to priortize and organize.
5. Keep a drug guide book handy, the CPS can get a little mind boggling.
And overall, I have to agree with the above commentor, the first few months are the worst but then you will have a shift where everything got done, you managed on your own and at the moment you'll stop feeling like a nursing student and start feeling like a nurse. Learn to make a deal over the big things and be laid back about the little things.... Perhaps just remind them that nursing is a great career and to find a way to remind themselves when the going gets tough.
On the plus side after graduation... no instructor grading you or asking you a ton of questions in front of your pt. No one watching when you do a procedure. [I recently got a female cath and IV start on my first try unsupervised, I floated on cloud nine the rest of the shift].
Anyway I ramble on... good luck on the class.