So you finally get to begin your exciting journey into nursing school. You have worked hard to complete all your prerequisites and held your breath while waiting for your acceptance letter.
You are envisioning each semester as bringing you closer and closer to your dream of being a nurse. This is going to be cake… I mean you passed all your prereqs without a problem, so nursing school is going to be easy, Right?
Here is what you need to know about nursing school, it is an endurance race to see what you can handle. It is not for the weak of heart.
To become a nurse you will go through many semesters of schooling that will leave you constantly realizing this is not just a few simple nursing classes.
To begin with… the first semester you are introduced to this amazing new way of thinking, called critical thinking.
Tests are no longer just as simple as memorizing information and being able to answer questions verbatim from a textbook. Nope, welcome to this new way of testing where there are always two correct answers… just make sure you choose the best one.
That’s right, you have never experienced test taking quite like this style.
After the first semester you should be accustomed to this new way of critically thinking.
Next comes something that is rarely used in real world nursing application, this is care plans with these interesting things called nursing diagnoses.
From a practicing nurse’s standpoint I have to say I still don’t understand why we need are own diagnoses, but it is one of the most important aspects of school, as it applies directly to testing.
With regard to diagnosis, I think the majority of my friends and I suffered from anxiety r/t change in role function AEB tachypnea, dyspnea and trembling. However, I did always enjoy the ones we made up like risk for substance abuse r/t finals AEB extreme binge drinking.
During nursing school you will spend the majority of your time with classmates, some of which can become lifelong friends.
There are no other friends that will understand what you are going through during school, including close personal friends.
One the first day of nursing school an instructor said “look next to you because that will be someone who will be a lifelong friend,” and true to the instructor’s word I still have some very close friends from nursing school, even if we don’t talk often, we still pick up right where we left off.
So now that you know about tests, nursing plans, and friends, we must speak about clinicals.
Clinicals are very exciting because you finally get to see and help patients. They are the first step into feeling like a nurse… Well, almost.
As a student there are limits to what you may perform. You will become proficient at feeding patients, bathing them and taking them to the restroom.
The final step in nursing school is studying for and taking the NCLEX, which comes after you graduate from your program.
One exam is what stands between you and being a nurse. The amount of questions can range from 75- 205 and you have 6 hours to complete the exam to become a registered nurse. Everything you’ve in school has set you up for this test and honestly it is one of the largest sources of anxiety for most nursing students.
The good news is that it is just a test, and you do have the chance to retake the test several times, although everyone would love to pass the first time.
I’d have to say that nursing school was intense and extreme at moments, but the memories I have from it and the friendships that were formed are priceless.
It truly is a privilege to be a nurse and we should all be proud of what we have accomplished!