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Wish You Had Known Then What You Do Now?


If you could sit your past self down for a heart-to-heart to prepare him/her for school...

What advice would you give to yourself in those few months before starting your nursing program? How would you prepare yourself? What would you have done differently?

Pretend that past you is me, please. Tell me the good, bad, and ugly things that you wish you had known.


Mike R, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency.

There are always tons of "how do I prepare for Nursing School" threads. What's funny is that I usually end up thinking: Don't prepare. After you make sure you have all your ducks in a row (supplies, books, etc.), spend these last few days taking care of yourself. Enjoy the time off because when you start, you won't have much free time.

Well, you should start arranging your work/family schedule ahead of time to accommodate studying and random community clinical days. If you're working and you're a quick learner, you might be okay. But if you struggle you might want to consider reducing your work hours if possible. Only you know how well you retain stuff so you be the judge. This will be your first lesson on time management. :)

But when I did actually start school, here's the first thing I would have told myself:

"Mike, breathe and relax. Don't over think because the answer is usually right in front of you if you dumb yourself down."

And "Don't forget to think of the big picture. Stop over analyzing every minute detail and step back to see the human body and mind as a whole."


Thank you, Mike! I'm glad to hear I can relax somewhat. I've always been someone who is nervous when anticipating something, but when it actually happens, I'm calm. I'll use your advice to create a little mantra..."Stay calm and look at the big picture." :up:

Mike R, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency.

I've always been someone who is nervous when anticipating something...

Me too. Though, I've learned to approach things differently now. Here's what I find myself telling myself everyday:

"Just give it your all as you are only worth what you put in."

"Don't dwell on your mistakes but remember them for later."

"Grab life by the horns and run with it."

And my favorite: "It is, what it is... Dammit"

Honestly that I would of had more fun and apperciated my spare time cause nursing school is your life and thats one of the hardest adjustments.

I wish I would have known how hard nursing school is. I always got through school by doing the bare minimum and still got really good grades. Boy did that change in nursing school. I would have also told myself to get with a group of people and study together. I always studied by myself but just found out recently that studying with a group is better.

Just showing up for class won't cut it any more. You and your classmates, youtube, your book, google, etc, these are your real teachers now. You will now spend more hours in study than you can imagine. Try to have a good handle on the information BEFORE going to class, this will make the lecture much more understandable. Don't sweat the small stuff, just sit back and be entertained by those who do. Enjoy the ride, attitude is everything.