WANTED: Nursing student tidbits of advice - page 6
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
Jun 16, '09hmmm...i see the trend of everybody warning against trying to cram or memorize. im a auditory and visual learner so the more I write something out and the more I hear it the more i understand and retain that information. I dont usually like study groups because I get too distracted and I never end up covering the sections that i am actually having trouble in. I intend to find a loyal friend that will be there to help me along the way...thanks again guys for ur input
OH...and i totally agree about taking your shoes off after work/clinicals. Right now im a nurse aide in a childrens hospital and I have walked in blood, mucous, bm, etc, etc...pretty much any and everything that u dont want tracked trough your house. There have even been times where I have taken off ALL of my clothes on my doorstep because we had a few of those pesky bedbugs riding in on residents from the nursing home i used to work at...ewww...
Jun 16, '09I also cannot study in groups. I do much better on my own. I use flash cards a lot. I also walk around my house reciting them out loud. Everybody learns differently. We just have to use what works best for us.
Jun 16, '09MAKE FRIENDS!!!! I cannot fully express the importance of this! I cannot tell you the amount of times I have relied upon other people to help me out, to keep me informed about deadlines or information that I missed when we were sitting in a four hour lecture, notes that I copied when I missed lecture, and all sorts of stuff you may not think of. It will be hard. You will make it through. I am going to be a senior this coming fall but I'd have to say that sophmore year was definitely the hardest. You'll learn a lot, good luck.
Jun 17, '09The great thing is that you'll enter school with a whole class of people who are in the same position! It's the school's job to teach you what you not only the information you need to know but also the tools and tricks for studying and learning!
Personally, I'm very low-tech. I don't use a recorder since I feel it was more helpful and far more efficient for me to go back through my notes than to listen to the lectures again. I have a PDA, but don't use it for school. I use my laptop for making study guides and review sheets, but I like taking hand-written notes on the powerpoints provided by the school. I have a backpack I use only for school -- I like to keep a stash of pens, mechanical pencils and highlighters in it as well as a bottle of water, a $5 bill and some chapstick. For my notes, I use a THICK 3-ring binder (there are LOTS of notes!), subject dividers and removable sticky tabs (to label sections in my notes -- also very helpful for flagging drugs in my drug book). I get my patients' meds the day before clinical and I like to flag them with a tab and highlight the key facts about the drug so the info is accessible if my instructor asks questions about any of the drugs (tip -- each week I unflag the drugs from the week before, but stick the flags to the page so you can reuse it rather than writing a new flag every time you have a patient on lisinopril or another common drug).
I have a separate binder for clinicals, in which I always carry several copies of all the clinical forms provided by the school (care maps, chart research forms, etc.). I print out 10 or 15 at the beginning of the semester, this way I always have extras if I need blanks. Also, you can make friends in clinicals by being the one with the paperwork because other students ALWAYS need blanks! Stick a $5 or $10 bill behind your ID badge -- very useful for those days you forget your wallet.
Good luck to you!
Jun 17, '09Which NCLEX review books do you suggest for studying the summer before starting NS; I saw Kaplan's Strategies for RN and Kaplan's Medications you Need to Know, but I know some review in different ways . . .
Jun 17, '09Great idea about keep extra copies of care pages! People really do forget these all the time. I've been both the giver and receiver of extras. As Martha Stewart would say.."It's a good thing."
The $ in your backpack/name badge are also a great idea. Would be a huge help if you forgot your lunchbox or your wallet.
And it really is true about making friends. Everyone's in the same boat that you are. Enjoy getting to know other people. A fun icebreaker question is to ask what type of nursing people are interested. People are usually very excited to have the chance to talk about themselves, and you just might find you have something in common. A lot of people are figuring out what specialty they want the whole time and that is fine too. I went in thinking Peds, tried lots of things with an open mind and ended up still loving peds .My two best friends are both all about labor and delivery...I think that's interesting too...but they both hate peds! That's ok, they understand that I love it and totally support me, it's just not for them. Don't let differences in opinion separate you from potential friends
Jun 17, '09I wouldn't start studying for the NCLEX yet! Relax and enjoy this time!
If I had been reading up on meds or whatever before even starting school, I can't imagine I would've understood, much less retained, much of anything! The reviews work best when they're just that -- reviews of what you've learned. Most are geared toward people who already have a least a basic understanding of the subjects, which you will get over the course of your education.
My school recommended the Illustrated Study Guide for the NCLEX-RN by Mosby ... I've used it to review subjects like cardiac and respiratory before those exams and I like it pretty well. We also use MedsPub, an online program, which I like and have heard is helpful. MedsPub access is expensive but is included in our tuition, so I wouldn't buy it yet! I've heard good things about Pearl's Review, but never used it myself.
Like I said, though, relax this summer. Your school will be preparing you for the NCLEX over the next few years. Good luck!
Jun 17, '09I also would suggest relaxing and enjoying this summer. If you're motivated enough to even think about studying before school starts, then you're ahead of the curve. Enjoy this time to see friends and family, maybe take a mini vacay if you can swing it and generally getting yourself into a relaxed and happy lifestyle. I didn't study anything before I started school. I just graduated with high honors.
These books are usually for use after you're all done with your classes and getting ready to take NCLEX in a couple months time (you have to get approval from the State Board to take NCLEX and this happens a few weeks after your graduation). You'll learn the content as well as test-taking strategies during the course of .
Jun 17, '09Organize your time!! Set aside definite hours every day for study....stick to it. Find a study partner for a specific difficult subject. ....share....and pray .
Jun 17, '09Congratulations.sure is exciting. I am going into my 3rd of 4 years. I was like you when I started - wanted to study everything beforehand, get PERFECTLY organized, and all of that. The best advice I can give you is not to waste so much time trying to get it all right before you have started. That time is far better spent on actual studies and with your family and other commitments. If you don't figure it out now, then nursing school will just discourage you because you will never be able to get everything "right" and you will end up falling behind. The second piece of advice is not to fall prey to purchasing every single help that is available. You will end up wasting too much money. I have A&P cards, and 2 boxes of drug cards I will likely not use again - and I spent enough money on them to wish I had it back now. Try to take it easy and allow yourself a couple of weeks to get into the groove of classes and clinicals - you will have a better idea what you will need by then, what your finances look like and how much time you have to invest. Know yourself and use your strengths to help you decide what supplies to purchase, how to study, etc. Your excitement and enthusiasm will help keep you motivated when things get rough.
Jun 17, '09MADNURSE, I love your post. I am having the I am not sure I can make it feeling now. On my first medsurge and I love the class but did so bad on the first test and I am not sure I can do any better on the second one coming up, though I am trying. For us in the part time program is hard as if one fails a class we must wait a whole year to re-take it.
Buy the digital recorder, is an investment that for the first time I am making for medsurge and it does help. I usually burn the lectures then to a CD and listen to them in the car on they way from and to work since I work full time and school is part time. I do not have enough time to spare. I have yet to find the best way to study for this class yet.
I love coffee, does nothing for me though, it just does not keep me awake or more alert, but I love the taste of it. I have noticed that I am eating more junk food now since I have no time to cannot clean, cook, do laundry, do the shopping and all that jazz. I have my cat who is my sanity at times.
Keep the humor MadNurse, I love it, and we in the program now, need a laugh now and then.
Jun 17, '09First you might want to think about how you learn. by reading, writing, listening etc. And use that knowledge to your advantage. Second no matter how you learn and what the ppt in class is about you have to read your book!!! It is not fun but is necessary!
Hint, look at the objectives in the sylabus and make sure you know them
Cograts and good luck!!!!