Start school next week...advice, please

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Hi guys!

I start my program next week and would really appreciate some advice on both classroom learning and clinicals. Like, is the classroom experience going to be similar to what I've been doing for the past 2 years in "regular" classes, and what is yall's advice for first semester clinicals?

Any advice would be muy appreciated. Thanks!




208 Posts

My advice would be to BE ON TIME at all costs when it comes to clinicals... Do not be afraid to ask questions when you are unsure.... Being a smartypants or little msknowitall is a good way to kill someone... Good luck in your classes.... be organized and do your best!

Specializes in PCU, Critical Care, Observation.

I'm in the same boat you are.....starting tomorrow & have no clue what to expect. Keep an open mind, that's my advice! :)

Specializes in Behavioral Health.

With a sponge...learn everything you can. Volunteer to do things even if you are scared but don't be afraid to admit to your primary nurse that you are not quite sure how to do something.

With the are going to receive tons of info....if you learn the patho behind the disease process it'll make the nursing interventions easier to learn and remember.

It WILL be intense and I can guarantee there will be days that you question yourself as to why in the heck you ever wanted to go into nursing. DON'T give up!!! Because in the end it's a great feeling!

There is so much more I could say, but I'd be writing a novel!

Best wishes to you!

Christine D.


90 Posts

Just to add something, your tests will probably be very different from your prerequisite classes. Nursing tests are unique and a question may have more than one right answer as a choice but you have to choose the most correct! Questions are very comprehensive, requiring you to pull from lots of areas that you have studied; they are not just factual questions. Good luck and let us know how things go!


3,932 Posts

Specializes in LTC, ER, ICU,.

great advice in the previous posts, let us know how it goes.


145 Posts

Specializes in Peds, Pre and post op.

I'm in the same boat as you too, I've been waiting on waitlist for 2 years (in the meantime doing my pre reqs) but Im so glad Im FINALLY in!


153 Posts

Good luck!! I just started my first year of 25mth DNA course in September 2002 (to graduate in 2004 an RN) I love it. It all depends on your state of mind going in. Be possitive and it will show and your intructors will see your enthusasim (I know my spelling leaves much to be desired). Anyway, way to go and best wishes to you. Keep us posted.:) :)


4 Posts

The post about the nursing test being different from other classes is something I had to learn the hard way. Many nursing tests employ what is called critical thinking. This means that there may be more than one correct answer per question, but one of them is the best answer. Trust me, once you get the hang of critical thinking questions, they're not so bad!

My advice is to really, really read your questions and look for key words...this is what I had to learn to do. Don't worry about being one of the last ones done taking the test, it's worth the extra effort.

Taking very good notes is also vital. My instructor used powerpoint presentations for our lecture, and I wrote down almost every word. Then, the weekend befor a test I would rewrite my notes. I'm the sort of person who "If I write it then I know it" so the rewriting of notes was important to me.

Best of Luck to all of you!



161 Posts

:eek: Okay...first be on time!!!!! To class and clinicals!!!! Make sure that you keep up with your readings... if anything...MAKE SURE YOU DO THIS!!! When you are reading make sure you can apply all that you are reading..Nursing tests are not like any other class test you have taken. You will have two right need to pick the best one! Another thing I would advise is to take a break from time to time. If you have a family of your own (even if you live at home with mom and dad) try not to neglect them. Make time for fun too! For clinicals make sure you write down everything that you do...when meds are to be given, when FSBS are due (times) find out if the pt is a code or not (these are pretty important or at least were for my first semester of nursing) so that you can give your report to your instructor. Make sure you are up on everything..instructors like it when you show initiative. Just be yourself at clinicals if you feel something is wrong (i.e. someone is breaking something like contact precautions) speak up. Dont be afraid of the doctors...they are going to be one of your best friends there to help with pt situations. The most important advice I can give you is to make sure you don't lose yourself..stay grounded and stay focused. You will make it through it if you stay focused!! Good luck to you and keep us updated on how the semester is going! BTW are you going to ADN or BSN? Thanks!:D


216 Posts

Hi, If an instructor says something more than once--remember it! It will be on the test. Also, if you absolutely do not know the answer go with your gut! If the instructor allows challenges to the questions--challenge them. Word the challenge carefully and insightfully. Once in a while they MAY give you one. I have had two challenges accepted in four semesters total. With my instructors, the information they lecture on will be the information on the tests with sometimes a couple of extra questions from the readings. The lecture notes are crucial for the tests. If you mess up the first test--learn from it and let it go. The next one will be better! Good luck!


216 Posts

Oh and for clinicals--always always be on time and prepared. If you have an assignment to bring--have it completed. Know your medications if you had some to research! SMILE SMILE SMILE Do not look bored. Appear interested and eager. When the nursing staff moans, "Students again" stay out of their way and be very respectful of their space. Always ask for help from your instructor when you need it without appearing anxious. Anxiety-ridden students seem to be the ones who do worse in clinicals and can be targeted. Display confidence in your ability to learn what is needed. When the instructor asks for a volunteer--jump in even if you are terrified! Repeat "I can do this!" over and over and above all else treat your patients as you would want to be treated.

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