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If you made it this far--thanks for visiting. My name is Joe. I'm's Chief Information Officer. I'm the tech behind the scene. I'm in charge of everything that makes tick. Isn't she a beauty! I consider myself to be extremely fortunate, because I love what I do.

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  • Oct 20

    Our son, Jack, who has a rare genetic disorder called Pitt Hopkins, is non-verbal. One day, he was in the bathtub and the water ran hotter than we expected – and no one noticed until Jack was writhing in pain. We didn’t understand the severity of these burns at first, but the nurses who saw him did. They cared for him for two weeks as he recovered from third-degree burns.

    It was early on that I realized that as a nurse, you are on the front lines every day working selflessly to help your patients. Every nurse we have met as parents has been amazing, providing guidance and offering heartfelt support that got us through every broken bone and childhood sickness. Our children, as well as my wife and I, couldn’t have made it without them.

    With all that they do for us, nurses too often are on their own when it comes to making retirement investment choices. In fact, as nursing education programs do not usually offer investment or finance classes, nurses are at a disadvantage when it comes to making these crucial long-term financial decisions.

    In confirming this finding, I reviewed a recent Fidelity study that surveyed 365 nurses of which 56 percent felt they lacked confidence when making financial decisions, and that includes investing for retirement.

    I work with many nurses and I see many parallels between being a good nurse and investing for a good retirement. When it comes to investing I think it’s paramount to keep in mind the following:

    Two Hours To Learn.

    Many people naturally assume that learning about investing is too time-consuming and so they don’t get around to it. Ironically, being a successful investor is not about technique; mostly it’s about understanding how to invest and avoid mistakes. Take the time to learn about where your money is going. There are easy-to-read investment handbooks like Burt Malkiel’s The Elements of Investing that can help you learn the basics of finance and help you to be more informed so you can start to comfortably make decisions on your finances.

    Simple Is Better.

    The best approach for the ordinary person trying to retire comfortably is to invest simply and conservatively. You can still invest in high quality assets while keeping costs low. Don’t be too tricky with your choices and just let the markets do what they do.

    Evidence Based.

    There are many investment schemes out there. I believe it best to dismiss the get-rich-quick schemes out there that over promise and under deliver; work only with investment professionals who provide evidence-based investing methods, and who keep your long term financial health in mind.

    “Do No Harm” Advisors.

    Trust is key and when it comes to choosing the right advisor to help you manage your money, you need an advisor held to a “fiduciary standard.” Advisors who are fiduciaries follow a “do not harm” approach and always put their client’s best interest first, as opposed to financial advisors that work primarily off a commission based structure whose best interest are not aligned with your own.

    If you are like many of the nurses I’ve met — helping everyone except yourself — remember that like all of us, your golden years will soon be upon you. You must be sure to make the most of the money you save. Spend a little time, get smart about investing, and set yourself up for a great retirement. You might want to sip margaritas in Hawaii, go to a yoga retreat or help your grandkids get through college. Whatever your plans, you deserve a happy and prosperous retirement!

  • Oct 10

    Articles must be submitted between Oct 1st - Dec 15th.

    $600 in cash prizes! $150 each for the top 4 articles

    You can write about anything nursing-related for this contest.

    Need Inspiration?

    Try reading some of the topics and articles posted in the past year. Many questions have been posted - people are just craving for knowledge.

    Here are some of the winning articles from past give you some idea of what our readers like and want more of:

    Tips to Help You Write a Winning Article

    TIP #1:
    Articles written on a personal level that answer a frequently asked question are popular with our readers.
    TIP #2: Articles that promote engagement and are personal (personal to you; personal to reader), usually have the most replies.
    TIP #3: The more descriptive the article is the better the response from the community.
    TIP #4: Articles written by members who provide helpful feedback on other topics/articles usually have the most replies and shares.

    Articles can encompass daily work, past experience, study tips, ethical situations, education, technology, nursing in the news, etc. If it's nursing related it's acceptable. We look forward to articles sharing your experiences and knowledge with our readers.

    4 winners - $150 Each! Total Cash Value of $600!

    Contest Rules:

    • Must comply with our contest rules and Terms of Service.
    • Must have a minimum of 600 words and be nursing-related..
    • Must be submitted between Oct 1st - Dec 15th.
    • No plagiarism
    • Articles will be reviewed and approved by staff for consideration before displaying publicly.
    • Must be unique; cannot be listed on other websites, blogs, article sites, books, etc prior to posting on allnurses.
    • You may submit multiple articles.
    • You grant permission to rights to publish in magazines, books, etc. You will be notified and credited if published.

    For more details read: How to Submit an Article

    Start writing & GOOD LUCK!!!!!

  • Oct 7

    Everyone learns in different ways. Some people are visual learners, some are kinetic. Some people work best in study groups, some are solitary students. No matter how you learn, the key is to study like my Grandpa.

    My Grandpa was a farmer and a university professor. Kind of a funny combination. When we would visit, he would take us out to the farm. One of my most vivid memories as a child is climbing in the pen with the pigs when Grandpa wasn’t looking. After he retired, my Grandpa slowing started losing his memory. Eventually, he was diagnosed with a missed stroke and dementia. The diagnosis didn’t really matter to our family—the result was the same either way. Grandpa slowly slipped away from us. First, he had a hard time remembering that I was in college. Then he couldn’t remember my husband. Next there came the visit when he didn’t know my name, but could still call me “Granddaughter.” Finally, the time arrived when Grandpa didn’t know me at all.

    As hard as it was watching my Grandpa decline, there were funny moments too. Like the time my Grandma found Grandpa (who was also diabetic by this time) surrounded by dozens of candy wrappers. As she scolded him for eating so much sugar, he shrugged and said with a mouthful of chocolate, “What? This is my first one!”

    After Grandpa had retired, he had taken up the habit of reading the newspaper from cover to cover every morning. It helped keep him up to date and, for a while, kept his mind sharp. But even as dementia took over, he kept up the habit. Every day he would start into the newspaper. Some days he would get to page B6 before he would get distracted and move on to something else. When he came back to the paper, he wouldn’t remember that he was on page B6, so he would go back to the front page. The next day he might only make it to A10 before getting up for a drink. Again, when he would come back to the paper he would start at page one.

    For a while, this drove my Grandma crazy. She would try and get him to start reading back where he left off. But he would insist on starting on the front page. He would spend all day reading the newspaper sometimes, and always, after every break, he would start back at the beginning.

    My background is in law. My first undergrad degree was in political science and then, given that degree is not very employable, I went on to law school. I had my first baby during my last semester of law school and decided to be a stay at home mom. Now, four babies later, I have decided to make a big change and go into nursing. At first I was very nervous about the prerequisite courses. Even though I have a bachelor degree and a juris doctorate degree, science courses are very different from anything else I have studied.

    Despite the difference in the subject matter, my old study skills have proven to be effective and so far my courses are going well. As I thought about my study habits and what makes them effective, I realized that I study like my Grandpa.

    A good example is how I study for Anatomy and Physiology 1. I am taking a class that meets for five hours once a week. The day after class, I study everything we covered in class the day before and prepare for our weekly quiz. Then the rest of the week leading up to our next class I follow the same routine.

    Just like my Grandpa, I start back at the beginning every day. Every day I have a block of about two hours of solid study time. Each time I sit down to study, I review chapter 1, then chapter 2, then chapter 3, and so on. Later in the day, if I find a few minutes to pull out my flashcards, I follow Grandpa’s pattern again. I go through my cards for chapter 1, then chapter 2, then chapter 3, etc. In the evening, once my kids are in bed and I have a few more minutes to spare, I go online and use our class tools (practice quizzes, labeling exercises, videos, and more) to review. And again, I use the Grandpa method. I take a quiz to review chapter 1, then I do a labeling exercise for chapter 2, and I end with a video from chapter 3.

