Three Quick Tips for a Fabulous First Year of Nursing School

Once the initial elation of receiving your acceptance letter to John Carroll University for a BSN in nursing starts to normalize, you will want to work on a game plan for having a successful first year. You will hear lots of advice about keeping well organized and on task, and all of that is worth heeding.  

As a Jesuit liberal arts college, John Carroll University invests lots of time and staff talent in helping all of our students mature and grow as whole persons, integrating personal, spiritual and professional goals and finding a balance of challenge and joy in each pursuit.

Toward that end, we offer three quick tips for nursing students’ first year and how to make it fabulous l: 

Tip #1

Match Your Learning Style/Study Methods

Making the most of study time is key, especially when pursuing a four-year nursing degree (BSN) at a school like John Carroll where participation in sports and other activities makes for a well-rounded experience

Step One: decide if you prefer to work alone (solitary) or in a study group (social). From there, learn about how you process information (visual, auditory, note taking or tactile). One student might favor anatomy infographics. Another might pin anatomy notes to their clothing and have a tactile connection to the material.

Tip #2

Become a Smart Textbook Scanner

While some nursing students possess enviable reading speed and comprehension skills, most seek out a strategy for coping with the large amount of nursing material you are expected to cover. Not all content is created equal. A good rule to follow is scan-listen-reference.

  • Scan the introduction and all section headings, bolded key concepts, any charts or tables and the chapter summary prior to the lecture. This will prime your senses to get the most out of each lecture session. 
  • Listen for foundational concepts, and try to match key ideas to the same anchor points you covered in the textbook scan.
  • Reference your textbook after the lecture, lab, as a way of punctuating and highlighting your notes.

Tip #3

Visualize Your Future

The path to a four year BSN degree, graduation and certification will require plenty of support and encouragement — including the internal kind.

Science shows that active and routine visualization — for instance, seeing yourself helping patients and growing in your clinical skills — relieves stress and sharpens the mind. Visualization helps to activate the subconscious and clarify your next right decision or move. Deciding between clinical experiences? Try visualizing each option and see where you feel more energized.

Like its next of kin, meditation, visualizing will help you become more attuned to notice the people and resources around you that will help you succeed. You will become a better problem solver, in the classroom, lab and in your day-to-day life.

Learning to see yourself from the outside — and carrying a positive, successful image of your current and future achievement, will bring your goals within reach.

Nursing at John Carroll University

John Carroll University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing, launched in collaboration with Cleveland’s world-class medical institutions (Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and the MetroHealth System), is seeking approval by the Ohio Board of Nursing in July, 2022. Recruitment of students will begin Fall 2022 for a Fall 2023 start of the BSN. New teaching and simulation facilities in the Dolan Center for Science and Technology will support a forward-looking, evidence-based approach to nursing education, a cornerstone of the John Carroll University BSN.

John Carroll is a private Jesuit university located in University Heights, Ohio, near Cleveland.