What Is Nursing School Like, and What Do You Learn in Nursing School?

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.

What do you learn in nursing school? Specifically, what skills do you learn in nursing school? At nursing school, you’ll be taught important nursing skills like placing IV lines, administering medications, providing wound care, calculating dosages and other essential patient care tasks.

nurses looking at laptop

If you’re thinking about leaving your current career to earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and become a nurse, you may wonder, “What do you learn in nursing school? Is nursing school worth it?” In nursing school, you’ll be taught all the nursing concepts and skills you need to graduate as a practice-ready nurse and qualify for the NCLEX-RN (licensure exam).

At CSP Global, we take pride in prioritizing quality nursing education with the goal of graduating nursing professionals who can confidently deliver patient care. If you have prior non-nursing college education, you may be eligible for our Accelerated BSN (ABSN) program, which may allow you to graduate in as few as 16 months.

Before you start the admissions process, learning more about nursing school can be helpful. Here, you’ll get the answers to questions like, “What skills do you learn in nursing school?” and “What are some BSN courses to expect?”

What Do You Learn in Nursing School? Breaking Down the BSN

So, exactly what do you learn in nursing school? Your BSN program requires you to complete both coursework in nursing concepts and experiential learning components. At CSP Global, you can complete nursing coursework online. You’ll visit the ABSN program site to complete experiential learning components, during which you’ll be expected to develop nursing skills.

The nursing program also includes clinical learning opportunities. These experiences involve demonstrating competence in clinical judgment, therapeutic communication, care planning, assessment, and evaluation of treatments. This is a chance to put what you’ve been taught into practice.

two CSP nursing students sitting and studying

Curious to learn more? Check out this blog on what to expect in nursing school.

What Are Some BSN Courses You Can Expect?

Your nursing coursework will enable you to lay a foundation of nursing competencies you can rely upon as you complete the experiential learning components. Some BSN courses that you can expect include:

  • Pharmacology in Nursing
  • Fundamentals of Professional Nursing
  • Health Promotion and Assessment
  • Applied Pathophysiology
  • Nursing Informatics
  • Leadership & Management in Nursing

You will also work through a curriculum designed to introduce you to topics specific to particular patient groups. For example, you’ll be taught how to care for adults, aging adults, patients at end of life, and childbearing patients.

As a Christian university, CSP Global also requires our nursing students to complete courses in theology.

What Skills Do You Learn in Nursing School?

In nursing school, you’ll have opportunities for personal and professional growth. You’ll be taught a wide range of skills, including soft, transferable skills and nursing-specific skills. Some of these include:

  • Analytical reasoning and problem-solving skills
  • Communication and assessment skills
  • Developing patient care plans
  • Handling complex patient cases

In the experiential learning components, you’ll be taught specific nursing skills, such as performing head-to-toe patient assessments and taking vital signs correctly (and interpreting vital signs). You’ll also practice inserting intravenous (IV) lines and administering medications.

csp nursing students in sim lab

What Is Nursing School Like - 4 Qualities of Nursing Programs with Practical Preparation

When applying to nursing schools, what should you look for in a program that will set you up for a nursing career? How can you ensure a nursing school does prepare you for actual patient cases? Fortunately, there are some fundamental principles of great clinical nursing programs. Choosing a school with these characteristics will help you move into your new career with less stress.

1. BSN Degree Program

The first criterion you should consider with nursing schools is the level of nursing education they provide. There are several options, such as associate degree nursing programs. However, choosing a BSN degree program is your best choice to prepare you for clinical practice.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), nurses with a bachelor’s degree are better prepared for quality and safety issues. Studies have also shown that more educated nursing teams have better patient outcomes and lower patient mortality.

It’s important to note that even an Accelerated BSN program provides a more thorough nursing education than an associate degree program. You’ll be taught everything you need to graduate as a practice-ready nurse here.

2. Robust Experiential Learning

Every nursing program includes experiential learning components to allow students to develop nursing skills. You’ll need plenty of practice to approach actual patient care with confidence.

These experiential learning components, or labs, teach you how to collaborate and work within a healthcare team to address patient care challenges. This will translate into the team approach you’ll use when caring for patients alongside doctors, therapists, nursing staff and case managers.

These labs also address the challenge of handling high-stress situations such as code blue or cardiac arrest. You will examine appropriate nursing protocols and practice them repeatedly so you’ll know what to do when these situations occur. Your instructors will teach you how to manage stress and keep a level head, which will set you up to act with assurance when you get to the clinical setting.

nurse using stethoscope to hear child's heartbeat

3. Starts Clinical Learning Experiences During the First Semester

Clinical learning experiences are a vital component of well-rounded nursing programs. They consist of spending time in hospital units and outpatient clinics, working under the guidance of professional nurses. This allows you to see nursing in action and be involved in clinical decision-making.

Starting this portion of your ABSN education as early as possible in your nursing curriculum is vital to giving you the experience you need. You’ll have clinical learning experiences that involve care focused on certain populations or unique to certain settings:

  • Pediatrics
  • Obstetrics
  • Acute care
  • Long-term care
  • Mental health

4. Transition to Nursing Experience in the Last Semester

Another educational component that may benefit you is an intensive clinical experience during the final semester of nursing school. Finding a program that offers this type of course is ideal, as it enables you to prepare for your nursing career more thoroughly.

What do you learn in nursing school transitional experiences? At CSP Global, our Transition into Professional Nursing course is similar to an internship, where our fourth-semester nursing students have the same schedule as a preceptor.
You will work several 12-hour shifts, caring for patients and taking on more extensive clinical responsibilities.

This experience can teach you how to navigate nursing responsibilities—from time management to professionalism. You’ll also have additional opportunities to receive personalized feedback from your preceptor, who can tell you which areas to improve and what you’re doing well.

Ready to get started? Try these six tips for applying for nursing school.

woman sitting at desk with laptop

Is Nursing School Worth It?

There is no question that nursing school can be challenging sometimes. However, if you have the drive to succeed and genuinely want to make a positive difference in the lives of your future patients, it’s definitely worth it. Nursing school can equip you with everything you need to graduate as a practice-ready nurse.

Remember that nursing offers opportunities for professional advancement. Earning your BSN doesn’t have to be the end of your nursing education. You could go on to earn your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and specialty certifications, which may qualify you to pursue work as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). There are lots of possibilities out there for a qualified, dedicated nurse.

Ready to Begin Your Nursing Journey?

Is nursing school worth it? Absolutely, if you’re committed to pursuing a career helping patients. CSP Global can help you achieve your professional goals. Located in St. Paul, Minnesota and Portland, Oregon, our accelerated BSN program provides the opportunity to graduate in as few as 16 months.

Contact our admissions advisors if you’d like to learn more about earning your BSN at CSP Global.