It’s completely normal to have anxiety during nursing school. Whether it’s a big test, a lab when your fellow students are watching or finding yourself faced with memorizing near-endless drug facts, worries and fears can creep in and take hold.

There’s no doubt that stresses outside of class in your day-to-day life can also contribute to anxiety you may feel while in school. Issues that involve work or family are among the most common causes of stress.

It’s important to recognize the times when you feel anxious and understand that there are steps you can take to help manage your anxiety.

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The first day of nursing school is an exciting experience. There’s a lot to take in as you get settled into your classes, meet your professors and fellow students.

But there’s also a lot to learn; beyond what’s in your textbooks. Wouldn’t it be great to know which class will be the hardest? Or to already have tips on how to best take notes in pharmacology?

Earlier this year, we asked our fans on Facebook what advice they would give themselves if they could go back to their first day of nursing school.

Here are some of the top responses:

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You’ve been accepted into nursing school and you’re eager to dive into your courses. For some students, one of the first classes, “The Fundamentals of Nursing,” can seem intimidating. But it’s really just another chance to show you’ve got what it takes.

“Students need help with all types of courses,” said Professional Nursing Tutor Nicole Woodby, “everything from the fundamentals to collaborative healthcare.”

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Getting involved in extracurricular activities while in nursing school can help you expand your experience, make new friends and create professional connections.

Nelly Coto, BSN, RN and 2013 graduate from Chamberlain’s Houston campusknows this firsthand. She was involved in a number of extracurricular activities and groups which positively impacted her growth as a student. “Getting involved was great,” said Coto. “It let me dive right in to all things nursing and really helped me immerse myself in what it meant to be a nurse.”

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Online classes are a great way to learn. Benefits for students include flexibility to attend class from wherever they have a computer and internet connection, access to course materials 24 hours a day and the ability to learn from an institution they might not otherwise have access to.

Still, many students may feel wary about learning outside the classroom.

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Whether you’re settling in for your online class after a long day at work or heading over to campus bright and early, a nutritional snack is a great way to get a quick, natural boost of energy or elevate your mood. Best of all, it’s healthy for you and won’t cause any feelings of guilt.

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Whether you’re prepping for HESI, NCLEX, or just a course final, studying is a key part to your test taking success. And even if you feel you have the best study habits, or could benefit from a refresher, we think you’ll find these tips useful when you next hit the books. How do we know? Because they all come from current and former nursing students just like you.

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