How to Succeed in Nursing School
Nursing school requires discipline and determination to succeed and obtain a degree in any number of accredited nursing programs. Prospective students should gravitate towards a goal-oriented work ethic to get the most out of their nursing education. Stay committed and focused on the coursework, prioritizing between daily activities
. Often times an extensive waiting list exists for prospective students, which makes it frustrating when a person seeks life improvement through a nursing career. Consider it an accomplishment to enter into one of the competent nursing schools around you. Despite receiving an acceptance letter, an LPN program or RN program will require the student's full attention to pass the licensure examination.
Once gaining the nursing license and other credentials, a new horizon will open for nurse job openings and other nurse occupations for qualified individuals. It's imperative to remain dedicated and focused on all coursework, especially if you have enrolled into any number of accredited online nursing programs, including online LPN programs and online RN programs. Since these digital courses lack hands-on training and intensive one-one-one instruction from a qualified teacher, it may prove difficult in gaining the nurse job opportunities offered to graduates of traditional nursing programs.
Attend Class Regularly
Intensive skill-based nursing occupations require explicit attention to detail, which makes attendance vitally important for a student's future nursing career. Highschoolers entering college may find the lack of attendance policy to be a feature easy to exploit; however, each course missed is free money given to the institution. Failing to attend class may result in failing to make the grades, thus failing to graduate from a nursing program.
Bring a pencil and notepad to class. Write down every key point an instructor stresses as important. Nursing programs prepare students to enter the workforce and interact with patients. Some graduates may encounter patients under critical care, which makes it important to pay attention during class. The act of writing notes also helps students to retain more information for assignments and tests. Review these notes on a daily basis, instead of crunching study time the night before taking the test.
Complete all Assigned and Suggested Reading Material
Follow the instructor's syllabus outlining the assigned and suggested reading material. Do not skip reading a chapter unless life dictates otherwise through emergency situations. Students should write down questions about the assigned reading and ask the instructor in class or after the lecture for clarification. Ignoring the coursework and questionable material will result in poor grades. Therefore, it's important to reinforce assignments with suggested reading material.
Actively Participate in Classroom Discussions
Nursing students should constantly ask questions in a classroom setting when the instructor finishes a lecture. A teacher will likely answer all questions in front of the classroom if time permits. Therefore, engaging in classroom discussions benefits the entire classroom, especially for those not willing to ask questions for clarification.
Study, Study, Study
Research study tips and suggestions to find the right studying method for yourself. Each person learns differently, which makes lecture notes vitally important while studying for tests. In fact, some instructors will add test questions that come straight from the lecture itself, instead of the textbook or other assigned reading. Use a highlighter to mark definitions and other pertinent facts. Form study groups that actually utilize a study model. Do not talk about anything other than the course material. Study groups have a tendency to turn into gossip sessions if inappropriately handled.
Do Not Miss the Clinical
Attend all scheduled clinicals on-time, in-uniform, and in an upright stance. Clinicals have strict attendance policies, and showing up late without a good excuse will rub off as unprofessional to the instructors. Failing to adhere to any healthcare standards could invariably result in a failing grade. Locate the meeting place for the clinical. The vastness of hospitals can overwhelm newcomers, which makes showing up early a good idea. Clean, iron, and properly fit all uniforms the night before the class meets for the scheduled clinical. Do not procrastinate with these small details. Instructors will expect students to demonstrate in clinical settings what they have learned in the classroom. Research the patient's laboratory results and medications, which will help familiarize you with all of the necessary information applicable for tests and the NCLEX-RN.
Listen to the Instructors
While frustration may settle in at times, bear in mind that instructors earned the right to teach students the acceptable procedures to become a licensed nurse. Therefore, students should listen to what they have to say. Good clinical nursing instructors (PDF) want their students to succeed. Nursing instructors wish for their students to report any misunderstandings immediately to help with confusing course material. They are trained to listen and help students. It's OK to trust them.
The most important work-related experience aside from clinical and hospital internships will stem from volunteer work. Not only does volunteer work look great on a resume, it provides valuable experience in a healthcare setting. Students need hands-on experience before diving into the nursing field directly out of school, and volunteer work proves beneficial to this dilemma.
Study Tips and Recommendations
Nursing students can use certain study methods to learn and memorize material. Use a mnemonic device and other study tips to assist in learning complicated medical terminology. Take a leading role during clinicals if the instructor asks for a charge nurse. Not only does volunteering help gain hands-on experience, it will potentially garner attention for leadership nursing opportunities. Caffeine, a xanthine stimulant and college student favorite, will perk students to various alerts in a classroom and clinical setting. Acquire a good drug book that has the generic and brand names listed, indications, dosages, side effects, interactions, administration, duration, antidotes, incompatibilities, and other nursing teaching material for each drug. Other books include a good laboratory test book and nursing flip-book for clinical references. What's a nurse without a stethoscope? Invest in a high-quality stethoscope to avoid inaccurate recordings during a general health assessment. Dress appropriately with the proper uniform, closed-toed shoes, and watch for documentation. Read constantly and subscribe to peer-reviewed journals and periodicals for supplemented reading. More importantly, come to school ready to learn! A positive attitude and willingness to learn will lead to a very successful nursing career.