How Do You Get Through Nursing School? These 5 Types of People Can Help

Marian University ABSN successIt’s inevitable that at some point during your nursing education that you’ll ask yourself why you’re putting yourself through so much stress (say, when you’re trying to decipher your pharmacology notes at 2 a.m. the day of an exam).

It’s important during those times to remember you’re not going through all the late night study sessions and long clinical shifts for nothing — and you don’t have to get through nursing school all on your own.

At the end of your nursing school experience, you’ll be that much closer to reaching your end goal of becoming a nurse. Plus, you’ll have people in your corner who want you to succeed the entire time!

Common nursing school struggles

While every nursing student faces his or her own unique struggles and anxieties, Marian University ABSN alumni shared with us some of their initial concerns with getting through nursing school:

Balancing academics and personal life

 

“It was a transition at first to know how much to study for each course and how to manage your time when you don’t have a set class schedule. But once you get through the first test and find out, ‘OK, I either was or wasn’t prepared,’ you learn how much you need to study and how much time is OK to spend on other activities.”

—Allison Clark, ABSN Class of 2016

Developing strong critical thinking and analytical skills

 

“I’ve seen classmates try to get through nursing school on memorization a lot and I’ve seen it fail a lot. Force yourself — even if someone doesn’t explain to you — to understand the why behind what you do.”

—Sarah Zadigan, Class of December 2016

Staying motivated

 

“People find lots of reasons not to try, but the reasons to try are much better than the reasons to say, ‘OK, never mind. I can’t do this,’ or ‘this is too much.’”

—Amy Harmon, Class of December 2016

People who can help you succeed

Because the Marian University ABSN program is a tight-knit community, we’re well equipped to provide you the support resources to overcome these and other struggles you may encounter as a nursing student.

“There is never a moment where you are going to feel like you are failing. If there is that moment, you always have people here who want you to be successful,” Amy says. “Use your tools, stay organized, be positive, and know you can do it.”

To that end, here are the people who can help you most on your nursing journey:

1. Admissions advisors

For some, the hardest part of getting through nursing school is deciding to start. Once one of our admissions advisors determine you qualify for our program, they can talk you through your situation to determine the best time for you to enroll in nursing school, and, if necessary, help you enroll in online courses through Marian’s Adult Programs so you can complete your remaining nursing school prerequisites on an accelerated timeline. Besides what we mentioned above, our admissions team can guide you through:

  • Determining your eligibility for enrollment.
  • Discussing your education goals.
  • Creating an academic plan aimed at your program start date.
  • Staying on track during the admissions and application processes.

2. Success coaches

Once accepted to our accelerated nursing program, you have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a success coach, sometimes referred to as an academic advisor, to talk about anything that may be hindering your nursing school success.

He or she can help you develop strategies to get through nursing school with confidence, including:

  • Study strategies
  • Learning preferences
  • Time management
  • Goal setting
  • Academic and student support resources

Getting started with one of our success coaches isn’t meant to be a big to-do; you don’t need to schedule an appointment to meet with one.

“My relationship with students is very informal, very much a friend and confidant. I’m someone who can motivate and coach you through what’s going on with you,” says Brittany Clapp, student success coach at our Nashville learning site.

3. Faculty and clinical instructors

While it’s true our program does feature an online component where you’ll learn the fundamentals of nursing theory, you still have access to face-to-face support from faculty and instructors.
“The biggest thing you can do to be successful is understand that this is an accelerated program and that it moves quickly, but know that we’re here for you and we’ll help you get through nursing school,” says clinical instructor Murphee Mashburn, MSN, RN. “We’ll do it together.”

“The biggest thing you can do to be successful is understand that this is an accelerated program and that it moves quickly, but know that we’re here for you and we’ll help you get through nursing school,” says clinical instructor Murphee Mashburn, MSN, RN. “We’ll do it together.”

If you ever have trouble grasping a concept, for example, you can participate in instructor chat sessions through our intuitive e-learning platform, email or call professors, or stop by their office at the ABSN learning site.

“We do have clinical staff on campus five days a week. For the most part we’re here in our office and you can set up an appointment,” Mashburn says. “I had a student come in needing help with dosage recently. We went through it for an hour. I think she felt a lot more confident when she left.”

4. Fellow cohort members

Your advisors and instructors can sympathize with the stresses of accelerated nursing school, but no other group of people will understand that anxiety more than your classmates. Your peers will be attending the same labs and on-site exams as you and can offer you an excellent built-in support network.

“Your cohort become like family. It’s a great opportunity to grow friendships that you’ll have throughout your nursing career,” says Dan Francis, ABSN Class of 2017. “Even though some people move on and go to different places, you’ve got friends now for a lifetime.”

Your cohort isn’t just there for moral support; many former students also say they counted on their nursing school classmates for study groups and staying organized.

“We had fantastic people in our cohort. One of them would do a calendar of all the course deadlines and send it out to everyone. Another would send out reminders,” says Ruth Lamb, ABSN Class of December 2016. “You’re not in nursing school alone.”

5. Family and friends

Family members and friends were there for you before nursing school; they’ll be there for you during and afterwards, too. During this stressful season of your life, leaning on them for help with organizing your schedule and emotional support can make nursing school feel less overwhelming.

“My husband and I would work out our schedule to figure out who was picking up the kids that week. We sat down on Sunday to work out the week then hit the ground running on Monday,” Amy says. “I wasn’t super organized before, but this program made me extremely organized.”

Relying on family support also helped Ruth, mom of four, get through nursing school. That she graduated and launched a new career as a medical intensive care nurse made all the stress worth it for her.

“The day I graduated was awesome,” she says. “Probably the best thing that happened to me was my kids looking at me and saying, ‘Wow, I’m really proud of you, Mom.’”

Ready to own the challenge?

With great challenge comes great reward, but you don’t have to get through nursing school alone — we’re here for you every step of the way. If you’re ready to put your prior non-nursing bachelor’s degree to work toward a new career as a nurse, our admissions team can help you get started. Contact one of our advisors today!

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