Whether you’re heading into a nursing program right out of high school or you’re returning to study the discipline after a period of absence from the educational realm, choosing this field is a noble endeavor. You’re going to influence and better lives in so many ways. Therefore, you want to ensure that you get the most out of your schooling experience from the very start until the day of graduation.
Prepare Your Application
The first step is to get accepted into the nursing school of your choice. Carefully follow all directions for completing the application process. You don’t want the school’s first impression to be that you can’t follow instructions. It’s also important to emphasize any related experience that you’ve had. Think deeply. For example, if you volunteered at any sort of medical facility, highlight this information. Make sure that your application essay stands out too. The information in this essay sets you apart from other candidates. Furthermore, in the submission, let the readers know why you specifically want to attend that school.
Boost Your Knowledge
Attending nursing school is going to be a competitive experience, so you want to have high grades on your transcript. It’s possible that you’re transferring some credits over from other colleges. Take a look at any nursing-related classes in which your grades were on the lower side. For example, if you earned a low grade in biology, consider taking this class over again before starting your formal nursing program. In addition to boosting your chances of being accepted for the school, retaking the class helps you to have a better grasp on the subject matter. Do make sure that the credits will transfer to the new school before enrolling in a class.
Expect Hard Work
Between a full schedule of classes, practical’s, and studying, your free time is going to be limited. Before starting classes, consider if there are any ways you can reduce outside obligations for the time being. For example, you may need to hire a babysitter to watch the kids after school to allow more time to get work done, or you might need to drop one of the classes at the gym. Going for a nursing degree will require hard work and dedication, but the end result is sure to be fulfilling.
Plan for Residency Requirements
When taking courses, especially at the college level, online coursework has become more popular in recent years. As a result of this shift, you may wish to pursue your nursing degree online. Keep in mind that nursing programs are typically going to have some sort of residency requirement. After all, practical experience and in-person communication with others are both crucial for success in this field. In other words, even if you can take some classes online, you will likely be required to attend other components of the program in person. Find out exactly what the residency requirements are before applying to the program so that you can plan accordingly.
Get Ready to Write
Nursing students typically expect to be involved in hands-on activities and practicals during their time in school. What a number of these learners do not expect, however, is the amount of writing assignments that can be associated with getting a nursing degree. If it’s been some time since you wrote an academic paper, you might want to take a refresher course on the essentials.
Also, keep in mind that nursing typically uses the guidelines of the American Psychological Association for citations. If you are more familiar with a different citation style, start reviewing the style of the American Psychological Association, commonly known as APA style, now.
Work with Your Cohort
One major benefit of going to school for nursing is that you’ll typically proceed through the program with a cohort. While knowing your own limits and moving at your own pace are important, having this support system throughout your studies can be so helpful in many ways.
You can form study groups with your cohort. Also, you may have group work to complete for certain classes, and partnering with people whom you know and trust is beneficial. Furthermore, there are going to be times during your studies that you’re stressed out, and having a cohort means that you can talk to people who understand the situation.
Ask for Help
College campuses typically have plenty of resources available to help students with their studies. However, it is up to you to take advantage of these resources. Many colleges are home to writing centers. If you’re struggling to get back into the groove of writing papers or experiencing difficulty learning a new citation style, book an appointment with a writing consultant.
Typically, you can also schedule appointments at a tutoring center or through academic support services to assist with the content. Don’t forget about your professors’ office hours. A number of students shy away from taking advantage of office hours, but the point of this system is to allow students to consult with their professors about class-related material.
Take Care of Yourself
Your career goal is to take care of other people. As you progress toward that goal and move along on the journey, you have to take care of yourself. Universities often offer stress-relieving activities and events, particularly as final exam season approaches. Take advantage of these sessions to rejuvenate. If you’re finding that the stress is becoming overwhelming, schedule an appointment to meet with your academic counselor or to speak to a therapist at the school’s counseling center. Remember to take a break from your work when possible.
Becoming a nurse is such an exciting adventure. At the end of your time in school, you’ll have the ability to help others and to make their lives better. In order to fulfill your dreams, make the most out of your experience in a school for nursing. Take advantage of resources that the campus has to offer and know that you aren’t alone on this road. The support system around you is powerful.