Jump to content

Topics About 'Nursing Students'.

These are topics that staff believe are closely related. If you want to search all posts for a phrase or term please use the Search feature.

Found 35 results

  1. Julie Reyes

    Critical Thinking

    I wish someone would have explained exactly what it meant to "think critically" when I first started nursing school - it sure would have saved me a lot of time trying to figure out how to answer my assignment questions and create better care plans! My hope is this article will help you delve deeper into your patient care by looking holistically at your patient - from the cause of injury/illness to the pathophysiology to the interventions and WHY you are using the interventions you chose. Let's start with you as a student nurse tech in an emergency room. Level 1 You are a new student nurse and you have just learned how to take a blood pressure. Your job is to take vitals on patients who come into the Emergency Room and record them. This is the first level of the pyramid. Level 2 You understand the numbers - diastolic and systolic - and what a normal range is. Level 3 You understand that you need to report the "abnormal" range numbers to someone because something is not right with the patient. Level 4 You are now a nurse working in the Emergency Room. You understand your patient, who just came in the ER because of an auto accident and has no external bleeding, has a lower than normal BP that could be due to some sort of internal bleeding that you cannot see. You call for help (Rapid Response/Code, depending on the situation) because this patient may turn into a code. You draw labs and a type & cross for blood matching, radiology in to do x-rays, and respiratory in for oxygen support. Level 5 You understand that your patient (in the ER) needs you to provide fluids through an IV so that he/she will not "bottom out" and die. You remember your ER has a protocol for this situation and you begin to follow that protocol: You take steps to help the patient, including starting an IV, elevating the feet, keeping the head flat. You set the monitor to record BP every 5 minutes (or 2, depending on your situation). You understand you will need to monitor the urine output for this patient so a foley is needed. Level 6 You begin to classify your patient's hemorrhage level from a class I - class IV Level 7 You understand that a low BP due to hypovolemia (low fluids in the body) can cause the heart rate and respiration rate to increase and perfusion failure/tissue hypoxia. You know you need to begin to administer IV fluids - but you know that you cannot use ISOTONIC fluids, instead, you will need a crystalloid. You anticipate the need for blood and (you can then discern if your patient needs whole blood versus packed red blood cells). You also know the amount of fluids you can give in a certain time frame so that you don't turn the patient's remaining blood into "kool-aid" with a fluid overload and thinning it out too much. Level 8 You understand if your patient continues down the present road, the next step will be organ dysfunction and possibly multi-system organ failure and death, so you need to perfuse those organs and prevent shock. Level 9 You understand your patient needs to go to the operating room to find the source of bleeding. You prepare to administer medications to prevent shock - specifically inotropes like dopamine - because you know it has a positive chronotropic and inotropic effect and if a higher dose is used will have a vasoconstrictive effect that can help your patient's perfusion, can help with cardiac output, and can help your patient live! As your knowledge base increases, you will be able to anticipate what is needed for your patient and why. You will be able to intervene before the next problem arises and help fight off the Grim Reaper in some cases. Critical thinking is thinking deeper than the surface level - it means understanding what is happening and why, what will happen to the patient if interventions are not done, and what is needed to make the issue normal - or as normal as possible - again.
  2. lkeller27

    11 Things That Helped Me Study

    1. Help from a tutor If you have the opportunity to have help from a tutor, take it! 2. Quizlet It's amazing. I learn best by testing myself and Quizlet lets me do that. I highly suggest making your own flashcards, because then you'll learn the material better. But there are plenty of great sets on the website. 3. Khan Academy This site is great for a multitude of things. They have practice on several topics and a ton of videos on so many topics. 4. Crash Course This is a Youtube channel hosted by Hank Green. This channel helped me study for Anatomy and Physiology 101 and the TEAS VI. He goes a little fast but if you take notes of what he just said after pausing the video it's really helpful. Because he explains things in a simple manner and is funny about it too. 5. Time Management This should probably be number one. You need to be able to study enough but not so much that you tire yourself out and stop retaining information. Studying for an hour then taking a 10-minute break is great when you need to study for a long period of time. You can't always be staring at the computer screen, or constantly writing either. Your mind and body need a break. However, This doesn't mean go and binge watch Stranger Things (or whatever show you're into right now. Who can't wait for season 2? ). Just keep your time well managed. 6. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE This goes along with #5, but I'm bad about this, so it helps if I break things into smaller chunks that I can complete each day. Then by the time the due date comes I'm done! Get those little chunks done in one sitting or throughout your day. Just get it done before you go to bed. 7. Get enough sleep I know this is difficult with work, school, and possibly kids. But sleep is essential for your well-being. Obviously, don't sleep in till noon, but don't go to sleep at 1 or later in the morning every night. Try to make it before midnight. (Unless your job prohibits you from doing that.) Really just try to have a set bedtime. Mine happens to be around 11/11:30 and I tend to wake up around 7/7:30 depending on the day. 8. Keep your things organized and stay up-to-date on your due dates Google calendar is great if you are annoyed by writing everything out. 9. When studying for multiple classes rotate which ones you're studying for Don't neglect the one you don't like and don't neglect the one like because you're focused on something else. If you like none of them, just do your best to learn the material and get everything done in a timely fashion so you can think about it as little as possible. 10. Write keywords on your hand If you have to memorize a bunch of stuff try writing keywords on your hand and practice them while going about your day. Doing this a memorized the last chapter and a half of the Matthew (from the bible) for a speech in about two weeks while memorizing things for anatomy and physiology 101. 11. Remember what you're doing this for Remember that you're awesome and can do anything you set your mind to. (Although also remember that you may not be cut out for things. Like I could probably write a story if I set my mind to it. But it probably wouldn't be great, I'd hate the whole process, and would probably want to burn it afterward. But I still did it.) Best of luck to y'all!
  3. knurseh40

    THAT Moment...

    As a final assignment near the end of nursing school, I was asked to write an essay describing my most memorable experience as a nursing student. Wow... As I contemplated the MANY memorable (the good and the yuck) moments of nursing school, one clinical encounter clearly emerged. It was an experience that Oprah would call one of her infamous "ah-ha" moments! During the fourth semester clinical on a hospital trauma floor, several members of my clinical group were invited to observe the placement of a wound VAC on an unusually large, open wound. Because I have learned, through my clinical experiences, that I am very fond of large, open wounds (never thought I would say that!), I quickly accepted the offer to observe. As I entered the room, I admit I was shocked to see a partially covered, morbidly obese male in his mid-twenties lying in the bed with a gangrenous wound covering most of his right leg. I quickly said hello to the attending doctors and nurse, and retreated to an area of the room where I could covertly observe. As I ogled the massiveness of this wound, listened to the doctors describe the wound and the steps of this procedure, and noted the actions of the nurse assisting the doctor, I was completely enthralled. I was fully focused on this right leg, this large wound, and the medical procedures and nursing skills being performed. It was then that I heard the patient softly crying out in pain. As I redirected my thoughts to the entire situation in the room, I was suddenly reminded that this fascinating wound was part of a leg that was attached to a person, a real person. That leg was attached to someone who needed more than just wound care. It was at that moment that I realized how quickly I forgot to see the whole picture, and how easily a nurse, or any member of the healthcare profession, could forget. I realized how common it could be to go to work each day and take care of a body, without giving the necessary attention to the whole person. In nursing school, we study and perform many skills that will become part of our daily routine. These skills must be performed correctly, safely, timely, and thoroughly documented. Many days a nurse feels short on help, short on rest, and short on time! How easily we can miss building a therapeutic relationship with our patients as we strive to be prudent! In my Oprah moment and my ignorance in acknowledging the person attached to that leg, I knew I had made the right decision to become a nurse. I recognized the great importance of becoming a nurse that sees the patient as a whole, not just parts, and that provides quality care to the body, the mind, and the spirit. It will be important to recall my own experiences as a patient and to remember the fears and anxieties that accompany hospitalization. I truly believe that "The body follows where the mind goes", and the actions of a positive, compassionate nurse play a major role in healing the patient. As I left the room that day, the patient still lying in the bed partially dressed and exhibiting signs of pain, I wanted to apologize for being that nurse that only sees the patient in parts. I wanted to apologize for everyone who had come into his room and not seen the whole person, or had observed him only as "the large wound in room 202." I didn't explain or apologize, but I did go to the head of his bed, smile and make eye contact, and thank him for allowing me to observe his medical care. He doesn't know what a difference he made in my life that day, but I hope that by speaking to him and showing genuine concern that maybe I made just a small difference in his.
  4. ohitskev

    Struggles of Life & NCLEX.

