What I Wish I Knew Before Nursing School

You are entering into the wild unknown, and may be feeling a little unsure of what to expect. Well, stay cool, because with these three small but effective tips from Picmonic’s own Nurse Marlee, you can saunter in like you’ve been doing this thang for years.


Tip #1: Get Your Sleep

Well, duh.

Seems obvious, but, you’d be surprised at how important this tip really is. Let’s think this one through; you may think you are doing yourself a favor by staying up extra late to get that extra studying in. Look what an awesome student you are, writing that detailed care plan at 1:30 am and on cup of coffee number three. This is what the perfect nursing students do, right?

Nope. Cut that habit out. No sleep equals no focus, equals no concentration, equals… forgetfulness! Mistakes! Med errors!

Remember; you are taking care of people, so you need to take care of yourself first. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep is essential for you to be on your game and be able to take on what the day has in store for you.

Tip #2: Offer All The Help You Can

Alright, time to get a little real here. We all wish that nursing school was full of kind nurses, holding your hand down that glittering, yellow-brick (linoleum) road of a hospital floor, showing you how to be the best nurse you can be.

Unfortunately, in your nursing student career, that road may have some bumps along the way, and those bumps may be the shape of some, shall we say, not-so-nice nurses on staff. Why? Who knows. But it will probably happen to you at some point.

Now here’s the trick; instead of hiding from these nurses in the coat room till the coast is clear, which many of us will want to do, continue to go out of your way to help them, in any way possible. Even when they shrug you off, ask again in a couple hours. Answer all those call bells. Never sit still.

Eventually, these nurses will see you as the nursing student who is always helping, and in return, they will want to help you. They will be happy to answer your burning questions, and be more inclined to want to teach you. As a bonus, you get extra learning opportunities and you’ll make some good connections. Even more, the staff will be sure to remember you when your job hunt begins.

Tip #3: Start Studying Efficiently and Effectively

Listen up, crammers; sorry to say, but your game won’t work here. You want to be the best nurse you can be? Well you better stop pulling those all-nighters, because science proves that cramming will only get you so far.

It’s time to get smart about your study habits. But here’s the good news; studying doesn’t have to be stressful. It can even be, dare we say, a little enjoyable. Studying with Picmonic will not only save you time and make you seriously laugh out loud, but studying with picture mnemonics is actually research-proven to increase long-term memory retention by over 300 percent, and increase exam scores by 50 percent (trust us; you won’t ever forget the morphine side-effects after you watch the Morphine Picmonic). You can thank us later when you’re walking out of that exam room, all smiles.


So, those are three tips that will pack a punch in your
nursing school journey. Keep your head up; although there will be rough spots, it’ll all be worth it in the end. And we’ll always be by your side, cheering you on.

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Marlee Liberman

Marlee Liberman, RN, Master Nursing Scholar

As a registered nurse, Marlee understands the struggles that nursing school throws at you – not to mention the overwhelming pressure preparing for the NCLEX®! Marlee brings a unique skill set and perspective to Picmonic with her previous degree in broadcast journalism, her creativity in video production, and her wandering nomad lifestyle. Her blend of talents provides her with the knack for simplifying complicated concepts and demystifying the world of nursing.

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