1st day, 1st semester nursing student

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Wow.......lol. I've been trying to prepare myself for this first semester of nursing class & I thought I was doing pretty well--until going to class today. She took it easy on us, just went over the syllabus & the standard procedures for our nursing program, handed out a calendar of what we'll be doing each & every day for the next four months & our test schedule. All I can say is WOW.

We start lecture tomorrow & our first test is on Monday covering 5 chapters. Then we have a test 2 weeks later covering about 7 chapters......and so on for a total of 8 tests. We have a separate math for meds test two days after that in which we need to pass with a 90 or better. It is not averaged in with our other test grades. If you don't pass the math test after 3 tries, then you're out. We need a 78 or better on our regular tests, otherwise we are sent to remediation. She said they came up with 78 as being the cut-off point because when they used to have it at 75, they only had a 75% passing rate on the nclex. When they moved it up to 78, they now have a 94% passing rate on the first try---so basically they are doing it for our benefit (so they say...lol).

We have a few projects to do...they don't seem difficult, just time consuming. I'm *hoping* to get a headstart on those....hoping anyways...lol.

Our professor is 6 months pregnant & she goes on maternity leave about halfway through the semester. I'm not too happy about that because I think you get used to the way a professor teaches & to switch halfway through might throw us off. Then again, maybe we'll end up with someone that's even better, although it looks like this woman has it together. We shall see. She doesn't even look old enough to be a professor!

We only have a total of 11 clinical days...5 in a nursing home & 6 in a hospital. We don't start that until March 12th.

When we were leaving today, she told us not to feel intimidated. She knows it's a lot of work, but we will get through it together. I'll let you know if she's true to her word after our first test on Monday. :roll

My advice to those of you that are starting in a few days or a couple of weeks....start reading your basic nursing textbook if you want to get ahead. Like I said...we don't even really start until tomorrow & I'm already feeling behind. In fact, I'm off to read my 5 chapters before class tomorrow. :D

Please post how your first day went also....I'm curious to see how similar or different our programs are. Good luck to you all!!


206 Posts

Jen, you'll do fine. Just remember to take one thing at a time. Don't worry about work due two or three weeks from now. Work on what you need now. It will all come in time. And your instructor is right, it always sounds like too much on the first day. But once you get into the swing of things, you will find your rhythym (sp?).

Take it easy and enjoy. :)


262 Posts

We lost an instructor last semester due to family issues. After she left, each of her classes was taught by a DIFFERENT instructor. That went on for about 5 weeks. It was very disconcerting and we were all pretty unhappy about it, especially when we learned that our final exam would be written by a nursing professor IN A CITY ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STATE!! I got all worked up for nothing, though. The exam was very fair and straightforward.

I'm not telling you this to scare you. I live in a rural area, and the sudden departure of a professor was problematic (nursing professors don't grow on trees in these parts). Your program has the advantage of being able to plan for the event.

Best of luck to you!!


355 Posts

Specializes in School, Camp, Hospice, Critical Care.

Congrats on what sounds like a productive first day!

It does sound challenging, but it also sounds as if you've got a realistic handle on the work ahead of you. Me, I'm in the middle of nursing school aps for Fall 2003, and finishing prereqs--so that first day is still nine months off for me.

Best of luck in your first semester. I'd love for you to post about your impressions of your first day of clinical, when you get there!


3,932 Posts

Specializes in LTC, ER, ICU,.

sounds like you will do fine. keep us posted and all the best to you.

You didn't mention any skills tests--- please tell me your college has skills tests. Surely all nursing programs have these.


145 Posts

Specializes in Peds, Pre and post op.

Wow, I dont start til the 21st so maybe I should get a head start and study now:eek: !!

At my RN program 74% on tests is considered passing.

I dont even know what to expect for my first day. Our classes arent at the college but at another hospital, so hopefully I wont get lost.

The thing I'm dreading the most is the time I have to get up at for clinicals. They start at 6;45 am and the location varies the closest one to my house is 45 minutes away the farthest on is 1 1/2 hours away.:o So I have to get outta my house by 5:15 and get up by at least 4:30 :eek:

What have I gotten myself into:p

Im still excieted though. Hope ya do great!:D


409 Posts

Specializes in Float Pool, ICU/CCU, Med/Surg, Onc, Tele.

Jennerizer, thanks! You did an AWESOME job describing your day. My first day is next Monday. I've been online downloading syllabi and scaring myself half to death looking ahead at the assigned reading.

I can see already that the class time is going to be a minimal portion of my investment in this program. I think I read somewhere that you can count on 2-3 hours PER CREDIT HOUR of study time, per week. Yeah, I can see THAT alright. Yowza.

I think what's scaring me is the sheer volume of information we're expected to learn in 4 months. The syllabus thing is completely new to me, back in the dark ages when I went to college the first time we just showed up for class and the instructor told us what to study for the next session. Seeing it all laid out on one page is a big change for me.

Luckily I have at least some prior medical knowledge and experience, so I have an 'edge' to the newbies walking in with a clean slate. I'm sure it won't take long for them to catch up with me though, lol.

WOW. I'm so excited! I met with my advisor today because I happened to be in the vicinity and dropped in. This is going to be a huge project for the next few years, but I know I can do it.

(((hugs))) to all of us! Thanks again for posting your update!


145 Posts

Specializes in Peds, Pre and post op.

I wish I could download our nursing sylabus form the internet, we have to buy ours at the bookstore and they wont have them til the 17th of Jan GRRR

Specializes in PCU, Critical Care, Observation.

Yes, we do have skills tests........6 of them. We're starting on the vital signs, blood pressure & health assessment tomorrow in lab. Just bought my stethoscope tonight---not sure how good it is...it's a Sprague, cost about $20. I figure I'll wait to see how this semester goes before I invest in one of the more expensive ones....already have my eye on the Littman Cardio III. :)

The other skills are handwashing, physical examinations, changing dressings, foley catheter, & med admin. They won't let us near a real patient until we pass all of those.

She was telling us about this neat simulator that they have...where it's a patient & he can be programmed to give any response that they want depending on what you are doing to it. It's over at another campus, so we won't actually get to use it until later. Sounds pretty fascinating though.

She took us to the computer lab & strongly urged us to spend some time doing the practice questions throughout the semester.

Nessa---I hear ya on those early morning hours. Right now our classes are from 8 to 1 on Mondays & 8 to 4 on Tues & Wed. When we start clinicals they will change to 7 to 3 on those two days & it's a little time consuming to get there. I imagine it's something we get used to though. Even though I am such a nite owl! Be sure to post on how your first day went too. With the syllabus---we had to buy ours too for like $12. We also had to buy the student policy handbook for nurses too. They must think we are made of money...lol.

NurseWeasel---you are right...they say plan to spend 2-3 hours studying for every class hour you are taking. I have 16 class hours---so it will be time consuming. I don't mind though. It looks like very interesting stuff & I think what is helpful is knowing you will be putting what you learn to actual use. Let us know how your first day goes too!


160 Posts

I wish I was in nursing school right now, but working on prereq's! I'm excited to be doing that. Keep us posted and best of luck!!!!!!!!

Specializes in Acute Medicine/ Palliative.

Congrats on your first day! Let us know how excited you are in a couple of weeks...LOL...:eek:

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