1st Semester of Nursing School

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Hey friends,

So for the first installation of this NEW blog series I am going to be talking about your first semester of nursing school!

Why is the first semester of nursing school so hard? This is the question that is on everyone's mind. I know I asked all the sophomores this same question when I was accepted into the nursing program. 

It is very exciting to be starting nursing school, but it also comes with a lot of stress. Due to the fact that you have worked so hard to be here you probably feel like every situation is life or death. I started out this way my first semester. Until my mentor pointed out to me that there is life outside of nursing school. That simple conversation with her showed me that I should not worry about the grade, but rather learning the information to be a successful nurse! My advice is to have fun throughout nursing school. Once you have the letters RN behind your name no one will know that you were a B average student. 

The first semester of nursing school is accompanied by a lot of firsts. The first time you are exposed to NCLEX style questions, possibly the first patient interaction you have had, or maybe even the first C in your life. Adjusting to these changes is what makes the first semester of nursing school challenging. But it can be done!

The exam questions require a higher level of thinking than your other classes. I suggest getting a study aide in the courses that you are struggling in. Textbooks can be bogged down with information overload. I found it easier to learn the material while reading my study aide books. I suggest using the Made Incredibly Easy series. The aides really help narrow down the information for you and some books even have practice questions! 

If you are in a financial position where you are not able to buy additional books, then I suggest looking through youTube. There are a lot of helpful resources on there. (hmm, maybe I should do a post on this.)

First semester nursing students also struggle with time management. The amount of time that nursing school consumes is tremendous. Adjusting to creating a schedule for studying, eating, socializing, or even using the restroom is difficult. Start early by buying yourself a planner and marking all important dates from your syllabus. Schedule set times in the day where you can gather yourself in a quiet space to study. You also do need sleep to function, so go ahead and schedule that too.

The first semester of nursing school is where you get a lot of your introduction type classes. My first nursing class was all about assessments of each system. It seems so silly now, but I really struggled in it. Having a firm foundation in the basics will benefit your nursing career.

I wish I was able to tell you how your first semester is going to go, but I cannot. Everyone experiences things differently. My first exam I failed. No it was not a D or F, but in nursing school a 71% is just the same. I felt like a moron and even began to question my major. The only comfort was that I was not the only one who struggled. I took it as a chance to grow and eventually learned how to study better. I ended the class with a B+. (2 points away from an A. I am still a little bitter about it. 

First semester of nursing school is challenging because it really is a whole new world. My biggest advice is to be organized and do not be too hard on yourself.







3 comments

  1. Just got done preparing 4 weeks in my planner for school it's midnight where I'm at but I'm so excited for school and getting organized and staying ahead if the game

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    Replies
    1. Now that is dedication at midnight ! Woohoo

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  2. It took me the first probably 8 weeks of my first semester to feel like I was no longer floundering! I wish I had known everyone else felt the same as I did! Great advice!

    ReplyDelete

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