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nurse_van2014 2,860 Views

Joined: Dec 11, '12; Posts: 51 (8% Liked) ; Likes: 8

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  • Dec 13 '13

    What a day! I know my AN nurses & students will understand.

    When I arrived on the floor for my last patient care clinical day at the hospital, I was asked by my prof if I would do my first post-mortem care.

    I kept a professional demeanor throughout, but after it was all over, it really hit me hard. My patient was only a few years older than me, so it really hit home.

    My instructor had me accompany my patient to the morgue. It's surreal waking through the hospital with the morgue cart. It was very discreet and respectful. The average person in the hall would have never suspected. It's just left me thinking about mortality and the importance of saying "I love you" to your family.

  • Oct 5 '13

    and to remember whether CN's are sensory (S), motor (M) or both (B):
    She Says:" Marry Money", But My Brother Says: " Bad Business Marry Money".

  • Oct 2 '13

    this is wonderful & will be very helpful since i am about to start my nursing journey

  • Oct 2 '13

    Studying And Managing Coursework

    It's your first day of class. Your excited, scared, and eager. All the hard work in your pre-requisites has finally paid off, and you are officially a nursing student. Your professor walks in, greets the classroom, and dives right into the syllabus. One look at the syllabus and the anxiety starts to kick in. It is several pages long. "Geez, this might be the biggest syllabus I've ever had!" You turn the page and there is the reading list--- you think to yourself, "you have got to be kidding me...there is just no way one person can study this much material!"

    Get used to this feeling. Not only will it start in your very first nursing fundamentals course, but it will continue all the way up until graduation. Nursing school is no joke -- it is very overwhelming. It may seem impossible, but with the right study habits and time management skills, you can and will succeed.

    The following are the most valuable pearls of wisdom I can give you in terms of studying and achieving good grades in your courses.

    What to Study

    Only study what is covered in class--this will cut down your workload significantly and make your time spent studying that much more meaningful.

    You must be thinking to yourself "you mean I don't have to read all 1 million chapters assigned by the professor for week 1?!" THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I'M SAYING!

    Although you "should" read everything, it's just not feasible. There are not enough hours in the week to do all that reading and simultaneously prep for clinical, eat, sleep, and maintain your health and sanity. Take it from me. During my first fundamentals course, I read and studied every single page, box, etc assigned in the syllabus. I was too scared to skip anything. I was so anxious that I even started studying 3 weeks before the class actually started, which accumulated into over 5 weeks of studying by the time the first exam was even given.

    It took a serious toll on my health, yet I continued to read and study every page, box etc for the remainder of the course. By the time the first semester ended, I was mentally and physically exhausted and I told myself I didn't want to do this anymore. I vented to a friend of mine who was a senior nursing student getting ready to graduate, and she told me to only study what was covered in class. I thought to myself, " there's no way," but I had to try something or else I was going to end up withdrawing myself from the nursing program. So I took her advice with me into my next course. The assigned readings/ chapters list was comparable, if not larger, than the list for my fundamentals course. Even though deep down I wanted to read all of it to be on the safe side, I only read what was covered in class. I got a 96 on the first exam.

    For example, let's say on the syllabus your teacher assigned chapter 21, " postpartum assessment and complications " to be read and studied. However, during class, he or she only teaches certain sections of chapter 21. ONLY STUDY THOSE SECTIONS! There is a reason for this-- the professor is covering what he or she deems the most important information, which translates into the information that will be covered on the test. I used this technique all the way until my very last exam in nursing school, and not only did it prove to be correct each time, but it was probably what saved me from burning out and subsequently withdrawing from school.

    How to Study

    Study what you need to know as a nurse.

    What I mean is this: your professor won't care that you can describe why the pain felt during a heart attack is due to the buildup of lactic acid as a result of oxygen deprivation and every biological step involved in anaerobic metabolism ( and these processes are covered quite extensively in nursing textbooks). Sure, it's nice to know, but your not getting a degree in chemistry. Instead, they want to know what YOU would do if a patient presented to the ER with chest pain, important nursing actions to take during this situation, and why you take those actions. Study what you need to know as a nurse.

