Tips on Getting Through Pre-Nursing from a Fellow Pre-Nursing Student

Life is a journey, so is pre-nursing. Keep it in perspective. You are there for a reason, try to remember them." Its just the first thing that came to my head that I found properly displays the message I am trying to show.


Tips on Getting Through Pre-Nursing from a Fellow Pre-Nursing Student

My ten tips for dealing with pre-nursing classes (as I have experienced it.)

1. Shoot high Early. My first semester back I took all math, and science. it was an experiment for me to see if I was even capable of the work. I shot for a 4.0 at midterm I had it, and ended up with two bs instead of my 4.0. I came down with a lung abscess, and could have died. If I hadn't worked so hard early on I would not have passed, much less done well enough to justify the money I spent.

2. Results not excuses. Excuses won't get you through pre-nursing I have plenty. Clinical depression, Chron's disease, and I had an 11cm lung abscess. Then I heard a story about a man with cancer, who would go to chemo, and still go to nursing school. That man earned his right for a seat in nursing school, and it was his right to attend. I lamented my fate, but I learned some people walked harder roads than me, so it was a wake up call for me.

3. Wake up calls. I bombed my first quiz in statistics 36% I spent the entire week studying, and got a 96% on the exam. Take your wake up calls early, and let it give you a sense of urgency. We all make mistakes, work to rectify them early before they snowball.

4. If you are in a hole start climbing. I started back with a 2.55 cumulative. Its at 3.235 its still not very competitive. I could blame my crohn's disease, but it won't get me into nursing school. You know what might graduating with my associate studies science with a 3.5 which is what I have the opportunity to do.

5. 4 Brings me to my next point, Look at each semester as an opportunity. Every semester brings the opportunity to improve yourself. My GPA is steadily climbing each semester, and I love the ride.

6. Remember why you are taking these classes I am a tutor, so I see this all the time when I tutor, and I imagine its the same with nursing school. They are trying to groom you for the rigors of the next class, and in turn your education is trying to groom you for whatever you are going for. So remember why you are learning what you are learning, its not busy work, its so you have a chance at achieving a level of educational, and professional success that takes years of work.

7. Get ahead early. Its so much easier on you if you get ahead early, you can relax, and get 8 hours of sleep instead of cramming. So if you have the opportunity to do something a week in advance do it.

8. Take a CNA course. I know a lot of people turn their noses up at this one, and its not really necessary. However My CNA course taught me a basis for many classes to come, and critical thinking skills that I would need to succeed in classes like anatomy. Also before you drop 60 grand on your education a CNA course will give you a taste of what its like to care for a person who cannot care for themselves, and its a great way to make excellent contacts with professors who can teach you amazing things about the medical field, and students who also have similar goals and stories.

9. Enjoy the ride. Remember you have a goal, but try to enjoy each semester of material it makes it so much easier when you don't fear going to class to learn each day. Try to develop a mindset "todays going to be a good one." You might be surprised how good your day is.

10. Gauge yourself early, and adjust. If you are struggling with something that is going to be on a test, be aware of it, and prepare accordingly. I was very diligent in learning nomenclature in chemistry because it was something I struggled with. So I paid extra attention in class when it came up, and I am seeing tutors to review the material. Identify your strengths don't neglect them, but focus extra time on your weaknesses. I hope this helps I apply to nursing programs this fall wish me luck! I have been at pre-nursing about a year. P.S. Apply to multiple schools!!! Nursing is competitive so apply to as many schools as you are eligible within your area. I will be applying to over half a dozen in the fall.

Define yourself, because it’s you who has to look in the mirror. - me

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2 Articles; 80 Posts

Great attitude...keep it up.


134 Posts

What is pre nursing for Godsakes? I've never heard of anything so ridiculous.


3 Articles; 262 Posts

What is pre nursing for Godsakes? I've never heard of anything so ridiculous.

Its prerequisites for nursing programs. Classes usually include microbiology, anatomy, and general chemistry. Not everyone is accepted to a nursing program straight out of highschool. For those that aren't, and want to be a nurse they may take pre-nursing classes.

Upon comepleting required classes, and certain other variable criteria they may then apply to a nursing program.

For instance there are actually nursing programs that offer only the last two years, before applying you must have completed the first two years of your BSN. Others will accept students straight out of highschool, all have variable criteria, and requirements. Most include Micro, gen chem, Anatomy, and statistics, as well as various other courses.

There are a myriad of ways to becoming a nurse. One may become a LPN, get their ADN, or a BSN. There are Also MSN programs for non RN with Bachelors, or better. Then there are ways to continue your education.

For instance one may start out as an LPN, then either complete a LPN to ADN bridge program, then complete a ADN to BSN bridge program if they wish to go further. There are also LPN to BSN programs, and yes ADN to MSN programs. There are also accelerated BSN programs for those who already hold a bachelors.

