Once the excitement of getting into nursing school wears off, you may be filled with trepidation as you have no idea what to expect.

Read through this handy guide of what to expect on your first day of nursing school to put your mind at ease.

*Disclosure: This article on your first day of nursing school may contain affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. For more info, please see my disclaimer.

What Should You Expect the First Day of Nursing School?

The first day of nursing school will include an orientation to what you can expect in the program. You’ll feel inundated with a lot of information, but you’ll come away with an idea of how busy you’ll be throughout the semester. This is when you’ll become acclimated to the nursing program as a whole.

Preparing for and Getting Through Your First Day of Nursing School

The first day in a new school or in a new program is always stressful no matter how old you are or how many years you have already spent in school.

At this point, you do not know what to expect or what will be required of you. You do not know what your instructors will be like or how helpful and friendly your classmates will be.

However, you should try to be as calm as possible as you go into your first day or two of the nursing program, knowing that nothing major will be required of you right away.

Instead, you will primarily be taking in a great deal of information as you receive an overview of the entire semester. I would advise you to roll with the punches whenever you can.

What seems as if it will be incredibly difficult now will seem much more manageable down the road.

What Will Happen the First Day?

an older nursing student

Many nursing schools schedule an orientation session for the first day of school.

During this session, you may be given a general overview of your classes, your semester schedule, and a list of class and clinical requirements.

You may also be able to meet some or all of your instructors and classmates and may even get your hands on a syllabus for each class you are taking, which will provide you with the most detailed information available.

As soon as you get your syllabi, take plenty of time to look through them. They will give you class and instructor requirements and tell you more about major projects you may be required to complete throughout the semester.

Depending on your school, you may also have your first class lectures on your first day of nursing school.

Ideally, you should already have your textbooks for these classes and should come to class prepared to take notes and soak in as much information as you can. Go here to buy your nursing school textbooks.

Your teachers may also give you a list of additional supplies and reference books that you will need.

Related: 10 Inspiring Nursing School Quotes

What Will Not Happen the First Day as a Nursing Student?

The good news is that you will not have to worry about any clinical work or lab visits on your first day of nursing school.

Depending on your nursing school, you may be starting clinical rotations during your first semester, but you will not have to worry about hands-on care during your first day.

Of course, you will not have to worry about tests, quizzes or project assignments on your first day.

However, pay close attention to any information your instructors give out because these graded assignments could pop up fairly quickly.

Hire a Tutor for School

If you need a tutor for school, you can find one using this online platform. The tutors are vetted, and you pick the time that works for your schedule. Whether it’s for nursing school, nursing school prereqs, or any school-related subject, this is a platform you should check out.

How Will You Feel on the First Day of Nursing School?

If you are anything like me, you will probably feel incredibly nervous on your first day of nursing school. You may be concerned you will not know where to go or what to bring. You may feel nervous about meeting new instructors and classmates, especially if you are more of an introvert.

In addition, prepare to feel overwhelmed by the amount of information you receive this day.

I could not believe how many assignments I was told about on that first day. Unlike many other instructors in different majors, nursing instructors love to tell you everything you can expect to tackle throughout the semester.

While it may seem overwhelming at first, try to look at it as good information that will help you better plan out your semester and get projects completed on time.

Related: How to Stay Motivated in Nursing School

How Can You Make the First Day As Successful As Possible?

nursing students on their first day of school

Now that you know the basics of what to expect, follow these tips to increase your educational success on this first day and throughout the rest of the semester.

1. Be Organized

With all of the information, dates, and syllabi you’re going to be getting, it is vital you stay organized.

Buy a planner that is reserved only for school, and religiously write down assignment due dates, test days, clinical times, and everything else that is critical to your success. Here are some planners you should consider.

Nursing School Planner
  • Dawn Publishing, Alice (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 110 Pages - 01/12/2020 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)

2. Reach Out to Others in Your Class

Having a group of nursing students that you can reach out to whether you need help studying for an examination or simply need a boost after a difficult day is also vital. Try to make these connections early.

3. Plan to Be Incredibly Busy

Nursing students are always incredibly busy with homework assignments, research projects, and clinical rotations.

If you do plan on working during the semester, you may need to cut back on your hours.

While you will certainly need to take time to be with your friends and family outside school, you should recognize that these years in nursing school will be among the busiest of your entire life.

Related: Best Jobs for Nursing Students

Final Thoughts

Here’s a quick video that accompanies this article on what to expect your first day of nursing school.

Nursing school can feel overwhelming, especially as you are first getting started.

Look at your first day as a time to get acclimated to the school, your instructors, and your class load.

Plus, you can check out our website for all the best info on being a nursing student, being a nurse and if you haven’t already on how to find the perfect nursing school.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is the first year of nursing school so hard?

    The first year of nursing school is hard because many students are not used to the level of dedication and difficult of a nursing program.

  2. What do you learn in the first semester of nursing school?

    The first semester of nursing school will consist of nursing classes that will lay the foundation for the rest of the program and for your nursing career.

  3. What is the best way for nursing students to make the most of clinical rotations?

    Nursing students can make the most of their clinical rotations by coming to clinicals prepared and ready to learn on a first hand basis.

  4. Is the first semester of nursing school the hardest?

    The first semester of nursing school is challenging because most students are not used to the level of rigor nursing classes demand. Most students will probably find subsequent semesters more difficult than the first.

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