    In addition, applying what you study is most important and this is where the bulk of where your testing will come from. From day one your teachers will speak of critical thinking and the nursing process, and your licensing exam will focus heavily on these concepts. These principles are exactly what makes nursing so difficult and also why so many people will not make it through nursing school. At this point, you're probably asking yourself, " Well how do I know if I can critically think and apply what I have learned? " Practice applying what you know with NCLEX style questions. One of the best pieces of advice I can give you is to purchase an NCLEX practice question book early on in your academic career. Purchase a book that divides the questions up into sections, ie cardiac, oncology, etc. so that you can use them to study when you are covering different topics in school.

    Time management is also essential to success in nursing school yet very difficult to get a grasp of early on. To effectively manage your time, there are several steps to take. First off, get a calendar. On the very first day of class, mark each and every quiz and exam on the calendar. Next, and probably most important, study every day. By no means do I mean 4-5 hours a day. Not only is that foolish but you will burn out fast. Study 2 hours a day, and as far in advance as you can. Not only will you be adequately prepared, but the information will stay in your long-term memory-- there's no such thing as cramming in nursing school the night before, you've gotta know this stuff forever. For example, let's say your test is in two weeks. Start studying the very first day the teacher presents the information.

    Take notes in class, and clarify any missing portions with your textbook. Learn this information, then start practicing the information with corresponding NCLEX questions. At first, you will probably get a decent amount of the questions wrong. BUT THAT'S OK! This is how you learn, and when you go back to do more questions you will start to notice that there is only so many ways they can ask you about a given topic or scenario. Also, do every question you can get your hands on. I used to go to Barnes and noble, pay for a coffee, and take all of the NCLEX books out of their nursing section and do them until I got sick of them. If you practice questions and study your notes like I said for 2 hours a day up until the exam, you will be an expert by the time you have to test and I guarantee you will pass, probably with flying colors.

    "What do I do when I'm crunched for time and can't take notes from my textbook?"
    Purchase Med/surg nursing reviews and rationales by Mary Ann Hogan. Essentially this book is a cliff notes version of your bulky med/surg textbook. It has notes on the most important diseases, procedures, surgeries etc divided by body system and is worth its weight in gold. There were several times where I replaced my med/surg text with this book and used it along with NCLEX questions for practice to learn the info.

    For example, let's say you are covering cardiac tamponade in class, but don't have time to take notes on it from your med/surg text. Open up reviews and rationales by Mary Ann Hogan, turn to the cardiac section, and you will find an excellent breakdown of the disease in bullet-point format which includes a definition, signs and symptoms, and associated nursing interventions. Study this breakdown, and then practice NCLEX questions on it. Repeat this process over and over for all disorders/diseases/procedures you are learning about it and you will shine when it comes to testing time.

    Well, that about covers it. I really hope this will help nursing students to excel in the classroom and do well on exams. If you're wondering how I did, I graduated with a 3.9 cumulative GPA and passed the NCLEX in 75 questions. Best of luck everyone.

    Test Taking Strategies for Nursing Students (added by staff to further help our readers)

  • Oct 2 '13

    Hi everyone! Great news I passed NCLEX on my first try as of this morning. Pearson Vue Trick approved! Then the FDOH site at 12pm today confirmed. WOOT WOOT!

    I'm an EMT, gone LPN, and now and finally an RN! I knew healthcare was my calling and I loved the excitement of each license, but i needed something more. I attended Miami Dade College for both my LPN and the transitional program to RN (which was brutal). I will also put it out there, I suffer from major test anxiety. The cramps, the palpitations, the sweats you name it I got it. But I've learned it's all in your head. So there's hope!

    Now just so we're clear, Miami Dade College uses the ATI program. And I'll be frank, I hated it! It was so hard. I always felt stupid after a practice test or proctored exam. They considered 60% good? "I was like that's stupid, I just failed." In the end, it was definitely worth it. (By the end of the program you should be scoring in the high 60's into the mid 70's range to pass).

