WANTED: Nursing student tidbits of advice - page 3

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   Mommycakers
    I bought a planner but never used it. Instead I put everything on my Google Calendar and it updates me with reminders of all my families events for the day. The reminders show up on my laptop and also on my Blackberry. My husband also gets the same reminders to his I phone. (kids sports games, doctor appts, kids school events (we have 4 kids), daycare schedule for our now three year old (he went 3 days/week) , days the other kids have off from school, my school and clinical schedule, when I have a test and when I need to study it gets put in the google calendar so he knows he has to watch the kids, my husbands schedule of when he has boy scout mtgs. (He is the leader for our son), when he has his adult soccer games, his Mon. night basketball game, his nights he has class (he works full-time but is also going to school finishing up his Masters degree.) My husband is also a runner so when he has a race coming up he even schedules time to run so someone can always be here to watch the kids. He has starting running now at lunchtime at work so that is less stressful for me now because he can get his run in and I don't have to feel guilty if I am busy and he couldn't get a run in because he had to watch the kids. Oh yeah, and my work schedule as a CNA.) I am glad summer is here so I can be less scheduled.
  2. by   Do-over
    I used a wheeled bag during our first semester. It was actually a piece of luggage so it was very durable. There was no way I could carry all the books (two were huge), all my gear for lab (which included a foley kit to practice with), wallet/purse, lunch, supplies, etc.

    Now I use a regular backback since I only take my book and "normal" supplies to classes.
  3. by   KellRrn2b
    good advice mommycakers...i wonder if ill be able to have the same type of calender on my itouch?
  4. by   jjdennis1279
    My struggle with nursing school would have been significantly more challenging without my study groups. I can't say my study group was always the same from semester-to-semester, or even from class-to-class. My study groups helped me prepare for tests and kept me on track with the many assignments. I also found that I understood topics the best after presenting them in our small group study sessions.
  5. by   CrunchyMama
    Quote from mrskellrd
    your welcome crunchy mama and congrats!!!!
    Thanks for all your input guys...i hope this thread can help a lot of people..
    anybody hear about teh new smartpen? It records the lecture as u take notes! If you tap your paper on a specifc spot it will replay that portion of lecture..amazing..but its costs like 300
    Holy crap, are you serious!? I'm not a fan of useless technology, I don't even have a cellphone...but this blows my mind, lol. The stuff they come up with.....
  6. by   CrunchyMama
    Quote from mrskellrd
    hey nursing friends, its me again! Sorry that im so needy, but, i was wondering what type of bookbag I should get? Roller bag? or backpack?

    I think im so anxious to start school and be totally prepared that im REALLY stressin over EVERYthing ::SIGH::::icon_roll. Im just ready to start already!!!!!!!!!!!! Ill prolly be wishin I could be "free"again once I start tho....77 days until I start NS and counting!!!
    My husband had bought me this big purse for my birthday last year...it's huge! So I started using it as a diaper bag. Then once I started school I used that for my books and stuff. I do want to get a new one because my huge A&P books ripped the zipper so I'm not able to close it. :/ But I feel ya.... I'm, so excited to start but once it starts I know I'll regret not appreciating the summer more.
    Last edit by CrunchyMama on Jun 8, '09
  7. by   cursedandblessed
    i have a couple of different backpacks/bags that i use depending on the hospital i am in rotation at and the classes i'm taking.

    for the rotation that required me to park in a far off lot and take a shuttle bus, i got a rolling leather pack. i had to take a lot of stuff to that clinical just in case, plus lunch as there was no cafeteria or restaurants anywhere around.

    for the rotations that i have great parking right outside the hospital, i have a small clinical bag that holds my stethoscope, bp cuff for taking my one old fashioned bp per day, and my famous bottle of ibuprofen (as long as i have it with me, i rarely need it, but let me leave it at home, and you know what happens) a container with my morning bp medication, bc pill, and vitamin dose in case i forget to take it if i'm in a rush in the morning.

    for class i just have a regular backpack jansport. your class may be like mine and all lectures are powerpoints and there really is no need to tote the book, or you may have to take the book. it just depends.
  8. by   MALEMAN
    hello everyone...i just joined this site today and already i picked up some awesome ideas i also start nursing school this fall..it is a 2 year adn program here in irving,texas..like the rest of you guys i'm concerned about what to have when class starts, but after reading all the ideas presented here i have a great headstart on what and what not to buy..
    i wish everyone starting school this fall the best of luck, hang in there and don't get disillusioned..i will be out here with the rest of you drinking pepsi,coke,starbucks and any other legal upper available..
  9. by   madnurse2b
    Quote from mrskellrd
    so guys....what about digital recorders or PDAs?????...im thinking about an itouch

    People are talking about planners etc. - I do love my iphone, I have drug books, OB wheel, all kinds of apps for school on it - but I also use it as my planner - when I get the syllabus each semester I put EVERYTHING into it. I get reminder messages on every paper, every test. I really love it. Some people are more comfortable with paper planners, I really love having the PDA.
  10. by   tvccrn2009
    I just graduated ADN program in May and passed my NCLEX last week...
    Ill tell you what worked for me..
    I bought the Iphone when it first came out in my 1st semester, they didnt have all the cool apps they have now...it was useless.
    My PDA was useless...
    For me, our presentations were all done on powerpoint, so I downloaded them from the school website and used that as an outline. I learned quickly that lugging all those books around was for the birds...a good backpack was in order and a good laptop. I used that more than anything else.