    Using this method, I never have to cram for a test. I have been reviewing and memorizing the materiel over and over every day. The early chapters in many courses, including this one, are a foundation of knowledge for later chapters so it is very useful to review them regularly. Even if you are short on time, dedicating a few minutes to each topic helps to keep material fresh and solidify your knowledge base.

    So need a new way to study? Try the Grandpa Method and ace your classes!

  • Oct 7

    Bear with me. This is not a spiritual lesson, but that is the station from which my own train of thought started that ultimately brought me to the destination I’m presenting to you here. Even if it’s not your cuppa tea, I assure you it’s leading up to a takeaway for everyone. Pour yourself a brandy in the dining car and enjoy the ride!

    About a year ago, for what at this point could be any number of reasons that I have since forgotten, I was pondering wisdom. What is it? How do you get it? Job Chapter 28 describes Wisdom as the most precious yet elusive treasure that is so rare that no one has seen it. Okay. I can see this is going to be a challenge, but, okay, I’ll bite.

    Moving on to what clues other passages might give about wisdom, I was reminded of a Proverb that says, “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” I’d heard this before, but something struck me about it this time. It was the word “Fear.” Come to think of it, that’s a very strange thing to associate with wisdom. Fear weakens us, it often puts us at our worst, it makes us do things we wouldn’t otherwise do, it defrays good decision making, it keeps us from being the best version of ourselves. Fear precludes intentional action. Fear is counterproductive to wisdom and counterintuitive to the meaning of this Proverb.

    At this point, I began thinking not about the idea of fear, but of the word itself, the actual group of letters written on paper meant to communicate the intent of the author to their audience. (For the more curious types, feel free to look up the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, aka linguistic relativity, for more in-depth information on the effect of language on our conscious perceptions.) Most of these texts are ancient and were transcribed into English centuries ago by medieval translators who, by today’s standards, would be lacking in breadth of education. What if the problem really is as simple as a bad translation?

    So I get out the dictionary and look up the word “fear” and begin to examine words closely related to it under synonyms. The list is fairly short so it didn’t take long to come across the word “solicitude.” Solicitude means great care or concern for someone or something. The example given was a man caring for his sick wife with solicitude.

    Think about that, the difference between a man with fear and a man with solicitude caring for a sick wife. The man with solicitude has all due respect for the seriousness of his sick wife’s condition, but he is in control of himself, he is centered, he is calm. The fearful man is powerless. Of course, there are many things outside of ourselves that we are powerless to control, but the fearful man is powerless over even himself. If he has no power over himself, then what good can come of anything he undertakes? Of course solicitude is an extraordinarily more appropriate word in the context of wisdom.

    Fast forward to today when by happenstance I found myself on the road for several hours with nary to do in my travels except ponder and pontificate… to myself. (I may or may not have done this out loud while driving.) Many of us who are at various stations along the road to this new career as a nurse find ourselves full of fear. Fear of the competition of the admissions process. Fear of the nursing program. Fear of the NCLEX. Fear of that first catheter insert or needle stick. Fear of future working relationships and acceptance. Fear of all kinds of things, big and small.

    Considering how relatively little introspection most of us really do, I think it’s highly likely that our inner translator that serves as a diplomatic ambassador between that intangible blob of feelings and our conscious experience is about as adept as a medieval scribe. What if--what if--that fear is actually the wisdom of solicitude that’s simply been lost in translation by our own under-informed interpreter? Because solicitude towards class and future responsibilities and working relationships is wise. Solicitude puts you in control of your actions. Solicitude builds character. Fear tears it down.

    Solicitude and fear are not the same thing. They are merely cross-referenced on the same page in the dictionary. Time to fine tune your gages and put the fear away, ladies and gentlemen, and realize that what you are feeling is actually something to regard with pride.


  • Oct 5

    This video discusses 4 major points to help you create a resume that will help you make a great impression and stand out from the other applicants.

    1. Avoid Fluff - Give examples that highlight the skills that fit the job
    2. Avoid Cliches - They don't add value.
    3. Individualize your resume for each employer
    4. Format is important without grammatical or spelling errors.

  • Oct 5

    Hi, to everyone. Just introducing myself at this time. I am from Barbados in the Caribbean. I am a registered general nurse, who worked the PICU for 6 years. However my role have now changed to student midwife. I am now in my fifth week and I must say it's very challenging.

  • Oct 5

    Greetings, All:

    As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I am currently working on a series of stories for the community.

    Specifically, I am interested in your personal narrative:

    • Have you ever been in an abusive relationship?
    • Are you currently in one, but thinking of leaving?
    • Have you yourself ever been an abuser?

    If you'd like to be interviewed, please PM me by clicking on my username above. If you are a new member and do not have at least 15 posts, please post in the thread that you want to talk with me and one of the Admins will share your email address with me. Your personal point of view will be invaluable.

    Also, if you have specific questions you would like for the series to address, I'd love to hear them. Please post your ideas below. Here are a few ideas of my own:
    • Is there anything about our profession that makes us more (or less) vulnerable to becoming involved with an abuser?
    • We often hear how nurses "eat their young". Are nurses also abusers? In there a connection between bullying at work and bullying at home?
    • What patterns, if any, typify a victim and abuser?

    What do you ​think should be included in a series of posts about domestic abuse?

  • Oct 4

    Congratulations! You did it! You have now been accepted to nursing school, and you're ready to begin the journey to becoming a licensed health care professional. You've heard the stories about how much studying there is to do in nursing school. You know you want to do well, so what can you do to maximize your success potential? This guide is based on my experience in a traditional (2.5 year) BSN program, which I graduated from with a 3.8 GPA. I hope that these tips can also help you be successful in your program.

    Tip #1: Research Your Courses Before You Even Begin

    This tips works whether you're about to start nursing school or you're in nursing school and about to start a new semester. The best thing you can do is to find out what exactly you'll be studying in your next semester. Before I started a semester, I would look at the course descriptions for each course I was taking. I would also try and find the syllabus for the previous semester, especially if the same professor was teaching the course. You can also talk to people that already took the course and ask if they would share the syllabus with you. If you have the syllabus, you can have an idea of what you're in for, look into the textbook(s) you'll need, see what assignments you may have to complete, how many exams there will be, etc. When you research your courses before you even begin, you already have a leg up, and will have a basis to know what to expect when you walk in on the first day.

    Tip #2: Talk to People That Took the Course Already

    Somewhat related to tip #1, if you know people that took the course you're about to take, talk to them! You can find out how difficult exams are, what material was emphasized (i.e. textbook vs. lectures), tips on completing projects and assignments, etc.

    Tip #3: Maintain a Positive Attitude From the Beginning
    All too often, I heard about how difficult a course was, how no one gets As in a course, and how stressful a course was. This "poisoning the well" does nothing except set you up for failure before you even sit in the classroom. The best thing you can do is to stay positive, and tell yourself that you WILL be successful, and you WILL achieve your goal of graduating from nursing school. I would repeat this mantra before each test, and periodically, and helped me to maintain the positive attitude I needed to be successful, no matter what some may say.

    Tip #4: To Group or Not to Group

    Ah, group studying...some people love it, some people can't do it. Admittedly, I am not a major fan of group study sessions...unless I have already done studying on my own. Quite often, study groups can spend more time on topics not related to the actual purpose of the group. So, you have to be careful with study groups, as you don't want to waste your time, or be confused by conflicting information.