    ATI is where you get the foundation to take NCLEX, it's more like an either you-know-it or you-don't-game. My recommendation, take good notes in class, go online and find some NCLEX study guides made by nursing students, those are the best! I found one on this site that I used to supplement my studies; I'm glad I did or I might not have passed. I used ATI both for LPN school and RN and it's made a difference. (Use the books too! the CD's are not too useful)

    The next thing I did, was the second I knew I was going to pass RN school, as in I passed my final exam I began the application process to take the exam. Get on that early! It takes an entire month (more or less) for the entire process.

    1. Pearson Vue
    2. NCSBN
    3. Background check (with photo now).

    I graduated officially August 2, I applied July 20th more or less. I didn't get my ATT until August 23. This also depends on how long your school waits to release your information. I did zero studying when I graduated. Some of you must be like, "she's crazy". Here's why I'm not crazy! TAKE A BREAK! You did it! celebrate and leave all this nursing stuff alone for a little bit. Catch up on some TV shows, Dexter in my case, take that vacation you've been waiting for etc. You earned it! When you get back get ready to work! But remember you'll come back refreshed and ready to absorb the necessary.

    **I did not use Kaplan, or Hurst or any timed preparation program post graduation. I have passed all of my boards; remember, three of them (EMT, LPN, RN) without them. I also have never passed any of my boards as the minimum amount of questions either. So that just shows I'm not the smartest or most skilled test taker, just a savvy one. So far my method has not changed. I just panicked a little more on this one than the others. ^_^**

    Here's what I did. I set up to take my test in a approximately 4 weeks. I gave myself one week to gather my books and mentally prepare myself aka. finish my seasons of dexter without getting distracted. *note* I can get easily distracted/obsessed with either a tv show or art project very easily. You can't tear me away unless i complete it, so I have zero regrets or yearnings to go back to it. I know that I'm not the only one so don't judge. Once you've gotten it all out of your system we get down to business!

    1. I used Saunders 5th edition, flipped through the book did mostly the questions from the CD. That's probably the best thing you can do after you've gone over a subject area. QUESTIONS! QUESTIONS! QUESTIONS! Great Alt format questions resource.

    2. Did some ATI but it's really not necessary since this info should be in your brain by now most nursing schools have some programs now. Obvious stuff like this: Ex. Patient is post surgery tonsillectomy what should the nurse watch out for first? Answer: continuous swallowing (may indicated hemorrhage) Just in case you didn't know. I bring that one up because something similar showed up on my NCLEX yesterday.

    3. I searched the internet for NCLEX reviews in an audio format since I missed my ATI review. Good news, I found one! I torrented it, it's called NCLEX review Feuer. This review was done in 2010, but it's fantastic. When I was on the road or walking my dogs, I was listening to these awesome women. They really knew their stuff and taught you what you needed to know on the schematics of this test. Kaplan I believe does something similar, their methods of answering the questions with trees and other stuff, that's extra nonsense that you might not have time for. These women really go deep into the reasons why NCLEX asks you these questions and what they're looking for. Plus they give you awesome tips on how to answer the questions if your stuck. And trust me if your doing well you will get stuck on a few. The review covers: maternity, peds, medsurg, and psych. Fundamentals is thrown in their a bit. I listened to my weakest subjects first then the stronger ones, supplementing with questions on the audio and in my Saunders CD.

    When I got into my last week I finished the audio and started doing questions. Saunders CD, someone lent me a NCLEX 4000 disc and I started munching on those. Then I searched the internet some more for free nclex style questions, I tried every style and source available to me. I did some Kaplan questions, NCSBN questions, trial questions on quizzlet. I wanted to make sure that I had seen as many different kinds of questions by the time I faced the real deal. On my last study night (friday for me, and saturday was my day off) I did 50 ATI Comprehensive questions and called it quits. On saturday I read through my nursing student cheat sheets to remind myself of the fundamentals and the little sayings "Cold and clammy need some candy", (don't forget your labs). Then spent the rest of the day relaxing. (yeah right I was panicking, I went to a bridal show instead.) It worked, it kept my mind off my impending test.

    So To Summarize

    Prep time 4 weeks
    Study time 3 weeks
    Study periods every day Monday thru Sunday 1-3 hrs of reading/questions
    AM 50 questions PM 50 questions total 100 per day
    *remember study weaknesses to strength*
    5% ATI 75% Saunders 20% online questions and student nurse cheat sheet***

    Give yourself a day off then choose the time your most awake or better at testing. I'm a PM kinda girl, so I went with the 1PM appointment, I chose Monday so I would have an equal amount of weeks to study and count off on my calendar. Also I could get my results sooner.