    I'm writing this article in the hopes that even one person can relate to my life and be given some confidence that life can be hard, but thinking positive can get you through it. So here it goes. This article is based on my personal life experience that I struggled with while going to nursing school till present day December 2017 when I found out I passed my NCLEX. Nursing School 2011-2013 I went to a small, newly established registered nursing school out in Southern California, with my mom and uncle encouraging me to attend and get my life squared away. Listen and follow in our footsteps (they were both nurses), and your life will be fine. I attended the nursing school, and I was one of the handful of students that strived to do their best and got grades to prove it. My instructors I think enjoyed having me as their student. While in nursing school, my mother got re-diagnosed with intrauterine cervical cancer that will eventually take me from being a student nurse going to school, and going back home to take care of my mother, repeat cycle 5 days a week (since school was 5 days a week). I remember it like yesterday, Barack Obama being showered in confetti, and my mother sitting next to me asking me "Will I be okay till the next presidential election?" Coming from a 5'1, super petite, widowed raising two sons from a young age, these were not the type of questions my mother would ask me. My maternal grandmother would end up passing away in Sept 2012 from old age at the age of 98, following my mother on November 2012 a day before Thanksgiving. Fast forward to April 2013, my future father in law would also pass away after being re-diagnosed with stomach cancer. When really bad things happen in life, they usually come in 3's from my personal experience. It was during these past couple months, I truly learned my life lesson of empathy. I would also be doing my final Med-Surg Adult clinicals on the Oncology floor. Cancer was around me 24/7 from waking up and assisting my mother, to going to clinicals and helping patients. I learned empathy through this life experience that I personally do not wish on anyone else, but it is life, and it is very humbling to find this out in a very hard way. After Nursing School I took my 1st exam back in Nov 2013, DID NOT PASS. After going through so much, I was burnt out, physically, mentally, losing my mother, who was my motivation in nursing school was gone. At that time, my girlfriend (now wife) was the only person who can understand what I was going through and personally relate to. We got a dog to help us stay sane and keep our mind off things. During this time after losing 3 individuals, 2 in mine, 1 very important figure in her life, a true companion besides each other was a dog. Following exams FEB 2015 DID NOT PASS (185 questions, CPR = mostly above average) You may be asking yourself, wow thats a long time to wait to retake it. Yes, it is a long time to retake the NCLEX. We are taught from day one in nursing school, THE STATISTICS are AGAINST YOU if you do not pass on the 1st try. Statistics are statistics, but it doesn't take into consideration life coming at you at the speed of light, and hitting several bumps. FEB 2016 DID NOT PASS (265 questions, CPR = mostly above average) AUG 2016 DID NOT PASS (265 questions, CPR = mostly above average, 1/2 below) Struggles in between tests Over all the years from 2013 finishing nursing school, till now, I hit many struggles: Financial My mother would always say, "As you get older, the spending pipe going out gets bigger, the money pipe coming in gets smaller."My advice, money can be made, money can be spent, but it is one struggle that everyone can overcome at some point in their life. During all the failed attempted at the NCLEX, registering with the state, registering with Pearson all racks up. Just keep pushing, as long as your healthy, you have a clear head on top of your shoulder, study hard, pass your NCLEX, life will solve itself being a compassionate nurse. Friends Over the countless time of retaking my exam, you might feel like a failure. You see your classmates pass, work, their life moving, your life is just standing in one place. My advice is surrounding yourself with true friends who will encourage you regardless of you failing, and always being positive for you while you struggle and try to get a handle on life. Foes During the time I taken my NCLEX several times, my life hit roadblocks with people who put me down. "He will never pass the NCLEX." "Stop mooching and get a job!." "Why did you marry him?" One of many statements and questions asked, but through it all, you'll see peoples true face. The true friends will encourage you, the foes who question you and give you negativity will always come up during your struggles. You might fallout with them also. But having someone, a partner, a friend, a girlfriend, a fiance, a fiancee, a wife, a husband, someone to stand there with you when the #2 hits the fan, when bad 3's come at you head on, when you feel like everyone is against you, is the most important thing one could have. It will make your relationship with the individual super strong after everything works itself out. You will thank them, you will appreciate them even more. It'll make your bond unbreakable. Sept/Oct 2017 Late September, my uncle who during all the hardships, became a motivation to me. During all my struggles, my uncle finished his BSN, got offered multiple positions, but then ended up taking medical leave for a minor back injury. This was my chance. During this time, my uncle and I sat down. I got scolded, but in the end he told me he will LITERALLY sit next to me while on medical leave, to help me pass my boards. I agreed. From late Sept, for a whole month, I would run on a schedule. I bought a 1 month subscription to Uworld after reading about it. I would wake up 7/8am, make coffee, sit, review, run Uworld on tutor mode, and go through each Main Category, and break it down to its sub-category. (I.E. Adult > GI) I would do this, take my notes after each rationale, look up stuff in my Med Surg Book if I needed clarification. 75 questions would be the goal. Answering questions is the easy part. Reading the rationales regardless of if its correct or incorrect takes forever. Reviewing it with my uncle takes time. Lunch, dinner passes. Sleep at 12am/1am. Repeat. I was a hermit at home for a whole month. The most I saw out of the outside world was my backyard to let my dog out, water the grass on my down time, do some gardening, get some mail. No driving anywhere. No meeting friends. It was to the point that my car tires had leaves stuck under the tires. I was personally hard on myself, some might see it as extreme, but I am where I am cause I put myself through it. I sat in one place for long periods of time over the month that I had lower back pain, and had to get a Backjoy cushion. Textbook I Used with UWORLD Med Surg Book - Didn't read, just used it for reference LaCharity Priority and Delegation 3rd - Did questions if I had time, mainly read rationales HESI NCLEX 5e - Read subject matter since it was condensed. Saunders NCLEX 7e - Read subject matter since it was more condensed than Med Surg book, but more information than HESI book. Test date: (5th time taking it) Oct 31, 2017 (Halloween) I took the exam, super nervous, couldn't even eat my McD's egg sandwich, sat and took 75 questions, didn't shut down; 125 questions, didn't shut down; 185 questions, didn't shut down; 265 questions. Got experimental blue screen 10 questions, only got to answer 3, cause I didn't have time. PVT checks (Correct CC#, Wrong 3 digit CVC & Wrong Expiration) 48 hours - Good PVT 2 weeks - Good PVT (no letter from CA, no CPR, no nothing) 4 weeks - Good PVT (no letter from CA, no CPR, no nothing) Called CA RN BOARDS @ 4th week - Told "wait 1-2 weeks more" (seriously....... ) @ 5th week - Called and was told "we need to forward your file, but since you waited so long, YOU PASSED, something should post 24-48hrs, if not we will call you" Wait time from CA NCLEX-RN: 5 weeks for results!!!!!!!!!!! PASSED License # posted around 8pm, December 7th 2017 on CA BRN website: (I had the urge to check my phone and check while we sat down to eat dinner at a restaurant with my wife) After finding out the results, I paid a visit to my grandmother and mother. I was able to finally fulfill my mother's wish and face her with pride, the weight of the world off my shoulders, and having gone through all of what life has thrown at me. From the time I went to nursing school, to today December 18th, 2017 writing this article, I personally went through a lot in my life. I grew over the years so much, it humbles me to overcome all the #2 (sh!t) storms life threw at me. I view the world in a different way, appreciate life on a daily basis cause life really is too short. I say thank you always to my wife, tell her I love her every chance I get for being patient with me and being my partner through it all. I will forever be thankful to my uncle for his guidance for the whole month he sat there by my side. He didn't say anything, just sat there to motivate me and hold me accountable. I hope after reading this, my article may truly inspire someone not to give up after going to nursing school, paying so much, and or possibly struggling through life. If you don't do it for yourself, do it for someone you love or appreciate in your life. Find motivation. Ask for help. Always keep a positive mind. Be thankful for being able to come this far in your life. Put in the effort and study. Relax and take test. You will be fine cause we all have our time to shine. Mine just took forever. (5 years!!!) Article dedicated to: my grandmother, mother, and father-in-law. Thankful to: my wife, my uncle, my aunt, my friends, my friends parents, and our dog.
  5. dogmombyday

