Earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree can help you become a nurse who’s respected for delivering the highest level of care. If that’s your education and career goal, you’ll want to choose a top nursing school that’s offers academic excellence and outstanding student support.
At Chamberlain University, which has been providing top-quality healthcare education for more than 130 years, you’ll find an active support network of students, faculty and alumni. Students in the accredited institution’s nursing programs are often eager to share their experiences to help and encourage their peers. Below you'll find a great example from Femi Borisade, who earned his BSN at Chamberlain and is now working on his Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree.
Whether you’re a first-year nursing student or midway through your 3-year BSN program, you’re sure to find inspiration in Borisade’s tips for nursing school success.
“My first year of nursing school wasn’t exactly a walk on a warm, sunny beach, but it wasn’t a probationary sentence either,” Borisade says. “It was everything I heard it would be – challenging yet life-changing. While in nursing school, I developed 12 tips that helped further my success as a nursing student.” Here’s his advice:
- Preparation is key.
Read the material ahead of time before attending each class. It pays to go to class with some knowledge from each chapter that will be reviewed that day.
- Make connections.
Get the contact information of your peers because they will become like family to you. You'll sometimes feel like the only people who understand what you are going through are those who are going through it with you.
- Ask questions.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for help. Remember that asking a question is better than making a mistake or causing harm to a patient. Take a deep breath and raise your hand – I guarantee someone else had the same question!
- Try your best.
If you are trying your best, don't beat yourself up if you earn a grade that you aren't excited about. Ask for help, master the parts you didn't understand and continue preparing to be an extraordinary nurse.
- Find a study group.
If you are the smartest person in your study group, then you may need to find a new one. Join a group that challenges you to be better.
- Study smart.
Read the book (out loud if you’re an auditory learner) and highlight the important things. Don’t highlight the entire book – I promise you the whole book will not be on your exam. Type out the highlighted portion and carry it with you everywhere. The more you see it, the more you’ll retain it!
- Stay inspired.
Surround yourselves with people that celebrate you fulfilling your dreams to become a well-rounded nurse. Search your heart for the true reason you want to become a nurse, write it down, and post it on your wall. Every morning, wake up and look at that paper.
- Manage your time.
Write down all of your assignments, exam dates, school events, and personal commitments in a planner. It will help you balance school and life. Cramming may work with other nursing degree programs but in nursing, being prepared is everything.
- Use your resources.
During nursing school, you will acquire many resources (books, CDs, websites, peers, professors, etc.) to ensure your success. For example, getting an NCLEX review book will help you become familiar with nursing questions and also give you the edge on future exams.
- Find a mentor.
Seek out a senior nursing student who can mentor or tutor you. Reach out to those who have taken a course already. Chances are they know what it takes to be successful.
- Communicate your workload.
Your boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, husband, dog or cat will need to understand that you are in nursing school. Although more study nights may arise than date nights, remember to communicate this with your family, spouse and friends before you start the nursing program to gain their support and understanding during your first year. Don’t be scared to say “no” to social events.
- Find time to relax.
Lastly, it is important not to forget that you still have a life. Exercise, eat a healthy diet, and participate in stress-releasing activities. There may be days when you question yourself and wonder what you were thinking when you enrolled. However, understand there will be many more days when you know exactly why you chose to become a nurse.
“You have something that you can offer this world that nobody else can offer,” Borisade says. “Walk into your first year in confidence, knowing that you have what it takes to become a registered nurse. You can become everything you are destined to be – never ‘just a nurse,’ but a nurse indeed!”
Chamberlain University, an accredited institution, offers bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and certificate programs in nursing and healthcare professions. With a growing network of campuses and robust online programs, Chamberlain continues to build on more than 130 years of excellence in preparing extraordinary healthcare professionals.
Chamberlain University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (www.hlcommission.org), an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master’s degree program in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and post graduate APRN certificate programs at Chamberlain University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.aacnnursing.org/CCNE).
By Femi Borisade
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