The Road to Nursing
It is never too early to begin planning for your future. The following tips should help you navigate the final years in high school and beyond!
- Work hard to maintain a good grade point average (GPA). Admission to college is competitive, and a solid GPA helps make you a competitive candidate for admission.
- Take courses—and work hard to do your best—in courses like Language Arts, Chemistry and Anatomy. If you can, take courses in public speaking, psychology and nutrition. These are all courses that will be required in college, so high school is your chance to get a head start to be successful when you take them in college.
- Take advantage of the college assistance offered to you. This is such an important factor, and too many students don’t take advantage of it. Get all the help you can—and use it!
- Prepare for College Entrance Exams. Do practice tests; go to ACT/SAT workshops; STUDY, STUDY, STUDY.
- Find out when important deadlines are—ACT/SAT deadline, college admission deadline, financial aid deadline, etc.
- Visit colleges. You won’t know what you’re missing until you see for yourself! Take a campus tour, visit the dorms, see where students hang out. It’s a different world, and it’s waiting for you!
- STAY FOCUSED! The first semester of college can be the most challenging. For a lot of students, this is their first time away from home, their first opportunity to be independent. College is about life experiences as well as getting the education to obtain a degree. So although you should certainly have fun, don’t let fun be the main priority.
- Learn more about nursing. Whether you go to a practical nursing program, associate degree nursing program, or a bachelor’s program, investigate different areas of nursing to decide what you want to do and what educational level it will take for you to do it.
- STUDY HARD in your college courses. The first year of college is a big transition from high school. The teacher won’t call home when you miss a class, or fail a test. Read your college handbooks, know about deadlines to drop a class, when to register for the next semester, etc. You will be expected to be responsible for yourself, so ask for help when you need it, talk to your teachers and counselors…take care of business.
- Get involved. Take this time in your life to meet new people, learn new things, have new experiences. One of the best ways to do this is to get involved in campus activities. Join a club or group, go to ball games, attend social events. This will help you feel more “at home,” and will help you make contacts and develop social skills that may help you later in your career. Plus, this is another way to have fun!
||The Home Stretch
- These are the years that you’ll really start to feel the excitement of nursing. You’ll get hands-on clinical experience working with real people who have real health problems. Study hard and do well! Remember, your actions can have serious consequences for your clients.
- Talk to your teachers, and to nurses you see at the hospital. Ask questions; get their impressions of nursing. This will help you decide what area of nursing you want to pursue after graduation, and what—if any—additional education may be required.
- Prepare for the licensure examination. Take review courses, practice exams, just like when you prepared for the ACT/SAT. Finishing your degree will not make you a nurse; you have to take an examination to verify that you learned everything you need to know to be a nurse.
- Remember—nursing is about CARING for people. Remember that the people you care for are depending on you to be knowledgeable, courteous, and respectful. Be sensitive to people, cultures and traditions different from your own. Be a continuous learner—health care changes at a very rapid pace. Make sure you stay current. And remember to take good care of you, too!