    For me, studying on my own was best. I never hesitated to help others study, nor did I hesitate to receive help either. For others, study groups helped them get through nursing school. The best thing you can do is try out a study group, and see if it works for you. Optimize your time by first going over the material on your own, then meeting in a group to go over topics you didn't understand.

    As a nurse, you must know how to work with others, as a team. You will participate in a number of group projects throughout school. When it comes to studying though, find out what works best for you. It doesn't have to be as part of a group.

    Tip #5: Use Review Resources

    There are MANY review books out there aimed at boiling down the large amount of information you are taught in lecture and in your textbooks. I used the "Reviews and Rationales" series of review books throughout school from the first semester to my last. Others also used the "Saunders Comprehensive Review" book. These books can be borrowed from the library, rented on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, or bought used. I read through the relevant chapter(s) after I studied my lecture notes/PowerPoints/textbook, and this helped me make sense of that large amount of information.

    Tip #6: Questions, Questions, and More Questions

    So here's really where straight A students falter when they enter nursing school: the questions are different! As you may have heard, answer choices to a question may all be correct actions, but you have to choose the one that is MOST correct. Ugh. I know it took me awhile to get used to answering NCLEX-style questions. So what can you do? Answer as many questions as you can! Before a test, I would answer all of the questions at the end of the chapters we were going to be tested on. Nursing textbooks also have companion websites with more questions (note: if you buy your book used you may have to purchase access separately), and I would answer those as well. I would also use the "Success" series of books that have NCLEX-style questions for all nursing courses.

    And remember the key to answering questions: read the rationales! The best resources provide rationales for the correct answer(s) AND the incorrect ones.

    Tip #7: Read the Summary at the End of the Chapter

    If there's anything you read in the textbook, it should be the end-of-chapter summary. This summary provides the key points of information that you must know. You may get bogged down by the details within the chapter, but the summary is the need-to-know information that may very well be on your exams in some form.

    Tip #8: Read the Textbook?!?

    But do you really need to read the textbook? The answer is: it depends. This really goes back to Tip #2. If you talked to people that already took the course, you should have an idea of whether the textbook is actually needed to do well on exams. Some professors may provide all the information you will be tested on in their lectures/PowerPoints. Others may ask you to read the textbook and provide the basic information in lecture. At my school, the textbook was absolutely needed for most nursing courses. Also, the text can provide more details that may help "make sense" of what you learned in lecture.

    So, if anything, try to at least skim the sections of the chapter that relate to what was covered in lecture. And remember, read the end of chapter summary!

    Tip #9: Organization is Key

    In nursing school, there's a lot going on! You have to go to lecture, clinical, skills checks, lab, maybe a review class or study group, etc. You'll have assignments for lecture and clinical, in addition to your exams. How can you keep track of all of this?! You have to be organized, there's no other option.

    A planner can be very helpful. Once I had all of my syllabi, I would put in all of the dates for every exam and assignment. I would also put in the times for classes, clinical, and work. That way, at the start of each week, I knew what I was in for, and could plan.

    When an exam was approaching, I would write down:

    • the chapters covered in the exam
    • the chapters in my review books that related that I would go over
    • any other resources I would use to study (i.e. online questions, PowerPoints)

    Once I completed something, I would cross it off and move on to the next bullet point on my Exam To-Do List. I would also write in my planner what specifically I would study each day. Stay organized, and you know where you are in your studying.

    Tip #10: Go to Class!

    This might seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes we need a reminder, including myself. GO TO CLASS! In class, you will hear exactly what your professor wants you to hear. You'll hear the information you need to know to do well on your exams. Sometimes, you'll even receive hints about what will be on exams. Some of my professors would explicitly state, "this will be on the exam", or strongly hint, "you should really know this...". Either way, you are at a distinct advantage over those that don't go to class when you're in the chair, right in front of the professor.

    Tip #11: No Cramming Allowed

    Cramming may have worked in your pre-nursing courses. It simply won't work now. There is a large amount of information you must master, in a limited amount of time, to not only do well on your exams, but learn how to care for the lives of your patients. Studying for an exam the day or two before may have worked in the past, but it will be disastrous now. Plan to study for your exam at least a week before. That way, you have enough time to space out your study time, especially when you may have more than one exam in the same week.

    Tip #12: Flashcards

    Opinions vary on flashcards. Writing information down again can help reinforce it. For me, the only course that I used flashcards for was pharmacology. I strongly recommend using flashcards for pharmacology. Yes, you can purchase these, but writing them out is 10x better. My pharm professor was very specific on the information he wanted us to know, and what we would be tested on. Therefore, I made my flashcards based on that information. Then, I walked around with them everywhere I went. Repetition is key with pharmacology, so the more you look at your flashcards, you'll slowly realize, "wait, I'm actually remembering this now...". I honestly thought there was no way I could memorize everything I needed to know, but after a week+ going over my cards (remember, no cramming!), by the time the exam rolled around the corner, I knew what I needed to know, and did well.

    Tip #13: Your Professors Are NOT the Enemy

    If you're having difficulty with a course, the first person you should go to is your professor. You may feel ashamed, you may feel like you're a failure, but your professor wants you to succeed. Your professor can give you tips on how to study and learn the information they want you to learn, and may even give you an extra assignment to help reinforce material or even make up points (don't count on that though). At my school, professors would also go over exams at specific times, and sometimes would help explain why certain choices were wrong, which helped me see where my thought process went wrong. So, if you're having difficulty, see your professor during office hours! There is no harm, and who knows, maybe you'll get to know each other so well you'll ask that professor for a job reference .

    Tip #14: Clinical Correlations Help

    Sometimes, the material we learn in nursing school can seem esoteric. That is, until you're in clinical, you see something, and think, "wait! I learned that in lecture last week!". Your clinical rotations are where all the information you learn in lecture comes together, where you see it in real life, and use that knowledge to care for your patients. For me, seeing that information in clinical helped, as I realized that the knowledge wasn't just in the textbook, but right before my eyes. When you're in clinical, see if your assigned patients present with the diseases/disorders you're learning about. Look at their history and physical, lab values, nursing notes, and your own nursing assessment, and make that connection from the classroom to the clinical setting.


    Doing well in nursing school is possible, as long as you put in the work. There is a lot of information to learn, but you can do it. Remember why you decided to go into nursing, and let that reason guide you in all that you do in school. Remember, you're not just studying for an exam. You're studying to learn how to competently and compassionately take care of the patients whose lives have been entrusted to you.

  • Oct 3

    Like most students, I find balancing the commitments of education, family, and work a daily challenge. Currently, I'm a working graduate student with a growing family and so I have little spare time for studying and what time I have I need to use efficiently. While the whole process of pursuing my nursing education has been stressful and mentally taxing, I believe this was the right path for me.

    Reflecting back on this experience has made me ask myself, what advice would I pass to others who are just beginning their academic journey? I don’t claim to be an “expert” in study skills or a straight A student my entire time in school, but I think that some of the lessons I’ve learned can help to support other students. Whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student, pre-licensure or post-licensure, this advice is for anyone at any level. Here are just a few things that can hopefully they can help you with studying and achieving academic success.

    Academic Life

    Establish a Schedule

    Create a calendar

    It can be paper calendar or electronic (I use a Google Calendar myself because it's organized and easier for me to read). Consider color-coding or establishing categories such as “School” “Work” “Appointments” etc. to keep things organized.

