Things You Know Now (And Wish You'd Known Then!)

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    This is for every student and past student, from pre-nursing to those who have graduated. What are things that you learned along the way, even if your just now getting done with your first semester? What are things you know now that you wish you'd known when you started?

    I'm was a pre-nursing student, and I'm now going into my first semester as a full-fledged nursing student in just a few weeks. Things I've learned so far, that I wish I'd known in the beginning:

    Ink-pens have legs! And they're fast little boogers too. The minute you turn your back, they're gone. And there's typically not one to be found, especially on the day of a test. As soon as the teacher hands you the test and says, "you may begin..." you go to grab your pen and poof, it's gone. What luck.

    The Financial Aid nightmare. Every student goes thru it, even the seniors. If you are receiving financial aid, DO NOT WAIT until the week of the starting semester to go visit financial aid after filling out your FAFSA. Over 200 students were crammed into the waiting room, it was a 7 HOUR WAIT. As soon as you fill out your FAFSA for the upcoming semesters, go visit the financial aid office! Doing it months ahead of time beats doing it days ahead of time. For the 2012-2013 semester, I'm going to visit the financial aid office in just a couple months, as soon as I get my W-2 and do my taxes. It'll be much easier.

    Save yourself! Get a rolling backpack. I spent months lugging an insanely heavy backpack up and down stairs, going from class to class. I was stubborn because I had invested a good bit of money in such a nice new backpack, and I didn't want to invest in another one in the same semester. BUT, for this upcoming semester, I bought a new backpack... ON WHEELS. O-M-G. It's heaven. I'll never go back to a backpack without wheels. :heartbeat

    I also learned a lot about people. I learned that they can be liars, gossipers, haters, biggots, and just plain full of hatred... but they'll smile to your face. I learned to do my best to weed out the good from the bad, to not include myself in the gossip, and to separate myself from the negative. Trust me, the drama is not worth it. Focus on your studies, surround yourself with positive people, and move on.

    So, what have you learned so far?
    skad33 likes this.
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  3. 44 Comments so far...

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    I have learned that nursing school is expensive! I'm not talking about tuition and books. It is everything else you have to buy before classes even start: uniforms, shoes, equipment, fingerprinting, background checks, drug tests and vaccinations! I am BROKE!
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    Don't put anything off-EVER!! Get your grades as high as possible in the beginning of every semester, because it's not going to get easier-that way you'll have a little cushion for those parts you have more trouble with. Never criticize your instructors, other students, or nurses in the clinical setting-I have witnessed truly bad endings when people have done so. Always be professional- in actions, studies, and dress-students are under a lot of scrutiny. If you can get an A, then great-but your 4.0 may not make it through nursing school-do your best, and learn to be happy with that! Obsessing over an A will only cause added stress-trust me! And keep everything-you never know when that powerpoint or those notes might help. Sorry to be so long winded, I'm in my last semester (woo-hoo!!) so I've learned a few things. Good Luck!
    missmoone, staceym, RN_2012, and 1 other like this.
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    That procrastination is my ENEMY

    That I can bust my hiney and stress out like made and sweat it out and make (usually) high Bs....or be sane, have a life, enjoy my family, enjoy my schooling experience and make a low B....and that on my transcript they look exactly the same.

    That all I have to do is follow the rubric and I will do just fine.

    That is isn't over until the NCLEX is passed.
    Purple_Scrubs and cpl_dvldog like this.
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    HA! Boy have I been humbled. Before nursing school, I got all A's, thought I wrote great papers, and certainly thought I knew a lot. Well, I was completely wrong! As I am inches away from my final quarter, I realize I know nothing, my writing has improved dramatically, and I get A's AND B's. But I'm okay with all that.
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    Nursing school is expensive, and there are tons of hidden costs. Don't be fooled if your tuition and books for one semester aren't outrageously expensive (although that would be a miracle). There will always be the cost of uniforms, drug screenings, background checks, extra books that you learn are incredibly helpful, and therefore have to have, pens, paper, notebooks, notecards (lots and lots of notecards), highlighters, sharpies, ink cartridges, folders, sticky notes, a stethoscope, bandage scissors, forceps, and every other conceivable supply known to man.

