Nursing school can seem like a long and arduous trek through an intense curriculum, challenging information, and new ways of thinking. The first week will be filled with a mixture of emotions ranging from excitement to fear, anticipation to joy, and of course, stress. As millions of nurses in America can attest, it is not only possible to survive the first week of nursing school, but also to set yourself up to thrive throughout your nursing education.
Know Your Classmates
Once school begins, your classmates will be the ones you come to rely on for pretty much everything. Whether taking courses in person or online, this group is the cohort that will be present throughout your program. Whatever emotions you experience in the first week, rest assured that your peers are facing the same challenges. At the very least, this helps an individual not to feel so alone. Some classmates may become good friends while others are passing acquaintances. Rely on this support network to get through the stress of school, air any grievances, and connect over studies.
A course syllabus is the student’s best tool to stay organized throughout nursing school. Whether it is a calendar app on your phone or a paper organizer, a good tool for keeping track of your responsibilities is invaluable. Some helpful hints to get organized using the syllabus include:
- Entering all dates and projects into a calendar system
- Lay out the semester ahead once your syllabus is released
- Mentally give space to processing all the deadlines to stay ahead
- Being organized and prepared will help relieve stress now and in the future
Meet the Teachers
Instructors will be instrumental to your success in nursing school. Become acquainted with each instructor by introducing yourself and letting them know your goals for their course. Instructors want to get to know who is in their classes and always appreciate feedback from students eager to learn. Sharing knowledge and empowering students is part of the teaching process. Establishing a connection with instructors now can help navigate expectations for the course including grading and other issues that may arise later. These instructors may turn into lifelong colleagues as you progress in your career.
Even the best student with high grades prior to nursing school can struggle with the shifts in expectations. Most students receive great grades in high school and college but find nursing school to be an entirely different process. Getting straight A’s may not be possible for every student but getting a B is not necessarily a failure. A good nurse is always learning throughout his or her career so take this one step at a time and commit yourself to digesting and understanding the material. Grades are an indicator of your progress. If they need improvement, spend more time on your trouble spots. Remember, this is about setting you up to help others in your career as a nurse so take it seriously and absorb everything you can.
Lots of emotions will be present when starting school but it helps to remember the journey lasts a lifetime. Get excited, be proud, and get ready to buckle down. Think about all the friendships that will be made and knowledge that will accumulate but don’t forget about all the great things ahead of you. Relationships are a big part of the equation so take time to digest it all and get excited to be a nurse.
Felbry College provides a diverse, student-centered approach to education.
Call us to find out how we can support your dream of becoming a nurse.