First of all, let me start by telling you how amazing you are!! Yes, you! Why you ask? Because you just got into nursing school!! Be proud of yourself! You were chosen out of probably 500 applicants and you made it!!
I still remember the day I received my letter! It’s the best feeling! Now hold on to that feeling because you will need it when you become overwhelmed! Not that you will, because you got this!!
Ok, so this blog is geared more to the new nursing students at National University! Some things may apply to your school and some may not but this information should be helpful!t
I was told I need to get malpractice insurance? Is it expensive? Where do I get it from?
Yes, you will need malpractice insurance. No, it’s not too expensive. Although, rates may vary. Here are some sites you can look into nso, hpso, proliability. Do your research and compare prices, in the end, they both do the same thing. You can hold off on the insurance until you get closer to starting school or you can purchase it now. The reason I say to wait is that your insurance becomes active the day you pay for it. So there is no need to purchase it early if you don’t start school for some time.
What can I do in the meantime while I wait for class to start?
First thing I would do is gather your vaccine records and make an appointment to get a school physical performed. I know you’re probably thinking its too soon! Nope! Never too soon, the doctors’ office is always busy, especially during the holidays! There will also be deadlines as to when things are due so schedule that appointment soon! Don’t have the paperwork? Don’t worry let your provider know and they will make a note and once you received the paperwork from the school all you have to do is submit that form to your doctor’s office and they will sign you right off! Also, most pharmacy now has “Fast Clinics” where all they do is physicals and are able to give vaccines, they are also covered by most insurances and are very easy to get an appointment within case your PCP doesn’t have any appointments.
What vaccines will I need?
Start with basic vaccines needed for school. Also, each vaccine has to have been given to you within the last 10 years. Now, some of you are still young enough that your vaccines are valid. However, in my case that last time I had my vaccines… well let’s just say it’s been a while.
It was a cheaper alternative for me to get my titers drawn and figure out which vaccines were still valid instead of getting each vaccine. Now let me tell you this is when health insurance helps, the titer isn’t as expensive as the vaccines. If you are on a budget most community colleges include some type of medical package in your tuition. So take advantage and call up that school. You should still be able to get an appointment as long as you have a valid school ID. Also, there are tons of community clinics in the area that offer low-cost visits such as nchs, vista communityclinic. If these aren’t close to you just do a quick search for community clinics in your area!
Do I need to come up with money for the nursing program?
Now, again each program is different but, at National, we were told we needed to come up with $2,500 upfront. This money would be due right before the start of class. This is not covered by FASFA so I would advise you to start saving or have a credit card handy with a low or 0% interest rate. This will cover your ATI books as well as uniforms.
When do we get uniforms? Should I buy extra?
You will have two orientations, you will get your uniform on your second orientation, and if its the way my fitting went. Be prepared wear shorts and a shirt under your work attire clothes! We were made to undress in a room full of woman, I had just met! That’s right! So I took my scrubs to the bathroom to try them on! Be prepared and ask for all sizes! They will let you try on a pair of scrubs, all I can say is chose what is comfortable! They are not the most flattering but remember its better to be comfy than to have to worry that your scrubs are on too tight! I would also bring cash to purchase a backup set. Yes, you get two pairs a top and a bottom. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the healthcare industry but two pairs is not enough if you ask me. I have worked in the medical field for the last 12 years and have yet to survive on two pairs of scrubs. I would advise to at least purchase extra scrub pants. While in nursing school you will be too busy to constantly be doing laundry it will be easier to have backups on those days you are at the hospital all day, have group projects, and ATI’s due the last thing on your mind is to run to the laundry-mat or do laundry in general. So save yourself a headache and purchase a spare. You always can purchase throughout the school year, but might as well get everything ready now while you have the extra time.
Should I start purchasing my books now?
I would wait, of course, if someone is willing to donate their books to you take their offer. Otherwise, I would wait. Some of my classmates had access to e-books and were kind enough to share the e-book! I will have a section in my blog with FREE e-books you can download. This could help you save money! So make sure to subscribe to my blog so you can get alerted when new books are up!
How will my schedule look like?
If things haven’t changed much in the last four months since I have been in school, your first class will be online. Now, I don’t know how familiar you are with online classes. Each class can be different, I had one online class that I had to be physically present (online that is) to receive full credit. I had another class where the teacher talked for about an hour and we were to learn and do all the reading ourselves. And if we had questions this is when we would ask our questions. Now I heard a few complaints from classmates, but you need to recognize you are now in an accelerated program. You are also an adult and don’t need to be told what is expected from you. It’s the cold hard truth, but your professors won’t remind you when your projects are due or that you are up to date on your reading! So don’t let this surprise you and don’t get discouraged there are always different ways to learn a subject! As for your other classes, you will receive an e-mail about four weeks in advance and will know what your schedule will look like. You will have enough notice that you can arrange work if needed or daycare if needed.
Now, these are just a few tips to get started on! Be sure to read my entry on how I prepared for nursing school! This will help you get organized as well! Now as for what to expect out of classes and how the tests are I will include this in my next post! Feel free to ask any questions you might have about school or in general! Until then, sleep in now! Get some rest! Because you are going to need all your energy and will love nursing school! Well, at least I really enjoy it! 🙂