How to Prepare for Nursing School (written by a Nurse!)

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So you got into nursing school. Way to go!

In a lot of ways nursing school is kinda like drinking from a fire hose . . . but there are a few things you can do to prepare, especially for nursing clinicals. Here are some tips.


Step one for preparing for nursing school is celebrating the very fact that you were selected among countless other applicants to start your journey on the best career path ever.

Step two for preparing for nursing school is remembering all the blood, sweat, and tears that you put into your pre-requisites.

Step three…cry and find zero comfort in the fact that nursing school is harder than the pre-requisites. Sorry, I want to be honest with you!!

Step four: Stop crying, lace up your steel-toed boots, adjust your cowboy hat, and look that bull straight in the eyes. Tell the bull: “Horns and Hoofs may break my bones, but I am going to be a nurse… thus I have Band-Aids and Bacitracin. Bring it!”

The bull may look at you as though you have lost your sanity. You tell that Bull: “I didn’t lose my sanity… I locked it up in a box that I asked my dog to bury in the back yard for safe keeping and gave the key to my family with very specific instructions to guard the key with their life due to the fact that I would indeed like my sanity back… at some point that is.” Flashing your wild eyes, you grip your revolver and charge forward, head on to the bull…

In the moments before you collide with the bull that are really seconds but feel like forever, you check your mental list. Did you prepare enough? Do you know what this is going to feel like? Have you done everything you could to avoid being speared through the small intestine with a horn or crushed under the weight of the bull? If you answered yes, it is likely you have armor on and a good helmet that you got from reading this awesome post. Good for you. You will survive.

Armor and Good Helmet List: I like you, all of you, a lot, so I made a list for you. Check this list… do this list… MASTER this list to build your very own top of the line defenses… Ready, Set, GO!

RELATED ARTICLE: 2 Examples of How I Used Critical Thinking to Care for my Patient (  real life nursing stories)
  • Review Anatomy & Physiology
    • Specifically:
      • The muscles (Need to know for IM shot injection sites)
      • Peripheral Nervous System, Central Nervous System and Cranial Nerves (The differences and the functions of each CNS, PNS and CN. Synaptic cleft and how nerves transmit signals)
      • The heart (How blood flows, names of the areas of the heart and electrical conduction throughout the heart)
      • Our Scrubcheats might be helpful in this area.
  • Start memorizing lab values
  • Start memorizing medication prefixes and suffixes
    • We have a sweet cheat sheet for this too, but if you want to add spikes to your helmet, you should check out our pharmacology course and podcast.
  • Get a job as a Tech in the hospital or nursing home
    • This is vital. I cannot stress this enough. It will make the stuff you are learning via text book easier because you learned it hands on.
  • Make food prepping menus and grocery lists
    • So plan a day to go grocery shopping and do a food prep. Having your meals ready for you each weak without having to stress about what you are going to have is so nice. Get your family involved too so you can prep a lasagna with directions to throw into the oven so that it can be done by anyone in the family and you can have a cooked meal when you get home from school or work. Then after the meal, divide up the left overs, freeze half and pack lunches with the other half. Once you have done this for a while, you will have enough to start rotating frozen meals so you can plan a week off from cooking and just add salad to dinner.
  • Get a tablet or Kindle for studying while exercising
    • Reading or using a flashcard app while pedaling the stationary bicycle or elliptical is called killing two birds with one stone. And trust me, you have a lot of birds in nursing school and very small amounts of stones. Learning to ration out the stones and being resourceful with them will get you far.
RELATED ARTICLE: How to Use the Nursing Process to ACE Nursing School Exams

Master this list and get ready for the ride of your life. Preparing for nursing school is hard, doing nursing school is hard, being a nurse is hard. But you didn’t choose an easy path in life. No, you chose to fight the bull. You chose to be brave, courageous, and selfless. You chose to make a difference and that is not an easy road, but it is worth it. Good Luck! NRSNG is here to help you along the way!

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