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Advice to the Student Nurse

Posted

Specializes in DOU, Tele, Surgery, ICU. Has 3 years experience.

Hello Nursing Students,

Welcome and congrats to being accepted into a nursing school. I know you have worked long and hard to get into one. Congrats, keep pushing, stay motivated, and you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.

1.Tests.

-Practice NCLEX questions that relate to your test topic.

- Invest in a NCLEX book your 1st semester. If you haven't, I recommend you do.

- Some good NCLEX books (Saunders, Kaplan, or Mosby's)

- It helps with the material, what interventions to do, and even gives a break down of

your big textbooks.

2. Study Groups.

- Study groups are best in a group of 5.

- If you do not understand certain material, someone from your group may explain it

better.

- If you already know the material, someone may provide information you may have

missed. You guys can quiz and discuss the material.

- 5 is a good number because it is not too large or too small. That way if someone

from the group can't come to the study session. There is always someone available.

- The group can always add on to each others knowledge base.

- Study groups are not for teaching all the material. Study groups are only efficient if

the group has studied the material and have something to bring to the group.

- It helps to divide and conquer. However, it is not for those that think others will pick

up their slack.

3. SHINE in Clinicals.

- Always be prepared. Don't ever say I do not know. Say, "I will look it up." OR

You will have been prepared and have already looked up the information.

- Always say yes and do skills. (IV, foley, NG tube insertion) Hunt for it if you have to.

- Tell all the nurses on the floor that you want to do any procedure that comes up with

their patients.

- Get to know everyone and give a PERSONAL thank you card, if you want them to

consider you for future employment after nursing school.

*** Make connections at all the hospitals you go to. Create a linkedin.com account and

ask to add them to on it. Give them a personal thank you care with your phone

number and email. It seems pushy, but new grad jobs at the hospital are hard to

get.

- Think of Clinicals as a time to shine and make connections. Your network connections

can help you get a job after you graduate.

4. DO get a part-time health care job DURING school!

- I was told the program will be rigorous and if you do not have to work, DON'T!...

.......BAD ADVICE....

- When you get out of school, it looks better that you have health care experience and

you worked during school. It shows you can manage your time and you don't have

this unemployment gap in your resume.

- It will make your resume look better than majority of the new grads.

- Job choices for nursing students: Patient care associate, CNA, LVN, student nurse

extern (UCLA has this)

- Yes, you can take the LVN NCLEX after 1 year of RN nursing school.

- If you do not want to work, volunteer at a hospital (4hrs), or join COPE Health

solutions and get into their Clinical Care extender.

6. Make time for yourself.

- Nursing school is rough, but manage your time and make time for yourself.

5. NCLEX

- Kaplan, Saunders, and LaCharity worked for me.

- Kaplan is good for questions. It is designed just like NCLEX. You will feel like you are

taking a Kaplan test when you sit for your boards.

- Saunders is good for material.

- LaCharity is good for tough questions and select all that apply.

Good luck to all of you! You will do great. Stay Motivated. Nursing school will end and you will be a Nurse.

Great tips! Here's mine: Attitude goes a long way! Always be humble, friendly, and ask others if they need help. If you are more willing to help others, they will be more willing to help you.

Do not act like a know-it-all, I have seen students fail clinicals/ new nurses fired because they act like this. Never pretend like you know something when you don't, it's not safe. Look it up or ask someone. When you do your assessments, take off the f-n blankets! Really look at your patient and don't chart it unless you have done it! I have seen some nurses charting pedal pulses on amputees or pupil checks with glass eyes.

If you are having trouble understanding a topic, google it, YouTube has great videos, etc. Set your regular alarm clock as well as cell phone alarm in case a power outage or your phone dies. It's cool to bring in cookies/ a card to say thank you but don't make it too cheesy or personal, we had a student bring us gourmet cookies with each of our names on it, nobody like a kiss ass.

Always make sure you have suction set up and ready to go. Double glove before cleaning up a soiled patient, save you from having to get a new pair if you get crap on your gloves. Don't gossip about your classmates, instructors, or nurses, you don't want to be seen as that person and don't trust others to keep quiet about it. Don't burn bridges. Nursing school is hard but it certainly can be done and will be over before you know it! Anyway, congrats and good luck!

