Emergency Stash


 You must have candy and tons of little snacks stashed everywhere (your car, your scrubs, your purse, your backpack, your friend’s backpack…)

The Cathartic Cry


You will come home after a test you passed and cry for an hour for no other reason besides pure, utter exhaustion.  Prepare your roommates.  They only need to pat your back and don’t ask questions.

Learn to Socialize


Nursing school changes you.  You won’t ever look at people the same way again.  You won’t ever look at yourself the same way again.  You almost forget how to interact with “non-healthcare-related peers” and must re-learn social etiquette.  Be prepared to struggle after a 12 hour day at the children’s hospital where you cared for an abused 7 year old who tried to commit suicide when afterward, you join your friends for happy hour and listen to them complain about their dog being incapable of potty training.  Like I said.  You will never be the same again.

The Handy Toolkit


Keep your items in your car (steth, gloves, pens, pencils, calculator, student ID, alcohol swabs, etc.).  I keep my stuff in this bag and hide the bag under the car seat.  That means there is literally zero chance that I will ever forget my supplies for a test or hospital day.

Coping Skills


Find yours and cling to it like a LifeRing.

Surprise Diagnoses

kermitdoctor If you have any underlying predispositions toward certain diseases, nursing school will make sure you know about it.  People are thrown into hypothyroidism.  Diabetes decides to say hi.  High blood pressure, anxiety and depression that requires medication and any other autoimmune secrets you never knew existed.  For example, my blood pressure shot up every semester to about 150/100.  Also, I found out I have granuloma annulare; who knew?!  I’ll tell you who knew: nursing school.

Don’t Be Petty


Share notes.  Share resources.  Share Share SHARE!  Help one another and work together.  We’re not 4 years old, people!  Don’t be petty and possessive.

Ce la Vie


Learn to let go of stress and frustration unless that reaction determines whether you pass or fail.  In other words, do not spend your day ruminating on all the “unfair test questions” if you passed the test.  Do not waste energy complaining how all the instructors are “ego maniacs” unless that ego is the difference between passing and failing.  Choose your battles and in this case, battles are only necessary if you need to pass a class.