Tips for surviving the 1st Semester of Nursing School - page 2

I can't believe I made it through finals week and my first semester of nursing school is done. I was totally exhausted with several days of 3 hours of sleep and 5 straight exams. Anyways I'm like a... Read More

  1. Visit  Stephalump profile page
    5
    Dropbox is an absolute life saver. I have my stuff with me no matter where I am! And it makes group projects almost bearable
    Once I emailed myself a 20 page care plan, went home, opened it up, and it was BLANK. I nearly cried.
    Last edit by Stephalump on May 5, '13
    ScrubsLove, debbielee, SeattleJess, and 2 others like this.
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  3. Visit  akulahawkRN profile page
    3
    Quote from Stephalump
    Dropbox is an absolute life saver. I have my stuff with me no matter where I am! And it makes group projects almost bearable
    Once I emailed myself a 20 page care plan, went home, opened it up, and it was BLANK. I nearly cried.
    Dropbox is an excellent resource for you to use. I save all of my nursing school related stuff to dropbox. There is plenty of storage space, so I do not have to worry about running out of room. This way I also have access to everything that I could possibly need from any place that has an Internet connection. This includes using my laptop through my wireless connection and my cell phone…
    ScrubsLove, SeattleJess, and debbielee like this.
  4. Visit  AzOhana profile page
    0
    Man-nurse 2b, congrats on finishing the first semester. For me, it helps to hear from those who have experienced it and are honest about what to do and not to do, thank you.

    Thank you for all the great tips. I start the program in a week and need all the advice I can get.

    What are the most useful apps?

    Great idea about Dropbox, I have one but never use it. I will now.
  5. Visit  RNitis profile page
    2
    I recommend getting all of your books used. Sometimes the school has a used book program (I preferred to shop online with the ISBN # from a reputable company-I don't believe I can advertise for them on AN Saved me a ton of money. Even though I got student loans, paying $75 for the book now rather than $150 plus interest for the same exact book, makes more sense. BUT, never ever get books that someone highlighted already and ensure the seller is reputable, also. Nothing sucks more than starting your class still waiting on your book!
    SeattleJess and Summer Days like this.
  6. Visit  truckinusa profile page
    7
    1. Drink lots of alcohol on the weekends to relieve anxiety
    2. Never read your textbook(waste of time)
    3. tell your teachers what they want to hear. Nursing instructors will trash your grades if they don't like you.
    4. pretend like you are interested in things that you are not(great for clinical grades)
    5. definitely buy a NCLEX book! My number one suggestion. I bought nclex 10,000 and the Brunner and Suddarth's prepu software from LWW.com
    J3w3lz88, ScrubsLove, 14Nurse, and 4 others like this.
  7. Visit  NYCRN16 profile page
    8
    The best advice I can give besides what is already mentioned is DON'T SLACK OFF AND DON'T CRAM!! There is just too much material to keep putting studying off, before you know it you will have an avalanche of information that you will have to learn. We lost a lot of people first semester because of this. I don't care how smart you are, nobody will make it through nursing school if they study everything at the last minute.
    ScrubsLove, SeattleJess, Code Red, and 5 others like this.
  8. Visit  1hopefulnurse profile page
    1
    Thanks for the advice this was great
    SeattleJess likes this.
  9. Visit  kailss profile page
    0
    Thanks for posting this. I find these threads to be very helpful.
  10. Visit  mclennan profile page
    5
    I definitely agree with #7. I was a successful student for a lot of reasons, but looking back, I know a big part of it was the fact I didn't have kids or pets, only worked VERY part time, (a few shifts a month) and generally accepted the fact the nursing school was my "life." I watched many classmates who tried to work, who had children, who got married & had weddings to plan, who got pregnant, who had drama going on in their personal lives or were always partying FAIL.

    I'm not saying it can't be done if you have family obligations or a job but it's 100000X harder. Too many people (especially females) are led to believe we're supposed to be SUPERWOMEN who must be 100% successful at everything and overachieving perfectionists every minute. There is no better recipe for failure than believing that. Just set your life up so you can focus exclusively on nursing school. Don't whine about it, because it is what it is.

    Also, figure out what works for YOU. Lots of people say don't cram, don't procrastinate. Well, some of my best A grade papers were written all night before the 8am deadline, smashed on vodka & Red Bull. Cramming worked for me. Figure out your quirks and don't always follow the rules.
    imbatz, ScrubsLove, PrayingToPass, and 2 others like this.
  11. Visit  Miiki profile page
    2
    I'm a crammer and a procrastinator, but I still managed to do better than most of my classmates. I'm not advocating that cramming and waiting last minute are good study habits though. Just get everything done that needs to be done.

