First Day of Nursing School (and 5 tips for success!)

Well you guys, today was the big day! I had my first day of nursing school. I’ve actually had a really long day today. My day ran from 6:00AM to 8:40PM, and that was after getting out of my night class early. It’s scheduled to end at 8:45PM normally.

I’m fairly exhausted because I didn’t get to eat much between class and finishing some last minute school errands like figuring out my parking tag, but I really wanted to do this write up tonight. I also know that if I don’t do it now, I’ll just end up forgetting and then it’ll never get done. 

This semester I am taking 4 classes: nursing fundamentals, elementary statistics, art appreciation, and anatomy and physiology II. 

All of my classes except art appreciation are in an actual classroom setting, so today was a really long day for me. Due to my nursing lecture and clinical schedule, I didn’t have a lot of leeway for scheduling classes and the ones I did end up getting left terrible gaps in my schedule (like 3+ hour gaps between classes) and run really late (last class finishes at 8:45PM).

Moving on though, to recap my day, I woke up at 6:00AM, slowly got out of bed and took my time really waking up while enjoying a cup of coffee. It’s been well over two years since I’ve had to wake up that early so it was pretty different, and I actually didn’t mind too much since I went to bed so early the night before.

I had the kitchen to myself since it was early, and that was really nice. I just played some music, and took the time to mentally come to speed on my own time.

Around 6:40AM I got ready for school, and I left at around 7:10AM. Luckily there was no rain this morning which was nice, though the skies were a tad grey. 

I arrived on the nursing campus around 7:40AM and spent the time before class to talk to my new cohort (!) and getting to know some people. By this time, we are starting to get more comfortable with one another since we’ve gone through bootcamp and orientation together.

At 8:00AM, my nursing fundamentals class officially started.

The beginning of class was fairly standard for first day of school stuff; we went over the class syllabus, the clinical lab dress code and expectations, and some other generic things I can’t remember right now. The nursing dean was also there, and she did take roll call. Afterwards, my professor immediately started lecturing and continued to lecture until the end of class. 

Our lecture today was on the history and foundation of nursing. It covered the major points of contribution by Florence Nightingale, and there was also a portion about legally and ethically what nursing was. How the focus of nursing shifted, and how the public response towards the profession has also shifted since its initial conception. Up until today, I have never really put a lot of consideration into these topics nor been exposed to Florence Nightingale so these topics were new and refreshing for me.

I can tell that my nursing class will be really busy and fast paced. We’re projected to cover 3 chapters this week. Our first exam is three and a half weeks from now, and we will cover a total of 9 chapters in the exam. I’m a little anxious already since I already have an A&P II exam on endocrinology for next week. 

Which leads me to my next point that I found out I have a dosage calculations exam this Friday. 

I’m actually fairly upset about that because I honestly don’t think the school went about the right way in exposing us to drug dosage calculations. They told us to get a drug dosage calculation book, and they touched on the calculations a little during bootcamp but we never got a formal lecture. And, during the bootcamp, they did the math wrong twice. Or, maybe I’m just asking for too much and this is actually the standard in every other school.

Anyways, I watched a few videos and asked a RN friend to help me out so I’ll be fine. If they decide to go over drug dosage calculations Thursday, I’ll be equally annoyed because that’s honestly not enough time for most people to prepare. It’s not that drug dosage calculations are particularly hard but that’s unnecessarily stressful for a lot of people.

Anyways, we have 3 chances to pass this drug dosage calculation exam with a 100%. 

I hope I never have to take it more than once for fear of my pride.

As I keep finding out about the things that are due in the next couple weeks and the number of quizzes waiting for me, I can’t help but feel a little annoyed with school already.

I was excited for school to start since it meant that the progress was real and things were finally in gear, but I’m starting to feel a different now.  

My mood has definitely flipped from I can’t wait for school to start to I can’t wait for school to finish. 

Before I call it for tonight, I do want to share a few tips with you guys to be successful in this semester of school.

  1. Stay organized. 
    Get a planner or use a digital calendar, but write down all your classes. Write down all your due dates, all your quizzes and exams. Block in times for you to study and follow your schedule. Staying organized is half the battle. It’s the first day but I already have so many chapters to read and videos to watch for the rest of the first week.
  2. Write down your questions as soon as you think of them for next time. 
    My class has had to ask for clarification about the clinical/lab schedule, dress code and other small things so many times now. It would’ve been a lot faster if we had just compiled a giant list and asked everything at once instead of having to ask related questions every time we meet, and then needing further clarification.
  3. Eat enough
    I don’t know what kind of person you are, but I’m the kind of person that doesn’t eat enough. If I get busy, I’ll forget to eat and skip multiple meals on accident. Staying adequately nourished means you won’t be physically tired at school and mentally exhausted during lectures. Paying attention during lectures means more recall, which means less overall studying. 
  4. Exercise, even if it’s just a little
    You don’t have to run a 5K every day, but try and move for at least 30 minutes a day even if it’s just a walk around the neighborhood. Exercise is a great form of  stress management and developing coping skills. A less stressed you equals for a happier you.
  5. Breath
    Learn not to dwell on the things that upset or bother you. Already in my program, I’m finding things that upset me. I know that I have no control over it, but I also know that I can’t let my displeasure control me. Taking a deep breath and knowing to let go is an important skill. Sometimes the best thing you can do after a bad grade, or day, is just to roll with the punches so that you can set yourself up for a better outcome the next time.

Those are things that helped me last semester, and I hope that they help you.

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