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Survive Nursing School

Survive Nursing School

Beth Anderson, RN

You’ve gotten through your prerequisites and you’ve gotten accepted to the nursing school of your choice. Congratulations! Now comes the hard part. Remember how challenging your Anatomy and Physiology course was? Now you have to deal with Pathophysiology and Pharmacology (Known as “Path” and “Pharm” to the seasoned nursing student). And on top of your courses you will be attending clinicals. Clinicals are your on the job training to expose you to what it is that nurses actually do. Here is some advice to get you through:


Studying


The way you approach studying will determine how successful in nursing school you will be. You will need to define your style of studying. Find out what works for you. Are you better off in groups or better off working independently? If you do well in groups you will find no shortage of students to join up with. Many nursing students use flash cards. These work well with when you need to memorize long lists of drug names and diseases. You can make them yourself or purchase them in the NursingLink store.

Are you a visual learner? Try drawing lots of charts and diagrams to help learn complex concepts. Many students tape their professors and review the lessons at a later time. Make sure you get a professor’s permission before you do this.

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You will also need to sharply hone your test-taking skills. Many nursing school tests are in the multiple choice format so it’s wise to learn all that you can about how to successfully answer these types of questions.


Clinicals


Nursing clinicals are what really get you ready for working in the healthcare setting. During clinicals, you will spend time working side by side with actual nurses, so you can get a feel for what it is they actually do. Many students find clinicals to be stressful at first. You worry about whether you will make a mistake that could actually harm a patient. Nursing students joke about this (“I made it through clinicals toady with out killing anyone!”) but the truth of the matter is that you can find yourself in some very stressful situations. Your best approach is to use your common sense. Don’t do anything that doesn’t appear to be safe. Never be afraid to ask questions. If you feel like you are at the bottom of the totem pole and people are looking down on you, don’t. Every single person in the hospital from the Director of Medicine to an X-ray technician started out as a student at one point in their career.

Many nursing students worry about whether or not they are getting enough clinical skills. These days, many nursing schools are using clinical simulation labs to teach nursing skills. In the lab students can practice their skills on mannequins that have been specially designed to simulate actual medical conditions.

If you are still feeling stressed out about clinicals, just accept this stress for what it is and move on. Make sure you get enough sleep and you eat a good breakfast. You don’t want to be the student that passes out on the floor on your first day because you haven’t slept and your blood sugar has bottomed out. I’ve seen this happen more than once, with nursing students and with med students.



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  • Harlan_max50

    jamsarlan60

    almost 3 years ago

    2 comments

    I've seen lots of nursing students who study hard. They read and carry their big books everyday. It is not that easy for them but they are very determine to survive and finish it. Just like students who write UK dissertations today whose got a brave heart to continue writing.
    UK essays

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    Emmatol

    over 5 years ago

    186 comments

    I don't think i have any bproblem with this, cos I practise and upgrade my knowledge continuously!
    Thanks for the enligthening piece.

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    casassy62688

    over 6 years ago

    290 comments

    I wasn;t reallt quite sure what to expect, I work in a hospital already and perform direct patint care, so I'm sure I will be fine in my clinicals....I'm not in the program yet, but this article definately makes things a little more clear. And all the advice everyone hands out is helpful too, thanks everyone!

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    nina4754

    over 6 years ago

    4 comments

    i just graduated a 2 year nursing program about a week ago....and it was definately a huge challenge. i was always an A student in highschool but nursing school tests were more difficult for me. you really just have to be dedicated to your studying and have a consistent schedule. you are going to feel burnt out numerous times & want to quit. my advice is work the least amount of hours you possibly can. i only worked weekends at a store near my house and this still was too much for me during certain courses. dont put off studying...go over material BEFORE it is taught to you in class... and the night after if you can. it helps to go over it before so you can follow along in class and it doesnt sound like a second language to you. study groups really helped me...luckily i had some very intelligent very ambitious friends in nursing school who always wanted to get together so we could help eachother learn the material & quiz eachother. as for clinicals, they can take a lot out of you...but you learn so much. just go into them with confidence and always seek learning oppurtunities. if you have extra time offer to help other nurses, go over your patients chart more thoroughly, or just take time to sit & talk with your patients. you basically get what you put into the experience. well, hope this helped a little!

  • Joycey_max50

    joycey25

    almost 7 years ago

    2 comments

    nice... I'm not sure if I'm a visual learner or what. i need to find it myself. :)
    Thanks anyway, this is helpful.

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    jlassiter

    almost 7 years ago

    2 comments

    Can anyone give me advice on how to pass the nursing test. I am a nursing student, and I am having a hard time with test taking. I understand the material, but applying it on a test is difficult for me.

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    jesssmith

    almost 7 years ago

    2 comments

    THIS ARTICLE WAS VERY HELPFUL. I AM IN THE FIRST SEMESTER OF MY 2YEAR PROGRAM AND I HAVE BEEN MAKING NOTE CARDS SINCE DAY 2.

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    Kimber

    almost 7 years ago

    2 comments

    I will graduate from an ADN program in May 2008. I would recommend the Straight A series for study aids. One of my instructors recommended it for an aid for Med/Surg (Patho) It's called Straight As in Medical/Surgical Nursing and you can always use the help in Pharm (Straight As in Pharmacology) too. Pharm knocked out half our class so take it VERY SERIOUSLY! Good luck!

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    nursinggirl

    about 7 years ago

    2 comments

    Is there a book that I can get a jump start on pertaining to " Pharm and Path"? I start the RN program in March 2008.

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    aparsons

    about 7 years ago

    2 comments

    Believe it or not, I'm actually looking forward to clinicals. We were told during Orientation to expect the first semester clinicals to be nothing more than changing beds, bathing patients, taking vitals, etc. I am really excited about this. I am more afraid of the theory part of the program. I have found the flashcard method to be extremely helpful for me. This method even gets my children involved in my college life. They can "flash me" while I'm cooking or driving down the road to the store. They really enjoy this time they get to spend with me.

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    svjtlanab

    about 7 years ago

    2 comments

    I am already Nursing student; LVN to RN BSN. It is hard program.Somehow I am surviving,and on top of everything I am working as a LVN. My biggest obstacle is English and writing APA style essays, because English language is my second language.I am not afraid of Anatomy, Pharm or Pathology, I am afraid of writing APA style essays. Don't you feel better guys?

  • Garden_max50

    lt_93726

    about 7 years ago

    4 comments

    These articles answer a lot of my questions....Thanks

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    RevinKevin

    about 7 years ago

    2 comments

    Wow! I just received my acceptance letter! After the excitment wore off, the butterflies swarmed in. What if I can't do the clinicals, etc....? I didn't realize that I would be this emotional over getting in. I am glad that I found this site.

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    srcochran

    about 7 years ago

    2 comments

    Interesting and straight forward. Enjoyed the article.

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    vowellconstance

    about 7 years ago

    20 comments

    I have an Associate's degree in Applied Sciences as a Certified Medical Assistant. It's been over a year since I've returned to school, however, I've been accepted into a nursing school and will begin in January of 2008. I remember that flash cards and anachronisms were helpful tools used in remembering many things. I will be using these again for upcoming classes.

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