DUSON Recap- 1st Semester

1st semester was quite the adventure! I had no idea what to expect with this ABSN program, I just knew I had to seize the opportunity & make my dreams come true no matter what?! Excitement and determination fueled the big move to Morrisville, NC and I quickly scrambled to get my things together before the first week of class… I am so thankful that all of my hard work and effort paid off and I am so thrilled to relax & recharge over the coming break! Studying for exams and skill check offs was extra nerve wracking, but 100% worth it. I have learned so much about myself and nursing over the past 4 months & I can’t believe I’m already 1/4th of the way there!

A Typical Week 1st Semester, went like this…


  • On Campus for Classes: 8am-12pm
  • 8:00- Pharmacology, 10:30- Health Assessment
  • Home for Lunch
  • Studying into the evening
  • Done by 6:00pm -when Dillon comes home!


  • On Campus for Lab: 8am-12pm
  • Home for Lunch
  • Studying into the evening + weekly lab quiz


  • Studying & Morning review
  • Exercise
  • Lunch at Home
  • On Campus for Class, 1:30pm-5:30pm
  • 1:30- Health Assessment, 3:30- Wellness
  • Home later around 7pm, thanks to evening traffic…


  • Up bright & early at 5:30am!
  • Hospital Clinical Day- arrive at 6:30am
  • Leave around 3pm
  • Home to study & complete clinical paperwork/assignments


  • On Campus for Class, 8am-12pm
  • 8:00- Wellness, 10:15- Professional Nursing
  • Home for Lunch
  • Time to wrap up the week & complete my schoolwork before Dillon gets home, ie: any weekly quizzes, study guides, assignments, weekly objectives

This semester was the first time I’d ever lived with my fiance Dillon before, and I am so thankful for all of his help during school. He has been the best! helping with dinners, allowing me to practice on him & study different skills, making sure my laundry is done & just all around being so supportive, patient & kind during this transition to full time student life. It has been an exhausting & complicated past few months, but we did it! Fingers crossed for next semester.

1st Semester Suggestions:

  • When studying the “Full Assessment” complete this the SAME WAY every time, this way you won’t forget anything!
  • Figure out what works for you to study, as early as possible & don’t be ashamed! Some people benefit from tutoring, alone time or group study… don’t force yourself to use a technique that doesn’t work either
  • I can assure you, the open labs are never crowded at 6am. Go early & go often, your skills check offs will be a breeze!
  • Sign up for student basketball tickets! & be sure to utilize the grad school facebook group for extra tickets!
  • Make a Quizlet Account, this will be your friend!!
  • Download the Duke Rider App, so you don’t waste any extra time on the bus schedule
  • Believe it or not, 1st semester is your “easiest” semester, so make time to exercise & get to know your classmates, I was so focused I didn’t really prioritize this until 2nd semester, but the sooner the better!
  • Get organized & stay organized!! There is no point in having multiple folders or sticky notes if they are all crushed in your backpack, this will not work!
  • Make sure you have at least 2 sets of scrubs, this is the absolute minimum I would recommend. Some classmates pulled it off with 1 set, but were always stressed about laundry, 3+ is too much. 2+ polos are too much as well, 1 will definitely suffice.
  • You don’t have to rush out & buy every textbook, rent the major ones and give it a week to see what you will definitely need.
  • Looking back at this schedule, I’m thinking “Man, that’s a lot of study time!” ~but that’s nursing for you! You have to fully immerse yourself in the concepts to be able to apply the information in real time later… so for me it was easier to just block off an afternoon so I could focus & not feel too rushed.
  • If you’re lucky enough to find someone who you work well with -God Bless! My friend Leigh & I hit it off right away & I will forever be thankful! The 2 of us would partner for lab times, help quiz each other & would always meet up the week of tests to discuss topics with each other, carpool, you name it, SO helpful! + it makes everything more fun!

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