8 Strategies for Preparing for Nursing School

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Ready to start your nursing career? While preparing for nursing school, you’ll need to think through logistics like paying tuition, building a support system, adopting new study habits, learning the structure of Felician’s ABSN program, and developing strategies to succeed in your courses.

Felician ABSN student holding laptop

You’ll need to keep a few things in mind while preparing for nursing school. If you know you want to become a nurse, and you want to apply to Felician University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program, you’ll want to be ready. We’ll share valuable insight on how exactly to set yourself up for success before starting an ABSN program.

Here are the eight things you need to know during your nursing school preparations:

1. Take Care of Your Finances

Unless you have a substantial college fund, you’ll have to know how to finance your nursing education. This means you may have to consider using a federal direct loan and/or a private education loan to pay for nursing school. You may also be able to offset your tuition costs by applying third-party scholarships. When speaking with an admissions counselor, be sure to ask for our financial aid guide.

Your admissions counselor will also let you know what supplies to purchase. In addition to standard school supplies, you can expect to buy items such as a blood pressure cuff, stethoscope, and dressing scissors.

Tuition and supplies are not the only financial considerations you must make when preparing for nursing school. Our ABSN program is a full-time commitment, which is why most students choose not to work while in school. Make sure you have enough money set aside for bills and living expenses while you’re in school.

Nurse listening to child patient's heartbeat

Learn more about why we recommend you don’t work during our ABSN program and what your options are when it comes to financing your education.

2. Study According to Your Learning Style

Even though it’s an accelerated learning path, we don’t expect you to enter our ABSN program with any prior nursing knowledge — just a solid grasp of math and science. We do, however, recommend that you start the program with an understanding of how you learn best.

Everyone absorbs and retains information differently, so think about how you’re able to connect the dots when presented with a complex concept. Let’s say you’re learning about the cardiovascular system. Would you understand the information better if you read it in a book or talked about it in a group discussion? Perhaps both?

When you know what type of learner you are — visual, aural, read/write, or kinesthetic — you can create efficient, effective study habits that will help set you up for success. Take the free VARK questionnaire to learn what your dominant learning style is.

3. Build a Support System

When you’re in nursing school, “I can’t, I have to study” will become part of your everyday vocabulary. Before you start school, talk to your loved ones, and tell them what to expect. You may even want to recruit them to take items off your to-do list. When you have a support system you can depend on, you’ll be able to cope with stress more effectively.

4. Find Relatable Resources

Unless they’ve previously walked in your shoes, it is hard for others to truly empathize with the struggles you may face as a nursing student. So, if you ever feel nervous or lack confidence, it helps to connect with others who’ve been there. Talking with nursing students who are getting ready to graduate or working registered nurses can do wonders for your self-esteem. Plus, there are several nurses out there blogging and/or vlogging about their nursing experiences.

Felician nursing student holding books

5. Build Healthy Habits

As an accelerated nursing student, your education should be your top priority. However, that’s not to say you should eat, sleep, and breathe nursing school. You must take care of yourself, both mentally and physically. So, before school starts, evaluate your habits.

If you have good sleep and hygiene habits, you’ll want to keep that going in nursing school. If you have poor eating habits, you’ll want to seek healthier options to help stay well during school. Just be sure to adopt new habits before you start nursing school, as it will be harder to get them to stick when you have a lot of other things on your plate.

Additionally, taking time to do whatever makes you feel recharged and relaxed is critical to your success. When you fail to practice self-care, you put yourself at risk for burnout. You should look at self-care as being just as important as brushing your teeth daily.

6. Get Your Vaccinations

Every nursing student needs to be up to date on their vaccinations. You need to be immunized before you can enter any clinical setting. Ask your admissions counselor about our vaccination requirements as soon as possible.

7. Know What to Expect in Nursing School

Now that you know how to prepare for nursing school, you probably want to know what happens in nursing school. Because our ABSN program builds on your previous non-nursing college education, you can expect to dive right into professional nursing study on the first day of class.

Fundamental Coursework

Often called the didactic part of nursing school, your ABSN coursework establishes the foundation of your education. These courses cover the fundamentals and theories of the nursing profession and set the stage for the hands-on skills you’ll develop during your nursing labs.

When it comes to your ABSN coursework, you can choose to complete it online or on our campus. Take note that our Hybrid ABSN program has three start dates a year — in January, May, and August — whereas our On-Ground ABSN program has one in May.

Felician ABSN student smiling in lab

Learn more about the differences between our hybrid and on-ground programs and how to choose which is best for you.

Nursing Skills Labs

Your hands-on skills labs will take place at your ABSN site location. Featuring task trainers and full-body medical manikins, our lab environment provides a realistic backdrop for you to practice basic psychomotor skills and procedures without the fear of putting patient safety at risk.

Nursing Simulation Labs

Also taking place at your site location, nursing simulations are highly realistic learning exercises where you can develop your problem-solving, critical thinking, and clinical judgment skills across the continuum of patient care.

Felician nursing student using blood pressure cuff on sim manikin

Our simulation labs feature adult and child patient simulators that can deliver realistic physiologic responses. Simulators carry out the patient role in complex, high-risk scenarios. Our staff controls these manikins from an adjoining room and can make them vocal as needed during the simulation.

Clinical Rotations

Your clinical rotations will begin during your second semester in the program. Initially, clinicals will cover behavioral health and medical-surgical care. Then, as you progress in the program, you’ll encounter other areas of clinical practice, including pediatrics, maternity care, and public health.

Whether you’re a student in our Hybrid or On-Ground ABSN program, you’ll complete your clinicals within the Atlantic Health System or at leading healthcare facilities across northern New Jersey.

8. Know What it Takes to Succeed in Nursing School

By committing to your studies and staying focused, you can reach your goal of becoming a nurse. Think of yourself as an athlete preparing for a major sports competition. The only way you’re going to come out a champion is through hard work and dedication.

Remember, nursing school isn’t about memorizing facts; it’s about comprehension. Let’s say you’re learning about kidneys and renal failure, for example. Memorizing the types of acute renal failure and their associated complications doesn’t mean you understand what’s going on inside the body. You need to know how kidneys function and how they influence other systems in the human body.

And last but not least, it’s important to seek help when you’re stuck on a concept. You don’t want to risk falling behind and not being able to get back on track. Our faculty and support staff want to see you succeed, and they are available to help you through the challenges of nursing school. Perhaps that’s why our ABSN student retention rate is greater than 95%.

Ready to Apply to Nursing School?

Felician ABSN student using laptop

Now that you are aware of what you need to know when preparing for nursing school, it’s time to set your education in motion. Our 16-month Hybrid ABSN program in Parsippany and 18-month On-Ground ABSN program in Rutherford are currently enrolling students who meet the admissions requirements. You must have a minimum of 60 non-nursing college credits to be eligible. Speak with an admissions counselor today!