    Don’t forget to add (a) scheduled classes, (b) major paper/project due dates, (c) exam/test dates, and (d) scheduled study sessions (group or individual) for the entire module/semester.

    Include your work schedule and other appointments/commitments on the calendar as well, so you don't accidently overbook yourself.

    Consider sharing the calendar with your support system (significant other, family, roommate, etc.) or post it in your home so that everyone knows where you will be and can see when you will not be available.

    Attend Class

    Treat school like it is a job.

    It may seem obvious, but school is like a job in that your attendance and active participation are required. You are paying good money for your education so why wouldn’t you be there and trying to get every dollar out of it?

    This is geared primarily towards students who are in a face-to-face (f2f) program, but students in hybrid or online programs need to be engaged and actively participating in their courses as well.

    I’m sure we have all been in courses that have required minimal student participation, and maybe you could have just studied by reading the textbook but for most students, physically attending class puts students in a different frame of mind, promotes deeper understanding of content, and provides a better learning experience.

    Identify Your Learning Style

    Everyone learning needs are different, and only you will be able to determine what learning styles work best for you. You will not be able to change course assignments or how a class is taught, but you can change how you approach studying and thus improve your chances of success.

    Complete a learning preference/style test.

    There are an unlimited number of free inventories/quizzes/tests available on the Internet to determine what your individual learning preferences. Take more than one test and see what it tells you. Are you a solitary or social learner? Do you prefer the abstract or that which is concrete/logical? Do you learn best from visual, aural, verbal or physical means?

    Most people have more than one preference and armed with this information you can focus on using strategies that work for you.

    Adequate Preparation and Capturing Content

    Read before attending class.

    If you don't read before attending class, you will be spending most of the time trying to identify basic concepts that you should already be familiar with instead of clarifying more advanced concepts with the help of the instructor.

    Have your course materials with you.

    Unless your instructor says, that you don't need to bring the textbook I recommend bringing it because you never know when you will need to look up a term or note from a particular section of the book while you are in class. You should also bring printouts of any PowerPoint lecture slides or other supplemental materials so you can follow along during the lecture. And common sense would dictate to please bring a pen, pencil and a piece of paper if you intend to write anything down. It is very distracting as a teacher to see students asking each other for pens and paper while I am trying to teach.

    Take notes.

    I've heard many students say they don't need to take notes and perhaps for some this is true, but I think that if you don't take notes, you are likely to miss relevant content that may not be included in the supplemental materials (such as PowerPoint slides or handouts). Taking notes is highly individualized, some people handwrite them, and others type them, and some people write word-for-word while others only make bullet points. Don't forget that pictures or diagrams can be helpful as well.

    Consider recording the lectures.

    Ask your instructor first but see if you can record the lecture so that you can play it back for later review. Some instructors may be uncomfortable with this or may only allow for audio recording, so it's important to ask first.


    Find a partner or study group (if you learn best socially).

    Identify individuals who have similar studying patterns and learning preferences early on during a course and establish study partnerships/groups. These peers don’t necessarily need to be strong in the same content areas as you are (having different strengths can be helpful) but should have a similar philosophy on studying and learning preferences. Having a partner or group to be accountable to for studying can be useful for adhering to a schedule and ensuring that content gets covered adequately.

    If you find working with a study partner or group distracting or you are not best as a social learner that is fine but make sure you remain self-motivated and hold yourself accountable for studying and completing coursework.

    Schedule time to study.

    Set aside blocked time for studying (preferably each day) so that you can retain what you have learned and are not forced to cram the night before a big exam. Blocking out study time allows you to break content into smaller and more manageable pieces and improves the odds of adequate preparation.

    Use a variety of mediums/sources.

    Just because you took lecture notes on your PowerPoint slides and read through your textbook doesn’t mean that you can’t use other sources to help supplement your learning.

    Many textbooks offer access codes to online content such as videos, case studies, simulations, and supplemental articles that can help students to understand the content.

    Don’t be afraid to search the Internet for videos, podcasts, and other sources that may explain difficult concepts in a different but easier to understand way. Just make sure that the information provided is accurate and is congruent with what your textbook and instructor cover in the course.

    For undergraduate and pre-licensure students, look for test preparation (ATI, HESI, NCLEX, etc.) and content-specific study books (medical/surgical nursing, nursing fundamentals, psychiatric/mental health nursing, etc.).[*]For graduate and post-licensure students, look for board certification test preparation (AANA, AANP, ANCC, NLN, etc.) and content-specific study books (oncology/immunology, pediatric primary care, healthcare policy, and nursing administration).

    Practice test questions and understand how to apply critical thinking and theory in different situations.

    Most licensure and board certification exams will ask you to use theory and critical thinking to apply specialty content in different areas then what you may have seen in class.

    For example, the NCLEX may ask a question about nursing interventions for a recently post-partum patient who has just undergone a cholecystectomy and is on the inpatient medical/surgical unit. Or it may ask you about planning the homecare needs of a patient with paranoid schizophrenia. This kind of questioning addresses multiple content areas and requires that students use critical thinking to apply their knowledge in different settings.

    Many nursing instructors will try to design exam questions in a similar format as to what you would see on a licensure or board certification exam. If you can practice learning how to answer these types of questions as a student, it will certainly help you following graduation.

    Seeking Feedback/Communicating with Instructors

    Participate in class and ask good questions.

    Whoever said, “there is no such thing as a stupid question” is a complete liar (in my opinion). If you are asking a question that (a) reflects a complete lack of prior preparation, (b) is unrelated to what is being discussed, or (c) is the same question that was just asked by another student and was already answered then those are stupid questions. It is insulting to your instructor and your classmates by asking these kinds of questions because it shows that you are not prepared and/or not paying attention to what is going on and delays further learning.

    With that being said, we all have moments where we have missed something that someone just said or struggle with a basic concept, so it isn't a cardinal sin to ask a question like this once in a while but don't make it a habit. By participating in class and asking thoughtful and clarifying questions, it helps to promote your learning and may address the concerns of your peers who may be having the very same questions.

    If you find that you are struggling to understand something after the instructor has attempted to explain it fully then consider asking to meet with them after class or during off hours so that it doesn't slow down the entire class.

    Go to office hours.

    I’m a firm believer in students attending at least one office hours session if only to meet the instructor individually, introduce yourself and see how you are performing in the class (especially if you are in a large group and the instructor is unlikely to know you personally). Attending office hours lets the instructor know that you are serious about the class and are an adult learner who is responsible for their education. If you are having trouble with a particular subject area, then you can use this time to get further explanation or if you're having some issues with the course, then you could ask for their advice on how to succeed.

    Another benefit to attending office hours is that if a problem or situation occurs later on during the course the instructor is likely to remember you for a good reason and this can be helpful for facilitating a solution.

    Consider the risks and benefits before reporting a problem with an instructor or course.

    This is not to say that we as instructors are infallible, but we are recognized as experts in our content area and do have some latitude to teach the course how we see fit (within reason of course). If you have a disagreement with an instructor or problem with any aspect of a course take a moment to carefully consider the following:

    1. What is the actual problem?
    2. Is this an issue with the instructor? The college/institution/university? Or the student?
    3. What sort of solution am I realistically hoping for as a result of bringing up this issue?
    4. Do the benefits of addressing the issue outweigh the risks that can come from a negative fallout/response?

    If after considering these questions you strongly believe that the problem must be addressed then begin by speaking with the instructor first. I suggest asking to meet privately because discussing it in class is likely to illicit comments from peers, which may or may not be helpful, and make the instructor feel that they are being attacked. When you bring this issue up to the instructor privately try to use "I" statements versus "you" statements and give them the chance to discuss it with you. Keep your tone calm and use professional language at all times. If you feel that the discussion is not progressing forward or is becoming uncomfortable, it is best to thank them for their time and end it professionally.

