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7 Things to Do During Your First Week of Nursing School

Nursing School

Congratulations – you did it! You applied to nursing school, got accepted / enrolled at Arizona College of Nursing, and now you’re beginning a journey towards a nursing career! You’re pursuing your dreams and that’s something meaningful to acknowledge.

As you begin this new chapter, you want to set yourself up for success. Your first week of nursing school is the ideal time to lay the groundwork. Everything is new and unfamiliar, meaning it’s the perfect opportunity to create habits that will serve you throughout your nursing education.

We’ve created a list of 7 tips that can help you get the most out of your Arizona College of Nursing experience during the first week. In this piece, we’ll cover each tip:

  1. Review Your Courses on Canvas
  2. Take a Photo in Your School Gear (Be Sure to Tag Us)
  3. Find a Study Group
  4. Remember Your Why
  5. Make a Friend
  6. Meet With Your Student Achievement Coach (Support Counselors)
  7. Schedule Time to Relax

Tip 1: Review Your Courses on Canvas

If you’ve never used Canvas before, start by familiarizing yourself with its basic functions. Learn how to navigate the platform, where your courses are located, how to submit assignments, and how to utilize the communication tools. Take advantage of the video tutorials available on Canvas for even more guidance.

Once you’re comfortable navigating Canvas, explore your courses! Start by reviewing your syllabus and previewing the upcoming coursework and assignments. Knowing what lies ahead helps you plan your journey to success.

Tip 2: Take a Photo in Your School Gear (Be Sure to Tag Us)

Admit it – you’re a little bit excited to show off your new nursing school gear. We’re excited to see it! Put on your favorite school shirt or hat, strike a pose, and snap a picture. Share the excitement with your friends and family by sharing it on social media! Don’t forget to tag us @arizonacollegeofnursing so we can celebrate the start of your academic adventure together!

Tip 3: Find a Study Group

If you’re wondering if you really, truly need a study group, the answer is yes! Connect with fellow students right away and commit to learning together. It will help you become disciplined, improve your study skills, and learn new time-management and note-taking techniques.

BSN-Nursing-College-Campus-Life-Picture-With-Students Collaborating with peers not only enhances your understanding but also makes learning a fun, shared experience. You may even find that individuals in your group become your friends. You’ll experience the highs and lows of nursing school together – from intensive labs to early morning clinical rotations. Your group can serve as a place for you to study for your upcoming exam and vent when you need it. You’re creating a bond that could last throughout school and beyond as you launch a nursing career.

Tip 4: Remember Your Why

When things get challenging, it’s normal to start to doubt your decision or regret starting in the first place. However, it’s during times like this that you should reflect on why you chose to start this journey. Reflect on your purpose – why are you here?

Perhaps you wanted to make a difference in other people’s lives. Maybe you have experienced health challenges of your own and had a nurse support and encourage you, inspiring you to become a nurse. Whatever it may be – keeping your goals in mind fuels your motivation and guides you through the challenges. Throughout the BSN program, stay focused on the ‘why’ that drives you!

Tip 5: Make a Friend

You may be feeling nervous about your first week of school – chances are your classmates are feeling the same way. You’re in this together! Embrace the opportunity to make new friends, making your nursing school experience more fun and rewarding.

Take initiative to get to know your peers – you never know, you may have more in common than a passion for nursing! As a bonus, starting new classes may seem less daunting when you are facing them with people you know. Building connections fosters a supportive community that enhances your nursing school experience. Share a smile and start a conversation today!

Tip 6: Meet With Your Student Success Coach (Support Counselors)

Faculty member mentors a nursing program student at our school. Your Student Success Coach is here to guide you through all the highs and lows of your nursing school journey. Introduce yourself and be proactive by sharing any concerns or questions you have from the start. They’ll even help you build your support system, set goals, and help you optimize the resources available to you.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to them for support! The first week of school can be filled with uncertainties, so take advantage of this support and guidance. They’re here to help you navigate challenges as well as celebrate achievements. Schedule a meeting and let the support begin!

Tip 7: Schedule Time to Relax!

We know you’re eager to dive into all the classes and your nursing journey, but it’s important to remember that no one can do it all. Don’t forget to take a breather amidst the excitement! Scheduling time for self-care is necessary for your well-being and maintaining physical, mental, and emotional health.

As you fill out your weekly agenda, add in time for an afternoon walk, relaxing yoga class, or coffee with friends. Taking a breather is essential to maintaining your health and managing the inevitable stress that comes with starting something new, like nursing school. Whether you choose to work on a hobby, read a good book, or laugh with friends – make sure to prioritize these moments to recharge and conquer each day with a refreshed spirit.

Other Helpful Things to Remember

A few more words of wisdom:

  1. Breathe. It’s not an emergency. At times, it can feel that way. Nursing school can be stressful and challenging. But remember that you have time. You’ll be okay.
  2. It’s okay to be new. You won’t know everything and be perfect at every new skill you learn. This is your time to learn. Give yourself grace as you adapt and grow.
  3. Make time for friends and family. You’ll have to stop doing a lot of things to make time for nursing school, but don’t forget to nourish your social health. That matters too!
  4. Get organized. Start looking ahead. When’s your first exam? What time are your labs? When is your first assignment due? What chapters are you reading and reviewing this week?

Start Your Future in Nursing Today

Nursing School Faculty In LabIf you’re considering a career as a registered nurse (RN), Arizona College of Nursing is here to help you pursue your dream. Our BSN program enables you to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in just 3 years or less with qualifying transfer credits. We’ve helped hundreds of students to earn a BSN degree and enter the nursing profession – and we’re ready to support you on your path to becoming an RN.

Why Choose Arizona College of Nursing?

  1. Earn a BSN degree in 3 years or less with eligible transfer credits
  2. Campus locations throughout the US
  3. Night classes for general education courses
  4. Hybrid Online/In-Person format for general education classes
  5. Nursing education is all we do
  6. CCNE-Accredited Program*
  7. NCLEX-RN success coaches and exam preparation class
  8. Financial aid available to those who qualify

Discover Your Path to a Career in Nursing

Information in this post is accurate as of .

*The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program at Arizona College of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( All Arizona College of Nursing and Arizona College campuses are institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (, a U.S. Department of Education-recognized national accrediting agency.