    Dear Nursing Student

    I have the somewhat unique position of being in the no-man's land between nursing school and real world nursing: I have a whopping 3 months of nursing experience under my belt. Well, 2.5, but I can round up, okay? A few months ago, I was a note-writing, clinical-attending, nclex-studying student. Now I'm a full-fledged RN, which is sort of blowing. As such, I had a few thoughts to share with you. First, like I said, don't let others bring you down. You have enough to worry about--you're learning to be healers!--without concerning yourself with the opinions of others. There will be nurses, at clinicals and maybe even some on this site, who seem to have been born nurses...and I don't mean that it was their destiny, but that they seem unable to remember going through what you are now going through, and they definitely seem unable to relate. Go to clinical and try your hardest anyway. If someone makes you feel badly for being a student, store that away and use it as motivation when you need it. Prove them wrong. That was honestly my biggest struggle in school--what if so-and-so doesn't think I can be a nurse?! So-and-so's opinion is not the be all, end all of who will be a good nurse. Second, don't let yourself get too wrapped up in who got what grade. I managed to pull off pretty solid grades on most of my exams, but I remember getting down because I was quietly excited about my 90% while the girl next to me was telling anyone who would listen about her 98%. Try your hardest, but realize that answering every question right is not what you study for. You study so that you can care for people, which is not something everyone gets the chance to do. Third, jump in at clinical. I missed out on trying out new skills because I was terrified of doing it wrong. Clinical is a time for you to get hands-on learning. Meaning, you can't learn it if you don't get hands-on. It's scary, yes, but it's also just about the safest, most protected environment to learn it in. Your instructor will appreciate the initiative you're taking, and your patient will appreciate that you're taking the time to learn how to do things the right way. Just try it. There are few feelings that match what it's like to get your first successful IV start. (I'm pretty certain I squealed and had a smile on my face for the next hour or two). And if you don't get it the first try, ask what you could've done better or where you went wrong. That's what your instructor is there for. And if your instructor isn't around when you need an answer, try asking a nurse on that floor. Some of the best tips I received during clinical were from people other than my instructor. Finally, don't set your mind too much on what speciality you'll go into after school. Otherwise, you may run the risk of painting yourself into a corner. Or, you may just be flat out wrong. I can tell you, I swore up and down I would work in pediatrics because "adults weren't for me". Guess what? I work in the ICU and have yet to see anyone under age 25 on my floor. Guess what else? I have never felt happier or more fulfilled in my work. That being said, don't let anyone tell you that new nurses can't work in this or that specialty. There aren't set rules for most areas, and there are usually exceptions. My hospital just hired its first new grads in L&D and it's going swimmingly. If it's your dream, go for it. The worst that can happen is a no, and you can try again until you end up where you're supposed to be. Nursing school isn't for everyone, that's simply how it is. But, if it is for you, then THIS is for you. Sincerely, A shiny new nurse
  6. When I was preparing for my boards, I loved coming to this website and reading everyone's NCLEX story, so, I thought I'd write mine. I was an LPN for 2.5 years before graduating with my BSN at the end of April 2014. I took two weeks off studying after graduating because my husband had recently accepted a new job in a different state, and so we had to move. I was then left unemployed and living in a brand new state where I knew not a single soul. I decided I was going to make it my JOB to study for my boards and kick its butt! Here's what I used to study and my review on each: Virtual ATI (provided free from my school) Okay, so I totally hated this program because I didn't feel like I was learning much. We took a Comprehensive Predictor during the last week of school and I scored a 90% chance of passing the NCLEX. I was then given an online tutor via ATI who set me up with a study schedule of 6 weeks based on my results. You study the content off their website through 'learning activities,' which are basically just power-points with information on each topic. This was helpful to me because it gave me an overview of a lot of content that I didn't feel comfortable with or had forgotten over time. After I felt 'well versed' on the information in the module, I would email my tutor and she would send me a test code. If I would get below 60% on a topic, it would give me a 'focused review' on the topics I missed. Once I studied that module more, I would get another test code and try to get above 60%. Here's the problem with this program: They have you take the EXACT same test again after you have already seen the rationales, so you are basically just memorizing the rationales (which isn't helpful). There were 9 different modules: NCLEX strategies, Fundamentals, Pharmacology, Med-Surg, Maternal/Newborn, Nursing Care of Children, Mental Health, Leadership, and the final Comprehensive Predictor. I went through the modules and tests rather quickly (usually 2-3 assessments/modules a week) because I was not working. After about 5 weeks, I took another final Comprehensive Predictor. My results: 76% chance of passing NCLEX-RN. I was like WHAT, how could my percentage go DOWN after all of this studying?! You must get 92% or above chance of passing the NCLEX in order to obtain the 'green light' to take your NCLEX. I jumped back into studying and two weeks later took another Comp Predictor and got 86%. I was feeling very discouraged and didn't understand how I could study for 8 hours a day and still not get the green light. Waited another two weeks and BAM 98% chance of passing. Here is another problem with ATI: the Comp Predictor is the EXACT same each time you take it. Now, they don't give you the rationales or the answers for the comp predictor, but still it's a little ridiculous if you ask me. Bottom line, they need a bigger test bank. Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment by Linda LaCharity ($30) I would give this book 5/5 stars. Not only are the questions similar to NCLEX, but the rationales give great content. I was scoring in the 60-80% range and my scores kept going up the further I got in the book. Unfortunately, on my NCLEX, I only had 4-5 (SUPER HARD) prioritization questions and ZERO delegation and assignment questions. I recommend this book 100%. It's only $30 on Amazon and will help you a great deal. Kaplan NCLEX-RN 2014-2015 Strategies, Practice & Review ($34) About 6 days out from my test, I bought this book. I read the entire book and answered the questions/rationales after each chapter. I can't say I really used any of the strategies that they provided in this book, but I think it was another great book to help you answer questions while also giving you content at the same time. The book has a 265 question practice test at the end but I didn't have time to take it before my test. Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN Examination (free from school) I started reading this book and got overwhelmed with it within the first hour. I only utilized this book to go over content areas I felt week in. The book comes with an access code to their EVOLVE website where you can do practice tests. I used this website sporadically throughout my studies, but found that the questions were too easy. One really good thing about their test bank is that they have 342 questions that are all SATA. ACLS Website This website shows you samples of EKG readings, symptoms the patient would experience, and medications given. I had one EKG reading on my test and WOULD NOT have been able to answer it without this website: ACLS EKG | Learn & Master ACLS/PALS Take Notes When I would get a question wrong on one of my practice tests, I would always write down the information from the rational that I didn't know or understand. I filled up two notebooks and read through them 2-3 times a week. Know Your Lab Values Don't only memorize your lab values but also understand the importance of the lab value and what they actually mean. Exercise and Nutrition Before I began studying, I wrote out an exercise plan and stuck to it throughout the entire course of my studies. I would usually wake up every morning around 0700, have a healthy breakfast, surf the net for a bit, and start studying around 0830. Whenever I felt like I needed a break, I took one. Usually mid-afternoon (when my butt felt numb from sitting on it for so long) I would go downstairs to the gym at my apartment and lift weights from the program I designed. I worked out for an hour 5 days a week during my study break and would usually go for a long walk at the end of the day. I truly think this helped me to not only get out of my apartment, but to also do something for myself that I would feel good about. Now, I know that most people are working during their NCLEX prep and may not have time for exercise, but if you do, I highly recommend it. After all, exercise DOES boost your brainpower! I also stuck to a high protein, lots of fruits and veggies diet throughout the entire span of my studies. Okay, one more thing I want to mention is in regards to the Pearson Vue Trick. I finished my exam in less than an hour and had 75 questions. When the screen went blank, I didn't know what to think. I ran out to my car, tried the PVT and got the 'on hold' popup. I FREAKED out and was on the website every 10 minutes (no joke) waiting for the 'on hold' popup to go away. It never did. As time went on, I kept doubting myself and thinking THERE IS NO WAY I PASSED. I was 99.9% sure that I had failed. The questions were so hard and there was not even one question that I knew for sure. I questioned my study habits, I questioned my schooling, I questioned EVERYTHING. I cried several times and researched the CRAP out of the 'on hold' notification. Exactly 50 hours after I took my exam, I logged onto Pearson Vue and noticed the quick results were available. I PASSED! I CRIED, I JUMPED UP AND DOWN, and I gave my cats a big hug . I hope this post helps someone! Let me know if you guys have any questions and I'd be more than happy to pay it forward. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart to everyone on this website who supported and believed in me.
  7. Test anxiety is when your anxiety level prevents you from demonstrating what you have learned and know on a test. There are students who feel nervous before a test because they did not prepare adequately or have poor study skills. Anxiety in cases of poor preparation do not qualify as true test anxiety. Students suffering from test anxiety experience extreme nervousness before exams, even when they have put forth their best effort in learning the material and are prepared. For many students, test anxiety began as early as elementary school, although some students develop test anxiety in college. The good news- test anxiety is usually a learned behavior and there are many strategies you can use to "unlearn" the intense nervousness of test anxiety. Symptoms Symptoms of test anxiety include mental and physical stress occurring before, during, or after exams. Again, there is a level of expected nervousness that comes with test-taking, however, test anxiety leads to symptoms of greater intensity. Mental Negative thoughts- "There is no way I am going to pass this exam" All or none thinking- "I always have the lowest grade in the class" Irrational beliefs- "The entire class can tell I failed" Mind reading- "My professor thinks I am an idiot" Self pressure- "I absolutely must make an A on this test" Physical Nausea, shortness of breath, muscle tension Clammy hands and feet, sweating, rapid pulse Increased blood pressure, blurry vision Hypersensitive to surroundings (i.e. classroom noise, behavior of other people, watching the clock) Mental blocks when well prepared for test Anxiety has a cumulative effect and once the ball is in motion, it will build in speed. The first step in overcoming test anxiety is to nip it in the bud before it intensifies. When you first notice the signs of anxiety, it is important you have strategies for reducing stress in your body and mind. Behavioral relaxation techniques help you to achieve a physical state of relaxation. You can relax your mind by cognitive strategies and talking to yourself in a positive way. Relax Your Body Deep breathing is an exercise that reduces anxiety and you can do it in the classroom unnoticed. Take a deep breath in using your diaphragm, hold it for several seconds, then exhale slowly thinking of your anxiety leaving the body. A second strategy is to use imagery by imaging yourself in a relaxing scene. The more senses you can incorporate, the better this strategy will work. For example- I would place myself at the beach with the sun's warmth on my skin and cool sand under my feet. I would hear the gentle breaking of waves and smell the salty ocean water. A third strategy is to perform progressive muscle relaxation by tensing then relaxing muscles in your body one by one. Relax Your Mind The first step in relaxing your mind prior to a test is to change your self-talk from negative to positive. For example, when thinking "you know you are going to fail", replace the thought with "You are prepared to take this test". Avoid making the situation worse with poor study habits and not preparing adequately for this test. Go to class every day, make notes and talk to your instructor when you have questions. Try visualizing your success by mentally picturing yourself as confident, calm and relaxed when taking the test. Imagine how relaxed you are when you later receive a passing grade. Here are a few tips for good study and testing skills: Avoid class drama and don't study with classmates that increase your anxiety. Avoid cramming. Last minute studying is a ringer for elevating your anxiety. Start studying for an exam in advance- at least several days before the exam. Study for understanding, not for memorizing. As you read, think about the content and try to understand what you have read before moving to the next topic. Make sure to get a good night sleep the night before the exam. Avoid talking to students who are not prepared or express negativity prior to the exam. Stay relaxed. Be sure to sleep and eat well. Exercise is a great stress reliever so... get up and get moving. Read test directions carefully and budget your time Skip questions you do not know and come back later. Nervous during the test? Take slow and deep breaths. Anxiety can be habit forming and it takes practice to use these tips and tools to lower your level of anxiety. When you notice your thoughts are racing and your body becoming tense, tell yourself to "STOP" to stop the stress ball from rolling. What strategies have helped you to deal with test anxiety? Resources: The Princeton Review, 10 Ways to Overcome Stress Anxiety, 1 Ways to Overcome Test Anxiety | The Princeton Review Study Guides and Strategies, Overcoming test anxiety Check if your institution's student services offers information on test anxiety.
