"If I could do nursing school over again" advice thread - page 2

Re-direct me if this thread has been done before. I'm starting my BSN program in a couple of weeks and I'm looking for advice about study habits, school-work-life balance, any random tips, etc.,... Read More

  1. by   Jennybrie
    I wish I knew in the beginning that studying the night before doesn't mean it'll be retained for the exams.

    That most study groups ended up being social gatherings and unproductive.

    That lateral violence starts in nursing school and should not be tolerated by anyone at anytime.

    Scores on a test or in a course are no reflection of how you will perform as a nurse.

    Friends chosen wisely can be your best asset....no one else besides your classmates knows what you are going through and you need that person sometimes to calm, support, and encourage you.

    If you have the time...volunteer as much as possible as soon as possible.
  2. by   ER(notso)n00b
    I would have relaxed more and stressed less. My perfectionist tendencies have earned me high grades in my classes, but to the detriment of my overall health and happiness. It's a work in progress.
  3. by   lifewithkids
    I am starting my senior year of nursing school. Time has flown as everyone has told me it would. I already have a previous degree so I thought converting a BS to a BSN would be relatively easy. It has been a huge wake up call. Here are some things I have learned so far that I think can be helpful for those starting out:

    1. It IS hard and your family WILL suffer with you through this. Let the guilt go as you are bettering their lives and they are learning from you that hard work will pay off (for those of you with kids like me).
    2. PRN jobs are good to be able to work around nursing school schedules.
    3. Plunk the money down for Bose quiet comfort headphones now. They will let you pay $25 a month on a credit card without getting their credit card. Then you can study w some pandora classical music anywhere. I can drown out ALL noise with those babies and I'm thankful I got them in the beginning on advice from a student going for her masters. Worth every penny.
    4. While people say nursing school gets harder every semester, they fail to mention that you adapt, learn better and quicker ways of accomplishing things, and it evens out overall. Yes, it gets harder as the expectations generally increase every semester. BUT you get so much more efficient and confident that I would say it almost gets easier when you take everything into account.
    5. Record your lectures and listen to them during your commutes. Several times I literally didn't have time to study for a test due to absolutely no free time after clinicals, school, kids, and work. But listening to lectures while driving saved my butt in those circumstances.
    6. Keep your class paperwork organized from the beginning. I have several large binders that I put all class paperwork and power points into at the end of the class. Because I did that from the beginning, I am organized really well all the way back to first semester.
    7. Wen studying for tests, take the nclex questions related to that in your nclex book so that by the time it comes, you have done 5000 nclex questions and you'll be ready to rock it.

    You've got this!!!
  4. by   ravenpuff
    great stuff everyone. thanks for the advice!
  5. by   minniebrown
    Academically, I wouldn't do anything different. In my personal life, I would have taken better care of my health and emotions. I would listen to my body more and rest, exercise, and eat healthy. I would have cut some Negative Nellys out of my life faster. I would completely ignore anyone and everyone with an attitude problem, entitlement complex, chip on their shoulder, or affinity for drama. And that includes classmates, instructors, family, bosses, "friends", and boyfriends. Nursing school has helped me grow as a person. I feel like I've learned to take care of myself and to cut out the bs.
  6. by   corndog56
    Very well put, a lot of people don't know how to block the negativity like yourself. Good job!!
  7. by   llg
    I would have double-majored in something that would enrich my career options later in life. I took electives in many different fields -- and I know a little bit about a lot of things. But about mid-way through my career I found myself wishing I had a solid foundation (and credentials) in a secondary field so that I could combine it with my nursing expertise to do nursing work beyond the ordinary.
  8. by   2k15NurseExtern4u
    LOVE this thread. I start my BSN program in Jan. Thanks so much!
  9. by   seconddegreebsn
    I am going into my senior year and I'll endorse those who say to do those NCLEX questions NOW--I study with my textbook and then look up those same topics in my Saunders and in my review and rationales book (as well as the textbook's study guide) and it really helps me know priorities and be able to stay on top of knowing what to look for in exam questions.
  10. by   11nick
    This is an old thread, but I just found it. I'll still throw in a few things....
    I'm in my last class and will be done with school in 2 weeks.
    Now, looking back, I wish I would have been able to sort out the "gauntlet". It is my opinion that there are a lot of inconsequential things thrown into the program that, although they may have an intended outcome, were not worth as much of my time as I had given them. Consequently, I'd spend more time on a project that was worth a piddly amount of points toward my grade, and less time studying for a test next week (that was the ultimate factor in pass/fail status).
    I just left a post in another thread about the Nursing Central app. I'm not waving the banner for that specific app, but I absolutely suggest anyone get a similar app that they like or can afford. Some are cheap. Some are pricey (Nursing Central). But I wish I got NC a long time ago. I use it multiple times each day. Saves me going to the computer or a reference book to look something up.
    I'm an old guy. One of the oldest in my class. I don't do well with the younger crowd. I started out trying too hard to bite my tongue. Regardless of your situation... let it hang out. You are who you are.
    Get a backbone and a work ethic BEFORE you come to nursing school. It seems to me that, as I look around my class, it is a prerequisite to be a whiney crybaby. It is SCHOOL. It is a HARD school. For a DEMANDING career where people LIVES will be in YOUR hands. Do you really think your education is something that should be spoon-fed to you? How be you actually try to LEARN some of the info you will be required to use to SAVE LIVES, instead of looking for short cuts or the easy way out? (did I say I'm an old guy?)
  11. by   calivianya
    I would have applied for more jobs faster. A lot of new grad programs only accept applications through February or March for the students graduating in May. I got some applications in before March, but not nearly enough - and I totally missed applying to a couple of hospitals that were in my top 3 of places I'd like to work. Wish someone had told me how early I needed to start applying for jobs.

    Also, apply as soon as the window opens! One of my favorite hospitals opened applications February 15th, I waited to apply the next week because I was really busy that day, but I found out they had taken down the place to apply by February 18th because they'd received so many applications. Don't count on applications being open for weeks! Sometimes they are just open for days or hours. Sitting at the computer and refreshing until the application opens, like you do to register for classes, is not a bad idea.

    I would have also done something other than nursing, but that's a different story.