    Important Tips

    1. Choose the least invasive intervention first remember ADPIE (Assess Diagnose Plan Intervention Evaluate)

    2. Also narrow your answers down to two if you can. Then dissect them closely before choosing your final answer. When you get to this point. Reread the question and look at what it's asking for. I saw some NCLEX answers that looked straight from the book "the-always-safe-types" NCLEX knows that you know they're safe and unfortunately that's not what they're asking. This is done on purpose to confuse you.

    3. Use your ABC's and Maslow. If your airway is compromised in anyway then it's probably going to be that answer.

    4. When priority questions appear don't expect the "LPN can't give blood so you should stop her!" you'll get something that will force you to think about each situation. Choose the one that will become critical unless you do something right now.

    5. Alt. Format questions means your doing well, study those ---> Saunders. (i got about 22 of them, my friend got 30)

    6. If you get a question that you have no idea about read it carefully. Reread it. Then try to see if you can get any idea what it's asking for. If you can't look at the options and select the one that meets the safety criteria. Remember, NCLEX wants safe nurses.

    7. If you hit 75 and it keeps going. Take a break, you'll be panicking by then. (I went to the bathroom freshened up then ran up and down the hallway doing jumping jacks to get pumped up again. Drank some water, and had my snack (take one of those Nature Valley bar, protien in case you have to take the whole test) Take a breath and finish up that sucker!

    8. I know this sounds cheesey and i've read it on all of the threads but...
    BE CONFIDENT! BE BOLD!!! I blanked out on question 1!! Which was a math question. (I for the life of me hate math!) Just calm down work it through and move on to the other 74 or 274 no big deal. If you get past 75 that just means the computer is having a hard time gauging your progress. So this means you've got a better opportunity to pass! Yes! Take it as a good omen!!!

    I took my NCLEX on a Monday, I started at 12:45pm. I finished around 3:50PM
    I had 128 questions total
    I had 22 Select All that Apply
    2 images
    3 calculation
    3 Exhibit
    0 audio
    0 hot spot
    Rest were multiple choice

    At least 6 questions were about meds
    A good portion were nurses' conference and safety questions
    A good portion were Priority
    A number of maternity
    a few peds
    5 at the most psych
    A good portion was medsurg

    My honest opinion: The test didn't feel hard at all. It felt like a cheap scam (especially the meds I had never heard of in my life!) Study the fundamentals, the ABC's, the SAFTEY and you'll be fine.

    Get a good night's rest and kickbutt!!!

    Post Test: You will feel depressed, stupid, worthless and many other things. Drive yourself home go online and do the Pvue trick and get going with your life. It's one of the many tests of our lives, tomorrow is full of new possibilities whether you pass or fail.

    Best of luck my fellow peers.

    *I hope this helps who ever needs some other study alternatives.



  • Aug 30 '13

    meant took test Tues. afternoon, name on BON y'day p.m. pending and with license ## today :-)

  • Aug 18 '13

    I'm patiently awaiting on my award letter. I receive it in the name of JESUS! Many are called but only a few are chosen and I know, I will be A CHOSEN ONE! Congrats to all that have been blessed already!!! Good Luck to everyone else. What's ment to be will be! With or without the scholarship, the future awaits all of us future NURSES!

  • Aug 18 '13

    Mine says under review but I have no worries. To all, I advise you not to worry because that will only bring you more stress. Worrying will not add a single benefit to your current situation. So just relax and let GOD do what he does best and keep the faith!

  • Jul 31 '13

    Charity Hospital of New Orleans was the best!

  • Jul 20 '13

    I'm sure you've already chosen one of the schools to attend and know they are both great schools, but as a recent grad of Charity, the reason if I did it all over again I would still choose Charity is b/c although you only earn an ADN it is a 2 yr program. Since you would already have an ADN you can work as a nurse and still do the RN to BSN program at LSU which is what I'm doing. It only requires one Saturday attendance a month at the actual school. Another reason for choosing Charity is b/c of the reputation Charity RN's have and the experiences we get in clinical. You start clinicals after about only a month of skill labs and it's b/c the best experience comes from a hospital. I think LSU is a great school as well, which is why I chose it over others for the RN to BSN.