  8. Nursing school is full of dosage calculations, clinicals, and writing assignments. You were probably prepared for the first two, but writing might not be your strong suit. If your palms get sweaty when you hear things like term papers, capstones, or dissertations, no worries! This list of 7 writing tips will have you succeeding on those dreaded assignments in no time - here's how. Understand the Goal of the Assignment When you're preparing for a written assignment, be sure you understand all the details. There is nothing worse than pouring your heart into an assignment to be later told that you missed the purpose and won't receive full credit. According to Walden University, there are five common goals of nurse assignments: Demonstrating critical thinking skills Documenting your knowledge Expressing ideas or opinions Showing your understanding of nursing literature Demonstrating your understanding of activities Know Your Audience Writing requires you to know and understand your target audience. In school, you're writing for your professor with the express intent of demonstrating your knowledge about a subject. But, don't be mistaken - even though you are writing for your professor - be sure to express your thoughts openly and don't assume they fully understand the subject. Here are a few things you need to know about the professor's expectations before you begin your assignment: Should you write in first, second, or third person? Do they have a sample of a paper or writing style they prefer? What style of citations do they prefer? Is there a preferred format for papers? If you have multiple audiences, how do you meet the needs of everyone? Do Your Research Research in nursing school is essential to your success. You will need to become very familiar with the online library and how to perform a search for topics. Many of the library systems have multiple ways to search for articles, save them for later reference, download and print them. When you search for nursing research, be sure the information is: Current - You professor might provide guidance on this, but if not, always try to find research no more than 10 years old and preferably within 5 years. Credible - Credibility is essential in nursing research. Be sure to know the author, journal, and publisher. Always steer clear of websites like Wikipedia, blogs, and magazines for academic papers. If you want to search the web for articles, try Google Scholar for academic sources. Peer-Reviewed - Nursing is founded on evidence-based research, which means that finding articles that have been peer-reviewed is critical. If you haven't heard of this term before, it means that the item has been reviewed by a board of experts on the subject matter. Peer-reviewed articles are considered to be a high quality of research and adhere to strict editorial standards. Execute a Brain Dump There's nothing scarier than a blank page, especially, when you know that you need 10-15 pages filled with stellar content in a short amount of time. But, as scary as it might be to get started, that is precisely what you need to do. As someone who writes often, I have learned that you must do a draft to "get the garbage out," as I say. Once you get all of the garbage out and onto a document, cleaning it up and adding to it is easier than creating those first few sentences. Keep the Fluff to a Minimum Nursing school assignments are not like writing poetry. You want to be very clear in your writing. There is no need for a lot of descriptions and flowery wording. Do your research and be sure you understand the material thoroughly. Write using clear language. Once you're finished with your paper, read it aloud, which will help you to identify areas of flowery wording that isn't necessary for nursing school. If you need extra help, find a classmate who is good at writing and have them read over your work. Another option is to use an online editor such as Grammarly or Hemingway. These tools are not perfect, but they can help find common errors and offer solutions. Avoid Passive Voice This takes practice. If you struggle with passive voice, just know that most writers struggle too. Limiting passive voice is very important to academic writing. It's a simple guide to keeping your language simple and easy to understand. So what is passive voice? According to the Writing Center at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, passive voice is when you make the object of an action into the subject of the sentence. For example: Active Voice: The chicken crossed the road. Passive Voice: The road was crossed by the chicken. When you write in active voice, the ideas you are expressing are clear and easy to understand. In passive voice, it might be a bit more challenging to understand the meaning. Practice, Practice, Practice If you're struggling with assignments and your papers are coming back with lower scores than what you want, try practicing. Now, this might not sound like much fun, but you don't have to do extra term papers. Try writing a journal or start a blog about nursing school. The more you write, the easier it will become. If you need a bit more discipline to get this practice, take a writing class. It might not be required, but it will help you throughout your college and professional career. Do you have other writing tips for nursing students? Are you a student and have found something else that seems to be helping? Let us know your thoughts.
  9. First off give yourself credit for completing nursing school and getting to this point! So many wish they could be in your shoes, so never discredit yourself although it's hard to not doubt yourself as you're going through the brutal studying that is NCLEX prep. I know we've all heard the stories of those who passed and didn't pass. Each story is different and unique to that person; yours will be too so never get down or allow yourself to listen to just one person and draw comparisons. Everyone gets different questions on NCLEX & everyone studied differently to pass....so remember to run your race and do what works best for you! I personally used Kaplan and UWorld to study. I signed up for Kaplan because it was the most "popular" in terms of passing the first time so I took the live version. I was very adamant about passing the first time so I wanted to cover all bases; I heard amazing things about U-World from recently licensed nurses (within the last 2 years) & this website. I LOVE U-world. If you're making a choice between one or the other, pick Uworld. Looks exactly like the actual test and I learned SO much! Amazing rationales and everything just made more sense as opposed to Kaplan. I felt Kaplan was purposely trying to "trick" you on a majority of their questions to make them harder and the real NCLEX isn't going to do that; U-world was straight forward and just like the NCLEX. Study Schedule: I gave myself 3 weeks to hard core study after I completed the Kaplan review. I studied for about 12 hours a day taking breaks to eat/relax my mind in between. I did about 300 questions per day and watched 20 Kaplan videos per day to combine content (the review videos) with practice questions. I also studied every rationale whether I got the question wrong/right. I cannot emphasize that enough; read every single rationale especially the rationales on U-world. I made notes on the videos from Kaplan and read those notes over again at the end of my study week, which would be Sunday. I also took the Kaplan NCLEX readiness tests and one of the predictor tests (rates your chance of passing NCLEX) a week out from my testing date. I completely finished the q-banks for both Kaplan/U-world and turned my attention to U-world during the last 4 days of studying before my test date. I went back over each Uworld tests (about 9 per day) and made notes on the rationales and studied those every day. I saved the second predictor test from U-world to take two days before my test day. The day before the test they say do not study; well I could not do that so I just went over notes (LIGHTLY) but I didn't do anymore practice questions so I didn't get mentally fatigued. TIP: I stayed off social media the entire time I was studying. I didn't want to see people passing or failing because I knew it would psych me out and put extra pressure on me. I only talked to my close friends/family during this time and I think it's worth while. I literally ate/slept/breathed NCLEX. Pretty sure it helped me pass only having that in my head. NCLEX Day: I tested on a Wednesday, I had late morning exam since I function better around that time. I kept calm even though I was nervous. I reviewed notes and prayed from the time I woke up until I pulled into the parking lot. You have to realize you'll never know EVERYTHING and that's not what the test is about. You just have to be confident and if you've been scoring well on your prep-tests then you just have to trust in yourself. If you walk in there self-defeated, you'll psych yourself out. So practice positive self-talk. I got about 12 SATA, one calculation question, one multiple choice that involved pictures, and the rest were standard multiple choice. I was done in 75 questions and honestly I felt good afterwards. There were questions I know I got right but I still felt nervous because now comes the dreaded waiting period.... Finding Out I Passed: I waited about 24 hours for the results. I did not do the PVT because I didn't want to obsess over passing/not. I could not sleep that entire night; honestly everyone second guesses themselves in the waiting period. It's only natural so just distract yourself. My boyfriend took me out for drinks and we had a wonderful time so that helped. After 24 hours it didn't show up on the Pearson site (freaked me out) but I checked on my state's board of nursing website for kicks/gigs and saw my license posted! I am officially an RN and I could not be more proud! Final Thoughts: I honestly think U-world is the reason I passed in 75 on the first try. The test looked so similar to U-world it was crazy. Even if I didn't completely know a question just the constant practice of eliminating the wrong answers helped me select the best right answer. When I got SATA's I was actually happy; I've heard it means you're doing well. Plus, U-world gives you so many SATA's that I just became comfortable with them I could knock those out of the park (which probably kept me at a high "above passing" level). Staying off social media during my study period really helped me remain focused and only have NCLEX stuff in my mind; I could not be happier now that I am an official RN and all my hard work paid off. NCLEX studying is brutal/extensive...you'll have good days, bad days, and ready to throw your computer out of the window days but they all will work out in the end if you stay consistent. Be confident in yourself guys! You can pass this test! Since everyone looks at these, here you go.... Kaplan Scores: ✔️ Diagnostic Exam: 67% ✔️ Qtrainer 1: 69% ✔️ Qtrainer 2: 67% ✔️ Qtrainer 3: 62% ✔️ RN Practice (session 7): 70% ✔️ Qtrainer 4: 64% ✔️ Qtrainer 5: 63% ✔️ Qtrainer 6: 65% ✔️ Qtrainer 7: 54% ✔️ Overall Q-bank Average: 63% ✔️ NCLEX Sample Test 1: 66% ✔️ NCLEX Sample Test 2: 66% ✔️ Who Do You See First: 83% ✔️ Readiness Test: 74% (99.6% chance of passing) U world Scores: ✔️ Overall Q-Bank: 66% (92nd Percentile) ✔️ RN Self Assessment 1:69% (88% chance of passing) ✔️ RN Self Assessment 2: 76% (96% chance of passing)
  10. According to the Money section of Time magazine, it is reported that 93% of hiring managers will review their candidates' social media accounts before making a hiring decision1. At the click of a button, a momentary lapse in judgment, could destroy your nursing career before it even begins. Soon, all of you will be applying for your first nursing job. Something that you have dreamed of and have worked so hard to obtain. Today, all employers have to do to know more about you, is simply Google your name. After a few clicks, your future employer will have gained their first impression of you. As the saying goes, someone's first impression is most lasting and takes a long time to change, if ever. How To Protect Your Nursing Career To help this reality not become yours, here are some tips and strategies you can use to protect yourself and your career: STEP 1 Refrain from Reference to Any Illegal Drug Use If your future employer found any indication that you use illegal drugs, you can almost certainly count yourself out of a job. In fact, 83% of future employers saw this as a negative quality1. Not to mention this is a criminal activity that can put your nursing license in jeopardy, it will potentially endanger the lives of the patients you will one day take care of. Also, every day, you will be in direct contact will substances that have the potential for nurses to become addicted to. STEP 2 Do not Write about Excessive Alcohol Consumption 44% of employers also frown upon future employees posting on social media how they get drunk all of the time1. When you work for an organization, you not only represent them while you are working but outside of work as well. Also, they might assume that if you drink excessively, you might come to work drunk/hungover or frequently call in due to your self induced illness, both of which directly impact patient care. STEP 3 Avoid Illegal Activity First and foremost, don't break the law; you know better. Secondly, if you do break the law, don't brag about it on social media. This is a sure fire way to not get hired, but also will give the police the evidence they need to arrest you for the crime you committed. STEP 4 Use Proper Grammar Before you post something, read it to yourself and read it out loud. 61% of employers were not impressed by poor grammar2. You will be surprised how small errors can quickly decrease your credibility. Also, do not fall victim to autocorrect. It is amazing how one autocorrected word can make a non-offensive post, offensive. STEP 5 Refrain from Swearing On Social Media Nothing positive will come from using profanity on social media, 65% of employers feel this way2. Not even the censored to disguised words. Swearing is not a good representation of the professional you are. The last thing you would want is to have your application skipped because of a poor choice of words. STEP 6 Clean Up Your Past Posting History Go through all of your social media accounts, back to the day it was created and remove, delete, and edit any posts that could be perceived as negative or not becoming of a nurse. Untangle yourself, and if at all possible, remove any offensive photo or post. If the post is not yours, kindly send a message to your friend to remove the post. And fingers crossed, the post will be removed. STEP 7 Update Your Privacy Settings Update your privacy settings and remember that anything you post is public, even if you think it's not. Anything can be hacked, a picture can be taken in a second and redistributed just as easily. This article also applies to the most seasoned nurses as well. Seniority will no longer protect you from a social media post that in any way your employer deems inappropriate. Also, have your fellow nurse's back as well. If you see one of your colleagues post something that could be perceived as inappropriate, reach out to them and express your concern. There is a very good chance that they might not have even noticed or ever thought that what they posted could be jeopardizing their career. When all is said and done, if you choose to be active on social media, you must be very careful with what you post. Use the tips above to help guide your posting decisions and to take an active step to educate and protect yourself. Social media is a powerful tool, but, with power comes responsibility and as healthcare professionals, don't give anyone the platform or any reason to think less of the nurse you are or the one you will be. Congratulations again to all of the new graduates and welcome to the profession of Nursing! References 1. The 7 Social Media Mistakes Most Likely to Cost You a Job 2. The top three things that employers want to see in your social media profiles Did you like this article? Then you might want to check out Michael's book for new nurses called... Code Blue! Now What? Learn What To Do When Your Patients Need You The Most!
