I want to say congrats to everyone who did receive a seat fee. As you all know, we will be soon embarking on a tough adventure, with highs and lows. I was reading past discussions of our past fellow CCBC students on this site, and I came across this detailed description of the expectations and tips of making it through nursing school. I thought that it was very informative, and I want to share it with you all. Thanks to Bunnyhop for sharing this.
Congrats to everyone! I graduated CCBC Essex in 2013, and it was hard! I worked full time and didn't really have any idea of what I was getting myself into. If I could offer a few words of advice it would be:
Fundamentals is a gravy train, do not think the rest of the semesters will be the same!
My first exam in concepts one was on DM with Ms. M. I did fairly well on the test and thought the next exam would be the same. *WRONG* Ms. Thompsons F/E exam was tough! I ended up failing Concepts 1 by .5pts ! CCBC does not give breaks, when they say you need an 80 to pass the class, they mean it.
If you can afford to not work, then don't. I had to move back home with my parents and drop my hours to 30 a week to keep my insurance. Now looking back, I should have gotten a job as a tech. Most hospitals will give you insurance if you work 16 hours a week (2 days, or 1 longggg day). Working and commuting like I did, it was hard to focus in class and even harder to study on my own.
Take advantage of whatever resources they offer. Study Groups, Study days before class, Books with NCLEX type questions (the sooner you master these types of questions, the easier testing will be for you)â€¦ Tutoring, VEN diagrams, Diagrams on Pharmacology etc.
To understand how things work, you really do need to look at the bigger picture â€“ you may need to brush up on you're A/P, or spend a little time on Youtube, or google some animations to full understand a concept. Memorizing content is great, but you need to put it all together on the exams. (Example: Learning how heart pumps blood into circulation will help you fully understand concepts like preload, afterload, cardiac output and how some cardiac medications work. The same goes for learning about ABG's and how the body exchanges oxygen & carbon dioxide. If you can try to visualize what is happening inside your body, it will help you answer some questions easier.
Concepts 3 - Randy Weir *sp* is a great teacher, but her ppt's are literally from the smeltzer website, jazzed up with some of her content. Her tests are from the text book. So you really do need to read the textbook when it comes to her.
Concepts 3 - Community Nursing with Ms. Hill. Sweet Baby Jesus I am sorry, you just have to soldier through it. You will NEVER FORGET these classes, though you may wish you could. Ms. Hill's test was hard. She expects you to look at all her modules and extra content she gives you. She will have you do a web based module; there are optional practice questions at the end. I suggest you do them because some of those questions are on the exam.
Concepts 3 â€“ Cancer class. A Oncology nurse taught the class and she was awesome, but the exam was written by Ms. Hill. Really study your pharmacology for this exam.
During Clinical try to do as much as you can! Not all clinical instructors are the same. There are some really great ones, and then there are some that just want to sit around and check off med's while you spend 2 hours trying to give someone a bed bath. Those instructors are there to work for you. If you want your teacher to find you some Rhonci lungs to listen to, you ask her. If you don't understand how coverage works with insulin, ASK. If you didn't get to put a catheter in yet, ask the nurses on the floor to let you know if they have one, and tell your teacher you really want to do it. I sincerely regret that I did not do these things. It seemed every semester I just had normal patients with nothing too exciting going on. To be honest I was somewhat terrified, and relieved that my days weren't too hard, but looking back, I regret it. I wish I made a teacher sit with me when I did my assessment and make sure I wasn't missing anything, or asked what you do when you have a combative patient. Just because I didn't experience it in clinical, doesn't mean I won't once I'm on the floor. Also â€“ don't be afraid to ask the nurses questions. Some of them put off a leave me the heck aloneâ€ vibe, but others love to show students things. Find these nurses and stick to them like glue.
Get a job in the hospital before you graduate & Network. It wasn't until my last class that my teacher said we're going to start recommending students spend more time networking during fundamentals. (THANKS A LOT CCBC). This is the best way to get a job as soon as you graduate & refine your skills. It's hard finding a job as a new graduate. I still haven't found a job yet and there is a lot of competition.
I hope that helps and doesn't scare anyone. I don't mean to scare anyone, I just don't want to see people making the same mistakes I did!