What was your first year of nursing school like? - page 2

Hello all! After stalking the post office for the last week my ACCEPTANCE letter finally came! :yeah:I start a 24 month ADN program January 2012. Sheesh, I was shaking as I was reading it. As... Read More

  1. by   MissHaleyDawn
    I quickly learned I had to be flexible with my schedule - and so did my family! My time management skills grew about ten fold. And I'm pretty sure my hand hates me from all the notes I took in just the first semester (A 3-inch binder filled to the brim!).

    And I also had to learn how to reel in my jealousy over my college room mate getting to have more than five or six hours of sleep a night. Freaking psychology major...but I love her. Luckily we turned out to be best of friends. And she sleeps like a rock so waking up for my 5AM clinicals doesn't bother her.
  2. by   ImThatGuy
    My first year was about 180 degrees from what I thought it'd be.

    There were no nazi clinical instructors. We weren't pimped out. It was fine. Only when I gave a med did I ever have one in the room with me. Nursing school hasn't been cognitively difficult. That might be a slap in the face for some as it is in opposition with what many people say about nursing school, but for me it isn't all that challenging. For me, the more detailed the better so this past semester was astoundingly more pleasing. Because I'd always heard it was so hard I thought it would be a bit more detail oriented than it was, but I didn't find that to be the case. It's perhaps too generalist.

    Because I don't know exactly what I'm going to do when I finish nursing school I sometimes regret going, but as a whole I'm satisfied with the process and am positive about it all. There aren't a lot of departments (maybe 3) that I'd ever consider working in.

    Timing worked in my favor, plus it was a brand new program so for me admissions was based literally off of a chance phone call. All I had to then was get a TB test, fill out the form, and do the criminal background check and drug test which of course is handsdown easy for me to pass.

    Last fall wasn't bad. It started off insanely boring. In pharm we did med math for about a month which I didn't anticipate spending that long on. Finally, we tested over that and lost an 8th of the class. Once we got into drugs it wasn't bad. I liked it then. The math wasn't hard. The routine of it just got annoying. The fundamentals course was largely a communications and sociology class so that was disappointing. Toward the end of the semester it got better when we finally covered physiological-oriented chapters. We had a geriatrics class which was a snooze fest for everybody. It should've been offered online and only online. Health assessment was too rushed. It offered the opportunity to teach a lot, but I think it was offered too early in the program. For all the new kids with no healthcare experience they were trying to assess for signs of diseases they knew nothing about. Didn't work too well. Many thought they'd wash out because of that class. No one did. The course should've been designed to at least become competent with all of the instructed assessment techniques, but it didn't work like that. Collectively, I didn't like the fall semester. Made 2 A's (assessment and pharm.) and 2 B's. I credit the 2 B's for not wanting to read the book (geriatrics) and not studying for the communications and sociology tests which is what I think fundamentals was largely about.

    The spring came, and it was better. Made all A's this spring. Had patho which I loved. Could've taught it. Wish I had. Most people nearly failed it. I'll reiterate here; know you're physiology. It's the basis of it all. I love physio. Research methods was agonizing. I have a dusty bachelor's degree from days of yore, and I never had anything as dull as research methods. It was worse than the geriatrics class which to that point had the most boring class I'd ever had. The brutal research paper. I'd written dozens of papers and have spent the last several years writing reports and position papers. Writing isn't an issue, but the class was. Psychiatric nursing was cool. Amazingly the students in class that had psych problems had difficulties with the class. I'd figure with experience they'd have done well, lol. I liked it a lot. We didn't have rotations in there though which was good and bad. I wanted to observe some psych settings, but I didn't/don't really want to function as a basic nurse in one. Finally the med-surg class although we had a different name of it. Because we'd already had pharm and assessment and had patho as a corequisite we focused exclusively on interventions. I learned a lot about the digestive, renal, and endocrine systems that I didn't already know. The cardiology and pulmonology I had down from a previous life. I liked it although the book was stupid large. It should've had two volumes. It was big yet the font was small so it wasn't really that readable. Imagine snuggling up with a cinder block. We had a couple of group projects that semester. I don't like group projects in school. They're different in the workplace, and school projects don't prepare you at all for work projects. The teachers try to appeal to different learning styles though so you just sit and take it.

    All said, it's been educational. If I won the big lottery tomorrow I'd still go back and finish up the coming year and get the BSN. I don't think I'd ever work as a nurse, but I'd look forward to finishing.