    Lastly, if the issue is serious and it is not resolved after talking with the course instructor consider speaking with the department chair or academic dean but realize this may not lead to a permanent solution and could create tension with you and the instructor.

    To be clear, I’m not encouraging students to avoid discussing problems or sensitive issue with instructors but consider the above-mentioned questions and make sure to reflect upon yourself and see if and how you may be contributing to this problem. We as human beings are hardwired to avoid seeing our faults but conflict resolution requires that we take a long look at ourselves and see where we might be able to improve how we handle situations.

    Home and Work Life

    Discuss your academic goals and scheduling needs with your family, friends, and employer.

    Most students are likely to have commitments at home and work in addition to what they have at school and having a supportive home and work environment can make or break a student. You need to have an honest conversation with your family and employer as soon as possible so they know what you are doing in school and how this may necessitate some scheduling changes. These conversations can be difficult, but it is best to have them ahead of time so that everyone can prepare appropriately.

    For example, don’t tell your employer that because you are only a part-time student and taking one class that your work schedule will remain unchanged only to then ask for every Friday off and a half-day on Mondays.

    Another example, if you have a class across town scheduled on Tuesdays at 1:00 you should talk with your family to see if you can arrange to have someone else pick up your child off of the kindergarten school bus at 12:30 on that day.

    Use to-do lists, reminders, and other memory supporting devices.

    I already talked about the importance of making a schedule but don't forget about using to-do lists and reminders so that you won't miss deadlines and other important commitments in the various spheres of your life. I use my phone and electronic calendar for most things, but I still like a handwritten to-do list so that I can physically check off tasks as I complete them.

    Take some time for yourself and your family/friends.

    Being in school can be extremely stressful, and we all need to mentally and physically decompress from time to time. Be sure to take some time for to relax by yourself, do a hobby or activities that you enjoy, and spend time with family and friends.

    The time you spend away from family and friends while in school can put a strain on these relationships and so it is important to have quality time with these people and remind them how much you appreciate them and their support.

    Case in point, I would not be where I am right now without all of the help I have gotten from my wife and my family. My wife has worked more hours so that I could return to school and has sacrificed a lot of time away from me so that we could see this dream accomplished. My extended family has accommodated my schedule and remained supportive in every way possible during this whole process, for which I remain grateful. I try to make sure that I tell my wife and family how thankful I'm for them often and promise to return the same support when I'm finished with school.

    I realize that not everyone will have this level of support but try to thank everyone in your life who has supported you along the way and remind them that this is only for a limited time and your achievements have been possible because of them.

    Stay mentally and physically healthy.

    The key to good mental and physical health and promoting wellness as student means ensuring adequate nutrition, sleep, and exercise. These are often the things that students will sacrifice to maintain academic success but can have detrimental consequences. Talk with your primary care provider (PCP) to make sure you are in the best shape you can be medically and seek the services of a counselor if you are experiencing any mental health problems or are struggling to cope with the stress and anxiety of balancing school, home, and work.

    Communication is key.

    Let’s face it, we are all human beings and make mistakes from time to time. We might be a day late paying a bill or earn a lower grade than we would have liked on an exam because we didn’t study hard enough, it happens. As cliché as it sounds, the key to academic success is keeping open lines of communication with your instructor, peers, and your support system outside of school (family, friends, employer, etc.).

  • Sep 26

    DALLAS, TX September 1, 2016 – A cohort of international health organizations, resuscitation leaders, and emergency medical systems that includes the American Heart Association (AHA) – the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease – today announced the establishment of the Global Resuscitation Alliance, declaring a bold goal of increasing cardiac arrest survival rates by 50 percent.

    To support these efforts in the United States, the AHA, the Seattle-based Resuscitation Academy Foundation (RAF) and Laerdal Medical announced the creation of the Resuscitation Academy Collaborative. The Collaborative will identify and disseminate best practices to combat and reverse the global public health crisis of poor outcomes from cardiac arrest.

    The AHA lends its recognized expertise as a world leader in resuscitation guidelines to both organizations. The U.S.-based Collaborative adds Laerdal’s strength in medical simulation and educational product design and, the RAF’s expertise in the practical implementation of programs within emergency medical services (EMS) systems.

    “Survival from cardiac arrest is tragically and unacceptably low,” said Mickey S. Eisenberg MD, PhD, Medical Quality Improvement, King County EMS, Seattle, WA and co-author of the paper that led to the formation of the Global Resuscitation Alliance.

    “One of the guiding principles of the Alliance is that communities can and must do better,” continued Eisenberg. “With adherence to and implementation of best practices, communities can increase survival from cardiac arrest by 50 percent.”

    Eisenberg’s own region of Seattle and surrounding King County reached an all-time high of 62 percent survival rates for bystander-witnessed cardiac arrest caused by ventricular fibrillation (VF). By comparison, the VF cardiac arrest survival rates in many other urban areas are in the single digits. Nationally, the survival rate for bystander-witnessed VF cardiac arrest is almost 40 percent.

    The two new groups emerged from the EMS2016 Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark and constitute years of international effort by health professionals to combat cardiac arrest globally.
    Cardiac arrest is a global public health problem, with an estimated one million fatalities annually in high-resource countries. In the United States, more than 350,000 people suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests annually, with just a 12 percent survival rate from all rhythms causing cardiac arrest.

    “It takes a tremendous amount of coordination to shape systems of emergency care that perform optimally,” said John J. Meiners, Chief of Mission Aligned Business at the AHA. “We’ve made good progress in the United States, and we hope to see continuous improvement in cardiac arrest survival rates as we share science and best practices around the world.”

    Cardiac arrest is a time-critical event that may be successfully countered with immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation with the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) when indicated. Each minute a patient remains in cardiac arrest without CPR means their chance of survival drops up to 10 percent.

    The groups point to the wide disparities in how cardiac arrest is treated and the lack of trained bystanders in many communities as reasons that keep survival rates under 50 percent. They point to Seattle and King County as a leading example for how professional and layperson emergency response should operate.

    The Alliance aims to educate EMS leaders about best practices and provide tools to help improve survival in their communities. To complement this global goal, the Collaborative has established four initial recommendations for communities within the United States that serve as foundational steps for the integrated systems of care approach recommended by the AHA:

    · Dispatch first responders more rapidly. Process improvements may shave more than a minute in some emergency response dispatch centers.

    · Standardize the practice of dispatcher-assisted CPR. Ensure that 911 call centers know how to telephonically identify cardiac arrest and provide CPR instructions to callers. Both Hands-Only CPR and conventional CPR can double or triple a cardiac response victim’s chance of survival.

    · Continue to improve high-quality CPR. Healthcare providers should conduct regular practice as individuals and a team to ensure high-quality CPR as outlined in the 2015 AHA Guidelines Update for CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC).

    · Create a culture of leadership. Many of the improvements needed to strengthen the Chain of Survival require commitment from the community’s leadership. The Alliance seeks to inform and inspire relevant leaders on how to adopt a continuous improvement model of thinking.

    “Every community can improve its response to cardiac arrest,” said Ann M. Doll, Executive Director of the Resuscitation Academy Foundation. “If all communities follow the foundational steps, we can more effectively manage cardiac arrest outside of the hospital.”

