Q&A from Nursing Students!

 

1. How do you study for a comprehensive Med-Surg Final? (Asked by godfirst2016 on Instagram). 

My personal opinion on this subject is to continue to study the same way you did throughout the semester. I feel that (since it is a final) you are too far ahead to go with a new way of studying. What I would do for finals were as followed:

  • Throughout the semester, for each exam, I made my own little study sheet for the chapters that were on the exam. For the final, my first step was to combine all of the review sheets into one.
  • I would then start from the first and review all topics and re read the subjects in the textbook.

This is how I studied for almost every final. Hope this helps!

2.  How do I start looking for best FNP programs that offer online classes. I can’t decide which one to go for. (Asked by _Sirjana on Instagram.)

Hi. The internet is my best friend for new ventures. I take to the internet every time that I want to learn something new. However, instead of just googling a simple question, I would find and join a forum. I suggest you make an account on allnurses.com or reddit in the /r/nursing subreddit. My favorite part about this is you almost instantly get an answer and if not, there are thousands of people who have access to your post who can assist you!

3.  What’s people’s advice on working during nursing school? If I have the option to borrow more money and concentrate on school (living off loans) or I can work part time and potentially ease some of the financial burden while getting more patient contacts (I am an EMT for reference). (Asked by frisco_since1986 on Instagram).

Ah. Good question. My first question I would ask you would be, what kind of student are you? Do you need to dedicate a lot of time to do well? If not, I suggest work. If so, don’t work or work LESS. Here is my PERSONAL opinion and my personal experience. I had bills to pay and needed to make my own money while in nursing school. I worked almost full time during all of my pre-requisites. Then, as I started to progress In the major, I got a different job opening a gym at 3:30 AM-9AM before school. That got old quick. As I got deeper and deeper into the program, I tried a bunch of different jobs that would be flexible with my schedule, which was nearly impossible. I barely worked by the end of the program, and I was in a ton of debt. At the time, I thought “I’ll pay it off eventually!”, now I kind of wish I did work as much as I could. Though, as the type of student I was, I wouldn’t have been able to work full time and do well in school. There’s a trade off here. However, it was either continuing to live my life with my dead end, low paying job or invest in myself and pay it back eventually while living way more comfortable than I would have. You can do it!

4. How do I not let the hypochondria get to me, mine has been more intense since I started school? (Asked by Tashlarson on Instagram).

Great question and funny you asked that! I have actually experienced and continue to experience this since becoming a nurse (and nursing student). I think it is just normal (normal in the healthcare profession) to be reading through a textbook and think to yourself “Wow, I this sounds so familiar!”.  For me, it didn’t and hasn’t just disappeared but I’ve learned to reason with it. The mind is so powerful, you can almost trick yourself into feeling like you have anything. If you can’t reason with your own mind you can at least make yourself a little bit more comfortable. If you are a nursing student, the majority of the time you spend will either be in school around other nursing students and nursing professors, or in the hospital with every medical professional there is. If something was to happen to you, you’re in the best place! On a serious note though, you can’t let the fear interfere with your life. Take care of your body, eat right, exercise, and manage your stress properly!

5. How did you study for the NCLEX and how much time did you take between graduation and taking the NCLEX? (Asked by tiahna.marie on Instagram).

Great question! I have previously published a blog completely related to what I did for the NCLEX and what I recommend and what I don’t recommend. But, I will explain in short. I graduated in May, took the Kaplan Review in June (Which I personally was not satisfied with, and I go into more detail in a previous post), and I took the NCLEX (for the first time, on June 30). I had injured myself 12 hours before my exam and tore almost every ligament in my knee and it was too late to reschedule the exam (also posted about this in a previous blog in detail). The second time I scheduled my exam after my surgery and recovery in August. I was completely prepared and confident now that my head was clear and I wasn’t in extreme pain, but I needed to keep it on point until the NCLEX. I started using UWORLD and it was AWESOME. Their rationale’s were great! The first time I was studying with Kaplan I was doing 150 questions a day. In my opinion, that is overkill and you are burning yourself out. The second time, using UWORLD, I did 75 questions a day. That was IT! Wake up, pour some coffee, and do 75 questions. Review EVERY one! Eventually the questions are becoming more and more familiar and you will get the trend of what they are trying to ask you. Hope this helps!

 

6.  How do you decide what area of nursing you should work in? (Asked by rninthemaking2017 on Instagram).

Awesome. I am a big believer of getting your feet wet before making a decision. Throughout school you get to taste just about every unit during clinical. In my experience, I wasn’t really too fond of any of my clinical rotations. At one point, I really thought labor and delivery would be the most exciting. That was until I did my capstone preceptorship on a Neuro ICU. I fell in love with critical care almost immediately. Something just drew me towards it and I was trying to absorb anything I possibly could! I suggest you maybe try and shadow a nurse for a few hours on a unit that you may be interested in. I don’t recommend making a decision just by the thought of something. Try it out before you commit!

7. Ill be graduation from nursing school next December. I am interested in finding out more about traveling nursing. Are there any good resources out there? I’m also interested in working at the NICU. Is there any certificates I can work on now that would help me in getting a job at the NICU later on? (Asked by Kasia E. on Facebook).

Cool! As I mentioned in an earlier question above, I suggest you join a forum that is dedicated to nursing (like allnurses.com) or one that is dedicated strictly to travel nursing. I am not familiar with travel nursing but that is what the greatest thing about the internet is. If you don’t know something, you can almost get in contact with ANYONE who does! I do remember that within the last few days a nurse called @NURSEMENDOZA on Instagram post something related to questions related to travel nursing, check it out! As far as trying to get early certificates for the NICU, I don’t believe there is. BUT, I do suggest on focusing on your grades and work on your NETWORKING. Make relationships with anyone you can in the hospital. Make good first impressions and talk to anyone you come across. You never know what that may lead to. The NICU would be tough to get into as a new grad, but NOT impossible! In an earlier post I mention how I went from being a new grad to a Registered Nurse in the Cardio Thoracic ICU, it’s doable and if you want it, GO GET IT! I don’t think it could hurt at all to go down to the hospital you’re interested in and go to the NICU and speak to a nurse manager there and ask what you have to do to obtain a position there post graduation. That would show a lot about your character. Hope some of this can help!

 

 

 

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