    To sum it up, I don't like nursing school, but I like what I've learned which is what it was all about when I got into it.
    Last edit by ImThatGuy on May 20, '11
  3. by   blackberrie_281
    ^^^ I agree. The material isn't hard its just that nursing school demands so much of ur time. U have to learn time management, itll kill u if u dont. They also ask the "nclex style questions" that for the most part can be memorized or studied for, just critically thought through. I took pharm health assessment, fundamentals, and clinicals and got a B, A, B, A, repectively.
  4. by   afox
    Someone already said it, but its truly a roller coaster. There are days where I think "wow, i really love this" and days where I almost cry and never want to go back. Sometimes, I get both of those feelings in the same day. I think if you go in with the right frame of mind you'll be fine. I got really freaked out because a bunch of 2nd year students were saying things like "oh my gosh, you are gonna wanna kill your self all the time" so I was completely dreading it, but really its totally doable. There are weeks that suck really bad, but then there are weeks that are a breeze. And in all actuality my first year flew by! Just take it day by day. Be prepared to work hard, find a routine, and you'll be fine
  5. by   ImThatGuy
    Quote from PinkCollarGhettoMD
    Agree with this post for the most part. The program isn't difficult per se, but these dingbat instructors throw a LOT of worthless busy work at you and they tend to test on a weekly basis too, so it eats up the time. Quite frankly, I think the nursing classes should have the option of being taken online (except for clinicals & labs). The lectures are usually a waste of time. You get more out of reading the book and studying on your own with whatever study method works best for you. Speaking of study methods, a lot of posters swear by study groups. I tried the groups a couple of times, but they only slowed me down. If you study best by yourself, bypass study groups. They're OK if you need a lot of explanation to understand concepts but if you understand everything, they'll just hinder you and eat valuable time.

    Also agree there were no nazi instructors, BUT some were very strange. If you saw my other post, then you saw the bit about several older female instructors who were unable to control their hormones around 20-something males in the classes. The whole program, in general, smacked of being unprofessional relative to any other undergrad, graduate, or professional level program.

    I was surprised to see all the sociology/psychology/cultural type emphasis in the program. I was anticipating straight science, so was a bit disappointed with what I considered to be "Holistic Nonsense." Was much happier with the pathophysiology type courses. BTW, hint to those of you who don't care for or see holistic practice as BS: go into the PA realm or medical school realm - much more scientific without all the hokey holistic emphasis you find in nursing.

    Agree about writing papers and what not too. Total waste of time unless you're publishing in nationally recognized journals, which most nurses won't be doing. Nothing but more pointless busy work for most people - that time could be better spent going into more depth on the scientific aspect instead.

    Bottom line is: these nursing programs need to be revamped.
    I agree. There isn't enough science in the program. I liked pathophysiology and the pharmacology mechanisms of action, but it still wasn't what I thought was in depth enough. I want to know more. I figure I'll enroll in a master's/nurse practitioner degree after I graduate so I can take the advanced patho, pharm, and assessment courses. They're also dont online though so I'll be limited to what I can study myself. I frankly don't know what I'll be doing, or what I want to do, when I become a RN.

    Nursing does seem to align itself with the social sciences which I think is strange and disappointing, and don't get me started on NANDA, NICs, and NOCs. Clinicals being weaved in through the semester is bizarre too. I'd think you could do more if you just waited until the ened and did two to three weeks of everyday hospital time. Cover all your material, and then go to clinicals that way you'll cover the majority of what you'll be dealing with. You'll also be able to practice more consistently. It's a lot easier to learn something and get better at it if you do it everyday for a few weeks as opposed to going once every week for 9-12 weeks.

    I'm wanting to coast at this point in my life so medical school is out of the picture for me although I'd love to sit through the classes. I actually wanted to become a PA, but I'd have to go out of state which isn't happening either.
  6. by   leenak
    Ok, I'm not in nursing school, doing pre-reqs right now but plan to apply for fall 2012. I personally don't see being holistic as hokey, it is one reason I decided not to pursue med school 15 years ago. I could look at getting my healthcare experience and then applying to a PA program if I wanted to go that way but nursing seems like a better fit even if it requires more schooling (2 years for PA vs 3-4 years of BSN/NP). In my area, there are PA programs but if a quick look at any job site and you see a lot more job listings specifically asking for NPs than PAs.

    Also, I spent a bit of time on some pre-med forums before I decided to pursue nursing and those are some pretty miserable people on those forums. The nursing forums seemed a lot happier. Of course that is pretty subjective but that is how I found it. And even if there are some nurses here who say don't do it, on the pre-med forums there seemed to be a lot of people saying 'don't do it, it isn't worth it'. Plus 7-10 years of schooling/residencing is a lot unless you absolutely know you want to be a doctor.
  7. by   leenak
    Oh and one thing I've been reading the past couple days are nursing student blogs on Johns Hopkins website

    It is fascinating to have a glimpse into nursing school.
  8. by   ImThatGuy
    Quote from leenak
    I spent a bit of time on some pre-med forums before I decided to pursue nursing and those are some pretty miserable people on those forums.

    Student Doctor Network lolol been there
  9. by   sweetjess321
    This was very helpful input. I will be starting the ADN Program this August so I'm pretty nervous because I live alone (rent!!!), and work full time and have no savings. My work may work with me cutting down my hours during the week, but they may have to let me go. It's getting a little stressful because I only get one shot at passing nursing school right? And I've waited for SO LONG that I can't afford to mess up! One day at a time I guess. I'm hoping my tuition and expenses will be covered by student loans. (crossing my fingers)