    Utstein Implementation Meeting | EMS216 Copenhagen

  • Sep 26

    I love the SOSPIE model of the National Wellness Institute (my go-to organization for personal and professional renewal. which uses a holistic model of living with YOU in the driver’s seat.

    As you embark on a new path after leaving nursing, how does this affect you socially? What networks and friendships will you leave behind and how will life be without them? After all, your work-mates are as much a family as your own relatives.
    What current relationships do you have outside of work that will fill in the gaps?
    What new relationships will you be cultivating to fill in the gaps?

    You might be leaving your career as you know it today, but is that really what you want? If you are like me you still want to be of service in new and interesting ways. What interests do you have that you might like to cultivate for pleasure? Or do you need to earn extra money to supplement your retirement funds – and in some cases (like me) lack of retirement funds. Many of us either did not save for retirement or just don’t have enough available to live the lifestyle we desire. In that case, investigating occupational options might be a real concern for you.

    What work would be pleasurable for you?

    How would the meaning of your life change if you were retired since your identity is wrapped up in nursing? It is your status and you hold a place of authority while you are working. But what happens when that ends? Do you lose your self worth and self esteem? Do you feel lost without a purpose for your life? Most of us feel spiritually alive when we have meaning and purpose in our life.

    How will you manifest meaning and purpose for yourself?

    Is your body beaten down from all the years of hard labor? It is never too late to bring your body back in shape for the next half of life. And the good news is you have plenty of time available to make health and fitness the priority it deserves. When I left my job and moved on, I declared that going to Jazzercise would be my top priority because now I was in charge of my schedule and there were no more excuses for not exercising. So I write it on my calendar before anything else takes away my time and after 10 years, it is working great!

    What would you be willing to do to get your body moving on a regular basis?

    You’ve been functioning at a highly cognitive level and when that challenge is over it could result again in that lost feeling and even depression. What can you engage in that keeps your brain awake and working and being challenged daily. I am still addicted to learning about health so I migrate toward documentaries, read health articles, watch health shows, listen to health webinars and write health blogs. My brain is getting healthier daily learning more as the health field expands in new and exciting areas.

    How will you keep your brain engaged as you age?

    I’ve mentioned a few emotional hits you might take once you are retired. This is an area to really pay attention to and examine for yourself. I really thought I was in control of my life and very resilient while I was working at a job so I thought all would be well – and even better – when I retired. To my surprise I experienced all of the BIG 4 issues - feeling lost, depression, loss of connection with friends, loss of self worth and self esteem. They hit me in the face and I really had the blues. So it can happen even if you think it could never happen to you. Since I believe in preventing problems before they arise, here are questions for you to address before you enter your next phase of your great life.

    What does my role as nurse mean to me and how will I manage myself without having that role?

    What steps do I need to take to prepare for a smooth transition out of nursing?

    What does the next half of my life look like and how will it make me feel? (Very good I hope!)

    What successful first steps have you taken toward retirement and how did it work out for you?

  • Sep 26

    “Please pray with me,” my patient pleaded as I gathered up my bag and prepared to leave our admission visit. The social worker and the patient’s caregiver had already stepped outside and were talking on the porch landing. I looked at my patient whose eyes betrayed fear over what was to come after being diagnosed with an inoperable and widely metastatic cancer just a few days before. Still relatively young in his late 50’s, he could see and feel that he did not have long to live.

    I put my things down and sat beside his bed in the chair I had occupied for the previous two hours while the hospice social worker and I went through the admission process with him. He offered his hand and I held it, praying a simple prayer for comfort and peace.

    As professionals, we are called to provide care for the body, the mind and the spirit. It is not often that we are asked to do something as overt as praying with a patient—but it does happen. How we feel about this can vary widely depending on our own faith walk and what we think about sharing that with others.

    Admittedly, in this particular situation, we had two hours of talking, listening, getting to know this gentleman; we knew where he was coming from. There were religious symbols in the house and he verbally confirmed his particular faith during our assessment.

    Hospice may be singular in the nursing realm in that spiritual care is an expectation, an active part of what we do. But in all fields—everything from office nursing to ICU to surgery—we meet our patients in times of crisis and fear. Spiritual comfort, when requested, can be a very helpful part of excellent nursing care. In practical terms, however, the very thought of praying with someone may send shivers of unease and discomfort down the staunchest nurse’s spine. What if they are Christian and we are not? Or Muslim, or Jewish or Hindu, or Buddhist, or Agnostic? How does all that work and how do we help without hurting?

    There are no easy answers to this question but let’s explore together some ways we can prepare to offer spiritual care if requested.

    Listen first.

    People will very often answer frankly and let you know what would be helpful. Ask a question, “How would you like me to pray?” or “What do you want me to pray for?”Sometimes just holding their hand and having a moment of silence can bridge the space between us and our patients, helping them to know that we are on their side and will help however we can.

    Plan ahead for how to respond.

    If you are uncomfortable with any type of faith discussion, it is important to still allow the patient to feel validated. If you are unable to pray or provide the comfort they seek, have a Plan B ready. Tell them, “I know that this is a difficult time. Let me call the chaplain to talk with you about this. Thank you for sharing with me.” Thanking them for sharing helps them not feel embarrassed for asking and lets them know it’s ok. In planning ahead, we might also consider using some more universal prayers, things like “The Serenity Prayer” or a beautiful poem that speaks to us or the 23rd Psalm if the patient is Jewish or Christian.

    Be respectful.

    While providing nursing care, part of our professional duty is to give spiritual care—according to the patient’s needs and beliefs, not our own. So this would not be the time to proselytize but instead, to respond according to the faith journey that the patient has expressed, letting them guide the conversation. If we believe firmly in our particular faith (and to be a good practitioners of our faith then we surely must!), it can be hard to simply accompany the faith journey without interjecting our own beliefs, but this is one of the ways we show care and compassion in providing spiritual care. We can remain true to ourselves and at the same time be true to our charge as excellent professionals who seek to offer healing to the whole patient: mind, body, and spirit.

    Use the gift of presence and touch as part of the whole approach.

    We have all known the patient who “lays on the call bell” or calls the office every day or has 101 complaints when they talk with us. While frustration can be our knee-jerk reaction, our professionalism calls us to look deeper, to move beyond the surface complaints and to listen with the ears of the spirit, asking ourselves, “So what is really going on here? Is there something I’m missing?” Loneliness, fear, pain are all aggravated by and expressed in illness. As nurses, we cannot underestimate the power of the gentle touch on the shoulder, the eye contact, the active listening that says, “I truly hear what you are saying,” or the simple, “I’m sorry you are going through this.”

    After our prayer, I reviewed our plan for a return visit and reminded my patient of our plan of care and asked him to call with any questions or concerns, hoping in this way to give him tools to manage his anxiety. Then I told him, “We will walk this journey with you.” Those words seemed to help and I saw his shoulders relax against the pillow, the tension easing for the moment.

    You may have experiences with being asked to provide spiritual care. How did you feel about it? What did you do? Do you have any tips that might help other nurses in the same position?

  • Sep 26

    Okay, so I am playing a bit of catch-up today as far as writing goes, but first things first – I am officially a registered RN! Wait, Holly, you went to nursing school? You aren’t going to pursue that as a career. Yes, I know, it is a bit random, but I did, in fact, graduate with a bachelor's degree in nursing.

    So anyway, this is going to be a post dedicated to my undergraduate degree, which happens to be nursing. Although I am not pursuing a career in nursing (at least for now), I still worked very hard and am proud to say that I recently passed the boards (NCLEX). If you are curious as to how I ended up getting my degree, you should read this piece that I wrote around graduation time when I was getting questioned a lot about my degree choice.

