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Nursing School Experience

Posted

Hello, everyone! :) I'm currently transitioning into my senior year of high school and have been deeply researching about the role of nurses. I am nearly certain that nursing is absolutely the best career I could go into. I love the flexibility, the comfortable salary, and the important role nurses play in patient care.

I would like some information on nursing school such as:

  • What did you learn?
  • What was your experience?
  • What was the difficulty?
  • Is there something I can do beforehand to increase my chances of being accepted?
  • What stood out for you?

I want information about BSN programs, specifically; however, any and all help/guidance is highly appreciated.

Thank you and go nurses! ;)

  • What did you learn? Everything necessary to pass the licensing exam and start learning how to be a working nurse.
  • What was your experience? Challenging. Juggling life's responsibilities along with school.
  • What was the difficulty? Significant.
  • Is there something I can do beforehand to increase my chances of being accepted? Yes. Have an excellent GPA, do well on all entrance exams, write excellent admission essays, and have impeccable references. Have healthcare experience already (become a CNA, volunteer).
  • What stood out for you? The level of responsibility and professionalism that was expected of each student. Clinical rotations more stressful than I had imagined.

Good luck you your choices :)

  • Hello MedicallyCurious! I just graduated from a BSN program this past May and passed my NCLEX board exam two days ago.

    What did you learn? I took classes from chemistry to pathophysiology (disease processes), pharmacology(medications), anatomy/physiology, lifespan development, microbiology, nutrition, and then the nursing specific classes (OB/ped, medical-surgical nursing, nursing leadership, research methods, psych nursing, etc). I believe all BSN programs cover most areas of nursing and require a significant number of clinical hours. I had a senior internship that was required by my university that allowed us to become more independent.
  • What was your experience? It was very challenging, but I took it as it came one day at a time. I have always had issues dealing with significant stress, but looking back I am glad it was challenging because now I have major responsibilities that may mean life or death for the patient.
  • What was the difficulty? The program is meant to be very difficult because it is a career that is very knowledge and judgement based.
  • Is there something I can do beforehand to increase my chances of being accepted? I would suggest obtaining your CNA cert and being active in school when you get to college. That will show the college of nursing that you are able to juggle school and other life events and give you valuable experience at the same time. Also, aim high for your GPA. Unfortunately, I had a 3.6 and I barely made the cut at my school, but it is not impossible. Just try your best and the rest will come.
  • What stood out for you? The amount of reading that is required. We had quizzes at the beginning of every class in the nursing program that held a significant weight in our final grade.

Buggysmom

Specializes in neuro-surg, psych, CM/URP, CM/URP Mgr.. Has 21 years experience.

I'd suggest getting your CNA, as well. That will be an inexpensive way to earn money and learn if this is a career you want. I have 19 years of nursing and couldn't imagine any other career for myself. A good school will prepare you for the NCLEX and will leave you feeling fairly confident and independent enough to keep your head above water in your first job. I loved nursing school. I went to one of the old hospital programs. We lived onsite at the hospital, ate in the hospital cafeteria for meals and took classes in the basement of our dorm. We wore nursing caps, skirts (until 2nd year when someone reported the school to the ACLU because the 3 boys in our class could wear pants and girls couldn't) and our teachers carried mints and white shoe polish (because patient's shouldn't have to smell nurse's coffee breath and we needed to look tidy). It was very old school, but, we were taught and trained to be nurses. I took the NCLEX and never once thought I didn't pass it. We went to school year round with just 5 weeks off in the summer. Very different. I did my BSN nights and weekends while working. The difficulty I would say was just buckling down and absorbing a ton of information from the sciences to the psychology/sociology classes to the nursing classes. Just a ton of info. Increase your chance of being accepted by becoming a CNA. Work at a nursing home or SNF or someplace that will take you on, one that will train you to be the best CNA you can be. Or other option, get your EMT. Show that you are invested. If you can't do BSN right off the bat, try the associates route then you will be able to work (some places offer money to advance your degree) and chip away at your goals. What stood out? What stood out for me? Life long friendships. Connections. The ability to truly care for people at their absolute worst moment in life, help them get better and have them come back and thank you. You will never regret it! There is so much in nursing. My peers have gone on to work for healthcare information sales, insurance companies, patient advocates, NP's, medical sales, administrators, gosh, the list goes on. Good luck in your endeavors, apply to more schools than you think you need to! Study hard, shadow people in roles you would be interested in and go get 'em! :up:

Thank you so much everyone for your input! I'm going to take everything said into great consideration. I only have a couple of questions.

My first question is, what's a CNA? Second, and lastly, is the actual nursing part of school separate from the college education?

Buggysmom

Specializes in neuro-surg, psych, CM/URP, CM/URP Mgr.. Has 21 years experience.

