What You Should Know Before Starting Nursing School

What You Should Know Before Starting Nursing School
Photo by Ani Kolleshi / Unsplash

Enrolling in a nursing school will open the doors to various career opportunities. You can become a professional who is in high demand. The healthcare sector is expected to need 3.6 million new nurses by 2030. By joining this profession now, you’ll position yourself to leverage the advantage of this demand. You need to graduate school for nursing to achieve that. Here is everything you need to know.

Why Nursing School?

If you have a great passion for healthcare and love serving humanity, then a career as a nurse is the best fit. Being a nurse offers you a chance to play a significant role in assisting people to feel their best. This career journey begins with attending a graduate school for nursing. A nursing school offers the education, practical training, and practical skills you require to offer patient care effectively. It’s a rigorous program of learning that prepares you well for such a fast-paced world of nursing.

The profession is one of the most financially rewarding careers. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for RNs was $75,330 in 2020. That might vary significantly, with higher paying chances available for specialty nurses. That income begins while you are still learning. Lastly, nursing school offers you the skill set with some sort of job security. Since people are seeking healthcare every day, there will be a need for nurses.

What to Consider When Choosing A Nursing Program

Here are some of the things to consider when selecting a nursing school:

  • Length: A Bachelor of Science in Nursing takes 4 years, and an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing certificate takes 18-24 months.
  • Classroom structure: You can opt for online studies or lecture-based classroom
  • Specialties: You need to know which specialty you want to focus on. It would be surgical nursing or pediatrics.
  • Location: Check out the location of the school and the available benefits like job opportunities.
  • Accreditation: Ensure the nursing school is accredited by the board of nursing in the state in which you intend to work.
  • Rankings: Don’t choose a school based on the rankings only, but use this factor to assist you in making your last decision if other aspects are equal.

What to Expect

After choosing a school, there are some things to expect after you start. you’ll need to complete an interview, where the nursing school will ask various questions about your objectives. These questions will help the school management determine if you are the best fit for their program. Prepare well for the interview, and don’t panic.

On top of the textbooks for your program, you will have to read research papers and articles that can help you learn more about healthcare and nursing. On top of that, you will practice reading patient charts during the clinical. Get ready to study hard. Most nurses find they must formulate new ways to study after they enter nursing school due to the rigorous nature of the program.

Getting Into The First Year

As you start your learning journey, prepare for orientation and the need to learn some terminologies in the medical sector. Each tutor will offer a curriculum, including the books you need to buy and the syllabus of the assignment.

The first year will be physically and mentally challenging. So, try to stay healthy before offering yourself the best opportunity for success. Every year of nursing school will comprise research, group projects, memorization, and exams. All these prepare you for the clinical and taking the NCLEX examination.


These are practical training you’ll get under the supervision of experienced medical experts. You will do clinics in various settings to get a feel for multiple types of nursing and an opportunity to practice nursing skills. Clinicals do not start at the beginning of your degree but about halfway through the first semester or the beginning of the second semester; this will depend on the structure of your preferred program. While you need a bit of theory study at first, you’ll jump in with the practical part of the training quickly.

Nurse Degree Expectations

While nursing school involves a lot of work, it can be fun. Nursing school has high-stress levels, particularly when you have a heavier workload. You’ll realize there are times you enjoy the learning process. So, keep your eyes on the reward, which is your nursing degree and future profession, on the hard days and look for smaller wins in terms of grades, progress, and other students.

The Learning and Education Process

The learning and education process for nursing students is different. Here is what to expect.

Course load and volution

If you want to finish the degree on a typical timetable, like 2-4 years, based on your preferred degree, you need to plan for the volume and course load. You must learn all medical terms and legal and ethical concerns quickly.

Labs and schoolwork

Apart from the higher course load, you might realize that the schoolwork is more challenging than you thought. Additionally, most of your courses will comprise required labs to teach you how to perform different roles when practicing. Nursing is a science-heavy degree course.

Study Hours

As a nursing student, studying will be your life mantra. Most students take note cards with medical terminologies they learn everywhere they go. You should get used to studying regularly if you want to succeed.


The nursing degree prepares students to take their nursing examination. That means you will need to have tests throughout your tenure in school. You might have several exams to prepare for at the same time.

Learn Beyond The Textbooks

Studying in the nursing school takes place in several settings. On top of the textbooks and lecture-based learning, you’ll have clinical and lab hours. You’ll have group projects and essays to write. Additionally, the program will comprise simulations using realistic dummies, letting you get hands-on practice before you work on patients.


While nursing school can be challenging, it will pay off well in the long run with a lucrative career. If you are ready to pursue a nursing degree, choose a school that offers your preferred program. Choose a school that will teach you excellence in healthcare and professionalism in anything you do.