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Get ready for nursing school?


I'm just starting my pre req's and was wondering what I can do to prepare myself for nursing school?

Should I be reading any certain books? Or trying to learn some medical terms etc...

Any help would be greatly appreciated...


llg, PhD, RN

Has 43 years experience. Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

I think the best thing you can do for yourself is to take your studies seriously, do the best you can, and get the most out of each course you take. Too many people take their prerequisite courses too lightly. Take care of yourself physically and emotionally and learn as much as you can -- taking one step at a time.

Good luck,


I finished all of my pre-reqs last semester and so I spend this semester taking Medical Terminology to refresh my vocab before starting the Nursing program in the fall. I figure it can't hurt to already know most of the terms ... one less thing to learn!

To keep myself expanding my knowledge base, I read this website all of the time and follow the links given to explore on my own. I read books, fiction and non-fiction, about the nursing field. I watch all the shows on medical procedures on The Learning Channel ... I love that channel!

I am also working part-time as a Nurse Tech at the local hospital ... one month there and I have learned more than I learned in the 16 weeks of my CNA class. It's amazing what you can pick up from other nurses ... and if you tell people that you want to learn, they'll help you!

Good Luck!


Has 7 years experience. Specializes in Level III NICU.

A medical terminology course is one of the best things you can do. It will help SO much in nsg school. Absorb as much as you can. You will need it all!!


Has 20 years experience. Specializes in Behavioral Health.

I agree with love4neos.

Especially know those medical prefixes and suffixes. If you have a good basis in them you can figure out almost any of those crazy words.

For some leisure reading pick up a book or two by Echo Heron. "Intensive Care" is a good one--where she is actually writing about going through nursing school and my favorite is "Condition Critical". I also highly recommend just reading something that you've always wanted to read...once you start the nursing program you won't have time for anything else!

Best Wishes

Jennerizer, ASN, RN

Has 13 years experience. Specializes in PCU, Critical Care, Observation.

I would recommend getting a stethoscope & a blood pressure cuff......get comfortable with taking blood pressures. I think that was something that was nervewracking for my class the first couple of weeks.....we didn't know what we were doing plus we hardly knew each other & practicing on each other was awkward. Start practicing on family & friends so that when it comes time to do it in class or for an evaluation, you won't feel nervous or lost like most of us did. Also, find a book that reviews the physical assessment.....get familiar with the terminology & the step by step process of taking a physical assessment.

I would also recommend a book specifically regarding test taking techniques for nursing classes. The questions are tricky since there can be more than one correct answer....you need to learn the critical thinking techniques of choosing which is the best answer for that specific situation. Get familiar with the way they try to word the questions to throw you off.

I just finished my pre-reqs and have been going back over everything in my a&p books and taking online tutorials for med terminology and a&p just to stay refreshed while I sit and wait through the summer. I'm also trying to get a job in the industry even if it means just being a gopher to gain a little more experience and get a chance to see how everything works. There are tons of resources (ie tutorials) on the internet.

Thank goodness there are sites like this one out there :D

Good luck!

Here are a couple of a&p links that I have been spending alot time at(they may already be on this site, but here they are again...)



marilynmom, LPN, NP

Specializes in Adolescent Psych, PICU.

Great ideas for is pre-nursing majors. I am still doing my BSN pre-reqs as well. I have really enjoyed Echo Herons books. Also someone above said "Also, find a book that reviews the physical assessment.....get familiar with the terminology & the step by step process of taking a physical assessment. "

Can anyone recomend a book like that for pre-nursing students?


I picked up this pocket one and have found it to be really good.

"Practical Guide to health assessment through the lifespan." Mildred Hogstel and Linda Curry. This book covers taking a history and doing a physical assessment for newborns through seniors.

Hello everyone,

Just wanted to thank you so much for all the great ideas and input. I think this thread will benefit other soon to be students as well.

Thanks again


I'm starting my prerequisites this summer. I am so happy but nervous as well. This is a good post. I am taking a CNA class right now to be able to work until I am in the nursing program. Since I've been reading this post for months, I know some things that are being said in class and recognize some of the vocabulary.


Specializes in Geriatrics, Med-Surg.

*Echo Heron Books are wonderful!

~Inspiring and insightful

*CNA Certification

~I've heard of several schools that require for entry into the program

*Medical Terminology

~oh how I wish I'd taken it BEFORE A&P !!!

Good luck to you ~ great career choice. We will make a difference!

There is one book that my nursing program required us to purchase called Test-taking Success for Beginning Nurses.

I bought it off of the Barnes and Noble website.

This is an excellent book.

I also bought the Nurse Facts book that we will supposedly need for clinicals.

I am also trying to occupy my mind with tons of things in advance to get a slight edge. I also plan on buying my nursing books ($400 worth) in a couple of weeks, so I can start reading.

I got a CD called Body Works.. by The Learning Company/Princeton Review. It's really neat, has all the info on the body, all the systems, etc.

marilynmom, LPN, NP

Specializes in Adolescent Psych, PICU.

Where are you all getting your CSN certification through? Is there someway to get it without having to pay for the class that you know of?

I would like to get it but can't afford the class right now either.


marilynmom, LPN, NP

Specializes in Adolescent Psych, PICU.

I meant CNA not Csn...lol


Sometimes local hospitals and nursing homes offer CNA courses that are free or paid for. But i think you hafta sign on to work w/ them for x number of months or years if they are footing the bill. I've seen ads in the paper b4, but none lately....I was thinkin of doin the same thing while going thru school, it's kinda hard gettin a job w/o experience or certs. Apparently they're only a few weeks or so, while the community colleges and red cross' last for up to 6 months.

good luck!

Hey RainbowzCNA...

I have been looking for the bodyworks cd you spoke about and can't find it. Went to Barnes and Noble as well as their website..no luck. Could you tell me where to find it ? Thanks.

All of the above advice is great. You have to be completely dedicated to nursing to do well, but in that dedication don't forget to take care of you. Eat well, sleep well, excercise, and learn to let some things go...ie housework...hehe. The best of luck to you!!

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