Accelerated BSN Student Support

  1. Please help with suggestions for students who are entering Accelerated programs. Tips on time management, study skills, stress management-- and how to survive and thrive in the ABSN environment.
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    About Dr. Shelia, RN

    Joined: Apr '09; Posts: 17; Likes: 47

    14 Comments

  3. by   suni
    I did my BSN online and it was one tough deal.
    1. DO NOT put off anything, you will live to regret it.
    2. Back everything up on a disk or flashdrive or you wil live to regret it.
    3. If you are doing this online treat it just as if you were in a ground class, budget a time and stick to it.
  4. by   carolinapooh
    Realize there is NO WAY, there is just NO WAY you're ever going to be able to read everything they want you to. Figure out the highlights, read those, and don't cut class - you'll be a week behind if you do. If you're truly sick, email your instructor right away and get help if you need it.

    And don't beat yourself up for not being able to do EVERYTHING - accept that it's impossible if you want to keep your sanity.

    And be sure to take time for YOU.
  5. by   milwerica
    I would like to know about some great study tips and if you have any books I should pick up before the program starts in two weeks. Something that I can get a jump start reviewing. Or PDA applications for my iPod touch.
    Thanks you guys!
    ERICA
  6. by   stripec30
    I'm finishing the first third of an accelerated program tomorrow So far these things have worked well for me:

    1) Know HOW to take the NCLEX-style questions... Applying different strategies to different questions is critical.
    - Know normal lab value ranges
    - Know electrolytes
    - Know how to prioritize (i.e., Maslow & ABC's)
    - Know that pain is psychosocial.

    2) Accept the fact that in an accelerated program there isn't enough time to both have a life (i.e., be a good spouse, mother, friend, etc) AND get good grades.

    2) Spend the money for a PDA (personally I prefer the iPod touch). It makes your backpack less heavy and you always have the info at your fingertips.
    - Load on a medical dictionary (I recently bit the bullet and bought the Taber's version)
    - Load on a drug guide (epocraties offers a good free version)

    3) The key that I've found to succeeding in med surg is understanding that the textbook is basically divided into three sections: anatomy, nursing responsibilities, and drugs. Focus more on the nursing responsibilities, interventions and evaluations than (re)memorizing anatomy.

    4) Use the instructors office hours... They make the exams and can point you in the right direction.

    5) Lastly, take care of yourself... Schedule a monthly spa treatment or block off some personal time for relaxation.
  7. by   milwerica
    Thank you so much for the reply. I am happy you gave me info about the PDA because I think that will be a life saver.

    Thanks a ton and good luck with the last bit you have left!!!
    ERICA
  8. by   ybq2008
    Thanks for creating this thread OP. This is really helpful
  9. by   jataylor
    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!

    Academic Stuff

    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.

    Professional Stuff:


    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:

    Nursing School 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!
  10. by   AtomicWoman
    The "enough sleep" part is what is killing me right now. I really did not anticipate the level of sheer physical exhaustion I would be feeling. It never lets up; neither does the workload. It is very hard to get enough sleep when you have the program work to do, plus family responsibilities.

    Better get back to studying for 3 tests...
  11. by   jataylor
    AtomicWoman-

    I can't speak to having to manage the workload plus family. It must be very difficult and I respect your dedication. The advice that I can offer is to try to remain calm. That sounds pretty cheesy, but its so true! As soon as I start panicking (especially coming up on finals) my efficiency goes way down. Making a plan for when you study is a good strategy, ex. I'm going to review the power point and read the boxes for the corresponding chapter and I'm going to budget 1-1.5hrs for this. Then take a break, and do something totally different for at least a half hour.

    THe truth is that you can't get through all the material. When I get to a place where I know there is no way I can actually read the all the assigned material, I default to focusing on the lecture notes (ppt) and the boxes in the books. I start looking for down and dirty info summaries. The ATI books are a good source of this type of info too.

    The good news is, the summer semester is almost over. If you can make it through summer you can make it through anything!!!
  12. by   jazz_is_my_game
    Good thread! Especially for us thinking about the accelerated program...because time management is no joke!

    Good luck to those already in a program! You guys with families (I am single w/o kids) inspire me!
  13. by   AtomicWoman
    Can someone clue me in on what the ATI books are? Are they available on Amazon? Thanks!
  14. by   Stephanie K
    Quote from jataylor
    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!

    Academic Stuff

    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.

    Professional Stuff:

    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:

    Nursing School 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!
    AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much for this!!!! I plan on printing it and carrying it around with me to remind myself every now and again!!!

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