4 Tips for Your First Year of Nursing School


You’ve made the decision to attend nursing school. You’ve registered for all of your classes, ordered all of your textbooks and even have your study playlist ready and waiting on Spotify. But now what?

We recently had the chance to speak with first-year Addison campus student and aspiring labor and delivery nurse Courtney Franklin, AKA @melanin&medicine, about her time thus far as a student in Chamberlain’s 3-Year Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. From study tips and NCLEX prep to balancing school and work, and finding a like-minded support group, Courtney shared what every first year BSN student needs to know.

1. First Thing’s First: Study, Study, Study

Studying is absolutely vital in nursing school and it is definitely not a profession where you can memorize the information and then dump it after the exam. You have to be able to understand the material forwards and backward because one day you will have to apply this information when saving someone's life. Try any or all of the below study tips and find what works best for you!

study tips

2. Familiarize Yourself with NCLEX – Style Questions

One of my biggest challenges this session has been getting used to NCLEX-style questions. There were times when I questioned whether this profession was for me because I struggled with “select-all-that-apply” questions. From experience, I am here to tell you that it is okay to look for extra help and to supplement your studying. Chamberlain even offers 16 weeks of virtual coaching to help students finish strong and be prepared to take the NCLEX. The overall goal is for all of us to pass the NCLEX and become extraordinary nurses.

3. Reject the Idea That You Can’t Work and Go to School at the Same Time

I actually work two jobs and I’m bringing this up because before I started nursing school that was one of the things I was most nervous about. I didn’t know how I was going to attend nursing school and continue working, however, it's very possible to do both. It takes a lot of time management and planning, but you can most definitely do it. I did have to cut my hours at one of my jobs, but my managers have been more than understanding and if I need hours they are willing to help me find extra shifts to work. Just know that if I can do it so can you. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

4. Remember, You're Not Alone on this Journey

Being at Chamberlain, I have met some incredible people who keep me motivated and inspire me to become a better student nurse! It is no secret that nursing school is hard, however, nursing school is way less stressful when you have amazing people by your side. Joining organizations like the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA), the Student Government Association (SGA) or the Phi Pi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing is a great way to connect with your classmates and find people who will always understand what it’s like to be a nursing student. You do not have to go through this journey alone. Make friends and form study groups! You will thank yourself later.

Thinking of getting your BSN? Learn more about Chamberlain’s 3-Year BSN program here.




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