“I spent four years [or two!] prostrate to the higher mind, got my paper And I was free.” Closer To Fine by the Indigo Girls

Contributors (in alphabetical order): Jomarie Cruz, Irvin Hirallal, Becca Sacks, Sara Zachmann


There’s a saying that hindsight is 20/20.  As graduation approaches (one day!) I’ve been thinking about if there’s anything I would or would not have done differently during nursing school.  I thought this could be helpful for the incoming classes as they obediently lock their doors every night to their new apartments in Baltimore City and settle in to read pathophysiology (but are the textbooks REALLY necessary?? You’ll find out).    I emailed my class and got some feedback because I figured it might provide for some broader insight.  So, sit back, relax and put down that sphygmomanometer because after reading this, maybe you won’t need it! (just kidding, I think all my classmates would agree the BP cuff might be way more important than the patho book…)

1. I wish I knew that pass/fail meant 80 percent… Which is the same grade as 100 percent…too much energy and worry to be perfect when 80 percent would have sufficed. (Wow I’m a slacker now!) [editor’s note: but a passing slacker!!]

2. Rent your textbooks if you absolutely need them, but don’t rush to buy all of them before the start of class.

3. You don’t need to buy most books, because tests are taken from power-points!

4. Group work was the name of the game and it was awful most times!

5. Talk to everyone you meet during your clinicals. Use the opportunity to pick the brains of nurses and nurse managers on your unit.

6. Get a job as a CNA (if you can) as soon as you can get certified (after your first semester).

7. Take a deep breath every once in a while- remind yourself who you are and what you love.

8. Periodically remind yourself why you wanted to go into nursing (this helps when studying for exams)

9. Figure out what textbooks you need to buy and which ones you don’t need to buy. Some of them are available on the Welch Library’s website (go to Department Guides–> nursing–> look under books). For the textbooks that you do need, rent them for the semester on Chegg.com.

10. Find a great study spot and stick with it. The same goes for a great study buddy.

11. Take advantage of the amazing professors you have. Talk to them about your interests and career plans, they might be able to help you.

12. Explore Baltimore! Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually an amazing city.

13. Buy comfortable shoes.  Some instructors let you wear your own and if you get a job as a CNA your feet will thank you after 12 hours.

14.  Figure out if you learn better in person or on-line.  Some classes are offered on-line and therefore minimize the time you need to be in school and can work out great if you plan to work/like to do extra-curriculars.

15.  Attend some of the events that flood are sent to your email.  Some of them are actually really interesting and worthwhile!

16.  Go on the Pirate Ship in Fells Point.

Hmm at this point I’d say this might suffice, although anyone reading this who feels that things could be added/changed feel free to comment.  Questions from in-coming/perspective students are also welcome so feel free to drop a line at the bottom.  With that, I am out of here because I need to figure out what to wear to the Pinning Ceremony in a few hours (seriously, the email sent out said to “wear something appropriate for a ceremony”).  Good luck!!

PS – Thank you JHUSON for a great two years!!  Maybe I’ll continue blogging after I get a job 🙂

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