  11. I want to share some resources for those of you struggling to study for the TEAS or do not know where to begin. I will preface this with saying I did buy the $200 prep course from ATI and I will review it here as well. The prep course also gives you the 2 practice exams and the study manual. I also finished Anatomy and Physiology 1, Chemistry 1, and Microbiology prior to taking the ATI TEAS exam. I studied arduously for about 2 weeks. First, I'll give you a breakdown of my scores. Overall: 96% Reading: 89.4% Math: 100% Science: 100% English: 95.8% READING: On the ATI TEAS exam, you will have 64 minutes to complete 54 reading questions, containing 6 pretest questions. Obviously, reading was my worst section. I was really nervous when I was taking the test in the beginning and this is the first section you take on the exam. I think this is what tripped me up. I was focusing a lot on the time as well, and this caused me to have to reread the passages over and over. However, it was not excessively hard and I know I could've scored better had I calmed my nerves. So do not fret! I will highlight some major things to focus on; ✔️ be able to read a passage and summarize it quickly ✔️ be able to read a passage and identify what the main ideas ✔️ be able to look at a set of directions and evaluate it (ex:which comes first?) ✔️ be able to interpret charts and graphics ✔️ be able to distinguish fact from opinion ✔️ be able to read a passage and determine what an appropriate title may be ✔️ be able to read a passage and infer conclusions ✔️ know the different types of writings; expository, informative, analytical and be able to tell which form a passage employs ✔️ be able to use context to understanding a words meaning ✔️ understand what a primary source is VS a secondary, tertiary, etc Something to note is the passages you will be reading on the ATI TEAS exam are longer than what is given in the study manual. If you purchased the practice exams and did them, they are about the same as what is on there. They are about 3-5 paragraphs and you may be asked up to 5 or more questions about a particular passage. Managing your time here is key - I know many people struggle with it because simply reading the passage can take a lot of time and having to reread it multiple times starts eating away at the time you have to answer questions. Practice, practice, practice. You need to become skilled at reading a passage the first time and understanding it. I did have a few minutes left over at the end to review my answers, but this section definitely took me the most time to complete. There were definitely some easy questions and some that really stumped me! The format of the reading section on the practice exams were very similar to the actual exam. MATHEMATICS: On the ATI TEAS exam, you will have 54 minutes to complete 36 math questions, containing 4 pretest questions. I personally do not like math and do not claim to be good at it whatsoever; yet, I made a perfect score! If I can do it, you definitely can. Honestly, you just need to become familiar with what is in the manual especially in regards to the practice problems. If you solve every problem and understand why you missed the ones you did, you will be good to go for the exam. I found the actual exam to be way easier than both the practice tests and the practice test in the manual! The greatest part of the math section? You get a four function calculator. You can use the calculator at any time throughout the math section. I used it on almost every question just to make sure I didn't slip up and make any silly errors. I was not given any formulas on the exam. I was however given conversion factors, such as how many ounces were in a pound. They do not give you conversion factors between the metric system, so be sure to study and understand how to convert between one and the other. For example, there are 1,000 milliliters in a liter. I will highlight some major things to focus on; ✔️ be able to round ✔️ be able to solve multiple variable equations ✔️ be able to set up and calculate proportions ✔️ understand percentages and percent increase/decrease ✔️ be able to rank numbers from greatest to least ✔️ understand units of the metric system ✔️ be able to read a graph and chart and interpret data from it ✔️ know the equations for the circumference and area of a circle Here is a helpful mnemonic; Cherry pie? Delicious! C=πD Apples pies are, too! (too for squared!)A=πr^2 So, to reiterate, do all the practice problems in the manual and understand the steps to every single one. You will do fine! It's nothing more than basic algebra and maybe a little geometry! SCIENCE: On the ATI TEAS exam, you will have 63 minutes to complete 53 science questions, containing 6 pretest questions. The dreaded science section...this is typically the lowest scoring section. It's just over so much material! I personally took Anatomy and Physiology 1, General Chemistry 1, and Microbiology before taking the ATI TEAS and I believe it helped me immensely. If you can, take at least Anatomy and Physiology before taking the exam. It helps a lot, especially if you don't have weeks and weeks to study. This section for me was easy because I studied it the most (and maybe I had a little dumb luck). The manual clearly states the objectives you need for the science section, and trust me; you want to learn them ALL! I personally scoured through each section, over and over, until I felt decently confident. Then, I took a practice exam and realized where my weaknesses still lied. Then, I scoured those sections even more. It was hard, but given my score, it's worth it! I will highlight some major things to focus on; ✔️ know basic anatomy terminology and directional terminology ✔️ know the 11 body systems to the best of your ability ✔️ know the 4 macromolecules and the types of bonds they form ✔️ understand chromosomes, genes and DNA ✔️ understand Mendel's Laws of heredity (independent assortment, equal segregation) ✔️ understand non-mendelian inheritance (codominance, epistasis, and incomplete dominance) ✔️ understand atomic structure (protons, neutrons, electrons...what makes up the atomic number? The atomic mass?) ✔️ properties of substances (solid, liquid, gas) ✔️ understand the types of chemical reactions and be able tobalance a chemical equation ✔️ understand basic measurements and measuring tools (graduated cylinder, balance) ✔️ understand hypotheses and conclusions Personally, I found the practice exams science sections to be much harder than what I was given on the actual ATI TEAS exam. RESOURCES FOR THE SCIENCE SECTION: YouTube: I watched lots and lots of videos. There are a few channels I really recommend...especially for the body systems! Bozeman Science: I've been watching this guy since I was in high school biology. He is great at explaining and I've found his videos to coincide very well with the ATI TEAS manual for the body systems! Seriously, I prefer him to KhanAcademy sometimes, which I know lots of people swear by. Give him a look! KhanAcademy: Of course, I've still found KhanAcademy helpful as well. These videos contain extra information, I've noticed. I like to learn a system pretty well and then watch KhanAcademy to solidify what I know, and learn a few new things. KhanAcademy also has a website I highly recommend making an account on. They have a few lessons for a few of the body systems, with tons of videos and practice questions. It's free, might as well give it a shot! PRACTICE EXAMS : If you can afford to buy them, just do it. It gives you a feel for the real exam and if you can do well on them, you will do well on the actual exam. ENGLISH: On the ATI TEAS exam, you will have 28 minutes to complete 28 English questions, containing 4 pretest questions. Personally, this was the section I was most worried about. I don't know why. I've spoken English my whole life but a lot of it was terminology I hadn't remembered from grade school. For this section, it is best to read over the manual and learn the terms especially well. Then you can use those terms to determine how words function in sentences. Then, practice, practice, practice. Seriously, do as many practice questions as you can, especially if it isn't your strong suit. I contribute my perfect score to a lot of studying and again, dumb luck. The manual explains the objectives you need to know for this section. Just go over all of them. You'll need to understand spelling, sentence structure, the types of sentences, how word parts function within sentences, grammar, the difference between formal and informal language, steps of the writing process and using context clues to determine a words meaning! RESOURCES FOR THE ENGLISH SECTION: -Someone on this site actually gave me a link to a great website with practice questions. When you miss a question, it gives rationales and explains why. It was awesome and exposed me to different types of questions you may be asked. Question 1 of the English and Language Usage Practice Test for the TEAS -Others suggested an ATI TEAS app. There are so many on the app store, but I cannot guarantee all of them are good. There are some free and some you have to pay for. I personally did not use apps, but I can see how itwould be beneficial for someone on the go. You could answer questions as you had time throughout the day for those with busy schedules! The ATI TEAS Prep Course I had hardly found any information about the prep course before deciding to buy it. I was skeptical because it was so expensive, but I was worried I wouldn't do well without it especially with my limited time to study. This prep course is available through ATI's website. Here were my experiences with the prep course. #1 Some information was in the prep course online modules that was not in the manual and vice versa. You do get the manual with the prep course. I personally did not like this because I wanted to have all the information in one place which I thought I would get with the prep course. Saying that, it was inconvenient but not too much. I was fine because I scoured the manual just as much as the online modules. #2 The prep course divides into 4 modules; one for each section of the exam. It starts you off by taking a pre-test for each section of the exam. Then, it tells you areas you may want to focus on more than others based on your score. After that, it breaks down each objective and supplies you with information and videos. At the end of each objective, you have a 5 question quiz. After completing all the objective quizzes for the first time, it allows you to take the post-test. The post-test contains a few less questions than what the actual exam has, so I found it helpful for me to practice my timing. After you do this post-test, it tells you again the areas you should focus on. You can then go back through whichever modules you want and complete another set of 5 questions for each objective. After that, you can complete the post-test again. I should tell you though, it is the same post-test you already took. The quizzes are different questions, but the post-test is the same. Be warned, the prep course only lasts 3 months! But, you can go through the modules as many times as you want during that time! #3 Here was my biggest problem with the prep-course; I found errors in some of the questions. I would answer a question correctly, but it would tell me I was wrong and they would highlight the "correct" answer (which was not correct). I emailed ATI about 2 that I noticed and they said it would be remedied. Still, I was upset because I paid so much for the prep-course and yet there were errors. It made me wonder what other errors I might've missed! Despite that, I found the prep course helpful. It condensed information for me to cram, cram, and cram some more. The price is a bit steep for what you're given so it's really up to the individual to decide what's best for them. Let me know your experiences with it! There is so much more I could say, so I'm happy to answer any questions anyone has. Feel free to comment, I'll try to answer to the best of my ability. I know I was extremely nervous to take this exam, so I want to help others if I can.
  12. How to Study for Success in Nursing School- Part I provided tips on how to lay a strong foundation for effective study. From attending class, rethinking assignments to scheduling your study, it is important to “see the big picture” of how good study habits can help you succeed in nursing school. Let’s start Part II by reviewing popular study strategies that may not be as effective as we believe. Three Highly Used Study Strategies That May Not Work In 2013, Kent State researchers reviewed scientific evidence for common learning techniques used by students. The findings were published in Psychological Science in the Public Interest and the usefulness of three techniques popular techniques were debunked. Rereading A survey conducted at an elite university found 84% of students studied by rereading their textbooks or notes. While rereading can be beneficial when needing to recall information by memory, the strategy does not necessarily help students understand the content. Highlighting It is not uncommon for nursing students to have scads of highlighters, in varying colors, to use when reading material. However, research has shown highlighting as you read does not help with understanding and may lead to lower test scores. If you like highlighting as you read, be sure to restudy the material using a more effective strategy. Summarizing Research found that summarizing the most important content in a text could be helpful, but there is a catch. To summarize effectively, studies have shown extensive training to build summarization skills is necessary. Therefore, depending on summarizing as a primary study strategy may not yield the desired results. The Most Effective Strategies Kent researchers identified practice testing and distributed practice as having the highest overall utility rating. Put it to the Test Practice testing provides you with the opportunity to apply what you learn. Multiple-choice practice tests may be the most effective format, promoting stronger retention of information. A simple internet search for practice questions on the topic you are studying will provide you with enough questions for a quality practice test. Distributed Practice Last minute cramming before an exam does not often lead to comprehension and retention. Research shows distributing, or spreading out, study is a highly effective learning strategy. This also speaks to the importance of scheduling out your study sessions. Intensity is Good There is a way studying can take less time but still be effective. It is all about intensity. Shorter, focused and intense studying allows you to learn more effectively without hours upon hours of studying. Without distractions, sessions can be beneficial and last just 30 or 45 minutes. Make the Most of “Easy Weeks” Having a light week in your work, personal or school life can be a rare occurrence. My first response to a “down week” was usually to kick up my feet and take a much-needed break from anything related to nursing school. However, downtime can be used to your advantage by offering the opportunity to get ahead on assignments, projects or studying. Don’t Wait for Inspiration Do you ever find yourself waiting on some outside strike of inspiration to provide the motivation needed to tackle assignments and prep for exams? Waiting to be motivated is most likely just cleverly packaged procrastination. Think of studying like exercising. It is not something we always want to do, but the reward is worth it. When morale is low and you’re questioning “Can I really do this?”, remind yourself you did not make it this far in your academics by accident. Be willing to adjust and try new study approaches to meet the challenges of nursing school. What study advice do you have for a new or struggling nursing student?
  13. Opportunities to practice skills often came in waves with proclaimed "learning opportunity" attached to tasks that others didn't want to do. I was OK with this approach because I really wanted to learn and help out. So the days came where it was my turn PRACTICE and LEARN the skill of SOAP SUD ENEMAS via RECTAL TUBE. This opportunity was bestowed upon me for a patient in much discomfort. I had somehow gotten through nursing school without having to complete this particular task. I had observed a few of these procedures while working in the ER, and felt confident that I knew what was important for this task. I knew providing patient privacy was of the utmost importance as was taking concern to comfort and easing patient's anxiety. I also KNEW that preparing for possible "accidents" was essential. I therefore took very careful measures to cover the bed and floor with extra linens prior to starting the procedure. Once I was set up I felt ready to do my first soap suds enema. I eagerly introduced myself, and explained the procedure to the patient. I then enthusiastically and respectfully guided the patient into the IDEAL position and nervously tried to provide as much comfort as possible. As I cautiously began and slowly progress through the task... I kept ensuring I was doing things RIGHT....things were going smooth, and I felt a sigh of relief. The patient was tolerating the soapy water, tube and procedure and in the meantime my confidence was increasing and nerves settling. "This wasn't so bad," I thought to myself... now only if it is effective...... I began to slowly remove the tube and prompting the patient TO HOLD EVERYTHING in.... when something when wrong.... something was making me panic.... the tube was coming out and out and out.... and I felt resistance..... and the TUBE GOT STUCK?!?!?!.... I tugged lightly, and more aggressively and it wouldn't budge! I nervously fidgeted with the tube while straining to picture the anatomy of this area .... I was thinking "where the heck could it get stuck"?!?!. I anxiously tried to assure the patient and encouraged deep breathing -while I started to panic and couldn't think of what to do. I somehow explained to the patient to HOLD ON and that I would be RIGHT BACK. I covered my patient, tiptoed out of the room then ran to the nursing station. Frantically, I explained my embarrassing situation to one of my coworkers and with a smirk she came to my rescue. She assessed the situation, with a barely contained hysterical laughter, directed the patient to take a deep breath and just yanked the tube right out. I cringed at the thought, feeling really confused as to why it GOT STUCK...SHE had DONE the task... just like that?!?! I couldn't believe it. My coworker rushed out of the room barely keeping her laughter in, when she informed me that I had got the RECTAL tube STUCK on a HEMORRHOID. I was MORTIFIED and then couldn't stop laughing at how silly of a situation it was. I learned a lot that day about soap sud enemas and hemorrhoids! I frequently remind new people to be ware and also learned to take things a little lighter.
  14. thywillbedone_