Yellow90

Specializes in DOU, Tele, Surgery, ICU. Has 3 years experience.

I love it. Great tips as well.

1. Yes. Do your own assessment.

* You may find your assessment may be different from your nurses.

2. Do not act like a know-it-all.

* Don't say "I already know that" , just listen if they are teaching you something.

* Give out positive vibes.

3. Patient safety first.

* If you do not know how to do it. Don't pretend. The phrase I hear alot is "Fake it till you make it".

* Ask for help.

4. By bringing a PERSONAL card.

* I meant to give t to the Nursing Administrator.

Thanks 87RN, I love reading your tips. Your tips also apply to the working nurse. :)

Junebug903, LPN

Specializes in LTC, SNF, Rehab, Hospice. Has 9 years experience.

Great tips!...I haven't been in nursing school since 2006 for my LPN, but hope to be enrolled in an RN program by 2016 :) My obsession with school has started early :)

Thanks! Great tips:yes:

JBudd, MSN

Specializes in Trauma, Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

"Fake it till you make it" does NOT refer to skills (such as sterile procedure for cathing)! It means present yourself as confident to patients no matter how much you are quaking inside; and humble enough to ask questions until you have enough experiences under your belt which will then give you the confidence you are seeking.

Yellow90

Specializes in DOU, Tele, Surgery, ICU. Has 3 years experience.

"Fake it till you make it" does NOT refer to skills (such as sterile procedure for cathing)! It means present yourself as confident to patients no matter how much you are quaking inside; and humble enough to ask questions until you have enough experiences under your belt which will then give you the confidence you are seeking.

Thank you for clarifying it.

Everline

Specializes in public health, women's health, reproductive health.

I will soon go into my last semester of nursing school. I think those tips are great! I don't do study groups, though. :-)

Thanks for the tips! I was wondering if I would have time to review NCLEX questions while studying in nursing school. It seems as though it would be to my benefit, so I will definitely make time for it!

Thanks again!

I will soon go into my last semester of nursing school. I think those tips are great! I don't do study groups, though. :-)

I'm just starting nursing school in the fall and I'm not a study group kinda person either and never have been. But that's all I hear is - get in a study group!

Yellow90

Specializes in DOU, Tele, Surgery, ICU. Has 3 years experience.

Thanks for the tips! I was wondering if I would have time to review NCLEX questions while studying in nursing school. It seems as though it would be to my benefit, so I will definitely make time for it!

Thanks again!

Many NCLEX book also come with CD's. What you would be doing is using the NCLEX book as an additional study aid for the topics you are studying in nursing school.

For instance, if you have a test on the respiratory and cardiovascular system, you can find the diseases and questions in the NCLEX book that address the diseases you are learning. You might find that the teachers test questions are similar. The NCLEX books provide rationale for the answer as well.

Don't think of it like you are studying for NCLEX. Think of it as a supplemental tool during nursing school to help prep you for tests.

The NCLEX books are great too because it organizes the information of diseases for you. For instance, it will provide quick information such is *what the disease is, *assessment *s/s, etc....

If you are already studying NCLEX style questions, then it will not be as overwhelming when you actually do study for the NCLEX.

Hope this helps! Good Luck :)

Yellow90

Specializes in DOU, Tele, Surgery, ICU. Has 3 years experience.

I'm just starting nursing school in the fall and I'm not a study group kinda person either and never have been. But that's all I hear is - get in a study group!

Study groups are not a necessity, but it does help. For some tests, I did study by myself and found it more beneficial.

Study groups are good to quiz each other on and have someone else add information to a topic.

ixchel

Specializes in critical care.

If you don't mind, I'd like to add some disclaimers.

If you're not a person who functions well in study groups, you can do it without them. I promise!

I'm going to disagree about the needing to work thing. Many people go into school with families at home. Sure getting a job in healthcare is a hugely beneficial thing, but it won't necessarily hurt you not to.

