Tips on Going through Nursing School with Sickle Cell
Breonna asks, “Where are all the Warriors in nursing school? I am about to begin my second semester of LPN school and I have two children. What are you doing to stay healthy, avoid stress and pain, and still keep your grades up?”
Many of us enter the nursing profession, and it’s possible to be a nurse even with sickle cell. I’m glad you are taking that route.
First, try to stay ahead of your school work as much as possible.
This way, should you fall sick, you have a buffer that gives you some breathing room. Do not procrastinate, because a sickle cell crisis can strike at any time and leave you floundering behind. Nursing school is rigorous, so you should try to do your best. You have to score a 75% final grade to pass every class, and many of them have clinical hours in the hospital as well that you cannot miss. So doing makeup work if available, staying ahead of your studies, and never slacking off is the first key to success.
Communicate to your Dean of Nursing that you have sickle cell and your lecturers.
For me that made a huge impact because when I got hospitalized, they would send assignments and lecture notes to the hospital so I can stay abreast of my studies. You have to keep ahead when you are healthy and well, so that you have a buffer if you do fall sick. Try not to miss any clinical days because if you do, you may not get a chance to make them up later, and it is a pass/fail basis. This is why communication with your instructors and program admin is important, to build that trust level.
Take care of yourself. At all times.
I cannot stress enough how important rest and hydration is. Take the advice from others here to heart. My ideal was 7 hours of sleep at night, and I always had water with me to drink constantly. You need to rest so that your brain is refreshed. Even if you have an exam the following day, set your firm bedtime. Study as much as you can, but don’t skimp on getting your sleep.
For the NCLEX, practice and do questions every single day.
I did between 200-300 questions a day for the 6 weeks I was studying for the exam. Read the rationale for the answers, even the ones you got right, so that you can start thinking in that critical way. Take practice tests as frequently as you can, and then focus on learning and reading more in the sections that you score the lowest in.
As you can see, there are many of us, so don’t be afraid, if we can do it, so can you.
Good luck future RN!
If you guys can think of any more tips that helped you through nursing school, be sure to leave it in the comments below.