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4 Tips on How to Prepare for Nursing School

Summary: Planning for paying tuition, building a support system, and adopting new study habits are high on this list of how to prepare for nursing school. The University of the Incarnate Word ABSN track supports students every step of the way from creating a support system to preparing for the NCLEX exam.

Student walking away with backpack and text that reads "Are you prepared?"

Ready to start your nursing career? The first step is setting yourself up for success in nursing school. This means you’ll need to be prepared to make the time commitment to school, make a financial plan and adjust some of your habits.

Through online coursework, hands-on skills and simulation labs, and clinical placements at respected healthcare facilities around San Antonio, the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) track at the University of the Incarnate Word can help you become a practice-ready nurse in as few as 16 months.

An accelerated nursing track may be just what you’re looking for if you’re interested in becoming a nurse quickly, but maybe you aren’t sure exactly where to start. Luckily, this post is full of advice for nursing students on how to prepare for nursing school.

Identify Your Learning Preferences

The University of the Incarnate Word Accelerated BSN track is for college-educated individuals who have earned a degree in a non-nursing field of study.  If that describes you, you may already understand how you learn best and what works for you from your previous educational experience.

Nursing school, however, will challenge you in ways you have not been challenged before. Especially on an accelerated timeline, concepts will be thrown at you fast. You’ll need to learn the course materials, understand how the information works together and then apply everything in the scope of clinical practice.

Having an understanding of what type of learner you are — visual, aural or kinesthetic — will help you tailor your study tactics to be successful in nursing school. For example, if you are a visual learner, flash cards or PowerPoints may be helpful. If you’re an aural learner, podcasts or recorded lectures may do the trick.

Unsure which learning preference might work for you? Find out by taking the VARK questionnaire.

Prepare Your Finances

Your nursing education is an excellent investment in your future; like any investment, it requires financial planning. Because the ABSN track can be completed on a shorter timeline compared to a traditional, four-year nursing program, it demands a lot of dedication and time commitment.

As such, we don’t recommend trying to juggle a full-time job while enrolled in the UIW ABSN track. The good news is we are here to help you find a manageable way to pay for nursing school.

Your dedicated admissions counselor will explain our accelerated nursing school tuition in detail, as well as help keep you on track with important steps in the admissions process.

They can also talk to you about using a federal direct loan and/or a private education loan. You may also be able to offset your tuition costs by applying for and earning a third-party scholarship.

Our Office of Financial Assistance is here to take the confusion out of applying for financial aid. If you have questions about applying for student loans, call us at 1-210-829-6008 or email finaid@uiwtx.edu.

As you create your financial plan, it helps to remember that a BSN comes with a good return on investment. Nursing is a high-demand occupation that offers a comfortable salary, and a BSN has become the preferred entry degree for professional practice.

Use Your Resources

While nursing school is challenging, there are tons of resources out there that can offer support.

Some examples are:

However, some of the best resources for nursing school aren’t tangible. Perhaps one of the biggest resources you’ll need to utilize during your time in the UIW ABSN track is your support system.

Before you start the ABSN track, speak candidly with your loved ones and tell them how big of a time commitment nursing school is and why it’s so important to you. Make it clear that the next 16 months of your life are going to be booked up and that you may need to pass on events you would usually attend. If you have children, enlisting your significant other or family to take on a bigger role while you’re in the ABSN track might be a great way to save yourself from the stress that comes with balancing life and nursing school.

Make it clear that their support during this time is invaluable and instrumental to your success.

Another great way to gain some support is to connect with other nursing students. Talking with nursing students who are preparing to graduate or working registered nurses can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. Chatting with your cohort of peers in the program can also be helpful as they’re experiencing the same challenges as you in the ABSN track.

And of course, we are here to help, too! Your dedicated success coach will be happy to help you in any way you need. Your instructors and faculty are also a great resource for support and clarification.

Evaluate Your Habits

As an accelerated nursing student, your education will be your focus. While you’ll be busy with classes, coursework, studying and labs, it’s still important to make time to care for yourself. So, before you start nursing school, it’s important to take stock of your habits — both good and bad — and evaluate how they will serve you during your time in the ABSN track.

Getting wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of nursing school can lead to burnout, and to be successful in the ABSN track, it’s important to find balance.

Exhaustion affects your ability to study properly, so analyze your current sleep habits and adjust as needed to make sure you’re getting proper rest. Staying on top of your nutrition will also be important, so you’ll need well-rounded meals to fuel you through lectures and study sessions.

If you need to change your current habits drastically, make sure to do it well in advance of your target start date so your body can adjust to your new routines, and you can start classes with the right foot forward.

Are you ready to become a nurse?

Now that you know how to prepare for nursing school, we hope the prospect of enrolling is a little less overwhelming. If you love helping others and want to make a difference, you owe it to yourself to talk to one of our admissions counselors and get the ball rolling on your nursing education.

Contact us today to start your journey toward a life-changing career as a nurse.

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