Pointers for Success in Nursing School - page 3

The most important thing is to maintain a positive outlook. One of the definitions of courage is being aware of personal weaknesses, fears and uncertainty, yet forging ahead anyway. Believe in... Read More

  1. by   JessicaJL
    Hello Vicky! I just got accepted into an accelerated nursing program and I have been in school for about a month and a half now. I am really overwhelmed with the program because it has been awhile since I've been in school and actually really studied. It is very stressful but I try hard not to stress myself out. I always look forward on what needs to be done next. I saw your blog and it caught my eye because success in nursing school is what everyone will need. I agree with you on maintaining a positive outlook. A person needs to look and think positive to get through nursing school because it is a very stressful program. Everyday I look and think of things of why I am doing this and what will motivate me to get through the program. I really try not to get behind and if I do it really falls back on me. I always plan ahead and pretty much map my whole day in what needs to get done as far as my readings, homework, and projects. And I will try anything and everything to stay on top. Understanding the study material for me does take awhile but I always ask for help and putting it in your own words is a good idea to help you remember the material. I like to make flash cards with the most important parts for a chapter which helps me because I am more of a visual and hands-on learner. It does get hard sometimes because there is so much information to retain. I will be happy to survive my first semester but I look forward to the rest of the program. Your three key pointers where very helpful. :wink2:
  2. by   GPatty
    I just wanted to thank you for your tips. I think the one that really hit home for me was "Keep a positive outlook".
    After I was dropped from my previous program after Mom died, I just didn't feel I was meant to be a RN. Now I know better. I'm still having rough days and wondering IF I can... but truthfully... deep inside... I KNOW I can (cause I'm just like my Mom~ Never quit!)
  3. by   VickyRN
    Quote from adrinette71
    Hello Vicky,
    I just wanted to thank you for the great pointers for succeeding in nursing school. I am a nursing student and I have been lacking confidence, especially when it comes to analyzing and applying what I have read. There have been times that I feel that I can't do this because I was having trouble with time management. In your reading you express not getting behind in your readings and I will greatly take that to heart because I am what you call a procrastinator. Sometimes I will put things off to the very end and try to catch up......wrong I know..lol. In your message board I realize that one can not do that if you want success. I would love to know more on how to improve my time management skills, but I will apply what I have read from you for success by not getting behind in my reading or assignments. Keep the knowledge flowing and thanks alot!!!!
    Besides working fulltime (as a nurse educator), I am also a part-time PhD student. In order to survive, I multi-task. I take my little ACER computer with me wherever I go and work on my assignments whenever I can (if only for a few minutes at a time). Recording your nursing school lectures (if permissible) and playing them back while driving, jogging, shopping, etc., can be very helpful. The more you hear, the more you retain. Wishing you the best
  4. by   VickyRN
    Quote from JessicaJL
    Hello Vicky! I just got accepted into an accelerated nursing program and I have been in school for about a month and a half now. I am really overwhelmed with the program because it has been awhile since I’ve been in school and actually really studied. It is very stressful but I try hard not to stress myself out. I always look forward on what needs to be done next. I saw your blog and it caught my eye because success in nursing school is what everyone will need. I agree with you on maintaining a positive outlook. A person needs to look and think positive to get through nursing school because it is a very stressful program. Everyday I look and think of things of why I am doing this and what will motivate me to get through the program. I really try not to get behind and if I do it really falls back on me. I always plan ahead and pretty much map my whole day in what needs to get done as far as my readings, homework, and projects. And I will try anything and everything to stay on top. Understanding the study material for me does take awhile but I always ask for help and putting it in your own words is a good idea to help you remember the material. I like to make flash cards with the most important parts for a chapter which helps me because I am more of a visual and hands-on learner. It does get hard sometimes because there is so much information to retain. I will be happy to survive my first semester but I look forward to the rest of the program. Your three key pointers where very helpful. :wink2:
    Glad this was helpful to you The note/flash card idea is great. The more senses you use, the better you'll retain the material. Besides the visual pathway, you're accessing the kinesthetic pathway by writing the material down.

    In the actual process of creating your flash cards, you're also condensing, rephrasing, and organizing the content - this will help immensely with understanding. If, while reviewing your cards, you also repeat the material outloud, you will be accessing the auditory pathways. (I find this strategy very effective for my learning.)

    Another point - If you make your note cards right after the lecture, you'll remember the material better. Helps "move" that content from short-term to long-term memory, but must be done on the same day as the lecture for optimal benefit.