    I guess I’ll just go into how I studied and what I did for that godforsaken month leading up to the exam!

    For about a month I dedicated myself to studying just for the NCLEX and studied multiple hours a day. During that period, I scoured the internet looking for study guides, calendars, tips and tricks and what average scores were on different question banks and practice tests for people who had passed. Although there are so many bits and pieces of advice and information out there, I felt like there were very few “quick guides” or even study schedules to help me (I like organization and planning things out if you couldn’t tell.) Because I couldn’t find one place with all this information I told myself that once I had passed, I would make a blog post solely dedicated to the NCLEX to help people who wanted or needed more guidance like I did.

    First of all, I didn’t start seriously studying until a month before my test date, which was four months after I graduated. Some people say that you should take the exam right after graduation, others say that you should study for multiple months. Either way, I chose to do this for various reasons but mostly because I was burnt out and also had summer trips at the beginning of summer that I wanted to relax and have fun.

    The first thing I did was content review. I am someone who needs to understand the pathophysiology and what is going on before I can start doing practice questions. The way I went through this was by systems such as cardiovascular, neuro, psych, respiratory, etc. (Note, I did include pharmacology at the end of each section for meds that was relevant to that system. If I was struggling with a concept having to do with meds, I would rewrite it at the end of the review in a section called “Pharmacology” however I felt that doing an entire section dedicated to pharmacology would be a bit much.) I would do one or two systems a day and used a combination of different online, print and podcast reviews. I learned later that some of my initial outlines didn’t include everything that I needed so as I learned new information I added to them. Having basic knowledge that I could add on to was very helpful. For some people, you won’t need to take 100+ pages worth of notes, but I know that writing notes is necessary for me to really absorb the information. Additionally, organizing the notes in a way that makes sense to me was important to help the information stick!

    I had also purchased the Kaplan 2016 Nursing Guidebook with two practice tests. I got the kindle version so I could read it on my computer. I read the first half of the book which goes over information on the test and outlines how the NCLEX is organized. It isn’t laid out by systems like the exams I saw in nursing school, but rather was put into different categories like “safety and infection control” and “management of care.” Learning the differences between nursing school exams and the NCLEX helped me transfer the content review that I had just finished and turn it into something that was useful for the NCLEX. This book went through each category of the NCLEX while explaining different strategies to answer questions using a decision tree. At first, I didn’t pay close attention to the strategies, but later on, when I started doing practice questions, I realized that when I was stuck that I could use the decision tree to tackle the question in a way I usually wouldn’t try.

    Next, after going through the first half of the Kaplan book I started doing practice questions by system. I would try to do anywhere between 300-500 questions per day, which I know seems excessive but it was really helpful for me. Even though sometimes I didn’t want to, I had to make sure to go through all the rationales for each question – even the ones I got correct!

    I didn’t complete all of the 3500+ questions, but after I had been through a few different practice quizzes for each section and was scoring decently (around 60-65% on average), I decided to move onto the Kaplan Q Bank. You can buy a month up to a year subscription of NCLEX style review questions on their website, and I believe that these were significantly harder than any other practice test I had taken. The site is designed to look like the NCLEX exam which is helpful to get you prepared for what you’ll see at the testing center. I didn’t get through all of these questions either but tried to finish a little over half of them before it was time for me to take the exam.

    With about a week left of study time, I created a Quick Facts Study Guide that had lab values and other quick information that was necessary to know for the exam. To create it, I used notes from various last minute notes for the NCLEX that I found online so, in essence, it is a combination of what a lot of people thought were critical to know for the exam. Each night I would review this guide and jot down other things that I thought was important to remember based on the practice questions that I had seen that day.

    A few days before my exam took the two full-length practice tests that came with the book that I purchased (one online and one in the book). This helped me realize how much stamina I would need if I theoretically were to need all 265 questions.

    I know that on the day before and the day of the test people say not to study at all but of course, I did. If you know you don’t do will with this, don’t do it! I read everywhere online not to study the day before or the day of, but I know that is not how I function. Whether or not last minute facts stuck with me they did help ease my mind that I was actively still trying to learn more. The entire exam took me about an hour and thirty minutes and the computer shut off after 75 questions. This was very nice because even though it had only been an hour and a half I really couldn’t image staying there for six hours! So all in all, I passed, and I hope some of my study guides and experiences can help others do the same!

    Other notes:

    I made and attached a calendar of how I broke down my studying the month before my exam. I tried to have “light days” on the weekend, but I did not skip a day.
    (pdf version of calendar here: nclex-calendar)

    A note about Q-bank questions: These were the hardest questions by far. I read online that above 65% of these was indicative of passing. On average I was getting between 49-59%, so I felt nervous. A few scores were higher but not typically. Although I only got through a little over half of the Q bank, I tried to do as many as I could each day, anywhere between 150 and 300. Typically I would do the max number each time in addition to selecting “all” for the questions to simulate what a real exam would look like. Sometimes, when I would go over one practice test and identify an area in which I wasn’t doing well, I would do about 20 questions of just that section.

  • Sep 26

    Good morning , I made a post earlier ( passed Nclex with 265 and 44.9% on uworld ) but didn't really get into the "nitty gritty" on wait I used to study.

    About Me:

    Graduated about 2 years prior ,never took the Nclex out of fear and also I had a great paying job. God somehow knows what is meant to happen in order for you to grow to your fullest potential. I lost that job (thank you God ) and that's when it hit me, I need to study for this test.

    What I Used:

    I read Saunders front to back and made notes from each chapter (3-4 chapters a day), when I finished the fundamentals (that **** was long LOL) section I purchased Uworld. Did all the question on the fundamentals section and then I would read maternity then do questions on Uworld and Saunders, etc. I did that for all sections in Saunders. Half way through I purchased Prioritization, Delegation, and Assessment by lacharity. I caught up with the sections I did in uworld and Saunders so that I was not behind ...

    My Scores:


    When I finished uworld, Saunders, and PDA I went over Hurst review and Mark Klimek (this was 3 weeks before my test ) finished Hurst and Mark in a week . Then started reviewing pharm 2 weeks prior with Uworld and remar review top 100 drugs (I'm weak in pharm so I thought I'd review that 1 week before so that I remember it ) I don't suggest that but that's what I did because it works for me . Did that in a week (2 weeks before test ) then 1 week before I went over the 30 page review thing (mostly the first page), Mark Klimek,and wrong answers in fundamentals, leadership and management, pharmacology on Uworld .

    Day Before:

    Studied From 5am-5pm ( I had to because that's just me . Went to spin class, watched the Bernie Mac show on NCLEX, then went to bed @ 10, woke up @ 6 because my test was @ 8 an hour from my house.

    3 hours and 20 min I finished the NCLEX with 265. Took 1 break @75 to pray and give me peace and calmness.

    When I finished I walked out crying because I thought I failed but my mom told me she knows I passed (my mom is always right ) LOL and sure enough I did. I did the Pvt trick 2 hours and 17 min after and it works !

    Throughout my whole 2 & half months of studying I prayed every day (day and night ) for knowledge to stick in my head and for my anxiety to not get the best of me the day of the test. In those 2 & half months of studying I had 3 dreams that I passed, all with the same reaction! 1 month before my test I visited another church and guess what the sermon title was: "Relax it's just a test".

    Yea I know...

    Then the sabbath (Saturday) before my test we had communion and that sermon was about God giving us opportunities in life to help others.

    I thank God for everything and I believe he truly was the one behind my passing on this test ! This was his doing and he knows he wants me to become a nurse ! I thank him for everything .

