What to expect in nursing school

Learn about What to expect in nursing school if you wish to pursue a career in Nursing.

It is exciting to finally land your dream course as a student nurse especially if you have been applying for it for a very long time.

Nursing is one of the noblest and oldest medical professions in the world. It dates as far back as medieval times.

You might have arrived here while searching for what to expect in nursing school or how to succeed in nursing school. You are definitely on the right page.

With the help of professional and research associates, we are going to give you a breakdown of what to expect in nursing school and tips for nursing students in the first year.

Nursing is a professional medical course. Therefore, students are usually required to be at their best to portray the unique essence of the profession even as students.

What to Expect in a Nursing School

Nursing school is like every other institution, just that this time one needs to be more proactive because it deals with health. As a new nursing student, there is going to change.

Ranging from dressing, curriculum, course works, experiments, and practicals.

There is a whole lot to experience in nursing school. No matter how the tide turn, it is important you hold your head up high.

What Nursing School is like

Change of character and behavior towards certain things will have to change. As a new nursing student, it is paramount you adopt an intensive study approach.

Because your performance in the first year of study determines to a large extent if you will continue in the course or drop to a less study-intensive medical course.

Studies go beyond class works and textbooks. Students are also required to research conduct separate studies and submit their findings to their superiors for clarification and more understanding.

Structure of the Nursing School

The structure depends largely on the school. However, on a general basis, you are likely to have 3 to 4 days of lecture every week in addition to lab simulation days. Those days are the days you appear in scrubs.

Nursing School Classes

The classes during the first semester are made up of mainly 3 fundamental courses.

  • Fundamentals of Nursing
  • Health Assessments
  • Pharmacology

In addition to the above, you will also spend some time in the lab learning some basic nurse skills like inserting peripheral V’s, NG tubes, and other related tasks. It is equally important you get your tools and scrub materials ready.

Clinical Rotations

When clinical rotations start depends largely on the school’s module of study. Some schools start as early as the first semester to start offering clinical rotations while others make their students wait till the second semester.

What is Nursing Clinicals?

Nursing Clinicals are the on-site hospital practical experience student nurses are immersed into. This is the preparatory stage the student nurses are made to go through before coming in contact with real patients.

It is usually characterized by lots of simulation and pseudo-experience led by a clinical instructor who acts as a liaison between you and the hospital.

Basic Nursing School Needs

There is quite a lot needed by a new Nursing student. For the sake of this text, we shall list the most basics. Your textbooks, scrubs, stethoscope, and personal effects should not be missing in your packs.

In addition to that, a Nursing student should be with a smartphone and Nursing apps then simulated charting programs to practice documenting in addition to reference materials.

There are a lot of free materials for nursing students in the library.

Nursing School Challenges

There are quite a lot in what to expect in Nursing school and it comes with a handful of challenges. As you are preparing for an exciting experience, students should also prepare for the worst possible challenge. There are going to be Emotional, Physical, and psychological challenges.

Emotional Challenges:  The emotional challenges streams from taking that leap of faith. It can come from self-doubt and fear of not reaching the peak and graduating. These moments are when we recommend you talk to a friend or counselor.

Physical Challenges: You experience this mostly during your first year in school. As a new student, there tends to be quite a lot of stress with school work, long reading hours, stressful clinical experiments, etc.

Ensure you drink water, eat healthily, keep a schedule for flexible class works and make out time to ease off. Either hang out with friends or play your favorite games.

Psychological Challenges: Mental health should be a topmost priority but as a new student it could be put to a serious test. The challenge of leaving your present comfort zone to a new environment could be quite hard to overcome most times.

It tends to get a lot more challenging when you witness the death of a patient or lose someone in your care. Be patient with yourself as time will help you get through it. You can also seek help and talk to someone about it.

How Long Does it take to Become a Nurse?

A nursing degree typically takes an average of 2-4 years to complete. There is a timeline for each level which comes with its own program, duration, and certificate.

Below are different Nursing degrees and duration

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) 2-3 years

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)1-2 years

Registered Nurse (RN) 4 years

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) 4-5 years

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)1.5-3 years

Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP)1-3 years.

Conclusion on What to expect in nursing school

Nursing school never promised to be easy but your ability to adapt plays a major role in graduating with flying colors. Student nurses are exposed to quite a lot both in the clinical experiments and patient contacts.

It is important you make up your mind before deciding to become a nurse. Nobody has it all figured out.

Therefore, it is important you seek help from counselors when you need it. Nursing is one of the most challenging courses but with resilience, you are sure of getting certified and living up to your dream.


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