What to Expect in the Nursing Program

photo of a nursing student in a sim lab

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Wright State University Nursing

Courses include a classroom “lecture” component and may also include lab and/or simulation experiences and/or clinical experiences. You must pass all components of the course in order to pass. 

Attendance at scheduled simulation and clinical rotations is mandatory. There may also be requirements in courses for lecture or lab attendance. So:

  • Be on time. 
  • Set up backup plans for car problems and child care.
  • Be sure to stay current with clinical requirements (physical, vaccine, CPR, insurance). If these are not turned in when due, you will be unable to attend clinical.

Reach out to faculty and staff members early in the semester. They are happy to meet with students even if you are doing well. Review your exam even if you passed it. You are encouraged to attend study sessions offered by faculty members or create your own study groups. Lisa Lambdin, the Student Success Coordinator, can assist students with learning strategies and study tips. Please email her at or call 937-775-3579. 

Clinical Experiences Tips

  • Know where you are going and where to park prior to the first day of clinical
  • Be on time (ready to start “work” at start of assigned shift)
  • Be prepared.  Know what the expectations are for that clinical day.
  • Maintain confidentiality, HIPAA
  • Follow the dress code. You must follow the nursing school dress code at a minimum, then that of the facility if it is more specific. Besides the uniform (scrubs), consider rules on piercings, tattoos, nails, hair (off collar), hygiene, etc.
  • Consider a clinical experience as a job interview. Employers will often select and eliminate future employees based on their clinical performance and behavior. 

Labs/Simulation Tips

The School of Nursing, Kinesiology, and Health Sciences uses both the Simulation Lab on campus and the Living Learning Lab at Bethany Village in Centerville.

  • Uniform attire will be required as specified by the instructor.
  • Follow lab rules. Review Nursing Learning Resource Center Student Guidelines (PDF).
  • Open lab hours are posted by the door and on the main page of the school website.  Please come and practice your skills.
  • Students may be referred back to labs for extra assistance if they exhibit concerns in clinical.
  • Be sure to follow parking restrictions at the Living Learning Lab.

Study Tips

  • Before the class session:
    • Review the syllabus for content and double check topic to be discussed and assignments. 
    • Scan the material to be covered in class (powerpoints, readings, handouts, etc.).
    • Eat right. Sleep right.
  • During the class session:
    • Be on time for class. 
    • Listen during class.
    • Take notes. Highlight, stars—whatever works for you. 
    • Ask questions for clarification.
  • After the class session:
    • Review notes after class (ideally within 24 hours), adding additional information and notes. 
    • Reread readings – add to notes as necessary.
    • Follow-up with the instructor for clarifications as needed.
  • Throughout the course:
    • Remember content for learning and testing may be on assigned readings, class handouts including power-points, discussions during class time and experiences in clinical.  
    • Review material regularly prior to testing—that way you do not require extensive reviewing, or “cramming,” prior to the exam.
  • After exams:
    • Do review your exam no matter your grade. There may be a time limit for this, so be sure to check on that.
    • Finals are cumulative! Continue with ongoing review of material covered earlier in the term even while focusing on the next exam.

Why is studying for nursing exams different than many of the prerequisite courses?

In most other courses, questions are knowledge-based. Nursing courses start with more knowledge-based questions at the beginning of your course of study, but by the end of the program, you will have higher level questions.  

  • Nursing questions will use knowledge from other courses as well as previous nursing courses. 
  • Nursing questions require critical thinking to answer questions.

Consider How You Learn

  • Audio: learn by hearing things
    • Listen in class
    • Read assignments out loud
    • Watch videos  (Youtube, skills, etc.)
    • Talk the problem out-loud
  • Visual: learning by reading or seeing demonstrations
    • Watch videos  (Youtube, skills, etc.)
    • Reread notes
    • Take notes in class
  • Kinesthetic: learn by doing things
    • Practice skills in skills labs
    • Handle mannequins, models
    • Review scenarios

Online Resources

The following sites can help you navigate your way through your pre-requisites and the Nursing program:

Take the Next Step

Finding the right college means finding the right fit. See all that the College of Health, Education, and Human Services has to offer by visiting campus.