Advice to the Student Nurse

  1. 16
    Hello Nursing Students,
    Welcome and congrats to being accepted into a nursing school. I know you have worked long and hard to get into one. Congrats, keep pushing, stay motivated, and you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    -Practice NCLEX questions that relate to your test topic.

    - Invest in a NCLEX book your 1st semester. If you haven't, I recommend you do.

    - Some good NCLEX books (Saunders, Kaplan, or Mosby's)

    - It helps with the material, what interventions to do, and even gives a break down of
    your big textbooks.

    2. Study Groups.
    - Study groups are best in a group of 5.

    - If you do not understand certain material, someone from your group may explain it

    - If you already know the material, someone may provide information you may have
    missed. You guys can quiz and discuss the material.

    - 5 is a good number because it is not too large or too small. That way if someone
    from the group can't come to the study session. There is always someone available.

    - The group can always add on to each others knowledge base.

    - Study groups are not for teaching all the material. Study groups are only efficient if
    the group has studied the material and have something to bring to the group.

    - It helps to divide and conquer. However, it is not for those that think others will pick
    up their slack.

    3. SHINE in Clinicals.
    - Always be prepared. Don't ever say I do not know. Say, "I will look it up." OR
    You will have been prepared and have already looked up the information.

    - Always say yes and do skills. (IV, foley, NG tube insertion) Hunt for it if you have to.

    - Tell all the nurses on the floor that you want to do any procedure that comes up with
    their patients.

    - Get to know everyone and give a PERSONAL thank you card, if you want them to
    consider you for future employment after nursing school.

    *** Make connections at all the hospitals you go to. Create a account and
    ask to add them to on it. Give them a personal thank you care with your phone
    number and email. It seems pushy, but new grad jobs at the hospital are hard to

    - Think of Clinicals as a time to shine and make connections. Your network connections
    can help you get a job after you graduate.

    4. DO get a part-time health care job DURING school!
    - I was told the program will be rigorous and if you do not have to work, DON'T!...
    .......BAD ADVICE....

    - When you get out of school, it looks better that you have health care experience and
    you worked during school. It shows you can manage your time and you don't have
    this unemployment gap in your resume.

    - It will make your resume look better than majority of the new grads.

    - Job choices for nursing students: Patient care associate, CNA, LVN, student nurse
    extern (UCLA has this)

    - Yes, you can take the LVN NCLEX after 1 year of RN nursing school.

    - If you do not want to work, volunteer at a hospital (4hrs), or join COPE Health
    solutions and get into their Clinical Care extender.

    6. Make time for yourself.
    - Nursing school is rough, but manage your time and make time for yourself.

    5. NCLEX
    - Kaplan, Saunders, and LaCharity worked for me.

    - Kaplan is good for questions. It is designed just like NCLEX. You will feel like you are
    taking a Kaplan test when you sit for your boards.

    - Saunders is good for material.

    - LaCharity is good for tough questions and select all that apply.

    Good luck to all of you! You will do great. Stay Motivated. Nursing school will end and you will be a Nurse.
    rls927, Shandabnurse2b, bwilliams1018, and 13 others like this.

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  2. 26 Comments...

  3. 13
    Great tips! Here's mine: Attitude goes a long way! Always be humble, friendly, and ask others if they need help. If you are more willing to help others, they will be more willing to help you.
    Do not act like a know-it-all, I have seen students fail clinicals/ new nurses fired because they act like this. Never pretend like you know something when you don't, it's not safe. Look it up or ask someone. When you do your assessments, take off the f-n blankets! Really look at your patient and don't chart it unless you have done it! I have seen some nurses charting pedal pulses on amputees or pupil checks with glass eyes.
    If you are having trouble understanding a topic, google it, YouTube has great videos, etc. Set your regular alarm clock as well as cell phone alarm in case a power outage or your phone dies. It's cool to bring in cookies/ a card to say thank you but don't make it too cheesy or personal, we had a student bring us gourmet cookies with each of our names on it, nobody like a kiss ass.
    Always make sure you have suction set up and ready to go. Double glove before cleaning up a soiled patient, save you from having to get a new pair if you get crap on your gloves. Don't gossip about your classmates, instructors, or nurses, you don't want to be seen as that person and don't trust others to keep quiet about it. Don't burn bridges. Nursing school is hard but it certainly can be done and will be over before you know it! Anyway, congrats and good luck!
    rls927, sweetf, hopefulRN'17, and 10 others like this.
  4. 5
    I love it. Great tips as well.
    1. Yes. Do your own assessment.
    * You may find your assessment may be different from your nurses.

    2. Do not act like a know-it-all.
    * Don't say "I already know that" , just listen if they are teaching you something.
    * Give out positive vibes.

    3. Patient safety first.
    * If you do not know how to do it. Don't pretend. The phrase I hear alot is "Fake it till you make it".
    * Ask for help.

    4. By bringing a PERSONAL card.
    * I meant to give t to the Nursing Administrator.

    Thanks 87RN, I love reading your tips. Your tips also apply to the working nurse.
  5. 0
    Great tips!...I haven't been in nursing school since 2006 for my LPN, but hope to be enrolled in an RN program by 2016 My obsession with school has started early
  6. 0
    Thanks! Great tips
  7. 0
    Thanks for the tips!
  8. 11
    "Fake it till you make it" does NOT refer to skills (such as sterile procedure for cathing)! It means present yourself as confident to patients no matter how much you are quaking inside; and humble enough to ask questions until you have enough experiences under your belt which will then give you the confidence you are seeking.
    emjay:), angelhawk, sweetf, and 8 others like this.
  9. 2
    Quote from JBudd
    "Fake it till you make it" does NOT refer to skills (such as sterile procedure for cathing)! It means present yourself as confident to patients no matter how much you are quaking inside; and humble enough to ask questions until you have enough experiences under your belt which will then give you the confidence you are seeking.
    Thank you for clarifying it.
    angelhawk and Spangle Brown like this.
  10. 0
    I will soon go into my last semester of nursing school. I think those tips are great! I don't do study groups, though. :-)
  11. 0
    Thanks for the tips! I was wondering if I would have time to review NCLEX questions while studying in nursing school. It seems as though it would be to my benefit, so I will definitely make time for it!

    Thanks again!

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