What I Wish I Knew Before Starting Nursing School!


Presenting you with yet another way of greeting in Swedish, which means hi :)
Tjenare, Nurse Jenny here!

Welcome back to my blog! If you are new here, thanks for dropping by and I hope to part entertainment and knowledge with you. Join Nurse Jenny Facebook Group and meet other Nurses as we vent, make fun of, and talk about all things nursing. 

Last week I gave you the "10 things I wish I knew before I started NURSING".

Today, I present to you "What I wish I knew before I started Nursing SCHOOL"

I don't think anything would have ever deterred me from going to Nursing school, but something would've been handy to know, you know?

Though my Nursing School years were difficult but fun, stressful but amazing, looking back, if I’d only knew what I had known now, things would have sailed more smoothly somehow. It’s always best to take any major decisions with a lot of preparation and research so these tips I am going to share with you will be invaluable for someone about to enter Nursing School.



  1. Don’t buy all the books. We were given a list of books to buy and they are pretty expensive. Some of the books, we only had to open a couple of times. My first tip is to not buy them immediately and wait and see which of the books are urgently needed and mostly used. What you can also do is to create a study group and then share one book, you can go to the library and you can even look for somebody who can lend you their old books. 

  2. Take your clinical placements seriously. I can’t stress this enough. This will be the time for you to apply everything you’ve learned in the classroom. Ask about everything you don’t understand and try to get your hand to all the Nursing procedures you will be allowed to do. Do not be shy and hesitant. You paid for this experience and you should thoroughly use it to your advantage.

  3. Don’t forget self-care. Nursing School is difficult, that’s a fact. You need perseverance and dedication to finish the entire schooling, but remember to take care of yourself as well while doing it. Eat healthily, sleep properly, manage your time so you can also do leisure activities with your friends. Don’t stick your nose to your book the entire year because you will burn out. Take care of yourself so you can also take care of others.

  4. Know your learning style. There are different kinds of learning styles. There are people who learn more by listening, there are people who learn more by reading. I discovered that I am a visual learner and that I learn more by doing something or applying something in real life. If you discover early on what makes you retain information easily, then you can use this to your advantage and do learning activities connected to it to quickly learn your facts in school.

  5. Plan ahead. In Nursing School and college in general, you will be given the entire curriculum and the schedules for your class lessons. It will depend solely on you if you will use this knowledge to prepare yourself and study ahead. Manage your time and write down a schedule for when you will study for one subject, for when you will study for another subject’s exam and for when you will read chapters this and that. This will help you to see everything that needs to be done and to spread out your tasks and not be overwhelmed with everything. 

  6. Keep an open mind. In Nursing School you will never know what to expect next when it comes to clinical rotations. You must keep yourself open to new possibilities and learnings. Even if you are focused to work with pediatric patients, you should still be open with working with geriatric patients with the same enthusiasm because for us to be effective Nurses, we should have and experience and knowledge about everything in our field. You’ll never know, maybe you’ll find your real passion on another unit and start to follow a new path. 

  7. Make and join study groups. I was used to studying on my own in my early years so when I had tried joining in study groups I was amazed at how easy it is to learn and retain information when studying with others. I had good grades but when I studied together with my peers, my grades easily went up. Join one and try it for yourself. Just be sure to stay focused and study first, gossip later.

  8. Proofread your assignments. Let someone read your work, either they are in the medical field or not. It helps when a fresh pair of eyes read through something you’ve been working on for days. They can catch some mistakes you oversaw or make suggestions with your essays and it’s better to be them than your professor. This might help your grades tremendously. 

  9. If you will ever do part-time work, choose something related to the field. This will help you familiarize yourself with the work and the workplace and gain confidence when you start your clinical placements. Personally, I worked in a nursing home before I went into Nursing School. This experience is what actually revealed my calling and pushed me to pursue Nursing.


    Speaking of Nursing school, here's a throwback to when I was a little student Nurse and the day of my graduation.


    What I Wish I Knew Before Starting Nursing School!


    What I Wish I Knew Before Starting Nursing School!


    How time flies…

    For the Nursing Students reading this, enjoy your time in Nursing School, and absorb everything you can! The next thing you know, you will be the one handling Nursing Students yourself.

    Was there anything you wish you'd known before you started Nursing school? Share them with us in the comment box. I'd love to hear it!


    You might also want to read about the
    10 Things I wish I knew Before I Started Nursing
    Top 5 Nursing School Study Tips!


    May you have a good shift and remember as always, listen with your heart.


     Nurse Jenny

    Jenny, RN is a Registered Nurse working in Sydney Australia. She received her degree in 2013 in Sydney as an international student from Sweden and graduated with a Distinction. She has a passion for Nursing and helping other Nurses and student Nurses in the field, looking at life from the positive side and always giving back where possible. She is the Founder of Bjorn Hall Stethoscopes, a company she created when she saw a need for more personality in the workplace.

    1 comment

    • Than you. I am older (50’s) and just starting. I have been a Kidney dialysis technician for 17 years and a clinical preceptor for 12. Any information is good information. Again thank you!!

      Cindy Lynch

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