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How to prepare for first term of ADN?

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Hello all-

I've been accepted to a nursing program at my local community college, and I was wondering what those of you who've already been through it would recommend to prepare. What sort of gaps did you encounter between prerequisites and beginning nursing-specific courses? I have four months before classes start and was planning to at least start reading the textbooks ahead of time. Are there other good resources I should be looking at?

Thanks in advance to anyone who has advice!

Natasha, CNA, LVN

Specializes in Psych. Has 1 years experience.

Congratulations for getting accepted into nursing school. That's a huge accomplishment! I've attended a LVN program which is equivalent to your first year of nursing school and what I would recommend to prepare for nursing school is you want to study like you are making the transition from student nurse to working RN from day one. That means taking what you learned in A&P and problem solve like a nurse. The gaps I encountered was taking what you already know and applying it to nursing subjects. For example you've learned about blood pressure in A&P. When you get to nursing school you are going to learn about taking a patient's blood pressure. Then you will learn that there are classifications for blood pressure like normal blood pressure, prehypertension, stage 1 hypertension, stage 2 hypertension. Also, when you were in A&P and you learned about blood pressure, you also learned about blood pressure from the different ages (infant, child, adolescent, adult , elderly) That can be a challenge at first, but it's not impossible to learn. Just be a person who is always willing to learn. 🙂

Other resources ask your professor for help. Youtube RegisteredNurseRN is a great resource and Mark Klimek audios as well as Saunders book

Rest your mind. Seriously. The next few years are going to be crazy. We didn’t even get the list of what our textbooks were until a couple of weeks ahead of time. Your mind will be in overdrive because now, you are going to have learn a new way of thinking.

Just relax and enjoy your Summer!! Good Luck!

Enarra, BSN, RN

Specializes in Ambulatory Primary Care. Has 9 years experience.

Relax and enjoy life a bit because once school starts you won’t have time.

Make sure you’re solid on your A&P, Where stuff is and what it does and such. and the rest your prof will assign. You can always order a fundamentals of nursing textbook if you want to read ahead.

CONGRATS and good luck

- Definitely enjoy your Summer. You are going to be super busy once you start Nursing Classes.

- Buy the Saunders Book!! This will help with various nursing classes.

- Fundamentals Success book is also a great buy.

- Youtube videos helped me as well. Even watching "Nursing School Vlogs" helped me to understand people's perspectives.

Sindoriel, RN

Has 2 years experience.

I'd say the only thing worth doing before nursing school is identifying your learning style and how to study effectively for yourself. I wouldn't bother studying until classes are close to beginning. If you do any reading try and practice learning how to identify important paragraphs to focus on, for example reading the first and last sentence. They'll be a lot of information assigned to read but its not all 100% required.

Once school is starting look into books with practice questions, like the Saunders book mentioned. A lot of times the information used in questions will all be present in nursing text books, but when it comes to questions its structured differently than you might expect. Looking at practice questions prepares you to understand how topics might be presented on an exam. Studying by either just practice questions or just reading assigned text book chapters will never be as effective as using both to improve each other.

On 5/21/2020 at 6:12 PM, danya said:

Hello all-

I've been accepted to a nursing program at my local community college, and I was wondering what those of you who've already been through it would recommend to prepare.

You took college classes to get this far, and it's just more college classes to graduate. Don't panic, just go and do it.

The hardest part is time. There's a good chance you're going to do some kind of orientation where you school basically gives a disclaimer that they own you when it comes to clinical. Did you die on your way in and were in the hospital for 2 weeks, even on the unit that your clinicals are on? Too bad, you just failed. Get your job to be flexible, and commit to the idea that the days you have lecture, you also have work for the next 2 years (if you don't have the option of not working) and it becomes more of just being annoying than any real time struggle.

BONBON, BSN, RN

Specializes in Surgical Transplant.

On 5/26/2020 at 2:51 PM, TheDudeWithTheBigDog said:

Did you die on your way in and were in the hospital for 2 weeks, even on the unit that your clinicals are on? Too bad, you just failed.

This. 🤣 While it wasn't impossible to move a clinical to a different date, it was like pulling teeth out trying to do so. Heed his advice of having a flexible life/work schedule because your lab/clinical schedule will or may change, and most likely won't be the same every semester.

I agree with others on skipping studying right now. Enjoy your time off. I don't feel as though the information in nursing school was HARD necessarily, it was just a matter of putting in the work to find ways to retain the information and prioritize reviewing material and time management (especially if you're working during the program!)


Best of luck 😊

Thanks for all the advice everyone! I ended up taking some literature classes to round out my gen ED requirements, and then I'll have 8 weeks off where I'll try not to spend too much time stressing about classes.

Edited by danya