Unfortunately, most program orientations do not adequately get across the idea that ALL your actions/interactions related to the nursing program reflect on, not only you, and your school/program, but the nursing profession in general. Students tend to go into the nursing program expecting to act, dress, and study like they did while taking their prerequisites. That mind-set must go out the window now.
Nursing programs tend to catch many students off-guard. Nursing prerequisites are BASIC information courses. Once you are in the nursing program the entire picture changes. The program is designed to prepare you to be a learned critical thinker...not just a student regurgitating facts in order to pass a test. Nurses must know the facts, be able to think critically to analyze the situation, and formulate steps to take based on that information. Failure at any of these steps may cost someone their life. Really.
Think of being in the nursing program as getting a JOB learning to be a nurse.
DRESS PROFESSIONALLY. When you prepare for class you can dress casually, but professionally. Do your hair. Pay attention to how your instructors dress and mirror them. You will be surprised at how the instructors may treat those students who do differently. (Think about how you would/will dress for an off-shift staff meeting at the hospital. Short shorts? Holey jeans? Rubber flip-flops?)
FOLLOW THE RULES AND DON'T ARGUE. The instructors are your boss. You don't have to agree with them, you just have to do what they say. And, yes, they might actually be wrong...that doesn't change the fact that they are in charge. Deal with it...wine works.
BE ON TIME. Would you consistently breeze into work late? Same goes for school. (Yes, I know you are paying for their "services"...but, trust me, treat it like a job and it will go well for you.)
BE PREPARED. Same principle applies...just as you would not show up for a presentation at work and wing it, do not show up for lecture without downloading/printing the powerpoints, reading the assigned material, etc.
AND, STUDY YOUR BUTT OFF! Block one is a baby step. If block one is tough for you, block two will kick your butt...maybe all the way out of the program. DO NOT use block one as a measure of the rest of nursing school...if you do, you just might fail out. Really. Locate students who are ahead of you in your program and pick their brains about successful study strategies. Figure out how YOU learn best and adapt your learning style to your program...if you are a note card person, make note cards...you know what works for you by now, stick with it...this is not the time to completely revamp your study style.
KEY POINT: You MUST learn to analyze and answer NCLEX STYLE QUESTIONS. (Yes, they really ARE that different.) BUY AN NCLEX BOOK OR TWO. NO, it is not too early to do this. And, before you jump into the questions (everyone does), read, REALLY READ, the chapter about how to read/analyze NCLEX style questions. Some people naturally get this...most do not. If you don't master this, you are going to be miserable and may fail out. Really.
Best of luck to you. Now, go study something.