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11 tips for first-time nursing students

Shutterstock | wavebreakmedia
Shutterstock | wavebreakmedia

The back-to-school season has officially kicked off, bringing with it a fresh batch of nursing students and all of the anxiety that comes with being the new guy or girl on campus. We turned to the nurses on the Scrubs Mag Facebook page to get their best advice for first-time nursing students. So break out those pens you just bought in bulk and get ready to take some notes!

“Remember how excited you were when you began this nursing journey. When you have a ‘bad nursing day,’ go back to yourself on the day you found out you got accepted into nursing school and how excited you were to become a nurse. Helps me get through.” —Liz L.

“Never be too good to clean up poop. That’s everybody’s job!” —Christine A.

“If you can squeeze it in—find a job as a PCA or NA somewhere—even if it’s just part-time or PRN. You will learn SO much that will be helpful to your future nursing career, including how to work with your future PCA, etc.” —Christie S.

“Always ask questions. None of us know it all. Nursing is a profession where you are always learning.” —Bette G.

“You will not know everything when you get out of nursing school; you will learn more your first year as a nurse than all of your nursing school combined!” —Micha L.

“One of our instructors gave us a good tip: write your first initial and your last name with ‘RN’ following it—nice and big. Place it somewhere you will see it all the time (your mirror, binder or on your desk), and remind yourself of why you chose this path.” —Aida M. 

“You will literally have no life outside of nursing school until the day you pass NCLEX. When they tell you that, believe them. My BSN was the hardest thing I ever loved/hated.” —Julie B.

“Don’t leave assignments to the last minute. Start the moment you get them.” —Lucy C.

“When in doubt, ask a senior nurse for help! You can’t be a hero alone.” —Jimmie B.

“Organization is everything! It helps you stay on top of assignments and what to study when. Get yourself a big calendar to put on your wall…write down due dates for assignments, test dates, clinical days, etc. This also helped my family know where I was (class or clinical). I highly recommend making flash cards so you can take them everywhere with you to study.” —Brittani T.

“Trust your gut! First instincts and bad feelings are usually accurate.” —Angela M.

We know there’s more where this came from. If you’re a veteran nurse, share your nursing school tips for the next generation of nurses in a comment below!

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