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mursepe mursepe (New Member)

Non-traditional ASN student...

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Hey. I'm in my mid-20's and have been working in healthcare for nearly 6 years (EMS, ER, Cardiology, teaching EKG).

I'm starting at LM/RC ASN program (Medford, MA) I'll be starting 101 (Fundamentals) this fall. I'd appreciate any and all studying tips...I'm quite a bit nervous about time management, what to study (book VS powerpoints), etc. I'm all over the place.

As someone who needs to work during school to pay bills and maintain health insurance, this adds to my anxiety. Some people I've talked to tell me to work as little as possible, yet others tell me they worked nearly full time...

Any tips are appreciated.


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Dear Mursepe,

How wonderful it is that you already have 6-year experiences in health care industry!

I see some positive features that you have with you:

1. Acute care setting experience- quick critical thinking skill

2. Care for clients with wide variety of background and age- luxury experiences

3. Teaching skills developed (every time I taught, I review and I solidify the knowledge)

4. Still working- up to date healthcare policy, technology and skills

These features add to your nursing study, because you can relate whatever you learned to the experiences you had. Thus, you can retain knowledge better.

One thing that I have witnessed is that sometimes the previous experiences also play a obstacle for learning new concepts, especially nursing fundamentals. Nursing fundamentals contains philosophy of nursing care and basic requirements for safe nursing practice. Sometimes, even though you know that is true or that is what you concerned, you, as a nurse, are not allowed legally to say it. For example, medical diagnosis! Medical diagnoses are given by the physician after assessments. We nurses can critically think of what our client is experiencing right now in front of us, and we would asked questions or direct a data gathering process. We can then advise our client to seek physician's attention, or we can contact physician for that; however, we cannot give any medical diagnosis. Message like "Ms. Brown, when you have experiencing heart attack, you ....." is not legal for us. (believe or not, this was once a NCLEX-RN question, and many nursing students who have years of experience in EMS and nursing assistant make this mistake because past experience).

Depending on how you learn better, books might be more comprehensive to you, but power point can be more quick-to-the-point. Since you are still working, I can imagine how limited time you have to fulfill the role of nursing student. May I suggest that you divide the materials into sections and fit each section into 15 minutes of study time? Begin with power point as a guide, then read related materials in textbook but limit time to only 15 minutes. Then, use your experience- your strongest ally. Always see if you can relate the principle in nursing fundamentals to your actual experience. 30 minutes before bed time is the best time for studying materials that require some memorization.

Good luck! You can absolutely do this. I have witnessed immigrant (big cultural barrier for him to accept fundamental nursing concepts) murse with 20 years of CAN experiences got his LVN license when he turned 62 years of age! So I know you can!


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I'm not a nurse, but likewise, will be embarking on a new nursing journey this spring. I'm also in my mid-twenties.

YouTube has been incredible for me, there are thousands of videos with tips on how to study, what to be prepared and look out for in nursing school, even supplies that helped with studying and time management. One nurse I follow on YT, has a child, and worked full time, so even though it seems daunting, I'm sure you'll do well. Just start practicing your time management from now.

Be prepared so you don't have to get prepared. Watch some day in the life videos, study with me vids, how I study vids. Whatever comes to your mind. Also getting familiar with this sites, there is already a ton of valuable information.

Good luck.

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I just finished my first semester of nursing school- I'm a single parent (granted, with a ton of help from my parents) and work full time. My best advice would be to GET A PLANNER! I keep my planner on me at all times, and it has really been a lifesaver for my brain and has helped a great deal with time management. The hardest part for me was the month of November- I had three separate clinical assignments that could not really be started until after each clinical (decently sized six-ish page papers), a group project to work on, two skills tests, and finals to prepare for.

I do feel like I learned a great deal in the first semester, and I think having some patient care experience will make the clinical experience less anxiety-inducing (I had zero patient care experience and holy cow I was so nervous for my first round of clinicals). As far as studying is concerned, it really depends on the person. I did not change the way I studied at all (I took notes on PowerPoints during class and would then re-write them for me to study from) and finished my first semester with two As and a B. I would ONLY use the book if there was content I needed more clarification on in order to feel like I really understood the concept. On the flip side, others who studied in a similar manner did not perform as well; the test questions become more about application and critical thinking, so it's an adjustment from just regurgitating information learned in lecture.

Good luck! You are definitely in for an adventure!

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