Preparing to Start Nursing School

Okay, let me admit that I am worried about how I will get through nursing school.  So how does one best prepare for nursing school?  I think taking all co-requisites (or required non-nursing classes) before starting nursing classes is very important.  I could have started nursing school a year earlier.  I applied last year and to my surprise I was accepted even though I hadn’t taken very many co-requisite classes and that was one of the most important criteria used for selection into the program.  I met with the director of the nursing program and decided to wait another year while taking the non-nursing classes.  I’m glad I waited.  It would have been very hard to take microbiology while taking nursing classes as well.  And besides, if one of the instructors for the other classes decides to make his or her class extra demanding while you are taking nursing classes also, that could be a big problem.  This is especially important since I will already have to juggle school with working and taking care of my family.

I’m also trying to learn what I can even before classes start.  I’ve been studying medical terminology since I never took a class in it.  I bought Davi-Ellen Chabner’s Medical Terminology: A Short Course and worked my way through that.  It is a good start and provides a CD so you can hear the words.  It is very easy though and I know there are many, many words it doesn’t cover.   How could it not be helpful to know more of the vocabulary?  My reading comprehension really slows down when I come across unfamiliar words.  Also, I’ve been reading a textbook on medical-surgical nursing.  I’m not getting very far with that, only read about 300 pages so far.

Starting this blog is a sort of preparation as well.  Eventually I hope to meet other nursing students this way.  In the meantime it gives me a place to chronicle my experiences and to link to all the blogs and webpages I like to visit anyway.

The director of the nursing program also recommended working as a CNA in order to prepare myself for nursing school.  I think that would be helpful but I can’t fit it in because I need to keep working at my current job which pays much better and save up money for school.

If you have any additional ideas please share them.


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2 Responses to Preparing to Start Nursing School

  1. isntshelovlei says:

    Hi Jen! Don’t psych yourself out–it’s TOTALLY doable!! I have three kids, still work full-time, and so far (knock on wood) my lowest grade in nursing school is a B+. Don’t get me wrong it’s a lot of hard work, and sometimes I do ask myself “What the hell was I thinking?,” but I know it will definitely be worth it in the end.

    A book some people recommend (but I haven’t had a chance read myself) for those starting nursing school is How to Survive and Maybe Even Love Nursing School: A Guide for Students by Students by Kelli Dunham…you might want to check it out. 😉

    Good luck!

  2. Jen says:

    Hi Isntshelovlei,
    Thanks for the comment and the encouragement! I figured it must be doable but everything I read on the web is all about how hard it is. I’ll look into the book you mentioned.

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