Preparing for Nursing School: Calming Your First Day Fears

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The only thing we have to fear is fear itself – Those are the words of our 32nd President, Franklin D. Roosevelt. While he was specifically referring to nation’s economic crisis during The Great Depression, his words hold true for many things we encounter in our lives today– most specifically when we encounter change.

Change is the driving force behind Marian University’s Accelerated BSN students. Most are career-changers who have decided to take their lives in a new direction. In order to make that change, they must overcome their fears – finding the right school, getting accepted and, ultimately, beginning the first day.

Preparing for nursing school - calming your first day fears

Preparing for nursing school is stressful whether you are in the application phase or if you have already been accepted. Just know you are not alone. The reality is, change is good and becoming a nurse through Marian University’s Accelerated BSN program is possible.

Advice from Marian University Students on Preparing for Nursing School

In fact, the following students and graduates were once in your exact position and they have some advice about preparing for nursing school, what you can expect and how to overcome your fear.

Laura W. – Marian University ABSN Class of ‘15

Whenever I see new students and they are really nervous about starting the program, I wish there were words I could tell them, like “you will get through this. This program is not going to let you fail.”

At the Nashville site, the faculty wanted us to do well and their doors were always open for us. They were excited for us so I can’t help but come back and visit. It’s a really intense experience and they make it seem so comfortable.

Allison C. – Marian University ABSN Class of ‘16

The program seems intimidating at first. You look at that list of courses in the short amount of time and it does seem kind of overwhelming. But Marian University really has laid it out so it is doable. Once I began the program I did not have that overwhelming feeling of “I can’t do this,” but it does seem like that at the beginning. You are really well prepared before you get here and, remember, they would not admit you if you were not ready.

Amy P. - Marian University ABSN Class of ‘17

I always had a passion for healthcare and nursing, but I just wasn’t sure I would make the cut for nursing school. I started researching programs and was like, “I just don’t know. I’m going to have to work, I’m going to have to put myself through school.” That is when I came across Marian University. My friends told me they heard ABSN is a great program -- it’s for professionals. I did some online chatting with a recruiter and they were just wonderful. They answered all my questions and made me feel like I could do it. A year and a half later, here I am. It’s a cliché, but if I can do it, anyone can do it as long as you have the passion for nursing.

Lindsay D. - Marian University ABSN Class of ‘15

Marian University’s Accelerated Bachelors of Science in Nursing program is great but it requires very hard work. I think anyone coming into it needs to make sure that it’s what they want to do and that they are willing to put the time in, because if you are not, it is going to be a struggle.. Once you get through it, you are going to be like “oh, that wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.”

Your Cohort; Your Support System

Just because the coursework in the Accelerated BSN program at Marian University is all online, does not mean you never see your classmates. In fact, for many students who have gone through the ABSN program, their cohorts were their lifelines throughout the program and after graduation.

Orientation day provides you with the opportunity to meet your fellow students who will be by your side throughout this 16-month experience. They share your nerves, your fears and your goals for success. They are the ones you will depend on when times get a little tough, so make sure you reach out and communicate with your cohorts on day one, because they will not only become your friends – they will become your family.

Robert G. – Marian University ABSN Class of ‘16

My cohort is awesome – we are already like a family. We have study groups and have just really grown close in the short time we have been together. It’s the common goal that binds us together.

Lisa G. – Marian University ABSN Class of ‘15

My cohort was pretty tight knit. Everybody was really willing to help each other out. I remember one of the girls in our cohort had clinical rotations at night and she had to miss her son’s Christmas program at his school. One of our cohorts stepped up and said “I’ll go and videotape it for you”-- and she did. It was really sweet.

Laura W. – Marian University ABSN Class of ‘15

I miss my classmates, that’s for sure – we were like a team. After graduation, we still see each other. We meet for lunch once a month to catch up.

Prepare Yourself for Success

Marian University ABSN - Marian instructor standing in simulation lab

While these are all great stories to hear to ease your mind about preparing for the first day of nursing school, you still may need some additional support. Anxiety, nerves, fear – whatever you want to call it – can take over your body and your mind no matter what student story you read.

The good news is there are many resources with great advice about how to deal with stress. From what you’re eating, to how to breathe, to positive affirmations – you have options and it’s important to remember you are not alone.

Bottom line: If you have the passion to become a nurse, then you’ve already won half the battle. So walk into orientation with your head held high, knowing you are surrounded by empathy and support. Because this is more than day one of nursing school – this is day one of a whole new future.