I am in the ABSN program at WCU and have some tips for thriving and surviving. Some of them fall into the category of academic tips, some professional development tips, and others are how to take care of you. All of them are what worked for me personally so pick and choose what looks good to you!
1) Resist the urge to come straight home from a full day of classes or clinical and dive immediately into studying. Do whatever you do to exercise or de-stress even it its for 30min., EAT, then study your productivity and retention will be much better....and its a good habit to set for yourself- this is a marathon, not a sprint (although with the ABSN its a little of both)!
2) Whoever posted the tip about focusing on nursing management and process during your studying was right on. Most of the physiology you know (at least enough to get by).
3) everybody takes notes differently, but I DO NOT recommend taking notes on power points. In my opinion it makes you lazy b/c you're saying "I don't have to write that, its already in the notes." By writing out all your notes your actively taking in the info, as opposed to passively watching the ppt. If you read before class, taking notes is reinforcement #2, listening is #3, and by the time you review you've got it!
4) Formula for success on exams: read before class, take good notes, re-read your notes, skim the boxes in the chapters, make notes while your studying for the exam of stuff that just doesn't look familiar at all and hit that again before the test. Its tedious....but you get efficient and you get good results.
5) Stay organized: I can't stress it enough
.....your time is so packed anyways, anything you can do to be more efficient with studying is going to save time. As a result you'll feel less stressed, and more confident.
1) Be on the look out for amazing and inspiring nurses, and then pick their brains. Its good to have a mentor. They have great advice, are very supportive, they know what you're going through with school, and are very helpful when it comes time to think about applying for a job. Its kind of like having a life line to what life will be like after school is over.
2) Go to nurse association meetings...they are interesting, its good networking, and its usually free when your a student.
Taking Care of You:
is a culture shock, be prepared to feel overwhelmed, keep moving forward, one day the clouds will part and you'll hit your stride. Its tough that your friends and family will never quite understand how hard it is, but you have your classmates and they are going to become like family.
When conflict arises, and it will, don't let it distract you from your ultimate goal-becoming a nurse!
I disagree that you can't have a life and go to nursing school. Youjust have to willing to plan more than you did before. Set aside times to work and times to play, and then follow through. It doesn't always work out exactly like you planned, but the intention is there and it can happen more than you think.
Stick to the basics: Good food, enough sleep, and exercise- again its a marathon, you don't want to get run down in the first 3 miles when you have 20 more to go.
Finally, it is easy to forget while your in NSG school how much work it took and how smart you must be to have made it this far, remind yourself from time, and remind each other.
hope this helps...good luck!