how to succeed in nursing school

Four Tips for Excelling in a BSN Nursing Degree Program

There’s no denying that nursing school comes with many challenges. Students must focus on exams to study for both during and after, like the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), maintain their grades, and memorize medical terms.

Not to mention thinking about where and what area of nursing you want to focus on in your future nursing career. Aspiring nurses need to be disciplined and experts in time management and preparation.

While the stress brought on by nursing school, the National Council Licensure Examination, and a career as a nurse may be unavoidable. There are many ways to learn how to prepare for and manage stress when it does come.

Today’s article will share four crucial tips for succeeding in nursing school.

What is Nursing School?

Nursing school prepares students to be highly educated and competent nurses ready to enter the workforce. Schools usually offer several degree options that open doors to rewarding careers in hospitals, schools, community health centers, rehabilitation centers, private clinics, and more.

Schools of Nursing provide exciting opportunities for students beginning or continuing their nursing education through a range of degree programs, including:

  1. Pre-Nursing Programs: A preparation program offering students the opportunity to complete the introductory foundation courses, such as psychology and anatomy, required for nursing school. These programs are designed to prepare students for enrollment in entry-level nursing programs.
  2. Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN): A two-year program, and the minimum requirement, that enables candidates to become registered nurses (RN) through this degree and successfully pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).
  3. Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN): Typically a four-year degree, a BSN degree program positions aspiring nurses for success through classroom and clinical experiences. While not required to become a registered nurse, completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree opens candidates to career advancement opportunities and makes them more attractive to employers.
  4. Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN): This degree plan is designed for already licensed and practicing nurses with associate degrees who want to expand their career opportunities. Many universities offer online RN-to-BSN programs for students to complete their degree on their working schedule and needs.
  5. Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program (ABSN): An accelerated nursing program is for aspiring nurses making a career change, meaning students with a bachelor’s degree in another non-nursing major looking to earn their Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN) degree. These programs are a fast and comprehensive pathway to a career as a nurse.

While each university and degree program will vary slightly when it comes to course offerings and requirements, all students should expect to take the following nursing courses:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Introductory Chemistry
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Microbiology
  • Statistics

Ultimately, nursing programs prepare diverse and inclusive nurse leaders to display a commitment to clinical excellence, global healthcare, and lifelong learning.


At University of Bridgeport, we have something for everyone. Check out our Nursing programs and find the one that best fits your future!


4 Tips to Excel in Nursing School

With an understanding of the degrees available and what to expect from nursing school, it’s time to set yourself up for success.

1. Understand Your Learning Style

One critical key to success in a BSN degree program is understanding how you take in and process information. Identifying and utilizing your learning style is one of the most effective and helpful study tips.

For example, if you like asking questions and discussing information out loud with a group, you are likely an aural learner, meaning you learn best when hearing things aloud. Consider forming a study group or engaging in class discussions to better understand and comprehend the material.

On the other hand, if you prefer to watch videos or learn the material in a quiet or solitary setting, you might be a visual learner. Visual learners best take in information by reading or watching videos. Online degree programs are also beneficial for visual learners as they often are free of distractions and live discussions.

If you need help determining your learning style, look at how you have studied in the past or the tests you performed best on. Doing so will ensure you can incorporate helpful study strategies to maximize your time and energy in nursing school.

2. Set Goals

This sounds simple, but with the stress of nursing school, many students need help to set and keep their goals. To prevent feeling overwhelmed and lost, set your goals at the beginning of each semester and be as specific as possible.

Set realistic goals instead of holding yourself to impossible standards, and focus on doing your best with the time, energy, and resources available.

This can look like reviewing your syllabi and course schedule and carving out specific times you can study each week to keep up with the material or identifying the assignments that make up a lot of your grade to prioritize that work in the future.

Lastly, lean on your fellow students, faculty, friends, family, and your school’s support services to help and hold you accountable. Then, when mistakes happen, you have support to help you learn from them and move on smarter and stronger than before.

3. Treat Nursing School Like a Full-time Job

One of the best tips for nursing school is for students to treat it as a full-time job. Show up to class, prepare for tests and exams, and complete your assignments on time just as you would for any job or employer.

This will set you up for success in school and ensure you give total effort and attention when working as a nurse in a hospital, doctor’s office, or other healthcare facility.

4. Manage Time Effectively

Time management can be challenging, but it is essential for any student’s success. To avoid procrastination or feeling paralyzed by the amount of work you complete, divide your tasks over manageable blocks of time. Determine how much time you need for each job, set a time, and finish that specific task completely.

Furthermore, don’t try to cram for an exam at the last minute. Instead, study the material each day to build your knowledge and understanding. Nurses are leaders and lifelong learners, starting in nursing school. Attending nursing school and pursuing your nursing career is exciting, but it can also be intimidating with the course load and amount of information you need to learn.

Thankfully, you don’t have to go through this alone. At University of Bridgeport, our mission is to get you through college and into a great career by helping you find balance and care for yourself and your studies through our flexible degree programs.

With these tips, our help, and your hard work and dedication, you will excel in nursing school and career. Contact us for more information, or apply today!