Although clinicals can provide excellent visuals and hands-on experience to further your learning, what you see in your clinical placement will not always be best practice. Do your research and remember to choose the answer from the book on exams. Thinking back to what you saw at your placement and choosing that answer on an exam may backfire, so clinicals is not a substitute for studying.
Always be prepared during clinicals. Be on time with the proper uniform, equipment (e.g. stethoscope, BP cuff, penlight) and anything else needed as indicated by the clinical instructor. Be professional and friendly to make a good impression as each placement may be a potential employment option in the future. Every healthcare institution is different. Read up on the policies and procedures prior to starting your placement.
Know the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs pyramid. This is crucial for answering nursing priority questions. Also keep in mind your ABCs (Airway Breathing Circulation). The ABCs take precedence in a situation.
Practice multiple choice questions everyday. These questions in nursing school often have more than one correct answer. It is up to you to choose which answer is ‘most correct’. Know your medical terminology and abbreviations. NCLEX review books and apps are great practice. It’s never too early to start preparing for the NCLEX so get a head start!
Do not change your answers on exams unless you are absolutely positive the answer you chose is wrong. Read questions carefully. Try to answer multiple choice questions before looking at the options. If a pen and paper has been provided, quickly jot down key points about the topic the question is asking about to narrow your focus. If what you wrote down is seen in one of the options, it is likely the right one.
Agendas, schedules, or planners are so helpful to keep track of all of the homework, tests/quizzes/exams, assignments and studying you will be faced with. Creating lists of topics to study each day to be completed at a certain time frame has really kept me task-oriented. This has given me better control of my busy schedule. Time management is key! Do not procrastinate. Keep yourself motivated to succeed by creating goals for yourself and surrounding yourself with a support system (positive friends or family).
Studying with fellow students can be very effective since you can learn from each other. Being able to learn a topic and then teach it to another person shows that you have grasped a firm understanding and will more likely remember it. Study groups may be helpful for some, but not everyone learns best this way. Others may find it more productive and less distracting to study by themselves. Keep trying different strategies until you have developed a study method that works for you. The sooner you discover ‘how’ to study, the better!
Do not neglect your health. You will need to alter your schedule in order to accomodate for nursing school, but you must also remember to manage your sleep, diet, and exercise regimens. Your brain cannot function at its fullest when you are over-fatigued, weak and malnourished. Finding a balance will not be easy. Many nursing students sacrifice a good night’s sleep due to exams, assignments, having to wake up early for clinicals, and more. A lot of fellow nursing students do not eat a proper breakfast; as well, some have gone from being fit to having a very sedentary lifestyle. Try your best to avoid this by managing your time as best as you can, and being as productive as possible during the day. Keep a consistent schedule.
These are a few points I’ve learned throughout nursing school so far. Most of these tips seem obvious but may serve as advice or reminders for fellow nursing students (especially new students) to keep in mind. Feel free to add anything that may help out other nursing students to achieve their goals!
When you have anitch to breed your snakes, but you don’t have a job (because of a move) and the female is a normal het g-stripe and you don’t have any other het g-stripe, but you do have plenty of adult males. So, you’re just fuming with excitement, glee and sadness all at the same time. Because you know you shouldn’t breed them, but the thought is still there. So, you do the mature thing and just do school work, but but but after school work you’ll look up het g-stripe/g-stripe BPs and get all excited again because of the possibilities. Yet, you don’t have a job and only $1.25 in your checking account. So you think, “Come on kid, stop, you’re teasing yourself,” but you just say IDGAF, cause yeah.