I just graduated ADN program in May and passed my NCLEX last week...
Ill tell you what worked for me..
I bought the Iphone when it first came out in my 1st semester, they didnt have all the cool apps they have now...it was useless.
My PDA was useless...
For me, our presentations were all done on powerpoint, so I downloaded them from the school website and used that as an outline. I learned quickly that lugging all those books around was for the birds...a good backpack was in order and a good laptop. I used that more than anything else.
I made a good friend in 2nd semester and stuck with her through HELL of third and fourth semester. She was my study buddy and I could rely on her to answer the phone at 2am...That would be the most indispensable thing you can have in nursing school. A good, honest friend. Not twenty or thirty, just one.
Dont listen to gossip and stay out of the drama. Get answers to important questions FROM THE INSTRUCTOR, not your peers....information can get jammed and twisted. You are responsible for your education not anyone else..(you will hear this)
Dont be afraid to ask questions. If you dont ask, you wont know. Chances are nobody else knows either and is too afraid to ask themselves.
Dont assume anything.
Dont argue with the instructor. They are not your friend. Respect their knowledge and position. Thank the instructors. Professionals are always willing and grateful to learn.
You dont know everything. Nobody does. Dont act like it and dont think it.
Treat each other right in school. You are being watched at all times, even when you think you are not. When you treat other students badly, you will be labeled by the instructors and could end up being a target for a much needed "lesson in kindness" (trust me on this- not me- but ive seen it happen)
If you get a preceptor that is not the kindest, just remember that you only have to deal with them for the length of clinical and thats it. I was lucky. I got a wonderful lady, but if you dont, dont get discouraged.
There is no shortcut or quick way to do anything.
Always remember the correct way you are taught to do things. You wont have to worry about it later and the extra effort will allow you a peaceful sleep at night.
You cant save the world. Accept things that are out of your control and do your best to help. If you pray, say the Serenity Prayer. You cant change people and you cannot make anyone do anything. Dont get mad, frustrated, sarcastic or cynical. Different strokes, different folks.
The most important thing I learned in school is that we are all human. We all have hopes, dreams and disappointments. We all make mistakes and have regrets. Dont judge anyone, because there is usually a reason why things are the way they are. Yes, that includes instructors as well....:)
Good luck and enjoy the journey.