    I do recommend getting full nights rest. I feel like I'm less stressed and relaxed than almost all of my classmates because of it. Actually, nothing much gets in the way of me sleeping, including studying, except needing to be somewhere like class or work.
    Last edit by Miiki on May 8, '13
    jlc7 and michiganstudent like this.
  12. Visit  ArrowRN profile page
    5
    Thanks for the comments guys, just to be more specific on what and how to read, I started going to the books website first, listen to the audio summary or read the summary of the chapter. Then skim through the chapter to gather key points, and then read it. You will have a clearer understanding of it. Different people learn differently, but once you find something that works for you just stick at it and pay special attention to the rationales and normals and abnormal in your texts.

    Another Tip! Looking back, I also realized that because I like things structured and organized, I wasted lots of time trying to figure out how to actually get my course work organized. The first couple of weeks I tried many methods that were not working for me. I wanted a way to quickly see my class assignments, be able to view the schedule and modules, without logging into the computer every time and to now what class numbers are for what subject. The method I ended up using was buying a couple of 2 inch binders and I got a 8 pack of color separators with tabs and with pre-made holes to divide the subjects and then I got a 50 pack of clear sleeves. So I would have say a purple separator labelled NUR1234-Health assessment on the tab (remember all the classes would have the same NUR prefix so putting the actual class name on the tab is important), followed by the schedule in a clear sleeve, and the modules. The clear sleeves are great because you don't have to be punching holes in your prints outs, they are cheap and you can use them to keep your print outs in sections of schedules, or assignments and even if you print our modules and power-points and notes, they will stay in your binder better and last longer, in addition no more torn pages in your binder when you are looking for something, then you got to reprint it. A 2 inch binder can probably hold 2 subjects of information for a semester...I wish someone told me this when I started, because it took me a while to figure out how to get organized.
    Last edit by ArrowRN on May 9, '13
    ScrubsLove, Code Red, scrubgirl16, and 2 others like this.
  13. Visit  ArrowRN profile page
    3
    Quote from AzOhana
    Man-nurse 2b, congrats on finishing the first semester. For me, it helps to hear from those who have experienced it and are honest about what to do and not to do, thank you.

    Thank you for all the great tips. I start the program in a week and need all the advice I can get.

    What are the most useful apps?

    Great idea about Dropbox, I have one but never use it. I will now.
    I honestly have not used any apps for the 1st semester. However, most of the common ones that people refer to and I have on my phone are Medscape, Epocrates, Micromedex, and Eponyms. Most Apps are geared towards pharmacology, and I won't have that until fall. Medscape is pretty good for medical info and Eponyms gives a brief explanation of just about every sign and syndrome and anatomy you will come across.

    P.S they are all free apps, I read some people spending as much as $160 on an app for nursing school. I don't think it will make you anymore genius than anyone else in class. And besides that, most facilities still have strict policies regarding use of phones on the floor during clinicals, we had to go to the break room to use it.
    Last edit by ArrowRN on May 9, '13
    J3w3lz88, imbatz, and 14Nurse like this.
  14. Visit  Wrench Party profile page
    16
    My reflective advice ( I graduate tomorrow):

    1) Coffeecoffeecoffee. My travel mug was my security blanket and my best friend.
    2) Figure out a study method that works for you. I used the companion workbooks and also skimmed powerpoints. Reading the book helped maybe 1/2 the time. I also studied after having a few beers.
    3) Group projects suck, but are a fact of nursing school life.
    4) Be yourself. I'm an introvert and have a good BS detector, it saved my sanity and my patients. I didn't engage socially with most of my class and have no regrets about that.
    5) Not everyone has to devote their entire life to nursing school. I worked part time, was able to race bikes on the weekend, and did things I enjoyed, but became a planning ninja to accommodate.
    6) PLAN EVERYTHING. It won't happen unless you plan it.
    7) Not to make light of bipolar pts, but you will feel a wide range of emotions. You'll be deliriously happy, cry, crushed to the lowest depths, panicky, anxious, indifferent, etc. Feeling all these things is normal.
    8) Do not let anyone belittle your accomplishments in school, and I mean NO ONE. You are becoming a NURSE and be proud of that fact.
    9) You'll know who your real friends are coming out of school. Everyone coming to my party tomorrow had some small or large accomplishment in my success.
    Vanessa Lea, J3w3lz88, imbatz, and 13 others like this.


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