In my case I will be completing an AS, associate studies science, in the natural sciences this summer, then applying to LPN, ADN, and BSN programs. I will be eligible for all three, and fully intend on applying to all three.

If I where say accepted to a BSN program in two years I would hold a BSN, if ADN then in two years I would hold an ADN, and then intend to bridge it via an online course. If I were accepted to LPN I would be an LPN in a year, and I could bridge to an ADN, or BSN.

Right now I am hoping to go straight for the BSN, more money, but saves me time on my education because the BSN was always the intention. Starting taking prerequisites at CC makes me less comepetive for some programs, and indeed makes me ineligible for a few who want all undergrad worked completed at some said university, however I become eligible for certain other programs that require you have an associates, and prerequistes completed before even applying to take nursing courses, and complete a BSN in two years after receiving your associates.

Specializes in Infusion. Has 5 years experience.
What is pre nursing for Godsakes? I've never heard of anything so ridiculous.

Yeah, what Gavin513 said. In my state and probably others, getting into a nursing program is pretty competitive. The pre-nursing classes (in Oregon) are pretty standardized here so that a student will need to have writing composition, college algebra, A&P, micro, developmental psych, nutrition, and biology that included a genetics component. All have minimum grade requirements and points are given based on grades in those courses. My community college required a CNA certification to even apply to the program. Now it is offering several points towards program acceptance for working a considerable amount of hours as a CNA. Because of very limited resources (instructors and clinical sites) nursing schools don't want to waste time with students who aren't completely up to speed at the time they begin either a 2 year ADN program or 3 year BSN program. Just like everything else, a lot has changed in nursing over the last 30 years.

The OP is right, go for the gold. If you are struggling early, go after all of your resources. Heck, You Tube has tons of videos that can help explain a process that isn't coming across so well from your college instructor.


3 Articles; 262 Posts

. My community college required a CNA certification to even apply to the program. Now it is offering several points towards program acceptance for working a considerable amount of hours as a CNA..

That is what my CC is doing quite frustrating really. I intend to start work as a CNA this summer, but I am loathe to give up my tutoring job, and I can't exactly work two jobs and get the kind of marks I need to actually be competitive.

Still I don't want to close doors so I will be applying to my CCs program in the fall when I am ready to apply along with BSN programs, and LPN.

I intend on doing it anyway I am allowed, but shooting for BSN despite having to overcome a few problems of my own.


61 Posts

I probably need to take number 7 to heart the most. I was the worst procrastinator in the past...

Great tips. Thanks!


190 Posts

These are some really great tips. I really like them a lot and wished that the nursing school that I attended had those tips for us. They told us to start reading early on and to make sure that we got our sleep, but these are such great and helpful tips that more student nurses could relate to. I can remember when I was a student nurse, I had lots and lots of challenges myself. I not only had to learn the new curriculum, but I also had to budget my time and make sure that I took time for myself. I can remember making out a calendar for myself and for every week that I was in nursing school and on that calendar, I would put homework, what I needed to work on for tests and study, and my break times and what I wanted to do for breaks as well. This helped me narrow down what I needed to do. The best advice that I can give you is to budget your time, aim high, and don't forget to take breaks during your study times. Breaks are the best; especially when you can pick what you like to do when you are on a break. It is like a reward for you. I also agree that taking a CNA class is extremely helpful and it also helps with the foundation of nursing concepts. Good luck in everything. Marcella 5/20/16


190 Posts

Hi, my name is Marcella and I live in Virginia. I liked reading about your post for several reasons. It seems that you understand the true value of budgeting your time and you also value your work time as well. Just remember that everything that you do for work is a huge value to your career and to your goal path. You have wonderful goals in mind; just stay on task and do what you feel is right. If there is someway that you can work two jobs, then go for it. Sometimes having multiple jobs can be a good thing because you get to have a variety in your day and you get to do things that you want to do. Just make sure that you budget some time for your self because that is extremely important. I wish you the best. Marcella 5/20/16


10 Posts

I love #9 and will start enjoying the ride more. Often times, I'm so focused on getting to the end result. Great post, it's very motivating!

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 5 years experience.

I'm going to print this out and tack it to my bulletin board on my desk for motivation!!

I am a 55 year old nursing student. I am taking my first med -surg class, had my first test this week and failed. I am trying to turn this around and get the raw courage to push forward but I can't seem to find it . I never had someone to tell me or steer me in the direction of a career when I was younger. Now I live humbly at best, my husband is dying from cancer and I still have two teenagers in the house. I studied five days straight, I just feel like I should have done better. If anyone can give me some advice on a study routine it would be greatly appreciated. I feel luke quitting.