    If you are like me, and learn by making notecards with material on them, then you might as well just buy stock in a notecard company. I could probably single-handedly keep the notecard companies in business because of how many I buy every month. I tend to make between 60 and 200 notecards for each test, and there are four exams and a final in every class we take. I spend a ridiculous amount of money on notecards each semester.

    Don't ever put anything off, no matter how trivial the assignment may seem. That short one page paper you have to write will inevitably turn into a grueling six hour marathon that produces a paper that is at least ten pages long. If you have put the paper off until the night before it is due, the chances of it turning into a beast are even greater. There has to be some kind of universal law that governs this, because it always seems to be true.

    Learn to study effectively, and learn fast. If you spend the first two exams of your first nursing course trying to figure out how to master the content, then you will put yourself in a terrible position. If you fail the first two exams because you haven't figured out how to study and learn, then you will be forced to score very high on the remaining exams (I'm talking mid to high 90s) in order to pass the class. If, however, you use the first test as an experiment, and establish good study habits early on, you can begin the course by making in the 90s, and you will make your life a lot easier when it comes time for the final.

    It is always better to over-study rather than under-study. I always over-studied, and it paid off. I found every exam, except one, in nursing 111 to be pretty easy, and I made in the 90s on every one. I always studied the most complex material first, then studied the easiest material last. That way, I covered everything, and made sure that I was prepared for whatever was thrown at me on the test. If you aren't sure what's going to be on an exam, always prepare for it to be very difficult. Most of the time, you will find it to be much easier than you expected, and you will make a good grade. However, if you didn't study enough because you put all your hope on an easy exam, then you will be shocked, and your grade will reflect your lack of studying.
    staceym, GrnTea, and x_factor like this.
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    Make the most of your clinical time even if your instructor isn't pushing you to! It's your responsibility to jump in not there's to drag you in. Ask every question you possibly can no matter how silly it seems. The more questions you ask the more knowledge you will have. Never sit still at clinical. Jump in on everything! I can't stress this enough because it's over before you know it and you will start working and realize you have lost some of your simple skills because you haven't done it since first semester. There is no such thing as being too prepared. Good luck!
    ChelseaLynn1623, noahsmama, staceym, and 1 other like this.
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    I do not know how to read...There is a difference between regular reading and nursing school textbook reading...Wish I had know so I could have practiced lol. There are a lot of little details that u miss if normally read a nursing text. There is a lot of thinking that goes into the actual task of reading. You cannot spend so much time reading. You wont have a chance to review. Skim 1st...oh oh oh and always ALWAYS keep a medical dictionary and your computer handy....
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    I have learned not to over study. All my test questions came directly from power points and lectures. I over studied and over thought many concepts.

    Next semester, I am just going to focus on the power points and lectures and not try to teach myself. I bought all this extra material to supplement my textbooks which was just a waste of time and money.

    I made the 1st semester way harder than it had to be.
    mdarcelin likes this.
  12. 0
    Dont over think it! Do what the assignment says! Brevity is your friend.

    If the assignment says, "Make a ten minute or less presentation regarding the following 10 points", Don't cite 15 articles and make a 20 minutes presentation that you think will make you look super incitefull. You are just making more work for the instructors to grade and a longer day to listen to. They will not be impressed. They will be annoyed. ** I watched some class mates make this mistake. My presentation took me an hour to research and put together. (Ok, making the powerpoint took a bit longer, but that is becasue I HATE powerpoint.) It was succinct and did not exceed time. I got a 99 and was asked to have my project used as an example for the next class. They spent 10-15 hours on it and got 5 points deducted for every minute over 10 min.


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