So You Want To Be A Rutgers Nursing Major?


Happy New Year, readers!! This is going to be one of my school-specific posts, directed at those high school seniors who are anxiously waiting to hear back, or have already heard back, from admissions regarding their acceptance into the Rutgers University New Brunswick School of Nursing. As a first-year nursing student who has completed her first semester of this program, I thought I would give you the small bit of wisdom and truth I have about this unbelievable school. If you choose or have chosen to come to Rutgers for nursing…

You will be attending a gigantic university, with one of the most intimate and competitive nursing programs in the nation. I wanted to go to a big university, but I didn’t want a big nursing program. Thankfully, I found Rutgers. The Rutgers New Brunswick/RBHS Class of 2020 has approximately 6500 students — only 63 of which are nursing majors, like me. Big school. Small program. You’re not just a number. Knowing the names of everyone in my class is pretty cool, along with the fact that we have a nursing seminar course which helps us familiarize ourselves with each other, our Dean, and even upperclassmen. I’m already feelin’ the RUSON family vibes.

You will be in the East Coast melting pot of job and volunteer opportunities. I’m convinced there’s no better place to be for someone wanting to be in a health profession. The East Coast states — specifically New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania — are home to some of the most highly regarded hospitals and medical centers in the country. Having these places at the tips of your fingers gives you the potential to get your foot in the door at hospitals you may want to work at in the future. Rutgers New Brunswick, itself, has both Robert Wood Johnson and Saint Peter’s University Hospitals in its backyard. And although these hospitals’ jobs and externships are extremely competitive, it’s amazing that they exist so close to campus.

You will study harder than you ever have in your life. I’m not saying high school was a cakewalk — because it wasn’t — but, even my most intensive bout of studying in high school (perhaps junior year, around the time of finals?) doesn’t compare to the amount of work I put in my first semester at Rutgers. Being a nursing major is really hard. You will wake up early for your 8am Anatomy lab. You will stay up late. You will be in the library often. You will drink a lot of coffee. You will find specific places you like to study the origins/actions/insertions of muscles, and another place where you find yourself memorizing bone markings. And then, on top of Anatomy, of course, there’s a politics, an anthropology, and a general elective you’ll probably take care of first semester. It’s interesting because I never really had “homework” … my only assignments were to study for the next exam, study for the next quiz, etc. But, boy, was that enough to fill my days. I definitely still had time to go out on the weekends and be with my friends, but that’s because I took my weekdays extremely seriously and was studying whenever I didn’t have class. You’ll want to spend time with people who understand what you’re going through. Truly, only other nursing majors understand nursing majors.

You will cry. Yeah, this will probably happen. It might be about a nursing course, or it might be because of a confusing professor, whose course isn’t even relevant to the health sciences, whatsoever, but, for some reason, is still the sole cause of a mid-semester mental breakdown (*cough, cough* Expository Writing 101)… we’ve all been there. Rutgers nursing majors go through a hell of a course load. Cathartic cries are necessary.

You will succeed. Yes, you will study so hard you feel like your eyes are going to fall out. Yes, you will cry. But, as a Rutgers nursing student, you will also absolutely, positively SUCCEED. Our Dean’s famous quote references the fact that RUSON doesn’t admit people they don’t believe can be successful in the program. So, if you have been admitted, you have already proven yourself as someone who has the work ethic to handle this program. If you are ever having a significant amount of trouble, there are so many administrators and people within this school that will help you. If you put the effort in, and utilize the resources that are provided to you, there is no doubt that you will flourish.

I hope this little article was found by a prospective Rutgers nursing major, Googling ferociously about what is to be expected from RUSON, just like I was, about a year ago.

Cheers. And to any current students who’ve made it this far down the page… Have an amazing rest of break!