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6 things every nursing student should know

Stethoscopes for nursing school

Nursing school can be one of the most challenging—and rewarding—experiences of your life. We asked some on-the-job nurses what they would tell someone just starting out in school, and a few pieces of advice came up over and over again.

  • An icon of three people.

    1. You’re not alone.

    “If you feel like giving up at least once a week, congratulations. You are normal,” is how one commenter put it. Becoming a nurse can be difficult and frustrating at times. But know you are not alone in sometimes feeling like it’s just too much.

  • An icon of a speech bubble with a question mark.

    2. Ask questions.

    Don’t pretend to know something you don’t know. You may be tempted to fake it to impress your instructors, but now’s the time to get all your questions answered.

  • An icon of a bathtub and shower.

    3. Remember to take care of yourself.

    You won’t sleep enough. You may not have time to exercise. It will be hard to eat right. It happens to everyone. Do what you can to take care of yourself despite the demands on your time and energy.

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    4. Adjust your expectations.

    You may be used to being at the top of your class. You may have always had an A average. That may not happen in nursing school. It’s just plain harder to get it right every time. Luckily, the grades are not as critical in nursing school. As one commenter said, “A graduate who passes with a C is called a nurse.”

  • An icon of a stethoscope.

    5. Invest in a high-quality stethoscope.

    Learning how to listen with a stethoscope is easier with a good one. A high-quality stethoscope gives you an advantage in hearing what you need to hear. And spending a little more now on one that will last means you won’t have to buy another one when you graduate.

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    6. And finally, “It’s gonna be hard, but the end is worth it!”

    There will be days when you want to give up. And then there will be days when it all clicks and you realize you’re starting to think like a nurse. Hang in there and know that when you graduate, you’ll be doing rewarding work that you love.

3M™ Littmann® Stethoscope for nursing students

  • A smiling nurse with a pink stethoscope around her neck, using a computer.

    Quality makes a difference when you’re learning how to listen. Invest in yourself and start with a 3M™ Littmann® Classic III™ Stethoscope. They’re built to last and trusted by professionals worldwide.

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