WANTED: Nursing student tidbits of advice - page 14

hey guys, I start this fall in my nursing program and Im extremely anxious!!! Im looking for any advice that will help me in school. Whats the thing you can NOT live w/o during nursing school? What... Read More

  1. by   Grabanurse
    Thank you Kelly, I will definetly keep you updated, and hope you will do the same. At least a couple of you already have your schedules. I don't get mine until July 14. I can hardly sleep at night, because I am so excited.:spin:
  2. by   CCat
    Oh my gosh, what a fantastic post! I start nursing school in the fall and I waver between excitement and nervousness. It's late (studied for Microbiology for several hours) but I'm going to go through all the advice and make a list of things I should get together to get me on a great - at the very least, prepared - start. Thank you!
  3. by   Prettyladie
    bump bump bump! keep this thread going.
  4. by   EleniRN
    Congrats to all of the new nursing school students!!! It may seem like a huge mountain to climb.. but, trust me, I was in your shoes last fall. I'm in my 2nd year of a 2 year program...

    Remember to try not to fall behind on your readings.. It's like a huge snowball reaction if you do..

    Talk to your teachers.. remember they are here to help you... If you are having personal problems or if you are having trouble in the course.. let them know..

    Don't be intimidated by your patients.. Remember, you are seeing people at some of the worst moments of their lives.. cut them a little bit of slack if they snap or are not super friendly with you.

    You don't have to be bffs with EVERYONE in your class. I have some people who I'd like to drop in the middle of the ocean.. but always remember not to let it show because you'll be in such close proximity with these people...

    If you have children.. you will miss them..that's for sure.. I'm a single mom of a 7 year old son.. but, I'm always reminding him "Why is mommy always busy?" His response is "To make a better future for us".. When you do have some time, spend it with them.. don't try to cram studying in with it... I stay up later to study and just spend time with him, if I can..

    I know you've already heard this, but it will go SO fast.. I can't believe I'm in my second year.. mind boggling..

    Good luck
  5. by   Nightingale11
    The first week is hard.........Im on my 3rd day, tomorrow will be day 4. 8-6 or 9-6 each day, orientation week. Next week wont be so crazy. I have a quiz tomorrow on Asepsis infection control and vitals.............Monday I have a big test in Fundamentals.

    Question: I'm in a "2 yr" (1.5) program for RN, will we learn blood draws?
  6. by   SusanneCollins13
    Here is what worked for me. I just completed my exit exam and now I am ready for Nclex.

    We spend a lot of time reading the books and we felt overwhelmed trying to read all those chapters; it was truly impossible.

    So if I would have to do it over again I would do it this way. We were given powerpoints, print them, and make all your lecture notes on them this way you will not loose them. I only referred to the book, once I figured out how to study, when I did not understand something from lecture or needed more information to connect what I learned.

    Do not freak out when you get a low score in some of your exams. Often, when I had a low score, everyone did and that was due to the questions the teacher made and they often adjusted the grades if there was an issue with a question that seemed that most students had wrong.

    I did not like study groups, because often this seemed to me as there were more distractions then truly learning. I had one friend and during the week we would meet at Barnes and Nobles and on weekends we would go to a libary since Barnes and Nobles got to busy. We rewaded ourselfs after a test by going to dinner or a movie ( vey important to be good to yourself).

    Do not despair, you will feel overwhelmed at times and that is fine; most of us do. There are just not enough hours in the day to get everything complete that you set out for yourself.

    Exercise!!!! Exercise!!!! Exercise!!! Many students gain weight, because you are seated all day long or study at home. You need to stay physical fit so your mind can stay fit.

    If you have a hesi exit exam, find out what you need to make on that thing. I had no idea about hesi and it was a killer. I would by the hesi book and start from the get go to study out of that one for your tests as well. I would also try to do every day questions on saunders, or Nclex 3500 or whatever resources you can get from your school. Not many questions, just make sure you do about ten at least and look up all your rationales even those you got right.

    Have a good attitude and have that one friend that you can count on throughout nursing. I had that friend and I think that her support was so helpful. Only another nursing students really understands what you go through.
  7. by   polka-dot
    These are the things that really helped me over the course of the semester.

