7 Things You Should Prepare for Before Starting Nursing School
You may have heard it from graduates themselves: nursing school can be one of the toughest training you’ll ever embark on. Studying to become a nurse demands time, dedication, and hard work. Even so, pursuing your dream of becoming a nurse is also fulfilling and rewarding. So, whether you’re still thinking about applying or are already about to start nursing school, it’s important to take note of the things that aspiring nurses should prepare for.
1. Double Check If You Meet All the Prerequisites
This will vary depending on the nursing program you’re pursuing, but it’s important that you meet all the requirements of your program before you start school. For example, did you know that some schools require updated immunizations for incoming nursing students? While this may seem surprising, it actually makes a lot of sense. Nurses will be working in a hospital and need to be protected against potential viruses and other ailments they may be exposed to.
Double check with your school’s program advisor or speak to your admissions counselor to make sure you have everything in place.
2. Start Building Your Network
The idea of networking may seem like a far-off prerequisite for after you graduate, but it’s never too early to start building a network in your future nursing school. Start by connecting with fellow nursing students that are or will be attending the same program as you. If possible, try and schedule meetings with professors so you can find a mentor that can help you better prepare for your program, and maybe help you figure out a specialization down the line.
3. Understand the Demands of Nursing as a Job
For many aspiring students who want to enter the healthcare industry, the demands and challenges of the job are a distant possibility—something that they’ll only have to worry about years down the line. The truth is, an up-close look at your chosen career path is extremely beneficial for understanding what it really takes to become a nurse. One of the best ways to do this is to shadow nurses across different specializations. Not only is this a great way to start building your network, but it also gives you a practical look at the day-to-day responsibilities of working nurses. If you’re unsure of how to get in touch with a nurse, try reaching out to someone from your school. A representative from your program can easily point you in the right direction and help you partner with a recent graduate or hospital.
4. Get Organized
This should go without saying, but few students recognize how something as simple as keeping everything organized is critical to ensuring your success as a nursing student.
Nursing school is demanding. As a student, you will be required to attend classroom lectures and clinical training. You will be assigned a lot of coursework, take a lot of tests, and research numerous papers and case studies. There will be deadlines, schedules, and shifts to keep track of. If you’re not well organized, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and miss important dates and assignments.
Simply making the effort to get a time management and organizational system in place will be critical.
5. Invest in Nursing Tools
Training to become a nurse requires practical, hands on training that in turn, requires the right tools and supplies. The last thing you want to worry about while you’re in the middle of clinical or lab work is a penlight that stops working or a stethoscope’s diaphragm that suddenly falls off. Be sure to invest in quality tools and supplies before starting school.
6. Brace Yourself for a Lot of Reading
While good nursing programs are built to offer a combination of classroom instruction and practical, hands-on training, aspiring nursing students should know that their program will require a lot of reading. If possible, try to get your reading requirements early to start sourcing the books. Stay organized and plan out your reading schedule. Avoid procrastinating when it comes to your reading requirements to avoid the risk of being left behind. Careful planning allows you to space out the major reading requirements to reduce the stress of rushing through everything that needs to be studied.
7. Do Not Underestimate the Nursing Program
While your nursing program may offer a lot of flexibility and comprehensive training, remember that you’re also probably taking the program with aspiring healthcare professionals who are just as smart, driven, and determined to succeed in this field as you. Studying to be a nurse can be competitive and demands a lot from students—after all, it’s a career that literally puts someone’s life in your hands. Coasting through a nursing program is not an option. It takes a lot of dedication, hard work, and some long nights to complete the program.
If you want to know more about what our nursing program has in store for you, visit our website to see how you can get started in the nursing industry.