Advice from a new GN that got me through!

  1. 22 I'm done! Just wanted to share some tips that got me through school--hope you all do well out there! Good luck in nursing school-it is hard, but worth the work:

    1. Get a study group together early on in the program. And don't be afraid to change groups if one isn't working for you--just do so kindly and respectfully.

    2. Start the semester ORGANIZED! Get everything together on or before orientation day. You should have EVERY-Little-THING you need to do written in a planner or stored in your PDA or whatever.

    3. Have a space in your home dedicated to studying and storage of all your books and nursing stuff. There is nothing like sitting down to study and not having the books or whatever you need at hand. :spin:

    4. Stock up on notecards (if you use them), highlighters, black pens printer ink and computer paper. I have run out of printer ink/computer paper at 3AM and it wasnt pretty.

    5. Sit towards the front of the class in lecture. Curious how the front row/second row people are always the A students, isnt it? Sitting in back can be distracting and you may have trouble seeing/hearing lecture.

    6. Turn your cell phone off BEFORE class begins. If you need to put it on vibrate, do so and let the people around you know you've done so. When the buzzing happens they wont wonder where it is coming from which is distracting.

    7. Keep some healthy snacks and a bottled water in your backpack and clinical bag. You'll be less tempted by vending machines and fast food.

    8. Invest in a good coffee pot! Don't like coffee? Drink tea (green is good for you AND caffienated.)

    9. If you have anything you need to discuss with a professer, make an APPOINTMENT to speak with them. They are often very busy and hate being tracked down in the school hallways for long discussions about a test question you disagree with from 4 months ago. (Trust me, I know.)

    10. Set aside study time each week on your calendar and stick to it-no excuses.

    11. Pack all your stuff the night before clinical. Have a checklist of what you need written out and go down the list. That way when you get up at 4AM you won't be freaking out about where your name badge is...and you won't get to clinical without your paperwork, watch, stethescope, etc.:spin:

    12. Use a brain to organize your patient info at clinical. (I uploaded my brain in a post on the next page--feel free to use.)

    13. Keep all your clinical instructors, study group classmates and professors #'s in your cell phone--you never know when you will need to call someone.

    14. If you have a family, ALWAYS cook double portions IF you take the time to cook. They can be frozen for a future meal or eaten as leftovers the next day.

    15. Get a good support system together. If your family or SO isnt on board, ask frineds to commit to supporting you and helping you out if you get in a tough spot schedule wise. I have people (family members) who will pick my kids up from school if I cant make it in time (Thank God for them!!!!!!!!) and who will let me study at their house if I have no where else quiet to go.

    15. :uhoh21:Steer clear of gossip in class and at the hospital. Seriously, if you have BEEF, keep it to yourself or work it out with the person you have issues with--stay out of the drama!

    16. Run for class office only if you have a lot of free time to deal with loads of class drama along with all the responsibilities. You will not be just the "treasurer" or "secretary." There will be a lot of work for you to do that you won't anticipate. Ask an officer in the class ahead of you what their job entails before you take it on!

    17. Schedule some breaks for yourself. You will need a nap every once and a while and a date night w/ your SO. And your kids need you, too!

    18. If you can at all afford to NOT work, do so. Trust me on this one.

    19. Anxiety is normal in nursing school--it stems from lots of stress. What relieves anxiety for you in a healthy way? Find out--I personally like walking every night w/ my family and going to church as often as possible. (And don't feel bad if you need anti-anxiety meds--I know at least 10 people in my class who are on them during school. Yeah, it is that bad!)

    20. The nurses you will be working with are usually as stressed and tired as you are. Treat them kindly, even when they are grumpy. Volunteer to help them in your free time doing whatever they need. I haven't personally encountered any mean nurses or nurses who "eat their young." (BTW, don't use that phrase at clinical.) Keep from stereotyping nurses, docs and techs and you will have a much more pleasant experience in school.

    21. Doctors can be very friendly or treat you as if you don't exist (and yes, they can get irritated with you). Don't take it personally. And don't be intimidated by them. Yeah, they know a lot, but they are still people just like you and me. (I have one friend who imagines docs in their underwear when she talks to them just to lessen her anxiety! )

    22. Take EVERY learning opportunity you can get no matter HOW SCARED you are.

    23. Never LIE about patient assessment. If you forgot to do a cardiac assessment before your instructor comes around and you know she is going to freak, don't fudge and say/chart that you did it. Seriously, you could miss something very critically wrong by skipping and then not owning up to it.

    24. Ask questions in clinical AFTER you have attempted to find the answer on your own.

    25. NO MATTER HOW TEMPTED AND TIME-STRETCHED YOU ARE--do your own work. It is the only way you will learn what you need to know to be successful. :spin:
    Last edit by allthingsbright on Dec 27, '07
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  3. Visit  allthingsbright profile page

    About allthingsbright

    Joined May '02; Posts: 1,595; Likes: 198.

    13 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  SA2BDOCTOR profile page
    Thanks for sharing
  5. Visit  allthingsbright profile page
    Quote from SA2BDOCTOR
    Thanks for sharing
  6. Visit  mixyRN profile page
    Quote from allthingsbright

    12. Use a brain to organize your patient info at clinical.

    We normally leave those at home on clinical days!
  7. Visit  MySimplePlan profile page
    allthingsbright, brilliant.

    Congratulations on reaching your goal, you awesome graduate nurse, you.
    allthingsbright likes this.
  8. Visit  Angie O'Plasty, RN profile page
    Excellent tips, every one of them!!
    allthingsbright likes this.
  9. Visit  allthingsbright profile page
    Glad it was helpful. I can upload my one person "brain" if anyone wants it!
  10. Visit  BeachPrincess profile page
    Thanks, I will make sure I follow this as I start my first nursing semster next month!! I'm so excited and scared.
  11. Visit  allthingsbright profile page
    Quote from Shampagne007
    Thanks, I will make sure I follow this as I start my first nursing semster next month!! I'm so excited and scared.

    YOU are going to do well! Take care!
  12. Visit  Reese17 profile page
    This is so helpful! I am going to print it out and carry it with me for future reference. Thanks!
  13. Visit  MisMatch profile page
    Quote from allthingsbright
    Glad it was helpful. I can upload my one person "brain" if anyone wants it!
    I would appreciate it! Clinicals start next month for me.
  14. Visit  fmrnicumom profile page
    Okay, I'm sure this is a stupid question, but what is this "brain" you're talking about? I think I've seen a few people mentioning "brains" but not in reference to the organ...
  15. Visit  allthingsbright profile page
    Quote from fmrnicumom
    Okay, I'm sure this is a stupid question, but what is this "brain" you're talking about? I think I've seen a few people mentioning "brains" but not in reference to the organ...
    A brain is a simple piece of paper you can use to organize ALL your patient info at clinical and then in the "real" world you can use one that holds even more patients. Do a search and you will see other people have uploaded their brains. Here is the one I made & used when I just had one patient. Print it out to 8.5x11 size, fold into fourths and enjoy! Feel free to share it with whoever you like! I'm nice like that.

    Last edit by allthingsbright on Dec 27, '07

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