    1) Master Class Schedule. To make this lovely item, which I called my "Brain", I color-coded all my classes and printed out the lecture and reading schedule for each class on a different colored paper. I then clipped all of them together and put it in my planner. That way I always had my assignments, reading lists and due dates with me at all times. With oodles of "tasks" and whatnot due for each class, this was a life saver!

    2) Daily Binder. It took me all semester to come up with a system that worked for me in regards to the binder situation. Once I came up with this idea I bonked myself on the head for not having come up with it sooner. I started out the semester carrying a binder for each class. The problem with this, was that I had 6 classes...which is a LOT of binders to carry around, especially if you plan to study for 3-4 different classes in one day. By the end of the semester, I was down to carrying ONE BINDER which had dividers for each class. I carried the current unit for each class and that's it. Once that unit was finished, I put those notes into ONE HUGE BINDER that also has dividers for each class (the biggest binder you can buy, I think it's a 4 or 5-inch). That way, even if it I was at school for Med/Surg lecture I could study Pharm or Fundamentals on my breaks because I had it with me, without having to drag a huge backpack around. I heart my new system very very much! I did have a separate binder for clinical stuff though...I found that it was nice t have all my care plans and clinical syllabus together in one place.

    3) Uncalendar. This is an awesome planner that has all kinds of boxes for keeping track of different lists and whatnot. I would use one box for the quizzes for the week (we drowned in quizzes), another for school "to-do" items, another for household "to-do" items, etc... you can check it out at www.uncalendar.com It is awesome!

    4) Insulated lunch bag. This will keep you from eating out every day or having to take time-wasting breaks to go get food. Ditto for a reusable water bottle.

    5) Study buddy or group. Figure out early on if you are a one-on-one studier, a lone-wolf studier, or a group studier. Knowing this will enable you to maximize your time right from the start, meaning you get to sleep more! Trust me, everything in NS comes down to "how much sleep will doing this task enable me to get tonight". Saving even a half hour means sleeping 4.5 hours instead of just 4 and that can make a huge difference!

    Of course, a good attitude, a friend you can call at any time day or night, and a quiet place to study at home or in the library are key! Good luck!
    Last edit by polka-dot on Jul 10, '09 : Reason: silly typos!
  8. by   vickyp
    I just went through my first sememster of clinicals...I am a hands on learner so it was wonderful for me. If I can tell you anything it is make sure you alcohol pads and your sissors we had one nurse at the hospital who loved to go around and ask the nursing students for these 2 items!! Of course he was just giving us a hard time but we remembered them!!
  9. by   semuller
    May I ask Aa Question?
    I borrowed saunders comprehensive review of practical nursing to beef up my studies for the HESSI entrance exam for returning LPNs trying to get their RNs. Did I get the right book? I saw eselvier on it and ..well..I wasnt quite sure if it would be helpful.It is HUGE but SO much info.and HTOUSANDS of questions.Any thoughts from anyone whos taken the entrance exam? ( i was going to take it last week but system was down til NEXT week or so ..so I want to REALLY nail whatevevr I can in time left)
  10. by   semuller
    where did my post go?
  11. by   NurseKitten
    Saunders was one of the books I used studying for LPN boards back in 1993.
  12. by   melj0505
    I just graduated in May '09 with my BSN. Here's some tidbits that helped me survive nursing school..

    Invest in a medical dictionary and a drug guide book. I probably wouldn't have survived school without those two resources! I have Taber's medical dictionary and Mosby's drug guide for nurses.

    Get about 30-40 index cards and write important lab values. WBC, RBC, Platelet count, BUN, H&H, INR, PT, PTT, ABG values, etc. You will always need to know these values so it's good to MEMORIZE them now!

    Take care of yourself. Drink lots of water. Get plenty of sleep (don't be a night owl like me!). Exercise..I do power yoga a few times a week. It helped/still helps me destress, stay fit, and clear my mind. It's addicting! I go running a lot too, which helped me in particularly in nursing school to burn off steam when I was annoyed at clinical instructors :angryfire

    Oh and it's never too early to start doing nclex review questions! Invest(if you have the $) in a couple of nclex review books so you can do lots of review questions!

    Good luck and enjoy the ride:smilecoffeecup:
  13. by   KellRrn2b
    CONGRATS meljo505!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And thanks to all of the new posters for your advice...VERY helpful