  • Jul 13 '13

    I feel your pain. I was a SAHM for 12 yrs before I started working full time as an RN. Two yrs prior were spent in nursing school, but I was still present for all the "big things." My kids are all in school, but I still have some guilt about not being there for everything. What makes me feel better is knowing that what I am doing is worthwhile and I am making some sort of positive contribution. Also, I really like getting an identity other than "Mom." Try to look at the upside to your situation: experience, money, adult relationships. You need acute care experience before you do prn safely so maybe give yourself a timeline to make it less permanent in your mind.

    And when your home with your kid, love the snot right outta her! Good luck to you!

  • Jul 12 '13

    Everyone, listen up!

    Listen to yourselves-- "freaked out"-- "terrified" -- "super anxious" -- "incredibly scared" !!

    Some advice. You will learn in school that you never tell a patient not to be scared (or in any way deny his/her feelings) because, well, all people are entitled to their feelings. So I won't tell you not to feel the way you do.

    I WILL tell you that there's nothing ahead of you that hasn't been done by many thousands of people before you. I will tell you that despite what you think, nursing faculty really are interested in seeing that you learn to be a nurse, and learn it well. They will help you if you ask...but you have to ask, it's part of being a grown-up professional, and you'll learn that in school too even if it's not in the formal syllabus.

    I will also say that a little anxiety is a good thing. It makes your eyes focus more clearly, it jolts your liver to dump a lot of good sugars into your bloodstream to feed your brain and muscles a little extra...all useful and functional responses to stress. However, being panicky is not functional.

    You are in charge of your brain. You can tell it to shut the heck up when it starts getting you revved up. Tell yourself you are ready for this challenge, lots of people have done it before you, and by god, you're good looking and people like you. BANISH those words at the top of the page. Never let them leave your lips or your fingertips again. You can train your brain to be better at this, and that's how you start. It will feel better and work better for you.

    Have fun!

  • Jul 10 '13

    After waiting all weekend long (longest eeekend of my life) I just found out I passed. God is good!!

  • Jul 10 '13

    If you are on your feets for 12 hour shifts and have issues, SEE A GOOD PODIATRIST! When I worked 5 days a week in an INSANE urgent care I could not find shoes that worked for me. Sore feet every day until I went to a podiatrist....she did balance & walking tests and measured every inch of my feet and identified pressure points. A good foot doctor will be able to figure out what your needs are. Everyone is different, but a pro can accurately assess where the problem spots are and what's best. Seriously, I preach the podiatry gospel to every nurse I know!!!!!

    She had some custom orthotic insoles cut for me that protected my small toes and had a thicker area near heel for impact absorption. She told me flexibility and air circulation were crucial for me as I have flat, wide, bony caveman feet. (Other people need rigid, protective support, others might need pressure reduction on top of foot, etc - podiatrist can determine this for you). I picked the Reebok RealFlex, slid in my orthotic insole and a thin Odor Eaters insole over that and PRESTO - it's what SAVED my feet. I went back for follow ups and my feet were much better and she approved of the Reeboks. I bought a bunch in lots of colors.

    Now I work in an office environment in care management. I still have to walk a lot, a long trek through hallways & stairwells from my office to the clinic, but have to wear business clothes. Here's the thing: DANSKO HAS MORE STYLES THAN JUST THOSE HEAVY UGLY CLOGS!!!!! Find a store that sells their ENTIRE line and you'll be pleasantly surprised. They have some FEATHER weight, cute leather Mary Janes and even low kitten heel, vintage style shoes and simple flats. They all offer different kinds of support, again - KNOW what you need! I just bought the Ainsley pump - a lightweight flexible black leather Mary Jane that has the famous thick shock absorbing sole Dansko is known for. And they're FABULOUS!

    See a podiatrist and practice the prevention we are always trying to push on our patients!!!!!

  • Jul 9 '13

    My ImmuniTrax account is finally reflecting an approved status!!