So I just finished up with psych today. I've learned several things through nursing school so far and I want to share all of my tips that have helped me thus far.
1. Nursing school is not like general ed classes. I say this in that I made mostly A's in my general ed classes and going from that into nursing was very frustrating because critical thinking questions are a new animal. But the good news is that it's very doable!
2. READ THE CHAPTERS!!! Now there is no way you can read every little box/table and word in your chapters and not be physically, mentally exhausted. So hit the highlights and learn the most important things. If your teacher only covers certain sections, only study them sections. This alone will save you a lot of time and exhaustion. Truth is nursing school will tire you out if you let it.
3. TAKE NCLEX QUESTIONS!!! My first semester my teachers were constantly pushing and pushing for us to take NCLEX questions. Of course at this time I was like "Really? That's 2 years away. No way am I doing that." Well I did really good until I got into my second semester (Med surg, OB) and it felt like I hit a brick wall. The questions are harder. This semester I took question after question and let me tell you, I have been doing so much better. I bought the success series by Davis. They focus individually on each subject and do a great job at following along with the chapters in our books. If you do this I guarantee that you will do better, nuff said.
4. Do something every week to relax. They say that it's far more efficient studying 2-3 hours a day rather than cramming. So whether you have a test or not monday study only 2-3 hours a day through the week. And if you have time take a day off, after all you did earn it. Also reward yourself. After a stressful test there's no better way for me to unwind than grabbing a pizza from pizza hut. Now granted that's me but if you like chocolate or something go for that.
5. The most important part. Prayer. Now I realize that not everyone is Christian, so if your not do whatever helps you. But as for me I pray often. OB literally kept me on my knees and I know that God had his hand on me through it all.
6. The joys of printing off all the slides. Some of you may print stuff off at home, and most will at school. Hopefully your school supplies you with free printing access. But if it doesn't don't worry, there's a great solution! Canon printers are amazing. I will not use anything else. The ink will last most of the semester if your conservative. The only bad thing is that the computer will tell you that the printers ink is very low but in fact it's only half way full. It's weird but it's true.
Hope this helps, feel free to add your own tips. Looking back I wish I had someone tell me all this stuff
Oct 16, '12
Great thread and great advice! I start the nursing school process in January and every sabbath I plan on putting away the books turning everything off and just relaxing... I just don't believe that stressing out and putting nursing school above all else is a practice of good nurse or even something someone should do if they want to remain sane... Life is too short!!! I want to be a nurse only because I deeply care about patient care.. That being said I don't want to end up stress out where my health is in jeopardy. Good luck with this profession and good job on staying sane!
Oct 17, '12
7. Get a written evaluation/reference from your clinical instructor at the end of the course if you had a good rapport with that instructor. They may not be around when you're getting ready to apply for intern/extern positions or actual jobs!