The Final Countdown to Nursing School

By MidlevelU Intern and Soon-to-Be Nursing Student Ashley Prince

As weird as it sounds, this is my last semester at The Ohio State University, and my last semester before I start nursing school. I still haven't wrapped my head around the fact that I'm graduating soon- 4 years went by so fast! One thing that has sunk in though is how little time there is left to prepare for the rigorous ABSN (Accelerated Second Degree BSN) program I'm starting in the fall. 

I've had a lot of time to think about preparing for nursing school because I currently only have classes 2 days a week. That's right- somehow the universe and university class schedule aligned. But as great as my four day weekends are, they can get pretty boring, especially since I hate sitting around doing nothing. So in between Netflix episodes, I've come up with a list of how to make the most of my last few months as an undergrad and prepare to get nursing school off to a great start:

  1. Graduate. This seems like an obvious first, but when you've got a serious case of senioritis like I do it can be easier said than done. Just remember that you absolutely need to graduate before you can start your nursing program of choice. Not to mention, do you really want to be that guy that never leaves undergrad?
  2. Get a job. Earning money also jumped to the top of this list because I've been warned that the ABSN program is so intense it's almost impossible to hold down a job simultaneously. So, I've got to make money while I can. Thankfully I lucked out and have secured a position as a research assistant and am also working part-time in guest services at a salon (hands-down my favorite part-time job). 
  3. Pick your school. If you haven't already heard back from the schools to which you've applied, decision letters should be arriving in your mailbox soon. This means it's finally time for you to enroll in your dream program. If you have some free weekends, use them to check out the university one last time, and follow-up with admissions staff with any last minute questions you might have. Make sure you make the decision that's right for you!
  4. Get a leg up on the nursing curriculum. Talk to your admissions counselor or future professors about how you can make your academic transition to nursing a smooth one. This might mean getting first aid/CPR certified, becoming a nursing assistant, or taking some prerequisite courses that will put you at an advantage. For example, a course in medical terminology wasn't required for my program but came highly recommended so I decided to take the class this semester. Knowing the difference between -otomy and -ostomy will hopefully make the learning curve more like a bunny hill than Mount Everest. 
  5. Get in really good shape. While it's definitely possible to stay in shape during nursing school, it won't be easy considering the class load, clinical hours, and library time. I'm not so concerned with the appearance aspect of being in shape but rather I know that when I'm working out, even if it's just for a little bit, and eating right (consider using these kitchen hacks for nursing students), I feel on top of my game- something I want to carry with me into nursing school.
  6. Have fun! I've busted my butt for three and a half years to get to this point, so now that I have a little more free time I'm going to take advantage of it. I've made a sort of "bucket list" for my last semester. My list includes visiting my friends at other universities, actually getting a Thirsty Thursday on the calendar, and taking a lot of pictures. It's time to let my hair down because come August its back to business

How about you? What are you planning on doing during your last months before starting a nursing program?


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