koi - Tips for Surviving your First Year of Nursing School
I’m Brittanie and I am a Senior in nursing school in Northern California. I am in an accelerated BSN program where each class is only 8 weeks long.
I know you’ve probably all heard the horror stories about nursing school and I wish I could tell you that they’re not true, but unfortunately that’s not the case. They’re true, nursing school is stressful. You hit the ground running and you never really stop. But, with a lot of dedication, planning and resource utilization, nursing school is doesn’t have to be so bad. Here are 5 tips that have helped me during my first year and a half of nursing school.
Preparation is Key
Being prepared for class is so important. When you read ahead and know what information will be covered in lecture you are able to follow along easier and participate in discussions.
You don’t have to do a deep dive ahead of time but at least skim the material and know a little about it.
Buy a planner. Write down class times, clinical times, due dates, exam dates, work shifts, etc. Also, plan time for uninterrupted study time.
Try to put aside a little time everyday (even if it’s just an hour) for assignments and studying.. You’ll thank yourself later.
Start preparing for NCLEX now!
This means practice questions, practice questions, practice questions!
My school uses ATI which incorporates NCLEX style questions with detailed rationales. ATI has a quiz bank full of questions for every class you’ll take in nursing school, so, if you’re in pediatrics you have the option to choose only pediatric questions, if you’re in med-surg you can choose only med-surg related questions and so on.
This is also very helpful in preparing for exams as most professors will use similar (if not the exact same) questions for exams.
Use Your Resources
NRSNG.com has truly been a lifesaver for me in nursing school. I absolutely believe it has been a huge part of my success so far. This website basically condenses and simplifies your lectures into what you really need to know without all the extra fluff. They also offer a ton of printable “cheat-sheets” that come in handy.
The ATI Content Mastery books also are very useful. They too, condense and simplify material into what you really need to know for exams.
Cathy Parks, (LevelupRN.com) offers flashcards that are great for on the go and I’ve found these to be very helpful as well.
Using these 3 resources my study time has been cut down significantly and I have more time to do other things outside of school.
Believe in Yourself and Never Give Up!
There’s going to be times when you’ll be discouraged, anxious, don’t think you’re smart enough, unprepared, overwhelmed or scared, but you just have to take it day by day, believe in yourself and never give up!