    In their hearts humans plan their course,but the lord establishes their steps -Proverbs 16:9

  • Sep 26

    Nurses are rock stars at keeping people safe. But what happens when they go home to their normal lives? As these stories will show you, a nurse is more than just a nurse. And you don’t stop being a nurse when you take your scrubs off.

    Read on to hear nurses share about the times they’ve stepped up to the plate while off the clock. Come mayhem, catastrophe or calamity, nurses in plainclothes are all around us—and ready to act at a moment’s notice.

    Nurses save the day while…

    Driving in the car
    Anna-Marie Jenks, RN at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Michigan, was driving with her husband when they noticed a truck behaving erratically at high speeds. “When I looked into his car, his head was on the door window with hands off the steering wheel.”
    Jenks yelled for her husband to pull over. “I kind of just jumped into nursing mode and knew I needed to help him.” When the truck went off the highway (thankfully into an open field) Jenks was right behind it.

    “Two other people broke his window and pulled him out, laying him on a blanket.” Jenks assessed him. “I could not feel a pulse, and he was not breathing. I started compressions.”

    For a tense round and a half of compressions, there was no change. But suddenly, he started breathing and Jenks felt his pulse return. “I held onto his wrist until the EMTs got there, so that I could feel his pulse and make sure he would be ok.”

    She thought she would never know the outcome, but the man survived and surprised her at work with his family. “They were so thankful,” Jenks recalls. “He has a beautiful family, and I know that we will be close forever because of this.”

    After the moment of action, Jenks felt worried and emotional. “But in that moment, my body knew what to do, and it took over. I never asked myself if I should stop for him. I knew in my bones that I needed to.”

    Attending a counseling meeting
    RN Michelle Katz was sitting in a marriage counselor’s office when her healthy, 40-year-old husband seemed to fall asleep. “He was suddenly making this awful moaning sound when he breathed,” Katz recalls. “I grabbed his hand and it was like ice.”

    Katz knew something was wrong. She called his name and felt for a pulse, but he was unmoving. “You could tell blood wasn’t flowing to his face,” she says. “It was cardiac arrest.”

    Katz maneuvered him onto the floor and told the counselor to call 911. When the counselor did not know what to say, Katz narrated his symptoms while starting chest compressions. “I kept thinking ‘what do I do?’ but the whole time, my body was acting on training and instinct. It’s a weird feeling.”

    Katz spent 16 minutes pouring every ounce of energy into keeping him alive before the paramedics showed up. When they loaded her husband into the ambulance, she started walking the blocks down to the hospital. “I was so zoned,” she remembers. Katz gave the staff her husband’s details, his medical history and a summary of the situation before he even arrived in the ambulance. “I just went into auto-pilot,” she explains. “They were prepared for him when he came in.”

    “When you’re in a non-healthcare setting as a nurse, just in your normal life, it’s totally different. You don’t expect things like this to happen. You’ll be in shock,” she warns. Doctors treating her husband were amazed at Katz’s response decisions. “In the end, I’d done exactly the right things,” Katz says. “Some of them without knowing why I did them. It was just instinct.”

    Flying on an airplane
    Nicole Lerouge, nurse at King's County Hospital in New York City, was on a flight when she heard a loudspeaker call for nurses. Her daughter turned to her saying, “Mom, they’re calling you.”

    When Lerouge made her way to the scene, she saw a woman lying in the cramped floor space with flight attendants trying to keep other passengers in their seats. Lerouge and another nurse teamed up. “She was so pale and clammy,” Lerouge recalls. “No movement, unresponsive and she wasn’t breathing.”

    Lerouge asked the attendants for oxygen. “I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the oxygen they have on a plane, but they are like toys compared to what we use,” she says, adding that she asked for several other emergency items, even jelly (suspecting hypoglycemia), but the crew did not have it.

    “You’re not in a hospital and you don’t have what you know you need,” she explains. “You’re wedged into this tiny space trying to work.” The attendants had a doctor on the phone who advised the nurses to administer fluid. But the patient’s jaw was clenched shut, making this a difficult task.

    Improvising in what she now suspected was a seizure, Lerouge asked for sugar packets and orange juice, mixing them together and coating it around the patient’s gums. After a second administration of the sugary paste, the woman’s jaw loosened.

    “We made sure she could swallow. Then I tried giving her fluid, a little at a time, with oxygen in between.” At this point, the patient was still disoriented and in danger when the pilot asked Lerouge to make a judgment call.

    “He asked me if we should make an emergency landing,” Lerouge says. “I could hardly think I was so focused on the lady.” When Lerouge learned that the regular landing wasn’t very far off, she said she thought the woman might be stabilizing.

    After more care, the woman opened her eyes and thanked Lerouge. “You have no idea how relieved I was to hear her talk,” she says. After the event, she received a letter from the airline, thanking her for her help and offering her gift miles. “I really don’t want to take the credit,” she says. “The crew and the other nurse were on point. It takes a team to save someone’s life.”

    Sitting down for dinner
    Kayc Campbell was in nursing school and working as an EMT when she was sitting down for dinner on a seemingly normal night. Then she remembered she’d left her bag outside. “I stepped out the front door, looked down the street and saw a pizza driver flying down the road, running into what I thought must be a garbage can,” she remembers.

    Campbell watched the driver get out, look under his car, then back up over whatever he had hit. The horrified looks on the face of the witnesses told her she needed to go help, so she ran to the car. “I took a deep breath and rounded the car to see a small child wearing red pants with an open compound fracture of his left leg.”

    “The child’s face was bleeding from the pavement. I snapped into EMT mode and told everyone to get back,” she says. “I came up behind his head and slipped my hands gently around his neck.” Campbell immediately knew there was brain trauma, but she felt breath and a pulse.

    “I looked him over and saw that he had lost a shoe. A shoe like one I had bought two days ago for my son for his first day of school,” she recalls. “My blood ran cold.”

    Campbell froze in shock, realizing the boy was her own 5-year-old son. But a moment later, she snapped back. “I told myself … don’t be his mom; he needs you to be his EMT. You can't lose it, he needs you!” When the ambulance arrived, Campbell started with her credentials first, before telling the EMTs she was his mother. “I wanted them to talk to me like an EMT and not as the mom.”

    From the hospital they had to call a helicopter to transfer her son, a life flight only licensed personnel could take. “But I was licensed, and I was going,” Campbell insisted. She assisted the EMTs with the defibrillator on the ride. “He flat lined for what felt like an eternity, but he began to stabilize.” Their arrival at the new facility was the beginning of a long rehabilitation process.

    “The nurses became my family,” Campbell says. “They carried me through what was the most horrific thing a parent/nurse could see.” Campbell quit nursing school for a few years to work with specialists for her son adjusting to a new life with brain damage. But as soon as she could, she went back and became an RN. “I had several overly-emotional job interviews at the question ‘why nursing?’” she explains.

    Now, Campbell works as a pediatric RN at Rady's Children's Hospital in San Diego. “My motivation is to pay forward the care that we received. To someday be the nurse that slips into the room of that mom who has just seen her life pass before her and say, ‘when I see your heartbreak, know that I feel it too.’”
    To the heroes among us…

    Nurses are hardwired to help people. During every shift – and every moment in between. Their wisdom and training has equipped them to shift into nursing mode no matter what the situation, making them an asset to all those around them.

    Do you have a story of your own to add to this impressive list? Have you also jumped into action outside of your scrubs? Have you seen nurses come through for a stranger in a crisis? Share in the comments below! Help us say thank you to nurses – the heroes hidden in plain sight.