    Nursing as a Human Experience

    I'm writing this article on my bed, wiping my tears away and making sure that this article makes sense to those who are reading it. I just finished a 13-hour shift yesterday night at the CVICU. I am in my final semester of nursing school and I am so excited to be on this amazing floor for my preceptorship. For the past three shifts that I have been on this floor, I have been so happy that this floor opened up so many avenues and opportunities for learning. Things I have only read in nursing textbooks (when I do read them) are now being applied in the real setting. Machines, pumps and other alarms consistently needed my attention & care. And the patients that I have are "critical," which means that I get to do a lot for the patients and learn and apply many nursing skills. So, I finished getting my report from the night nurse, and my preceptor asked me, "What is your plan of action for today and are you ready for it?" It was a Saturday shift, and it seemed that the floor was quiet (the quietest I've seen it). I answered my preceptor, "I'm ready, it seems that we're gonna have an easy and good day." I shouldn't have said this (which I learned to never ever say this again), or maybe I'm glad I did (because I learned a great lesson). Throughout the day, there were two code blues, one stroke alert, and 3 code ices; all to which one of the CVICU nurses must run and respond. (Trying to keep this short & sweet & maybe sour - from crying.) Truth be told, I thought I was ready, but I wasn't. I was not ready for the tears that the wife of my patient would shed, as she left her husband - who was intubated and required continuous dialysis - to travel 6 hours away to go back home. I was not ready to see a grandchild who would give up the comfort of sleeping and eating, just so that his grandmother could rest well. I was not ready to respond to a stroke alert, in which I chose to comfort the crying daughter who tried to be strong, as 5 nurses were assessing her father. I was not ready for the physician to say, "There's no hope for my patient" in the break room just as I was grabbing my first sip of water for the day. I was not ready for one of the nurses to tell me, "The patient died," as I was too focused in her telling me that she had to perform chest compressions with one hand, for the patient was vomiting and expelling secretions from all places in his body. I was not ready. Being in the healthcare field (I can say this for myself), you forget that people who come to the hospital are really sick; some are more critical than others. You forget that there are so many hospitals in the world, and so many people waiting to be cured. You forget that there are so many more sick and dying people who are not in a hospital bed. You forget that you are in the middle of pain & suffering, as well as faith & hope. During hand-off reports, I became too focused on how many CABGs does the patient have, any lines or drainage, feeding pumps, etc. and charting. You forget that in that chart you only have one line for something, social support. You forget that your own patients are mothers, fathers, grandparents, and children. You forget that you are part of the first line of care for these patients. You forget that whatever you do for these patients directly affects them, whether it is all the medications you give, all the heavy turning & lifting you do, or all the assessments you perform. You also forget the last meal or water break you had, when you last peed or sat down. You forget all of the aching calves and back because you have to hang this med up or cover for a nurse that just ran to the sixth floor to respond to a code blue. You forget that you, yourself, are important. Being in the CVICU, I learned that there are so many patients in the world, from being discharged to dying. Nursing is not just "work" that we have to get through, it is also a human experience. Call it "therapeutic touch," call it "supportive," or call it "active listening." Don't forget that we are human and that there are human experiences to be recognized every time you step on that floor. I now know the importance of the saying, "treat the patient, not the machine." So when you walk into your work, or clinical rotation or preceptorship, ask yourself, "Am I ready?"
  15. kbilly3

