My Journey as a First Semester Nursing Student

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I have officially finished my first semester as a nursing student and just wanted to take time out and reflect back on my experinces thus far. Time and time again you may have heard that nursing classes are like no other classes you have experienced before, believe it because it’s true. Whereas you may have studied for prerequisites for let’s say, two hours a week. In nursing school you will go up to forty hours a week. In other classes you may had to just memorize a lot of different concepts, but it’s a completely different level of understanding in nursing. In nursing, you have to not only understand what is being taught, but your understanding of the material will now have to be applied to different situations and then understand why you have chosen to apply the methods you did, and what is the rational that caused you to make such a decision.:bugeyes:

You may even come across instructors that tell you to study for certain material and not others for an exam and come to find out that what you were told wouldn’t be on the test actually is, and in great detail.:flmngmd: So my advice is to read everything. I had to learn this the hard way. Your instructors may seem extremely hard and you might think there out there minds, but believe me it is all worth it in the end. My instructor would literally rip up our care plans after explaining what we did wrong and make us rewrite them. Now in my reflexion back to those days, I can appreciate how it has improved my way of thinking and planning for my patients. If I don’t remember anything else I will certainly remember to look at ALL my data and gather all my cues and then formulate my rationales.

My number one advice is to never discuss you grades with other classmates:nono:. If you’re doing well and another person aren’t they can become pretty mean and envious of you. So to avoid all the drama choose the people you hook up with wisely. In the beginning of the semester I had bonded with some classmates that I thought was just as serious about nursing school as I was. As the weeks went by and some started missing study sessions, slacking in there part of study material, it was time for me to bail out. I’m just happy that I recognized the problems and got out that so called study group before my grades suffered. Luckily I found a study group that studied everyday and for hours. We would study from 6-8 hrs a day five days a week,which paid off for everyone during exams:yeah:. Everyone was just as eager as I was. One of the other ladies that was in the first group quickly followed me to the new group and was happy she did.

There’s nothing like meeting your first patient, you might feel nervous, but you will soon get over your fears. There were classmates that ran out the room on there first encounters and my instructor just nicely kicked them right back in. :roll

Things I will carry with me from this semester, for one, my first med pass. My patient had 18 meds that I had to look up and write med cards for and be able to explain at clinical the next morning. My first suctioning of my patient, my first subq shot, starting my first IV, just taking the time out for my patient that was depressed and just wanted someone to listen to her. There are so many moments that if I listed them all I could write a book.

I must admit nursing school is HARD, but with perseverance you can get through anything. I don’t have any regrets, but I have learned so so much in just one semester. It may take a couple of trails and errors for you to find your niche and what works for you, but keep going keep pushing yourself. You may feel like giving up sometimes and your brain may feel as though it can’t contain any more information, you will get annoyed, laugh, complain, loose sleep, gain weight, (LOL) but you HANG IN THERE!!! YOU WILL BE GLAD YOU DID.


One Semester is down, and three more to go....:onbch:

i remember my first injection, my instructor took my hand and guided it. congrats on your first semester!!


411 Posts

Thank you for sharing that. It was very encouarging to hear since I"m starting nursing school in the fall. Some people forget that mental preparation is just as important.

Nepenthe Sea

585 Posts

Specializes in PICU/Pedi.

Hey, congrats on finishing up the first semester! I just finished my first, too, but at my school, our program is based on five semesters instead of four, and we don't do clinicals in the first. Looking forward to next semester, though, when I'm in the hospital!

Our instructors were a little bit like yours. They would give us a blueprint or study questions for an exam, and everybody would study based on that. I knew, though, from reading theses forums that instructors will sometimes mislead you that way, so I studied everything I could get my hands on. Sure enough, people would always be disappointed that the material they thought would be on the exam wasn't, and I consistently made good grades because I looked at everything. It's good you learned that early!

Have a good summer :nuke:.

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