Are you thinking about becoming a Nurse?
Well...before you do, let's talk...
Are you Ready?
You've probably been asked this before, by many people.
"Are you ready for nursing school?"
While there are a few of you who may be close to being ready,
NO ONE is ever 100%.
Nursing School is TOUGH!
I know you have also heard this many times before...
"Nursing School is hard...but if you can pass, it's extremely rewarding.."
While there is a lot of hype about how hard nursing school is, there is one problem that is overlooked most of the time that could help so many people, but most find out too late...and that is HOW TO STUDY!
That's where we come in!
If you haven't started nursing school yet, keep scrolling
There are a few things that need to happen first!
Have you got your "Why Nursing?"
First, you need to take a deep, deep look into WHY you want to be a nurse. If money is your only reason...TURN BACK NOW!
Your "Why Nursing?" reason needs to be something greater than for yourself...
a need to help others, a way for you to provide better for your family, something...
While nursing does have the ability to provide well for you and your family, it shouldn't be your driving force.
Now that you know your "Why",
let us focus on the "How?"
While nursing is rewarding in many aspects, nursing school is not free. Although some may be able to pay out-of-pocket completely, some may need a little help and that's okay.
There are many resources for those that qualify such as FAFSA, school work-study programs, scholarships, and even some state Workforce programs and that will pay you to go to school.
Be sure to thoroughly check into every nook and cranny for those pennies. If you can get the "free" money to help with school, it is that much less you have to worry about!
Scroll down if you already have the money part covered
The "How" is covered...
We CAN'T stress this enough!
Even the best nursing programs at times can have periods of disorganization and chaos. All your instructors are different people, with different teaching styles and GRADING styles. Learn them in the very beginning, and plan accordingly. The best way to lower stress and anxiety is to prepare and plan for everything.
Don't be the student that constantly has to ask their neighbor what is going on. Stay on top of your game, and get organized!
- Get your books
- I would love to tell you that you will 100% use all of your books, but the truth is some of them you may only crack open for a quick reference. While books are never easy on the pocketbook, there are ways for you to save some money.
- First, before you buy used books, be sure that you do not need a code for online resources. Schools use very specific book codes, and sometimes if you order the wrong book, you end up having to buy it twice.
- Check with an instructor from your program and find out which books are okay to purchase used and which must be purchased new.
- Buy used books when you can! Amazon is one of the best places to buy books, and they even have a rental program that can save you quite a bit. Chegg is also a great resource to use to get some books at discounted rates.
- The main thing to realize is that while it is nice to have clean, fresh new books...used ones will get the same job done.
- Last, but not least... yes, it is great to use real, paper books...I get it, I was the same way. However, when I finally tried to get used to eBooks, so much weight was lifted off of my life AND MY BOOKBAG! eBooks give you the ability to search for specific words very quickly, as well as make it easier for you to pick up and read anywhere, especially if you have a tablet. This increases your opportunities to get little micro-chunks of studying done, which is the proven method to be most efficient.
Get your schedule for your program.
Whether it is the pre-requisites or the actual nursing program, a schedule is going to be your lifeline to make it through.
Take your schedule and PLAN YOUR LIFE!
Get a calendar set up, whether it is on a paper calendar, on a tablet, or even what I would recommend Google Calendar. This program isn't something you put your life on hold for...until you are walking across the stage at graduation and your pinning ceremony, nursing school IS your life.
Plan/Schedule your study time!
While it is important to know when papers are due, and what days your exams are, you need to schedule your study time. If your schedule it, it IS more likely to happen! Figure out what type of learner you are...you probably already know. Do you fall asleep when someone is just talking? Maybe auditory isn't your learning style. Do you like videos and watching things to learn or do you learn by writing things down in your own handwriting? Maybe you are a visual or a kinetic learner.
What is your Learning Style?
If you don't know what type of learner you are, click HERE to take a free quiz to help guide you.
There are debates on whether or not this principle is accurate, but I do know that at least for me personally, I need to hear someone talk about something and type it into my own words to help me remember things. So if anything, this assessment will help you figure out what type of studying you might get the most out of.
Get your supplies
I would say on day one, bring a notebook and pencil at a minimum. This is so you can write down everything the instructors tell you that you will need to get to be successful. After that, make sure that you get the extras that you personally need for the way you study. For example, multiple notebooks for each class, markers, different colored pens, and flashcards if you are a card junkie!
You just want to make sure that you have everything that you need to be successful. If you can order online and wait a bit, most of the time this will also save you money versus buying in-store. It will also give you more options.
LASSSTTTT but for sure not LEAST...
Take a deep breath and relax. You have done all that you can to prepare, so enjoy the break you have earned before the real work begins.
Make sure to schedule time for yourself. I saw so many students in school forget about self-care. Just like in the world of nursing, it is important to take care of your patients (school/work) but it is also important to do the things you enjoy to relieve stress and relax. Just make sure it doesn't get in the way of the schedule you have already built to be successful in school.
If you want a tablet to study on, the best in our opinion is the iPad with a Pencil. It is basically an All-in-one Study supercomputer that you can also hand-write your notes on. There are tons of apps used for your eBooks as well as those used to take notes... GoodNotes is one popular app I used, but a lot of people enjoyed Notability.
Find a buddy! Get out there and make friends with someone in your cohort, even if it is just to have someone to ask questions or to bounce ideas from...if possible, you need to try to have someone to lean on when the stress just gets to you...because the truth is, it probably will, and that's okay. Just like many students before you...
"This too shall pass...
it may pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass..."