I will definitely agree wholeheartedly with the shining at clinicals part. This is by far your best opportunity to network with potential employers. Make sure the nurses know your name. Introduce yourself to the charge nurses. Don't be afraid to walk up to the unit manager and shake his or her hand. Tell the manager why you like their unit, and how it is your hope to find a unit like that after you graduate. This is the highest compliment you can pay this person and you've just made yourself known to them. This is especially vital if you don't work during school. If you don't make yourself known to people before you graduate, you become another name on another resume in an endless sea of new grads.

Good luck to all the students out there!

ixchel

Specializes in critical care.

I love it. Great tips as well.

1. Yes. Do your own assessment.

* You may find your assessment may be different from your nurses.

My first semester, the very first time I ever charted something, I was on an ortho unit assessing a woman after a TKR. Her foot felt cold to me, so that's what I charted. At this point, I had no idea that cold meant potential cardiovascular issues. I had a nurse come flying at me, telling me I needed to unchart this because she did not think this patient had cold feet. I found my instructor and was terrified I'd done something horribly wrong - that my definition of "cold" was off somehow, and that if created some huge problem. My instructor walked me through the uncharting/editing process. I apologized to the nurse.

The following semester, I was on neuro and a kind MD was assisting me with charting. I asked him to help me with urine colors. I explained what had happened the previous semester, and how I wanted to say exactly what I saw but I was afraid my definition of "Amber" and "tea colored" might be off from what they should be. I didn't want anyone to look at my value and think I was saying hematuria was present, when it was simply concentrated looking. Anyway, he said to me I need to chart what *I* see, with the words *I* use, because honestly, what if I really am the first person to recognize there is a problem? What if there really is something wrong?

A student goes in with fresh eyes and fresh teaching. I'm angry my professor that first semester didn't tell me what I charted was actually what I should have charted. I understand the university needs to maintain peace with the facility, but what she did was make me second guess myself and make me feel like I needed to look at previous assessments to complete my own, which a nurse should never do. What if the student really is the first to spot a sign of declining status?

I now work on a unit that has students from a couple of different schools at all different stages of their degrees. I plan to view them as an asset looking at the patients with fresh eyes. Students - do your own assessments and don't be nervous to report what you find and ask questions if it's not what you expect.

Yellow90

Specializes in DOU, Tele, Surgery, ICU. Has 3 years experience.

If you don't mind, I'd like to add some disclaimers.

I'm going to disagree about the needing to work thing. Many people go into school with families at home. Sure getting a job in healthcare is a hugely beneficial thing, but it won't necessarily hurt you not to.

Good luck to all the students out there!

For those of you that can work during or volunteer (4hours), do so.

ADN's have it harder than BSN's getting into a hospital. I have been a nurse for less than a year with an ADN. I am enrolled in a RN-BSN program. I did not work or volunteer during school. What happened was my resume consisted of part-time retail clerk jobs.

Note: Student nurse rotations are not considered experience. However, what unit you do you preceptorship does matter. So pick a floor you love or you can gain alot skills.

Alot of hospitals are requesting that their nurses have a BSN because they are going magnet.

I have been told several dozen times by recruiters from job fairs and hospitals, get your foot in the door. BSN are mainly considered first.

Whether it be working at the hospital or volunteering, helps get your foot in the door

Real life examples:

* Friend (A) worked for *hospital* for 5 years in the nutrition dept. Graduated with an ADN. Only internal hires with an ADN can be in this hospitals versant program. Everyone external hire was a BSN.

* Friend (B) worked as a CNA at *hospital*. Got her ADN. Hired after a shortwhile.

* Friend © worked as unit secretary at the ER dept. Got her ADN. Hired after a shortwhile.

Point is, it gets your foot in the door especially if you have an ADN, where the new grad market favors BSN. Having no health care experience on your resume, does not make you look as competitive as the other new grad who does.

. I am currently a student at merit. And all I want to do is finish the program. Can anyone help.

Edited by Esme12
TOS

Yellow90

Specializes in DOU, Tele, Surgery, ICU. Has 3 years experience.

I am currently a student at merit. And all I want to do is finish the program. Can anyone help.

AllNurses is not a place to cheat in nursing school. If you need help "understanding" material, members of allnurses will help you. Call your classmates, go to your professors office if you need help, or get secondary material.

Edited by Esme12
edited quote