    Another advantage - you can carry your flash cards wherever you go and work in little bits of study time at intervals. This is much more effective than trying to cram in large amounts of material in one or two sessions.
  5. by   VickyRN
    Quote from calliou
    I just wanted to thank you for your tips. I think the one that really hit home for me was "Keep a positive outlook".
    After I was dropped from my previous program after Mom died, I just didn't feel I was meant to be a RN. Now I know better. I'm still having rough days and wondering IF I can... but truthfully... deep inside... I KNOW I can (cause I'm just like my Mom~ Never quit!)
    Yes, you CAN! My best to you, calliou
  6. by   tahearn
    I'm about to start my second semester of nursing school in the fall, I will have two days of lecture and one day of clinical in the hospital. I recently was hired full time in the ER as a tech because I am in desperate need of health insurance I work with five other people who work full time and also go to school however many of the Nurses and hire ups feel that it is next to impossible to be successful in nursing school while working full time is this true?
  7. by   AZ_LPN_8_26_13
    Quote from tahearn
    I'm about to start my second semester of nursing school in the fall, I will have two days of lecture and one day of clinical in the hospital. I recently was hired full time in the ER as a tech because I am in desperate need of health insurance I work with five other people who work full time and also go to school however many of the Nurses and hire ups feel that it is next to impossible to be successful in nursing school while working full time is this true?
    I sure hope not..... I will be starting nursing school soon - finished my prereqs & coreqs - but due to financial considerations I must continue to work full time. I work in a non-clinical support position at a big-city hospital, but I hope to become a CNA there while I am waiting. So it's either work full time while in school or it just doesn't happen. I believe in the old saying "where there's a will, there's a way". It hasn't been easy so far, juggling school schedules, work schedules, and home/family life. I will say that it helps to have a supportive spouse at home, which I do. My wife (who also works at the same hospital I do) helps in so many little ways... I say realistically that yes, it's going to be hard, but it's very doable. As far as education goes, you have to stay on top of things, and not let yourself fall behind. IMO your ER tech experience will be a plus. That's why I'm trying to get on as a CNA. I need hands-on experience in patient care in a hospital setting, as well as classroom. I'll be using some of the intervening time between now and start of nursing school to apply some of the suggestions that I've read here on allnurses.com, like studying up on nursing math and dosage calculations, reviewing A&P and microbiology so that it stays fresh in my memory, etc., reviewing and reading about different types of drugs and their interactions etc. Anything that will help give me a leg up on things when I'm ready to start nursing school. Hopefully by then I'll be a CNA, and yes it will be a full-time job, but I will consider it a part of my schooling also.
  8. by   DolceVita
    Do you recommend the NCLEX Comprehensive review as a tool for those just starting in NS or just for those about to complete?
  9. by   VickyRN
    Quote from DolceVita
    Do you recommend the NCLEX Comprehensive review as a tool for those just starting in NS or just for those about to complete?
    I recommend the Saunder's Comprehensive Review (broken down into subject material) throughout the nursing program (not just at the end of the program). This is one of the critical keys to success.
  10. by   VickyRN
    Quote from tahearn
    I'm about to start my second semester of nursing school in the fall, I will have two days of lecture and one day of clinical in the hospital. I recently was hired full time in the ER as a tech because I am in desperate need of health insurance I work with five other people who work full time and also go to school however many of the Nurses and hire ups feel that it is next to impossible to be successful in nursing school while working full time is this true?
    It is very difficult, but can be done. You will also need to negotiate with your clinical instructors about your work schedule on the night before your clinical. Many schools of nursing forbid working into the night right before your clinical experience, as this may cause the student to be very sleepy and prone to mistakes. Best wishes to you.
  11. by   KatyAtlanta
    VickyRN,
    Your post are so helpful. When I log in and see your name, it's the first post I click on! I have a question that is "slightly" related to this thread...do you have any suggestions for those of us who struggle with study groups/group projects? I'm an older student. I am always careful to be respectful of my fellow students. I am very private about my grades and test scores (they've been quite high, but I don't tell.)
    I get along just fine with everybody at school, but I find I study much better at home, alone. I don't doubt my ability to be a "team player" when a team is needed, but I wonder if I'm missing something important by not wanting to be part of a study group? So many posters credit their study groups with much of their success.
    Have you had students who did just as well on their own? Is it just a difference in learning styles? Or is this something I need to make myself learn to do?
    Thank you for sharing your perspectives with us!
  12. by   VickyRN
    Quote from KatyAtlanta
    VickyRN,
    Your post are so helpful. When I log in and see your name, it's the first post I click on! I have a question that is "slightly" related to this thread...do you have any suggestions for those of us who struggle with study groups/group projects? I'm an older student. I am always careful to be respectful of my fellow students. I am very private about my grades and test scores (they've been quite high, but I don't tell.)
    I get along just fine with everybody at school, but I find I study much better at home, alone. I don't doubt my ability to be a "team player" when a team is needed, but I wonder if I'm missing something important by not wanting to be part of a study group? So many posters credit their study groups with much of their success.
    Have you had students who did just as well on their own? Is it just a difference in learning styles? Or is this something I need to make myself learn to do?
    Thank you for sharing your perspectives with us!
    Thank you for your kind comments, KatyAtlanta As long as your pattern of studying is working for you, then studying solo should be fine. I was like you - I studied well on my own and was not a "study group" kind of person. I ended up with a high GPA throughout all levels of nursing school (lol, I'm still at it - now studying for my PhD).

    In terms of group projects, the majority of these were positive experiences for me. However, there were a few in which one or two of the students did not pull their weight. I took it in stride, and tried not to make a big deal out of it. I work well as a team with other faculty and also in my secondary (staff nurse) job. At least for me, there doesn't seem to be any correlation between working harmoniously with others on the job and prior experience with group projects/ study groups.
    Last edit by VickyRN on Jun 28, '09
  13. by   KatyAtlanta
    Thank you so much for your reply! You're very kind to share your personal experiences. Now I won't feel odd or uncomfortable about choosing to study on my own.

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