    I made a good friend in 2nd semester and stuck with her through HELL of third and fourth semester. She was my study buddy and I could rely on her to answer the phone at 2am...That would be the most indispensable thing you can have in nursing school. A good, honest friend. Not twenty or thirty, just one.

    Dont listen to gossip and stay out of the drama. Get answers to important questions FROM THE INSTRUCTOR, not your peers....information can get jammed and twisted. You are responsible for your education not anyone else..(you will hear this)

    Dont be afraid to ask questions. If you dont ask, you wont know. Chances are nobody else knows either and is too afraid to ask themselves.

    Dont assume anything.

    Dont argue with the instructor. They are not your friend. Respect their knowledge and position. Thank the instructors. Professionals are always willing and grateful to learn.

    You dont know everything. Nobody does. Dont act like it and dont think it.

    Treat each other right in school. You are being watched at all times, even when you think you are not. When you treat other students badly, you will be labeled by the instructors and could end up being a target for a much needed "lesson in kindness" (trust me on this- not me- but ive seen it happen)

    If you get a preceptor that is not the kindest, just remember that you only have to deal with them for the length of clinical and thats it. I was lucky. I got a wonderful lady, but if you dont, dont get discouraged.

    There is no shortcut or quick way to do anything.

    Always remember the correct way you are taught to do things. You wont have to worry about it later and the extra effort will allow you a peaceful sleep at night.

    You cant save the world. Accept things that are out of your control and do your best to help. If you pray, say the Serenity Prayer. You cant change people and you cannot make anyone do anything. Dont get mad, frustrated, sarcastic or cynical. Different strokes, different folks.

    The most important thing I learned in school is that we are all human. We all have hopes, dreams and disappointments. We all make mistakes and have regrets. Dont judge anyone, because there is usually a reason why things are the way they are. Yes, that includes instructors as well....

    Good luck and enjoy the journey.
  11. by   amarilla
    TVCCRN2009, great post. OP - read that post, and read it again.

    Having said that, here are my two cents:

    • stay flexible and don't overextend your time. Nursing schools are notorious for feeling entitled to 'own' you; accordingly, they change and reschedule at whim. You'll likely have no say in the matter, and no, it's not fair. We all have gone through it and got through it. You will, too.

    • akin to the above: studying for exams begins on the first day of class. Don't wait until the end of the chapter(s) to review; don't try to memorize and cram. Skim the chapters before class, perhaps note some keywords and concepts in the way you best absorb, and reread same after lecture. Review and refine those key concepts, from your notes and lecture notes, as the semester passes. Come test time, you won't be overwhelmed.

    • Keep all of your notes and lecture-related worksheets, handouts, etc together in a binder.

    • Don't go crazy with gadgets, books, study guides and nurse-related items before you're even in school. Really. Buy the required and recommended textbooks, yes. Look into a PDA if you're the type but know that not everyone will find one useful; I'm very tech savvy but actually found that using my Blackberry wasn't helpful for me personally.

    • Whether you buy a planner or a PDA, write down ALL dates and times. You'll need to stay on top of everything - workshops, tests, reviews, clinicals, skill lab demonstrations - and having it on hand will be essential as things can change quickly.

    • For clinicals, I'd like to second, third and fourth packing a go-to kit for yourself. Tuck some money into the pocket, (for the day you misplace your wallet), tylenol, sugared candy, mints, a few hairbands (if applicable) and a travel-size gel (you'll have those frazzled days, too). A hardy snack that won't spoil, (granola bar, beef jerky, mixed nuts, etc), is also good idea. Pocket-sized notebooks have been indispensable for me, (just be sure to never write specific individual patient information in them!).

    • For books: I always brought a drug guide and Taber's to clinicals. I purchased a pocket-sized RNotes to carry, just for quick reference, and packed it in my clinical bag with the other two. That being said, you can make friends in your group and split up who brings what, so no one person is lugging the books themselves.

    • As mentioned above: make at least one good friend, if possible. Having someone to compare notes with and jaw to is priceless, but much more so when they are going through what you are and understand.

    • At the hospital: be friendly with the techs. We probably have a lot we can show you and help you learn quickly, particularly when you are just getting comfortable with patient care.

    • Students are guests at clinical sites; introducing yourself, offering your help to your nurse and taking the day in stride, (remember: breathe!), should be common sense but folks would be surprised how often it's obviously not. As clinicals progressed and we attained skills, I would write a card with my name, my CI's name, the skills I was able to perform, and my patient assignment and give it to my nurse so she could better plan out our shared activities for the night. It also cut down on some of the frustration we experienced when nurses would expect us to do or have done certain things, only to find out that we were not yet allowed.

    • If you don't know, ASK! *laughs. I asked plenty and was glad I did.

    • Getting a little familiar with the hospital can make things a lot easier. Take little notes about the codes for the doors, locations of items, and what the different floors contain.

    • Know that everyone screws up sometime. Be more careful next time.

    • Speaking of careful, always check your patient's ID band and double, triple, hell - quadruple - check your medications before giving them. Can't tell you how much time I spent making sure everything was right, and so glad I did. Doesn't take nearly that long now but some caution never hurts anyone!

    • Have some fun. Nursing school doesn't last too long, (though it will feel like it), and you need to maintain an outlet throughout to vent some of the excess intensity.

    Good luck all,

  12. by   KellRrn2b
    you guys are AMAZING...thanks for the tips...im learning so much from what u all have went thru.....pretty soon ill be sharing tips too

  13. by   KellRrn2b
    congrats, maleman on getting accepted to NS (and every other nursing student reading this)...be sure to let me know how your first week goes, if u have time :chuckle