Preparing for Nursing School

Ok, you think you want to be a nurse but you hear nursing school is hard and you don’t know where to start.  The fact is, everything about nursing school is kinda hard, but it’s totally do-able so don’t be too scared, you can do this.

Shop around.  There are a lot of options for attaining your nursing degree so take a little time to look at what is available to you. I know a couple nurses who went out of state to nursing school, some who did it online, some who did their BSN as their first nursing degree, some who started out in community college getting their ASN then went on to get their BSN online.

A few years ago the competition for the local nursing program was so great that my friend wasn’t going to be able to even start nursing school for years, if at all.  She decided to go live in another state for a few years so she could attend nursing school at an affordable community college.  She finished her Associate in Nursing before she would have even gotten into the nursing program has she stayed local.  I know it may sound strange to go live in another state to attend community college but why not?

I know, I know, a lot of experts want the entry level degree for nurses to be a BSN and I do agree there is some value in that. This is the thing though, if someone waves their magic wand and makes a BSN the entry-level degree this will only add to the nursing shortage and mean more people aren’t getting care.  The bottom line is, if you NEED your RN (like, yesterday) and you don’t have the means ($$$) or patience to wait for acceptance to your local, overloaded BSN nursing program then why not get your Associate Degree in Nursing?  Bottom line, there are just so many options why not take a little time to find what works for you?

Use your counselor.  These professionals should know how to help you set up and plan your next couple of years in school.  Some are better than others in my experience but if nursing school is in your future you need a relationship with your school counselor. They will know the programs and pre-requisites and be able to give you the best advice.  If you are still shopping around for the right nursing program don’t be afraid to talk to the admissions office and the counselors at several schools so you can gauge what kind of support they can give you.  You will know when the fit is right.

Notify friends and family.  Let’s get real, nursing is an obsession and when you are in nursing school it consumes your life.  It is only wise to have a frank discussion with your closest people.  Let them know what your schedule is going to be like.  Prepare them for the nursing memes you are about to start posting as well as how this is going to change your availability.  You don’t want to lose any friendships and your family needs to understand.  This is serious stuff.

Plan your time.  Monthly, weekly, daily, hourly, minutely…(I know, that’s not a word) but the point is if you weren’t a planner before, you are now.  If you don’t have a system you love find one now. I do have a post about the best planners if you need one (and you do.)

Connect with other nursing students.  Go to mynurselife message board and sign up for notifications. You are going to need people who “get it” because your family, while they love you, cannot handle the constant nursing talk.

Get a hobby. That way you will have something to talk about besides nursing. Believe me when I tell you that you need this.

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