Congrats! You have received the calling to become a nurse…But now what? Take a deep breath and buckle up. This road is ruthless, exhausting, but oh so worth it.

My first bit of advice is to figure out where you want to attend nursing school. Will you be entering straight from High School or from a Junior College? This deciphers the amount of pre-requisite coursework you need to do and the length of time you will be studying nursing. Additionally, would you like to get your associates or bachelors in nursing? The choice is your’s, however in California they will only hire bachelors or masters prepared bedside nurses. I would look into your state laws before beginning your program. This will save yourself the potential stress of having to go back to school to continue your nursing education.

Unfortunately, nursing programs continue to get harder and harder to get into so setting yourself apart from the competition is imperative. Volunteering is now an expected portion of nursing applications. If you happen to know where you would like to work as a nurse, I suggest volunteering there. This way when you’re an employable new graduate nurse, you are already in that hospital’s system.

Sifting through the weeds of various programs and trying to plan out your future is difficult. Don’t get discouraged! Nursing is an incredible career and will be worth it! And I am here to help as much as I can!