CNA is certified nursing assistant. Not sure how they do it nowadays. I got certified when I was a teenager working at a nursing home. There are many different ways to go about getting a nursing license nowadays. Others more current or newbies can probably answer better, but, you could go to a 4 yr program (university/college bachelor's program) and get your general education (gen-eds) and pre-requisites and then go into the nursing program in your last 2 years. You could go the associate nursing program and take the classes you need (the anatomy & physiology 1 & 2, microbiology, Inorganic Chemistry 1 & 2, psychology, etc. and nursing is all wrapped up in a 2 year program with an associates degree and the ability to sit for the NCLEX and obtain your RN. Some people are doing gen-ed/pre-req's online and it seems like some are even doing RN online. I'd sit down with your guidance counselor or your parents and go over a plan of attack for your Senior year. Some high schools (I know my kids HS) have health courses geared to students getting their RN and our HS is linking up with a local college for the HS kids to go straight into the nursing program from our HS with a lot of their sciences already completed with dual credit. So, if you haven't taken advantage of dual credit at your high school, I'd do that, too. It will show that you can function and succeed at the college level. Hope that helps!

Yes, like what Buggysmom said, nursing school is usually part of the four year curriculum and most Bachelors degrees are 4 years. However, I did prerequisites (like general classes such as English, Psychology, Algebra, etc) the first year and a half and applied to get into the college of nursing to complete the rest of my Bachelors.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

I hope you started with your college preparation before now. Nursing schools are very competitive right now. They want 3 years of foreign language. Four years of math...advance algebra, physics, and calculus or statistics are very important. Your GPA needs to be > 3.0...however my daughter found out that a solid 3.4 is necessary. Honors courses are counted heavier. SAT scores need to be good with a minimum of 1100 critical reading and math. You can take them more than once.

Be careful of student debt. Do not take on more college debt than you can make in the first year of employment

There are different entry paths into nursing ALL will allow you to sit for the licensing exam called NCLEX.

1) diploma: These are hospital based programs and they are very scarce. Once the gold standard for entry into nursing these programs are being phased out. ALL of your education is at the hospital that sponsors the program. If that facility doesn't hire you you WILL have difficulty getting a position

2) ADN/ASN associated degree: This is now typically a community/tech based college that is in total 3 years in length for your prerequisite courses are taken the year prior to clinical.

3) BSN: this is a university based program that is 4 years in length. The first 2 years are prerequisite/required courses with clinical and nursing course work beginning in the junior year. The is fast becoming the gold standard for nursing education with facilities preferring BSN grads to associate grads.

4) Accelerated BSN: This is an intensive fast paced program for entry level nurses who ALREADY have a bachelors in another flied. This requires that ALL non nursing coursework be completed before entering the program. These still will take at least 2-3 years to complete. 1 year of prerequisites and 12 up to 24 months of nursing course work....depending on the program and state

5) Direct entry MSN: These are also university based and are new to the arena. After 3-4 years of college the student sits for boards then goes an additional 1 year or so to complete the MSN.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

Thank you so much everyone for your input! I'm going to take everything said into great consideration. I only have a couple of questions.

My first question is, what's a CNA? Second, and lastly, is the actual nursing part of school separate from the college education?

Depending on the program....this varies. My daughters program does 2 years of prerequisites, math, anatomy, microbiology, English, history etc.

Her actual nursing portion begins her Junior year.

Thank you for the valuable information.

I have a 92 GPA, a combined 1290 SAT score, two years of language, three years of math so far (although they were IMP classes :(), soon to be taking AP Biology, AP Psychology, stats, and a six credit anatomy course. I've also rowed for all of the years I've been in high school. Although I have minimal volunteer work done, I plan to start being more active and would like to get accepted into my schools National Honors Society.

How does that sound?

Edited by MedicallyCurious
Forgot SAT and Math Info

Buggysmom

Specializes in neuro-surg, psych, CM/URP, CM/URP Mgr.. Has 21 years experience.

Definitely get on your National Honor Society. Look at volunteering at your local hospital. That would be easy to do and get your volunteer hours for NHS. SAT wise, I'd retake the SAT. Look at taking a course to try and increase your score. Try to go for at a min. of 500+ per section (math, critical reading and writing). What are IMP classes? Your AP courses will raise your GPA as they are worth more points. My daughter is going into 8th grade and we had to start looking at all this stuff to get her started off on the right foot. She also took the SAT last year as part of the DUKE TIP program, so, I am all over the SAT info. The fact that you know what you want to do is FANTASTIC! Do something that makes you different! Apply to lots of schools, do 2 year and 4 year and write a crazy awesome essay that really shows who you are and your passion for being a nurse! You are on the right path!

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

Thank you for the valuable information.

I have a 92 GPA, a combined 1290 SAT score, two years of language, three years of math so far (although they were IMP classes :(), soon to be taking AP Biology, AP Psychology, stats, and a six credit anatomy course. I've also rowed for all of the years I've been in high school. Although I have minimal volunteer work done, I plan to start being more active and would like to get accepted into my schools National Honors Society.

How does that sound?

you are on a good path! Look into schools now that you want to go to...find out what they are looking for.

Get involved in Something like relay for life. Sports are good. They are looking that you can handle multiple activities and maintain a good GPA. call your local hospital see if they allow volunteers.