    HESI A2 Tips: Ratios and Proportions

    I did math first because I am someone that writes everything down, even with a calculator. I also double check that I typed into the calculator the right equation. MOST of my questions were PROPORTIONS! They were the easy ones too, 5:9 and x:20, solve for x. I had maybe less than five that were in a word problem version. I also used the app- TeenEinstein US 6th/7th Ratios and Proportions. I did not purchase the app but if you get the answer wrong, it will not tell you how to solve it. I just did a couple. I used this website for all my math. It shows the answers too and explained how to do it very well. I also had fractions- add, subtract, multiply and divide. They were mostly like this 1 2/3 minus 4- 4/7. I had ONE with three fractions and multiplying them. I used the YouTube video HESI A2 - Math - Fractions Part 1 - YouTube For the fractions only, the answer needed to be in the nearest tenths, or hundredths place when asked. Learn those. I did not bother to learn conversions but to MEMORIZE a chart. I used this one for fluids. I would memorize liters though because that was my only conversion I had to do. It asked my liters to gallons. For mm, cm, in, ft, yards, m, km, and miles I created a timeline like conversions chart. Underneath each length, I inserted the appropriate conversion. So underneath ft- I put 0.3048m. 12 in., and 30.48 cm. One foot equals all of that. I used her tips and conversions (Hesi A2 Math Flashcards | Quizlet) I knew I would not be able to memorize it on the top of my head so I repeatedly wrote down my timeline chart until I inserted the correct conversions. I had ONE military time and a few PEMDAS equations that were very easy. READING, Vocab, Grammar I did Reading next because I knew I needed to take my time and see what they were asking. I used this free app for all Reading, Vocab and Grammar-CoCo E-Learning HESI A2 Exam Prep 2017 .It is a red and white icon. For vocab I also used Quizlet and typed in HESI A2 2017 Vocab. I chose the ones that were over 100 and those were examples that I had on the test word for word. I used the app too. For grammar, I used that app. I had what word or phrase does not fit in the sentence, finish the sentence by picking the correct word. what is the adverb, what is the independent clause and dependent clause. That is it. Here's some help on clauses, I used this Clause type identification quiz (it really is this easy). Tip- if you whisper the sentence, you will automatically know what doesn't sound right. Chemistry You need to what the numbers are on the chart. Like the atomic number (what it means) and the protons. Know what are the metals and non-metals. I had some questions ask which sentence is true and some options will say "blank is a non-metal." I had one ask what is an isotope. I didn't have any equations. I had a couple of questions asking about acids and bases (it gave the number and asked what it was), solutes and solvents. define an atom, what the charges were for protons, neutrons, electrons. I had various questions on the states of matter like how do particles move. Define the law of conservation of energy. I had another law. It started with an r if that helps. I believe it was a name. Know the compounds- ionic and covalent. I had one mol question. For the periodic table- know the groups 1,2 13-18. Periods 1-4. They asked me about Mg and S and I didn't memorize the numbers or anything. So for the safe side, I would memorize those. HESI A2 - Chemistry - Atomic structure - YouTube I used this for chemistry. Biology I used Quizlet for biology. They asked about meiosis, mitosis. The Krebs Cycle, the mitochondria, ribosomes, peptidoglycan walls, ATP, DNA, smooth ER, what is it called when molecules cross the plasma membrane, hyper/hypotonic solution, adenine, guanine (uracil) thymine cytosine matching. what makes up most of plasma, enzymes/ substrates. punnett square, genotype, phenotype, polypeptides, polar/ nonpolar in the cell. lipids, amino acids. I hoped I clarified everything. I was SO nervous taking it because I didn't study but most questions already had two wrong answers. Use process of elimination. They will include stuff that doesn't even exist. I have a pretty good memory, if I write something repeatedly, I will remember it. That is what I did for the conversions. My own personal piece of advice/trick to this, playing a matching game Pearl's Peril. I swear by this game or any game alike because my memory improved fast. I stopped playing for a week and I noticed a difference in my memory. I know that sounds tacky but I still play it today and do very well in school. Whatever I read, I remember. THAT'S IT! ask me anything that needs to be clarified and I'll let you know. GOOD LUCK!!!
  16. What I learned in nursing school is how to set up an IV fluid set, what to do when a patient is exhibiting signs of septic shock, the most intricate details of hundreds of medications, how to give different types of intramuscular injections, and how to titrate oxygen. I learned the best nursing practice measures to prevent infection, how to change a central line dressing, how research drives evidence-based practice, how to complete a head-to-toe physical assessment, how to calculate weight based dosages for pediatric patients, etc. The list goes on and on... But what I really learned in nursing school is how to balance 20 hours of clinical a week with my other classes and a part-time job. I learned how to prepare myself for walking through the hospital doors where I will take care of patients and their families on what may be the worst day of their lives. I learned that listening with open ears can speak more volumes than words and sometimes that is really what my patients need. I learned that my patients want to have a voice, be heard, and be understood. I learned the importance of validation and encouragement. I learned that nursing is extremely difficult but rewarding. I learned how to speak up and advocate for my patients because if I don't, then who will? What I really learned in nursing school is that sometimes what seems like "no big deal" to me can make all the difference. During my medical-surgical rotation, I was taking care of an oncology patient who was receiving chemotherapy and a complicated concoction of medications. After I had completed his physical assessment that morning, I asked if I could get him anything. He told me his bed was making him feel itchy and uncomfortable. Although I figured the itchiness was related to his dry skin from the chemotherapy, I had a few minutes to spare so I ran down to the basement of the hospital to grab special, hypoallergenic sheets for him. While my patient was walking around the unit, I went into his room and did my best to make his bed with the new sheets as perfectly as I possibly could. When he returned to his room and saw his bed all made up for him he got teary-eyed and hugged me. The next day, he told me that he was actually able to sleep for the first time in weeks. Even though this happened two years ago, I remember it because it was the day I learned the true meaning of the saying, "it's the little things." What I really learned in nursing school is that to some, I may be "just a nurse" but to the little toddler who squeezes my hand during scary procedures, I'm a superhero and to the beautiful, elegant lady who spent hours sharing her life stories and wisdom with me while on hospice, I'm an angel. I learned that nursing is extremely challenging but rewarding. I learned that I do not need the significance of my choice of profession to be validated by my peers or by my parents. I learned how to calmly and respectfully answer the question, "You're really smart. Why aren't you becoming a doctor?" I learned that what I'm doing is important and that I have the privilege to make a difference in people's lives every single day. I learned that nursing is science, nursing is art, and nursing is love. What I really learned in nursing school is that I have so much more to learn and although this career I have chosen will never be easy, it will be so, so worth it.
  17. Standard Precautions These are the safety measures that should be taken with all patients. Wash Your Hands - Most important step in infection control. It prevents nosocomial infections. DON Gloves - Before coming in contact with anything wet. ie. broken skin, mucous membranes, blood, body fluids, soiled instruments, contaminated waste materials Wash hands again upon removal of gloves and between patients. Contact Precautions Before entering Wash hands DON gown then gloves Upon entering Use disposable equipment when possible When not available clean and disinfect all equipment before removing from room Transporting patient PT should perform hand hygiene and wear a clean gown For direct contact with pt, nurse or care provider should wear a gown and gloves. Notify receiving area Before leaving the patient's room Remove gloves then gown Wash hands Contact Precautions Microorganisms Antibiotic Resistant Organisms (Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureu (MRSA), Extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL), Penicillin resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae (PRSP), Multi-drug resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (MDRP)) Scabies Herpes Zoster (Shingles) localized Diarrhea, Clostrididum difficile Airborne Contact Precautions Before entering Wash hands Don N95 Respirator (Mask) Don gown then gloves Negative Pressure Isolation Room KEEP DOOR CLOSED Transporting patient Patient must wear a surgical or procedure mask and a clean gown Patient must wash hands For direct contact with pt, nurse or care provider should wear a gown and gloves. Notify receiving area Before leaving pt's room Remove gloves then gown NOT N95 mask Wash hands After leaving pt's room Shut door Wash hands Remove N95 mask Wash hands Airborne Contact Precautions Microorganisms Measles (Rubeola) Tuberculosis (TB) Chicken Pox (Varicella-Zoster virus) Herpes Zoster (Shingles) disseminated Droplet Contact Precautions Before Entering Wash Hands DON Mask and Eye Protection DON Gown then Gloves Patient Transport Pt must perform hand hygiene Pt must wear a surgical or procedure mask and a clean gown For direct contact with pt, nurse or care provider should wear a gown and gloves. Notify receiving area Before Leaving Pt's Room Remove gloves then gown Wash Hands Remove eye protection and mask Wash Hands Droplet Contact Precautions Microorganisms Influenza (Flu) Viral Respiratory tract infections (adenovirus, parainfluenza, rhinovirus, RSV) Streptococcus group A pharyngitis, pneumonia, scarlet fever Neisseria meningitidis invasive infections H. Influenzae type b invasive infections Pertussis Rubella Mumps Happy Studying
  18. The beginning, that moment when you say yes. I am not talking about saying "yes to the dress" or saying "yes" when proposed to. I am talking about the "yes" we say when we ask ourselves "Am I going to try and get into nursing school?". Yes. I am not going to try though, I AM going to get into nursing school. A magical "yes" might not come to everyone though. As someone in her early 30's going to school with a majority of 18-25 year olds, my very "straight forward with a dash of humor" personality has had me ask multiple people (again, mostly younger) why they are going to school. The average answer? "Well I was thinking about going into nursing." You "think"? They normally reply with "oh, what about you?". My reply "I AM going to nursing school, just have to finish these prerequisites first though *wink*" I'm on a dead straight course. No stopping. No "I just have to pass this class". I am the crazy lady that MUST have A's and if I think I will get a "B" on a test, well I'll sit there looking like my puppy just died until the professor hands me back my test with an "A" on it. Am I OCD? A perfectionist? Ha! No. But I know what I want, and have been working so hard to get it. I live in San Diego where getting into a nursing program is cut throat, and you essentially have to be "the best of the best of the best sir!" to get in (though at work, I have plenty of nursing students that I work with that leave me thinking "if they can get in... well I sure as hell better get in"). There has not been one thing in my life (other then maybe my husband and kids) that I have ever been so sure on. Am I the only one? Lately I feel that way. What I love about allnurses is that there are stories of people like me. Though I may not be surrounded with peers with the same mindset, I know I can come online and find others with the same mindset. "Me" being a domestic engineer for the past 11 years, supporting my husbands military career, and raising 2 wonderful kids. We are finally in a duty station long enough, and the kids are old enough, that I can actually go back to school, and chase down my dreams. When I started this post, I thought I would write about dealing with the "hard work", but instead as I type, I feel like I've just walked up to the starting line, the lights are bright, the crowd is loud, I settle into position and look up. I look straight ahead and fade out the noise, fade out those around me, and see only my destination. I breathe to release tension, and to help lower my heart rate. "I will not stop. I will go all the way. I have only one goal. I did not show up to not start. I did not show up to quit. I showed up to go ALL THE WAY" So essentially, if you were sitting in the bleachers of a high school stadium, you would see me hauling *** down the track. With no one beside me because I am not really a sprinter, but I just showed up to the track for the the hell of it. You would probably be sitting next to a friend and lean over and say "That lady looks a little intense", and hopefully your friend would reply "Yeah, that lady is definitely on a mission" I am on a mission. All because I said yes. What is your "yes" moment? When did you decide to step up to the line?
  19. When it comes to anything having to do with scholastic endeavors, I have always taken pleasure and excelled. As I would tell my professors when they asked me how I did so well, the realm of academia has always been my happy place; I have some modicum of control when it comes to bringing to fruition desired outcomes (I.e. studying and hard work lead to good grades). Applying to nursing school, however, felt a lot like an exercise in futility. Some might say that I should have taken the rejection letters as a humbling experience; I would have taken the rejection in stride and learned something from it, except for the fact that I have spoken with faculty members from various nursing schools and have witnessed practices that I do not consider ethical at all. Furthermore, speaking with peers, while anecdotal, revealed a lot as well. There is a dark underbelly to the admissions process and I would even hazard to say that applying to medical school would have been a more streamlined, less harrowing experience. What follows is my own personal experience with the admissions process and what has led me to believe that nursing school admissions is murky, clandestine bog of uncertainties and questionable practices. Prior to applying to nursing school for the first time, I conferred with a member of the college's faculty (who was close friends with someone on the nursing admissions committee), asking if I should try out for sponsorship since my grades were so good. Having insider knowledge, he advised me not to because they preferred to grant sponsorship to hospital employees, applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds, or relatives/favorites. He also mentioned that sponsorship applicants who were rejected were not then put back into the general pool of applicants for nursing school; essentially, the coveted six sponsored seats were chosen and the remainder of sponsorship applications were thrown in the garbage. Nobody knew of this practice, including one of my good friends with a stellar GPA, who had repeatedly applied for sponsorship but had been rejected for the past three years (only when she threatened with a lawsuit was she suddenly accepted). When I finally applied for nursing school in 2015, I heeded the faculty member's advice and would not touch sponsorship with a ten foot pole, even though I had the grades for it. The following Spring, I received my first rejection letter, which cited that there were far too many qualified applicants, blah, blah, blah. Fine. I was well aware of the fact that hardly anyone I knew was accepted the first time, so I decided to patiently bide my time until the next application period, enrolling in an EMT course in order to have clinical experience. I knew many friends and acquaintances who had gotten in on the second try. The second time that I applied for nursing school in 2016, I decided to turn in my application in person. The administrators took my new application, but then proclaimed that they could not find my initial application. The dean of the nursing school came forward and asked me what my rejection letter had said and I informed her of its contents. She personally looked me up in their system and found my application under the category of applicants scoring below eligibility requirements (pre-requisite validation cut-score of 75% and/or composite score of 62% on the assessment test). Frowning, I informed her that that simply could not be possible since a counselor had calculated that my GPA placed me at 89%. This was no mistake or error in calculation, as the faculty knows me well (the dean herself knows that I have a bachelors degree from the same school that she attended for her MSN). The dean calculated my percentage herself on the spot and corrected the "error," assuring me that I would get in on the second try. Which brings me to where I am today: holding a letter informing me that I am an alternate so far down on the waiting list that I wasn't even invited to their in-take meeting (code for surprise drug test). Once again, as told by a member of the admissions committee over the phone today, I have to bide my time until the next application period. Many nursing programs openly state that their programs are impacted and that waiting to get into a program can take as long as three years to finally be accepted. At least such programs are being honest and while I think it somewhat preposterous, I respect their candor. The two schools that I have had dealings with, however, have no such officially impacted statuses, instead opting to artificially impact their programs with, for lack of a better word, shady practices. For example, the Microbiology professor at one school informed me that the nursing department actually frowns on him awarding A's to students, encouraging him to give B's even if the students rightfully earned A's. Why are nursing schools trying to lower students' scores? To stem the flow of applicants? I was under the impression that there was a nursing shortage. Another equally troubling practice is when nursing schools give deference to applicants based on factors not having to do anything with academics. From whether the applicant was a CNA first to what ethnicity box the applicant places a check mark in, there are numerous unofficial factors that influence admission into a program. I cannot tell you the number of times that I have congratulated friends who were accepted with C averages or had to go through remediation programs but also happened to speak a foreign language predominantly spoken in the state that I live in. While I am happy for my friends, I also think that politics have no place in nursing. If a nursing school wanted for students to be able to speak that foreign language, why wasn't it indicated on the application? I would have gladly learned the language instead of squandering three years of my life waiting to hear if I was accepted into the program. As much as I love the field of healthcare and very much enjoyed patient interaction during clinicals, I do not love the hoops that nursing schools ask students to jump through. I'm not talking about the prerequisite courses (I actually really liked taking those). I'm talking about the unofficial profiling that admissions committees inevitably take part in when they consider applicants for admission into their program. One faculty member told me that I was not getting in because I already have a bachelors degree in another discipline, stating that I was already equipped to get a job and that the school's vetting process was a form of social justice. What does that have to do with anything? Medical and law schools accept people with diverse majors, so why is nursing school holding my possession of a prior degree against me? Yes, I do have a degree, but I also have $50,000 in student loans that accrue interest on a quarterly basis and my unemployed status only exacerbates the debt. I don't mean to sound bitter or disgruntled, but I originally decided to pursue nursing for all the right reasons (I like helping humanity, I enjoy interacting with patients, and I like medicine). After being rejected multiple times from nursing school, however, I feel like all my original zeal has been wrung from me and I am now simply left as a husk of regret and frustration. I almost feel like my time would have been better spent pursuing another degree in healthcare and maybe that is something else to consider for the future. My final thought on this matter is that I think many qualified potential future nurses are being sieved out for the wrong reasons and doing so is a disservice to patients. As one patient told me at his bedside when I was completing clinical hours, he preferred a nurse who earned A's in her courses over a nurse with C's and D's. I couldn't agree more.
  20. Yesterday, I finally took my HESI exam and I couldn't wait to post some tips for future test takers! Here are my scores along with some things I wish I would have known: General study tips Stay far, far away from the Mometrix study guide and practice tests; They're ridden with mistakes and contain excessive information not indicative of what you'll see on the actual exam. McGraw Hill's practice exam booklet is a great way to familiarize yourself with the test format. By far, the best study guide book is by Elsevier, the company that makes the HESI A2. Buy it, read it and take the practice questions. The guide shows you exactly what you need to study for the exam. The only section I would recommend doing additional studying for is the A&P section. Scores Math: 98% Basic, basic math. You also get a simple calculator on the exam, which is wonderful! Know your conversations (temperature, metric, etc.) and be very comfortable working with ratios and fractions. Reading Comprehension: 92% Practice exams hugely helped prepare me for this section. During the test, make sure you read through the passage first and understand exactly what a question is asking before selecting an answer. To be safe, on most questions I wrote out "ABCD" on my scratch paper and went through the passage marking each wrong answer as I read to ensure I chose the correct answer and didn't rush through the question. Vocabulary: 98% Whoah there- did anyone purchase the Mometrix HESI A2 study guide? If you haven't: Stay away! If you have: Put it down and breathe a sigh of relief. The book contains a hefty list of medical terminology. I memorized everything from hepatosalpinx to carbuncle and not a single word I learned was even close to the content on the exam. For the vocabulary section, focus on general vocabulary. I'd say most of the content consists of words commonly used in everyday academia. A&P: 84% I way, way over studied for A&P, so it's unfortunate I achieved my lowest score on this section. Two weeks before the exam, I pored over the minutia of each chapter of my past anatomy textbook. Unfortunately, I focused on accumulating a knowledge of many details and skimmed general concepts, figuring this information was "too easy" for the exam. Wrong choice. When you're studying for the HESI A2 A&P section, focus on broad, general concepts (hormones, cellular transport, general anatomy, etc.) and don't get bogged down with the little details. I used the following site to brush up on my anatomy: Anatomy & Physiology Class Website. Excellent organization of information! Again, don't focus on the little details. Grammar: 98% Studying for this section concerned me. Whereas I know the rules of grammar, the last time I learned the technical terms for grammar rules (indirect object, weak clause, etc.) was years ago. Luckily, the exam didn't focus on identifying parts of a sentence via technical terms. I used the following site to test myself on grammar knowledge after studying and it was really helpful: Grammar Quizzes Critical Thinking: 940/1000 This section is not included in any of the available HESI A2 study guides, so I was nervous to take it. The Critical Thinking section provides you with a variety of different situations you could encounter as a nurse and asks how you would respond in a given situation. Watch HESI Study Tips video... My advice... before answering a question Identify the most urgent problem Select the best response for treating the specific problem Hope this information helps someone! Overall, the test was much less intense than I expected, so don't stress yourself out too much. Happy to answer any questions!
  21. stephanieannBSN

