How to Prepare for Nursing School: 10 Strategies to Get You Ready

Each blog post is dated and contains accurate information as of that date. Certain information may have changed since the blog post publication date. If you would like to confirm the current accuracy of blog information, please visit our ABSN overview page or contact admissions at 866-892-1562.

Wondering how to prepare for nursing school? Some actionable nursing school tips include applying for financial aid, planning your move if you’re relocating, purchasing the necessary nursing supplies, and improving your time management skills. You’ll also need to get vaccinated and CPR-certified.

nursing student in library reading a book

As you look forward to the beginning of nursing school, all sorts of questions may fill your mind. How should you be preparing for nursing school? How can you set yourself up to succeed from the start?

Before nursing school even begins, there are myriad ways you can get yourself on the right track. Your time will be limited during school, so learn how to prepare for nursing school now.

Preparation is particularly important when you’re enrolling in a 16-month degree program, like the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program at CSP Global. There’s no time to waste, so let’s dive right into nursing school advice!

How to Prepare for Nursing School: Actionable Nursing School Tips

Knowing how to prepare for nursing school will help you achieve your goals and succeed as an ABSN student. We’ll discuss 10 steps you can take now that will help as you’re preparing for nursing school.

two CSP nursing students sitting and studying

One method of preparing for nursing school is knowing what to expect. In this blog, you can learn what to expect in nursing school.

1. Finish the Prerequisites

Before enrolling, you must complete a series of prerequisite courses. You can start applying for admission to CSP when you’re taking your last semester of prerequisites, and then you’ll need to provide proof that you finished them before you begin the ABSN program.

Your prerequisites pave a path for you to understand the ABSN curriculum. They are a surefire way to ensure that students begin the accelerated BSN on the same page. Prerequisite courses also give you a taste of what to expect in the ABSN nursing curriculum, and they’ll equip you with study skills you can apply to the ABSN program.

2. Plan Your Move

Many students relocate for accelerated nursing school, and if that’s you, then you’ll want to ensure you plan out all the details before school begins. At CSP, we offer ABSN programs in both St. Paul, Minnesota, and Portland, Oregon, so we are well-versed in helping students manage relocating for nursing school.

If possible, try to visit the city where your nursing school is located ahead of time so you can arrange for housing. Find housing with a short commute to the ABSN site, as you’ll regularly travel to the site for simulation, skills labs and exams.

3. Get Your Finances Organized

Nursing school is an investment in your future career. One of the most important nursing school tips to follow is to arrange your finances before you enroll. First, you should apply for financial aid by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This opens the door to federal grants and loans that you may be eligible for. If you or a close family member served in the military, you might also be eligible for veteran education benefits. Additionally, you could speak with CSP’s Student Financial Services department to set up a monthly payment plan.

nursing student walking outside by tree

Next, you’ll need to develop a budget for your personal expenses. Nursing school requires a full schedule, so it’s likely that you won’t have time to work while attending school. Figure out how to manage your money, and consider setting up autopay for your bills to remove an extra element to remember on top of your coursework.

4. Start Thinking About NCLEX Prep

You’ll take the NCLEX-RN after you earn a nursing degree. Passing the NCLEX is a requirement for obtaining a nursing license. Although it might seem premature, it’s a good idea to start thinking about NCLEX prep right away.

Fortunately, the College of Nursing prepares you for this licensure exam from the very beginning of the ABSN curriculum using specific NCLEX-RN preparation materials that relate to each course. You will learn to master the types of questions you will see on the licensure exam, so you are well prepared prior to graduation.

Looking for more actionable tips? Check out this advice for nursing students!

students studying in common room

5. Find Out Your Learning Style

An important method for preparing for nursing school is to find out your ideal learning style. When you begin a hybrid accelerated nursing program, you’ll be responsible for learning much of the information independently. One of the three components of the ABSN program at CSP is online coursework, which consists of material presented through our interactive e-learning platform. You’ll be able to then tailor your specific learning techniques to your personal style.

For example, if you are a visual learner, then you may find watching videos and diagramming out your notes is helpful for you. If you learn through reading and writing, you may want to focus on reading the textbook and making a detailed study guide. If you’re an auditory learner, listening to podcasts about nursing topics may help you cement your learning.

6. Start Good Habits

No guide to nursing school advice would be complete without a look at self-care. By taking better care of yourself and adding beneficial daily habits into your routine, you’ll be better equipped to tackle the demands of an accelerated nursing program.

CSP nursing students outside studying

Here are some simple habits you can add into your routine now to set you up for success in nursing school:

  • Get on a sleep schedule with a consistent bedtime and wake-up time. Aim for seven to eight hours per night.
  • Start meal-prepping one day a week so healthy foods are easy and accessible.
  • Begin walking outside every day. Use this time to decompress, get some sun and exercise.
  • Improve your time management skills. Get in the habit of creating a schedule for each day’s routine.

7. Develop a Positive Mindset Toward Challenges

An accelerated nursing program requires a considerable commitment of time and energy. It’s beneficial to develop a healthy mindset toward challenges. Have faith in your abilities, and give yourself grace. As you progress through the ABSN program, you’ll gain study experience and become more efficient with your time. Just trust the process, and be patient with yourself.

Try these nursing school tips for better time management:

  • Avoid multitasking, which is counterproductive because it hampers concentration.
  • Identify your priorities and create a plan for accomplishing them. Adjust your plan as needed when priorities shift.
  • Learn how to tune out distractions when you’re studying.
  • When you’re supposed to be somewhere—whether at a skills lab or a clinical learning facility—always aim to be there at least five to 10 minutes earlier than required.

8. Get Immunized and CPR-Certified

Before beginning clinical learning during your first semester of the ABSN program, you’ll need to be immunized for a variety of pathogens including flu, tetanus, hepatitis, COVID-19 and others. Reach out to an admissions advisor to get a list of all the required vaccinations for CSP. For many nursing schools, you’ll also need to get CPR/BLS certified so you’re equipped to care for patients experiencing life-threatening emergencies. It’s ideal to take the time to do this before school starts.

9. Preparing for Nursing School With the Right Supplies

One of the last steps you’ll take to prepare for nursing school is to gather together the necessary supplies. You’ll need:

  • Stethoscope
  • Penlight and nursing scissors
  • School-branded scrubs
  • Laptop
  • Backpack
  • Compression socks
  • Comfortable, supportive shoes for clinicals
student sitting outside in grass using laptop

Don’t forget to submit your official transcripts to the admissions office, either. In addition, keep an eye out for school communications that will walk you through the process of obtaining your school ID and setting up your school email address.

10. Get to Know Your Nursing Cohort

When the big day arrives, nursing school will kick off with an orientation period. Orientation enables you to become familiar with the school and your program, and to meet members of your nursing cohort (your fellow students). It’s common for people in a nursing cohort to become close friends. Take some time to get to know them during orientation. Throughout the program, you’ll lean on each other for support, and you can form study groups or find one close study buddy.

Pursue Your Passion for Nursing

Now that you know some of the best nursing school tips, it’s time to get your dream career in motion. The ABSN program at CSP Global can help you transition to a nursing career in as few as 16 months. Plus, there are three start dates available throughout the year, so you won’t have to wait too long for the next semester to start.

Reach out to an ABSN admissions advisor at CSP Global today to get started on the admissions process.