Aspiring Nursing Student Advice

  1. Hello all! I feel like this website will become most helpful the next four years of my life. We don't find out until March if we are in or not. I have submitted my acceptance to Northern, so hopefully I am accepted into their program! I was just wondering if any Pre-Nursing Students, Nursing Students, or current Nurses could give me any advice. I am a CNA, and I volunteered at the hospital over the summer, and I have job shadowed a nurse, so I'm quite sure Nursing is what I would like to do. I am worried about the work load in college because I have heard it is unbearable. I am very organized, and my time management skills are ok. However, I get stressed out quite easily because I want to do so well. To prepare myself I am taking Honors Anatomy/Physiology in high school this year, and I plan to do another job shadow. I am looking for advice on studying, good classes to take, what to expect, and anything related to Nursing! I have no idea what are of Nursing I would like to go into, and I'm very open to any area. I aspire to possibly become a Nurse Practitioner someday if I can handle being an RN (with a Bachelors). Thank you so much for taking time to read this!!

    (Aspiring Nursing Student)
    Last edit by traumaRUs on Jun 2, '14
  2. Poll: Hardest Part of Nursing School?

    • Time-Management

      80.77% 21
    • The actual material

      19.23% 5
    • Competition

      19.23% 5
    26 Votes / Multiple Choice
  3. Visit rks5483 profile page

    About rks5483

    Joined: Aug '13; Posts: 14
    from US


  4. by   Lexicon
    Hello Rach!
    I'm not in nursing school yet, though I have been accepted to one program, and honestly, the hardest part about the pre-reqs I am taking right now is just time management. I'm taking two very time consuming classes that aren't advised to be taken together at my university, and have an A in one of them (anatomy) and a middle C in the other (microbiology). I have my A in anatomy because I spend a minimum of 12 hours studying for the class a week, whilst taking 5 other classes with it. It's very doable, but I just feel that the material won't be "hard" if you part the time into it.

    I hope this helps! Congrats on doing so well by the way!
  5. by   Kuriin
    Time management is definitely the hard part about nursing school because you are just thrown so much information and must be able to memorize it quite fast. The one thing I would recommend you do is to separate CNA from nursing. We have several CNAs in our program and one specifically goes out of their scope of practice (as a student) because they are a CNA.
  6. by   houstonrnhopeful
    Also, your way of thinking drastically changes once you are in a program. When taking pre-reqs you can memorize and reguritate information to make As. However, once you begin nursing school you need to be able to memorize, understand, and critically think about the concepts being presented to you. Many times the test will give you 4 right answers and you need to be able to determine which answer is the BEST answer.
  7. by   bluesky94
    I'm taking prerequisites right now, but I wanted to say that taking A&P in high school is a great way to prepare yourself for when you take it again in college. A lot of the material will be familiar to you, and you will be able to understand it much more easily. I also took A&P in high school, and it has helped me so much! Good luck and keep up the good work!
  8. by   SweetiePie26
    Hey Rach, I'm a pre-nursing student right now! I'm actually in my last semester of pre-reqs.

    One thing that I must warn you about, is that you will meet some of the most conniving, condescending girls in your life while going through this program (I do not say guys, because the ones I've met aren't like this at all). That being said, a lot of them do over-play the difficulty of the nursing pre-reqs. Trust me, A&P is not the hardest class you'll ever take, and the information is not a foreign language, its a matter of applying yourself and being an active learner. Some girls will put you down and make you feel stupid, and some girls will be there trying to help you and get through it together. MAKE FRIENDSHIPS WITH THE NICE PEOPLE. You'll see them around a lot, and they will help you the most--aside from the professors.

    MY biggest problem was time management when I first started out. I was a waitress working about 30 hours a week. For me that was WAY to much with 16 hour course loads. But please remember to evaluate, and reevaluate, how you spend your time. You really don't need that much money while your in school. Work enough to support yourself, not to buy tons of clothes and whatever other junk we spend money on. I work 11 hours a week now, I have enough money for everything I am maintaining all A's with NO stress. It's great. Figure out how you work, and all will be well.

    Utilize everything that your professors give you. I have had countless people in my classes who do not even look at the lecture notes, powerpoints, and other tools my professors post online. Just look at it at least!

    I think the only reason that it gets so stressful is the fact that there is that constant thought in the back of your head that you have to have a 4.0. Just enjoy your classes. The A's will come if you work hard, I'm almost positive. As long as you have the study habits and are determined, they will come. Relax and have fun.

    While I'm here, I must recommend Netter's Anatomy coloring book for A&P labs. Best $20 I ever spent. That will help you tremendously.
  9. by   ArinCalkins
    Hello Rach,
    The more classes you take before the program the better off you will be. I am a freshmen nursing student and have been a CNA for 12 years. I have taken a lot of the classes I need before hand I have made the choice to take microbiology in the summer to avoid taking it with nursing. Time management is huge but it help to be able to just focus all your time to nursing. Hope this helps a little.
  10. by   Pink Magnolia
    The material is not hard, it's managing the time to study the material. I recommend taking A&P I & II, micro, stats, and lifespan development course before you begin the actual program.
  11. by   NurseGirl525
    Hi Rach!! I am working on my prereqs right now. My biggest issue is managing my time. I am taking 5 classes right now and I have to be very disciplined with my time. I am a single mom with a 7-year-old son. I really don't think the material is so hard, it's about finding out at the beginning of the semester how your professors test and tailoring your studying style to that. As soon as I get home from class I work on my homework so by the time my son is out of school I am done with schoolwork and can focus on him. If I have a large test I start studying a few days before maybe an hour here or there. It is working for me. I have all A's right now and I have managed to keep my house up and laundry done which honestly was my biggest concern when starting school again. I wondered how I was going to get it all done. But I manage. I plan my week the week before and try to stick to it as much as possible. Good Luck!!!
  12. by   emde
    To be extremely organized, and to stick to a study schedule is what have helped me to succeed in pre-nursing school.
  13. by   QTRN74
    Hi Rach,
    I am a graduate of NIU's school of nursing and I can say you have chosen a fantastic accredited school to attend! Getting your BSN right away is the best move you could make. Plus, living in DeKalb was fun too since it is a college town.
    Since graduation, I have worked in many different areas of nursing and it has always helped that I had my BSN. I recently went back to school and completed my MSN and now teach students just like what you will soon be. My mentor was from NIU and I really hope to be like her with my own students. My advice to you is to work hard in school and work part-time as a CNA or PCT while in college. This will assist you in getting that first job. Until then, if you are still in high school, then volunteer at your local hospital for that also looks good on both college interviews and also resume's. Feel free to PM me...I am always interested in helping a future students, especially NIU Huskies!
  14. by   MsDjana
    Well, first things first, find some stress relievers since you get stressed out easily. Because getting into nursing school can be stressful, so imagine once you're in!!!
  15. by   Compassion_x
    I chose the "material" option on the poll. Although truly I don't have a hard time with the material, it's the NCLEX style questions. They're a whole new breed. It's really my only problem in nursing school which I am working to improve all the time.

    Of course time management is very important, but honestly if you are determined and focused it shouldn't be a huge deal, unless you are trying to work full time (which I wouldn't recommend!).