Pre-Nursing School Jitters

This will be the first of a series of articles that I intend to write regarding what it's like to be a nursing student and how I perceive and overcome some of the challenges along the way. I am starting with the very beginning; the long wait to actually start classes.


Orientation is in 17 days. August 10th I get to meet all my fellow nursing school classmates and the instructors. I have waited for this so long. I have spent over a year doing all the pre-requisite classes and testing. I have waited what seems like a lifetime already just to get that all-important letter telling me that "Yes, you are accepted."

I am not a very patient person. If it were up to me, I would have everything yesterday. I am so excited about nursing school that I just want to jump into it NOW. On the other hand, I am also nervous, anxious and just a teensy bit frightened. I feel the pressure of the need to succeed, and all the "what-ifs" haunting me.

You hear and read all the time about how nursing school is so different from all the other classes and there are plenty of examples about anything from bad instructors to difficult tests and everything in between. It doesn't help matters that for my family, my career change is seen as a ticket out of scraping by from paycheck to paycheck. I have never been one to shy away from a challenge, and to some extent I thrive on them.

It's like when people say "You can't do this," I have to prove them wrong.

I have everything I need to start classes. I have already purchased the required uniform, stethoscope, sphygmomanometer, and most of the books. I have very few things left to do. I plan on getting my hair cut and colored, because I don't know when I will have time to do that again, and I must make sure my kids have everything they need for their own school starts.

I am glad that I still have things to keep me busy and my mind occupied to make the wait go by a little faster. My kids are important, so I do want to make sure that we do fun stuff together as a family, because chances might come fewer and further between for family activities.

I have started to read the textbooks a little bit. Not in depth, but rather a skim through to get myself familiarized with the style of the author and to prepare myself mentally for the type of critical thinking that I know will be required. I am worried that I won't have the time to read the textbook once classes start, therefore I am trying to give myself a little head start.

All in all I am looking forward to this challenge. Nursing has been my dream for as long as I can remember, and I am determined that I am going to succeed and become the best nurse that I possibly can be. That starts with becoming the best student I can be, and I can only hope that all this time spent preparing for nursing school; thinking about it, dreaming about it and preparing for it will help me be successful both as a student and a nurse.

Mom of 3 and a Nurse

4 Articles   167 Posts

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17 Posts

I loved your article! 17 days left and all the fun begins!! yay :)

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.

Thank you for sharing. :)


126 Posts

I am doing/ have done/am feeling the same as you! I have orientation on the 7th! I have a toddler! I'm ready! Good luck!


38 Posts

I'm in The same boat except my program starts in January! I have a one and a half year old!


347 Posts

Specializes in Oncology&Homecare. Has 27 years experience.

Take it from an old hand, everything you are feeling is normal! My advice is to stay focused and don't get discouraged when things don't go as expected. My guess is that you are all motivated to succeed. Now just do it! Keep us posted on your progress and best of luck!

tenjuna, MSN

1 Article; 153 Posts

Specializes in Informatics, Orthopaedics. Has 5 years experience.

I feel exactly the same way, I have even gone so far as to buy everything I can think of for clinicals and I am guessing a lot of it I won't actually need. :D But I feel it's better to be overprepared and not need it.

After reading so many posts on this site regarding forget having a life once clinicals start, I have even started selling all of my "stuff" since 1. I likely won't be using it and 2. It allows me to quit my job that much sooner. I am going to miss my jet skis though... :-(

Let the fun begin!

Specializes in Trauma. Has 8 years experience.

I also start in a few weeks. I have had many nurse friends tell me not to let school take over your life. They all said to take one a day a week and spend with family/friends. They said you will need that time to decompress and relieve stress. They also said you will need that time with your kids, so they don't feel like orphans halfway through the program. They have known students that allowed nursing school to rule their lives and when they stumbled, did poorly on a test or failed out, they were totally lost.


22 Posts

I am so nervous, excited, and anxious to start too! I start on Aug 20th, and to calm myself down I am getting everything organized right now. I have an extensive planner for: class, my preschoolers schedule, work, and personal schedule all in one place. And have even gone so far as to organizing recipes in a way where I only have to pick them out ahead and will only have to go to the grocery store every 2 weeks.

Good luck! :heartbeat


5 Posts


You and I are a lot alike in terms of how we are dealing with the upcoming madness of nursing school. I start on Aug 20th, and in the meantime I am the list QUEEN. I have a list for everything: cleaning list and schedule, with responsibilities assigned to each family member (even my 2 year old has a job. lol), my monthly menu plans archived with shopping lists and recipes attached, the kids' school and sport schedules, color coded by day and who is responsible for driving them, and a tentative workout schedule for myself and my husband (because he likes to alternate early morning and late night workouts), and I've been obsessively planning my son's 5th birthday party (which isn't until October) because I know that once school starts, I won't be able to devote nearly as much time as I'd like to planning it properly. (I already got permission from my nursing instructors to make up a week of classes in order to surprise him with a trip to Disney World. Yippee!!)

My husband thinks I might have a planning problem...I think he might be right. Especially since part of the birthday planning has involved drawing out sketches of their individual custom made outfits for each day that my sweet mother-in-law is going to help me make...I think I have a problem, indeed. :)

However,...hopefully all of this insane, over-the-top, obsessive, tedious planning will make our lives that much easier when the craziness begins next month!

Best of luck to you and your family!

Congrats on your acceptance into the nursing program!!!! I was in your shoes a year and a half ago. I currently have 1 year left and the time has gone by quickly. I am a single mom to a 2.5 year old son and when I first started I was confused on how I was going to maintain everything. I quickly realized organization and time management is the best thing you can do. Enjoy the free time you have left and spend lots of time with your child, you'll feel better when you don't have as much free time. Good Luck in school!!!!!:yelclap:


31 Posts

Like many others, also starting my first nursing class on August 20th (Sorta feels like when I was pregnant -- Anxious and excited... Writing lists, trying to prepare, knowing that there's a lot I can't do until things actually get started). Relaxing, spending time with family, and doing what I enjoy now in anticipation of working 40hrs/wk while going to school.

That being said, I think we'll all be fine. Nervous energy is good. From what my nurse friends tell me, it takes a lot of focus and organization, but "you can do it!"