3 Tips for How to Prepare for Nursing School

Student sitting at a desk working on a computer

Deciding to start nursing school is a major life choice, especially if you’re considering earning a second degree to change career paths. Undoubtedly, you already know this — it’s probably how you found this article, after all!

It’s reasonable to want to know what to expect before taking the leap on such a major career transition. At the Notre Dame of Maryland University Accelerated 2nd Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program, we make it possible to graduate prepared to enter the field as a nurse in as few as 15 months. To give you an idea of how to best get ready for nursing school, we compiled this list to help you understand what to do before nursing school starts.

1. Make a Financial Plan

The first thing you’ll want to cross of your list before nursing school starts is creating a feasible financial plan. Not only will you need to finance nursing school, but you’ll need to set aside funds for living costs and housing. We do not recommend you work full-time while in the ABSN program, so making a financial plan beforehand will be instrumental in your nursing education.

2. Talk to Your Family

Between completing assignments, studying for exams, soaking up everything you can, and succeeding in clinical rotations, you’re bound to have a lot on your plate as a nursing student. Throw in the fact that in an accelerated nursing program like the one Notre Dame of Maryland University offers, you’re doing all of this in 15 months.

To increase your chances of success in nursing school, it’s important to know this information upfront so you can mentally prepare yourself and make a game plan to tackle the challenge head-on. Knowing the demands of an ABSN program will also help you manage the expectations of the people closest to you.

Time management and organizational strategies will be key to your success as a nursing student, as will having a strong support network. Make sure your friends and family understand that while you care about them, you need to focus on your nursing education for the next 15 months. As such, you may miss out on social events, be slower at responding to messages, and have less time to dedicate to family functions. Let them know their support means a lot, and their understanding will be instrumental to your success.

Even through the most challenging of times, it’s also important to remain calm and remember why you want to be a nurse in the first place. Whether it’s the thought of entering a rewarding profession or the career advancement opportunities that become available to you with a BSN, you’re choosing a valuable career.

3. Fulfill Prerequisites

The next way you can prepare for nursing school is to learn the foundational knowledge that will set you up for success in a nursing curriculum. To be eligible to apply for the Notre Dame ABSN program, you’ll need to complete six ABSN prerequisites. To meet the prerequisite requirements of the ABSN program, you must have completed the following prerequisites with a minimum grade of C or higher within five years prior to enrollment:

  • Basic Statistics
  • Survey of General, Organic and Biochemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Anatomy & Physiology I + II
  • Ethics

The content in these courses is at the core of everything you’ll be learning as a nursing student. These courses serve to ensure you begin the Notre Dame ABSN program with all the necessary baseline knowledge needed to succeed. They’ll also give you a great idea of what to expect from our ABSN curriculum.

How to Prepare for Nursing School at Notre Dame of Maryland University

It’s a common misconception that prior experience working or studying in the health care field is necessary to apply to a nursing program. While that may be the case in some nursing degree programs, you do not need to have a health care background to apply to the 15-month Notre Dame of Maryland University Accelerated 2nd Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program. In fact, we designed the Notre Dame ABSN program specifically for students who desire an accelerated transition into the nursing field.

Two NDMU nursing students in simulation lab

Whether you prefer to complete nursing coursework online or in the classroom, we offer a learning method that’s right for you. Our Hybrid ABSN program allows students to study and complete nursing theory coursework using an intuitive e-Learning platform.

Students enrolled in our on-campus ABSN program attend regularly scheduled lectures at our campus in Baltimore. No matter which path you choose, you still have access to the same rigorous curriculum. In both program options, you’ll complete nursing skills and simulation labs at either our program site or on-campus labs as well as clinical rotations at top hospitals in Baltimore.

If you have a bachelor’s degree in any non-nursing field from a regionally accredited institution, you may be eligible to enroll in the Notre Dame ABSN program. To qualify for enrollment, you must complete:

  • Non-nursing bachelor’s degree with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher (on a 4-point scale)
  • ABSN prerequisite courses (22 credit hours) with the minimum grade requirements
  • ABSN program application

If you’re unsure whether your prior educational and life experience make you a good fit for the Notre Dame ABSN program, one of our dedicated admissions counselors can help you make that determination.

Are You Ready to Start Nursing School?

Now that you know a little about what to expect heading into nursing school, are you ready to live up to the challenge and pursue a degree that changes lives? It all starts with an initial phone conversation with one of the Notre Dame admissions counselors, who can help you determine if you’d be a good fit for our ABSN program. Complete this form to get started today!