    Passed NCLEX-RN

    I graduated with my BSN June 16th, 2017 with a 3.5GPA. I wasn't the greatest student, I worked throughout my entire program as a pharmacy tech, and didn't necessarily apply myself as much as I should have. NCLEX-RN Resources My program utilized Kaplan and we were the first cohort since switching from ATI. We had weekly Q-bank quizzes that really were a waste of time, because the importance of training and practicing how to take NCLEX style questions wasn't really enforced. So, essentially, my NCLEX prep started at the Kaplan Live Review which lasted for a few days. Beware: this is NOT a content review. This is strictly question after question, teaching you tools and strategies to answer NCLEX questions. The techniques they teach you definitely take some getting used to, such as the decision tree, but if you stick with it, you start to understand and apply it to more questions. Personally, I felt I needed more help with content than I was provided throughout my BSN program. We didn't have maternity or psych rotations, and I lacked a lot of basic knowledge in those types of areas. So, I purchased the online HURST content review. It was $350 and in my opinion, well worth it. I gained so much knowledge that I somehow didn't pick up in school. The delivery of content is what helped me the most - they have southern accents and present the material in a very easy to understand way and they make it enjoyable. Hurst has 4 tests of 125 questions. They recommend 77/125. I got 75, 62, 77, and 80. I did not feel HURST questions were up to the level of Kaplan. I continued doing their question flashcards, but didn't complete them all. I completed ALL Kaplan q-bank questions (+1600) with an average score of 56%. The best piece of advice I can give about Kaplan is to trust their system and be consistent with doing questions. I started out doing 50 question sets at a time, and gradually built myself up to 75 question sets. I would do 2 per day. I remediated every answer, and wrote rationales down for incorrect answers and kept them in a binder. By my testing date, I had over 40 pages of notes that I would skim through every few days. My trainers were not excellent, some not even good. I liked these, because they really began to build my stamina for answering questions. They are as follows: Trainer 1- 64% Trainer 2 - 63% Trainer 3 - 45% Trainer 4 - 56% Trainer 5 - 51% Trainer 6 - 62% Trainer 7 - 59% NCLEX 1 - 54% NCLEX 2 - 66% NCLEX 3 (Priorities) - 73% NCLEX 4 (ALL SATA) - 30% Diagnostic - 55% Readiness - 60% Additionally, I used Priority, Delegation, and Assignment by LaCharity. I liked this book, but didn't love it. I liked questions about LPN/LVN because we don't have those in the hospital where I work, so it was useful to think about what can be delegated to them. I completed about 3/4 of the chapters and didn't do any of the case studies. There is a huge study guide that was created from users on Allnurses that I utilized. There was some pretty good information on it about precautions, different pneumonic devices to remember information, and great tips about positioning, amongst other things. Get your hands on that, it was nice to have a hard copy with my study materials, but I also kept it on my iPad as well. Schedule I took one week off after graduation and went on vacation. I studied for about one month exactly. I did HURST the first week entirely. Watched all of the lectures and filled in my workbook. Didn't do any Kaplan. I did utilize the q-banks from HURST. After the first week, I threw myself into Kaplan and followed it to a T! I printed off the recommended schedule for Q-trainers and when to take which exam and made my schedule based off of that. And it seemed to work nicely for me. I studied almost every day. Even days when I worked at my job, I would do questions on breaks and lunch. I always did at least 150 questions a day. And I did one chapter of LaCharity per day as well to mix it up a bit. I will be honest, I didn't do a lot outside of work and studying. NCLEX prep became the focus for an entire month. Day Before Everyone has their own opinion about studying or not studying. This is a personal choice. For me, it was a day to review notes. I took a solo trip to the beach, and relaxed on the beach while reading my rationale notes, the study guide on my iPad, and doing questions from LaCharity. I didn't overdo it. I spent a lot of time refocusing and reminding myself what I am doing, why I am doing it, and who I'm doing it for. I prayed A LOT this day. I prayed throughout my preparation that God would solidify the immense amount of content and strategies and I would be able to call upon them on testing day. Day Of I scheduled an afternoon exam at 1pm. I slept about 6 hours, not as much as I had hoped. I met my best friend for a yummy breakfast and a pep talk at a bistro. After, I drove to the testing center where my fiancé met me. We spent a bit of time together and then I went upstairs to sit the exam. Expected testing process at the center. Palm prints, pocket checks, rules review. Nothing too surprising. Exam I prepared myself for 265 questions. I had snacks and water ready for a break at 2 hours if needed. I sat down, sat back in my chair, slipped my shoes off, and prayed. The interface of NCLEX was similar to Kaplan which made me feel more at home and like I was doing something that was familiar to me. I had a MIXED bag of questions. Many seemingly from left field. But, I was focused on my breathing, going slowly, taking my hand OFF the mouse until I was ready to answer, and confidently clicking next. I didn't keep track of any of the types of questions I had. I had many SATA, a few exhibits, no drag and drop, no med calc, no listening questions. I had my answer to question 75 selected and I closed my eyes and prayed and clicked next. The computer shut off. I had finished. Post Exam Many people will tell you they felt like they failed. That they got kicked in the gut. I didn't feel that way. I didn't necessarily feel that I failed. I wasn't confident I had passed either. I had a "peace that transcends all understanding". I wasn't nervous at all. I confidently walked out of the testing center KNOWING that I had prepared probably more than most people and I gave that exam my BEST shot. And whatever the outcome, I could rest knowing it wasn't lack of effort. Pearson Vue Trick This is another personal choice. It's not 100% guaranteed. Friends who took the exam before me were successful with it, and I had decided to try it to. I did it in the car and got the "good" pop up that states you have an open registration and cannot make another one. I attempted the trick about 5 more times in 24 hours and always got the same pop up. 26 hours after I finished my exam, my license number was posted. Take the PVT as you wish. For me and others I know, it worked and indeed calmed some of the anxiety. Final Thoughts Support and knowing that I had people who were cheering for me meant everything in my preparation. I had people constantly praying for me and encouraging me. This went a long way in my believing that I could pass the NCLEX. I already had an amazing job lined up and felt the stress of that weighing on me. Prayer became my weapon against any negative self talk or doubt. Find people who will lift you up and encourage you. Don't approach this exam willy nilly. I know some people do and pass at 75 and that's their thing. Respect the exam and what it stands for. And respect yourself and the sacrifices that you and your loved ones have given for you to have the opportunity to have those two wonderful and respected letters after your name. RN. It is powerful and shouldn't be taken lightly. Finally, QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS!!! I can't stress this enough. Getting into the habit of reading questions and discerning what is being asked is the game. And you won't get better if you don't practice. Content review helped me. But it was the constant exposure to NCLEX style questions that helped me the most. Do this, and when you are sitting the real exam, you will feel like it's another Q-trainer or Qbank. I sincerely hope this helps someone out there. I have benefited so much from reading experiences of new graduates and I hope that in some small way, someone has been encouraged. Bless you all!
  22. Here are some tips for nursing school: 1. First block and most of second is learning the basic fundamentals of nursing.. READ YOUR BOOK...it will never fail you. 2. While you read your book annotate the chapters highlighting the important material. This will help you in 3rd and 4th block. 3. Take good notes in class, write, circle, and highlight things in your book that you should focus on. Tip: Don't record your lecture and depend on that because it will not help you!! Trust me you will learn more if you focus on the lecture and read the whole chapter + annotate. This is extremely time consuming and may seem unnecessary but you will be extremely happy you did this when 3rd and 4th block comes around and you have more time to focus on other things then reading again. 4. Do NCLEX question – 1&2 block focus on basic skills, safety, and procedure. 5. If you get a chance to take the Summer LPN.. do it.. its helpful and will make 3rd block a bit easier. 6. 3rd and 4th block: here comes the hard part. Now you take everything you have learned and start applying it. It sounds easy but IT'S NOT. 7. Take your annotated notes and use them. While you review ask yourself "WHY?". Don't just know how or what to do, but WHY you are doing what you are doing. 8. Do more NCLEX questions. Focus on comprehensive and analytical ones.. READ THE RATIONALES! Understand why. 9. Don't sweat the HESI exam, if you do everything I tell you it won't be a problem... I scored pretty high on them. 10. Hint: know your math. If your struggle with it practice it... a lot. It will kill your HESI score and cause you to fail the NCLEX if you mess up on math, med errors are not looked kindly upon. 11. Sim lab. I'm gonna warn you... everyone is scared of sim lab. Don't worry... take a breath and use it as a learning experience. They will put pressure on you and make you feel rushed... don't. Take your time. Ask other nurses for help. Look at the whole picture – trust me, it will seem like you suck but you will do good. Also, sim labs get harder and harder and the expectations increase. Know your math.. CHECK YOUR PT ARM BAND ALWAYS!! Check the order. Follow five rights. Even if you have to say it out loud, do it. "Okay what are my patients' five rights?" If things get crazy, ask for help. That's all I have for now. I hope this helps. Good luck!!
  23. People tell me I'm an easygoing guy. I can handle 3 exams in a week, or a multiple page paper that's length rivals something from Tolkien. However, we all have our breaking points, our moments when we enter a crossroad. We can either snap or bite our lip. This was that kind of week. It was the week that I had one of the most high maintenance patients in the history of creation. He seriously called for me every 10 minutes, on the minute. I started to question whether he had an alarm or stopwatch set to the exact time. "Is Adam there? He's needed in room 21" I let out a sigh that could have bristled leaves off of the trees outside. It's a hush of white noise that disquiets the static. The nurses around me float a grimaced hemi-lipped smirk in my direction. Our eyes lock as I peer upward from my downturned gaze of disbelief. Again? Of course, again. Have you ever sat down to start a project, and the very second you get started, you get disrupted? It's like putting down the baby to sleep after she's been crying for an hour, and the moment that silence darkens the room, the postman shows up and rings the doorbell. Chaos ensues. That's the kind of day I've been having. I haven't been able to chart, or finish looking up my medications, or work on my plan of care, or come up to answers to the dozen questions I've been assigned to today. Now I'm not one that really gets stressed, but I'd like to attempt to finish ONE thing today. If for nothing else, then just to say I started AND finished something. Let me go see what he wants this time. I stop at the door, use the hand sanitizer, and get my mind right. I clear my head, and with my melting thoughts, my face becomes blank. I can't show him that I'm irritated; I have to be comforting and strong. He's the one that could be hurting. Mr. Lewis, all 240 pounds of him, is tossed on his side in his bed. His gown is disheveled, his sheets and blanket threw on the ground. He looks up at me and says that he has to go to the bathroom. Again. I knew that's what he wanted before I came in. This is probably attempt number 17 in the past 2 hours. I really do feel bad for the guy though. I've never really had any problems with my GI system. Sure, we've all be constipated or suffered from diarrhea, but this is different. He hasn't had a bowel movement in 4-5 days. I'm hoping it happens for him pretty soon. He needs to get up slowly because due to his condition and some of the medications he's on, his blood pressure can drop if he rises too fast. He can get dizzy, or light-headed, or nauseous. I don't want any of those things to happen, because they all require some part of him to fall, and probably fall on top of me. He's a much bigger guy than me. Big crushes not as big. That's just science. I help him stand, remind him to steady himself for a second and let it all settle in. It's like embarking on some new foreign land, it's better to take in the scenery, plan your next move. We move in tandem over to the toilet where he semi-plants himself. Whew. Now I partly close the door and wait. Waiting. I debate in my mind whether it's better to leave the room for a while and have him call when he's ready to get up. I've done that before, it's not that big of a deal. He's safe and fine on the toilet. But, I know that every time I've done that, he calls for me the minute I step out of the room. It's weird how that happens, but that's just the way life works sometimes. It's like the kid that spills orange juice all over the place right after you've cleaned the floor. I hear a grunt, a gurgle, and a semi-scream. OK, now I'm a little intrigued and worried at the same time. It's important not to overexert yourself in situations like this. Some people 'over push' on the toilet. TMI, right? Well, it's true. I knock on the door and enter. The man looks enthusiastic and relieved. There's a glisten of sweat on his bald head. I think he did it. "How do you feel? Did you do it?" He nods up and down slowly, a mouth full of smiling teeth. Nice. I jump up and down inside my head. I want to high five him, but I know I can't. That whole feces and bare hands thing... not a fan. I tell him I'm really happy for him, and we sort of bond there, while in the bathroom. The look on his face almost says "Thank God that's over. I feel so bad for making you come in here every 5 minutes to help me". I know that sounds like a complicated look, but that's really the feeling that his stare gave me. I respond with a look that says "It's OK, I've never been in your spot, but I understand that it must have been really hard, and basically sucked". He finishes up, and we travel back over the bed together. He flops himself onto the mattress, a look of triumph and reward still radiates through. And within a minute and a half, the man is passed out sleeping. He's silent except for the rushing sounds of air in and out of his lungs. The chip on my shoulder broke off and fell onto the ground right at that moment. This man changed me. He helped me work on my patience for patients. He made me appreciate the little abilities we have that we take for granted. He made me learn to work hard. I tilt my head to the side and let out an inside laugh. It's the little things that make your day. I think we both had a good day today.
  24. CarolinaMarie 45

    Why I Want to be a Nurse

    I was not only playing Women's Lacrosse, but I was finally away from home, away from my parents, away from what I thought I knew as "all my troubles", and I was given a brand new start in life. Let's just say, the time and money I was able to spend at that school was worth every penny. I would never exchange all the friends and memories I was blessed with. Sorry to say, my single/divorced mother could not afford the $15,000 per semester tuition. Just after spending one semester at MU, I received the ever-devastating news and I was forced to come back home. I thought my whole world was crashing down around me... I had to leave my best friends, school, my lacrosse team, all my freedom & independence - and all without warning. To top it all off, I had to come home to live with my father and his "new" family. It took me eighteen long years to figure out and sort through the people you could really depend on, and my mother wasn't one of them. Going through my so-called "tragedy" I had no one to talk to. My father just didn't understand, my twenty-two-year-old sister was too hectic with her own life, and my best friends were 300,000 miles on the other end of the telephone. I never felt so alone or so depressed in all my life- all I wanted was someone to talk to. So coming back to Ohio to live with my father, I had four main goals: get back into school, get a job, get a car, and get out. I felt like I was getting nowhere-especially when I enrolled in school. I made an utmost sporadic decision of going with nursing. It dawned on me that I could help people who really need it, and more importantly be there for someone and offer a listening ear to all their problems when everyone else has walked out and suddenly stopped wanting to hear. I wanted to be that person! I wanted to make a difference and reassure somebody that it's going to be OKAY - even when they think their world is crashing down around them. That's when I got the feeling in my heart - I know this is the right decision and I know I want to be a nurse. As of last week, I passed my NET and am awaiting my interview and the chance to turn in my essay to be considered for the May admission of the Nursing program for 2008. I know it is going to be a challenge and there is going to be countless obstacles for me to overcome....But I keep in mind the countless number of hearts, souls and wounds I am going to heal, with not only me with my stethoscope and Band-Aids but with my caring nature and ability to listen to others, I have no doubt I will get where I'm going and where I want to be. After what I experienced I lost faith in the things I believed in, I lost sight of life and how beautiful it actually is. I learned that when given the chance you should cherish all that you have and for the moments you are given. Because each one is unusual, mesmerizing, one that you can not only learn but also grow from. I am a true believer that 'Everything happens for a reason and what is meant to be will always find its way...' No matter how you get there, or how I come to be a nurse and be able to help people with real problems, you always know God is watching over you and never lets go, even when you think your world is crashing down around you... Writing this with tears streaming down my face, this is why I want to be a nurse. Helping people is a genuine gift that comes from the heart; I believe I can heal the wounds, bring out the sheer bliss and reassuring hope in all the patients in my future. I want to make a difference and be the difference. I have realized you cannot change the past- but you can mold your future into the destiny you deserve. I hope I have helped make someone's day brighter, even over the internet. God bless.
  25. I've heard many different methods how to pass or how to study and what steps were taken. I can't say my method would work for anyone else. I just want to share how I did it. I'm a mother so my goal is to provide for my family. I've always wanted to grow up as a nurse. Although being a mother is greater. So to be a great mother is to lead by example on how to strive for the best. Here are my steps on how I prepared for the exam: I graduated LVN/LPN nursing school in 2009. I took my first NCLEX exam in 2017. Days later I was notified I passed the exam! Many people asked why a long gap. Honestly, I was scared to fail and I got comfortable being in administration. At the time I was 19 years old when I graduated. As the years passed my fellow peers either passed or failed. I was still scared to be known as a failure, although I was already a failure for not taking the exam. So a failure by default. Until New Year's Day of 2016 I gave myself a lecture that since I was in middle school I wanted to help others as a nurse. So just try. I went to the nursing program I graduated from to get answers on how to take the exam. I got an answer from them in August 2016 to submit an application. In September, the director of the nursing program approved my process to start my application process and finger print scanning paperwork. January of 2017 my application was approved by the nursing board to take the NCLEX. The same month I registered and paid to take the NCLEX. I made my appointment to take the NCLEX 12 weeks from that date. I told myself will need only 12 weeks to prepare no matter what, no more excuses. Keep in mind it's been years since nursing school and never taken the NCLEX before. I bought the PDA by LaCharity, and Exam Cram plus Saunders. February 2017 got simplenursing.com nclex failure remediation course with a mentor. In the course, my mentor gave me suggestions on what to study on and follow the recommendations on how to study with others in the group keeping each other on check. Downloaded nclex mastery app on my phone to study on my downtime at work or waiting in a lobby or something instead using social media. March 2016 took a nclex simulation exam to see my progress and focus the area of improvement. April 2016 signed up for the hurst review 2 weeks prior my nclex exam date. April 21 I took a day off from work, woke up late, went to the movies, went to my favorite restaurant for dinner, I was tempted to study but my friends kept me occupied to refrain myself from studying bc nothing was retaining the information. April 22nd I took the NCLEX exam. I was 100 something questions in the exam til the computer shut off. I cried in my car thinking I probably failed. May 1st I received my letter of passing the exam and paid the fee for my license. Received my license a week later. Also got license insurance coverage for a year. Hired as a Traveing nurse May 16th. August hired to work in Urgent care. Never give up. I did all this while I had a full-time job during the day and a part time job at night/weekend. Bible study once a week. Planned and did my oldest daughter's birthday in January and my youngest daughter in March as a single mom. My family has their own agendas so I hired a babysitter to help.