Life after nursing school acceptance

Graphic: Alexandria Tobias

Kylie Coffey

They wake up before the sun rises, throw on a pair of scrubs and prepare for a long day of hands-on learning at hospitals or sites in the Statesboro and Savannah area.

Nursing students at Georgia Southern University spend many hours during the semester learning how to make beds and interact with patients when they begin the rigorous nursing program.

With the upcoming class of nursing school students having just submitted their applications, they can expect to receive their admission letter within the next six to eight weeks.

About the application process, Dr. Sharon Radzyminski, professor and chairperson of the nursing department, said, “It’s very semester-dependent. Like I said, some semesters we’ll only get one hundred and some applications, well if I take fifty [students], fifty percent of the applicants are going to get in.”

Radzyminski said that a few of the skills and qualities she feels are necessary for those applying to the nursing program are: flexibility, determination and very good science skills.

“[Applicant-science GPA] is the most important criteria for admission into not only our school of nursing, but any school of nursing,” Radzyminski said.

There will be 50 students chosen to be a part of the program this fall, and upon receiving their acceptance letters they will be required to go to a fundamental orientation the Saturday before they begin classes, receive their immunizations, and buy their scrubs and books for class, among other required tasks.

Melissa Garno, BSN program director, stated that the first semester is really difficult because students are required to make a lot of adjustments.

When students begin their classes, instead of spreading a three-hour class over the duration of two or three days, students attend the three-hour class in one given school day, unlike what many students are accustomed to.

“It took a lot of teaching myself to read on time, because you actually have to read for the program,” Katerina Nelson, junior nursing major, said.

Nelson stated that it wasn’t uncommon to have up to three tests each week and advised that future students learn to study.

“I would definitely say to be well prepared for the first semester, it’s kind of just a getting-through-it semester,” Nelson said.

Garno said that once students get adjusted to the workload, the second and third semester of the program is more of a period of steady growth.

“One of the keys to success in nursing school is good time management,” Garno said.

While the nursing program does have its stressful moments, Nelson and Garno said that the program is very rewarding as well.

Garno said that watching the students bond and become a cohesive unit is one of the most rewarding things about the program.

Nelson said, “It’s a type of family; you get close to working with people.”