Quick Update: First Month of Nursing School

Hello! Welcome back! Sorry it has been a while (about a month as indicated by my title). The first month has been a rollercoaster of excitement, fear, sadness, happiness, and… FULL OF ANXIETY! Let’s dive in, shall we?

First Test

Let me start off by explaining to you (if you aren’t in a nursing program already) that most (if not all) nursing programs have a different grading system. Some will say passing is anything >75%, >80%, etc. According to the grade I got on my first exam (72%) I was considered failing. Yes, I totally cried and thought of every reason as to how I’m going to be a terrible nurse, and if nursing is for me… which is totally extreme but I over think things way too much. After talking with my professor, friends, and my fiancé of course, I found out that I was just being crazy and I had to forgive myself. 72% is not that bad, and my professor said it is still very possible to recover from that fail.

Why did I fail you ask? Here are some reasons as to why I performed the way I did:

  1. I read too much into the question being asked on the exam.
  2. I didn’t read all of the answers choices thoroughly or completely.
  3. I was stuck between two answers and picked the wrong one.
  4. I didn’t study as much as I wanted to and should have.
  5. I didn’t study the right material that was important (I didn’t study the objectives that were given to us by our professor and instead studied the objectives from my textbook and made complete outlines for all the chapters in the book that we were going to be tested on).

So it isn’t that I didn’t study correctly, or at all. I did learn from my mistakes and talked to multiple peers and upperclassmen about some tips and tricks to studying and how they got a passing score. Some of those suggestions were:

  1. Listen to the lectures again to note anything you missed during lecture (RECORD YOUR LECTURES IF YOUR PROFESSOR LETS YOU!!!).
  2. Do practice questions from the book, online program, and review practice questions from Quizlet (specifically ones designated as NCLEX questions).
  3. Use your study guide textbooks.
  4. Review charts and tables from assigned reading.
  5. Ask for help when you need it and attend study groups if needed.

I personally do not do well in a study group unless I am teaching someone something that doesn’t necessarily have a rationale to a different answer (ex. chemistry or math). I feel as though I wouldn’t be able to teach anything regarding nursing material because it is something you have to understand and interpret yourself. BUT, I still try to attend study groups and maybe get some more information from other people that I may have missed. My next exam is this coming Monday and YES, I am totally freaking out and trying to keep my calm. I know what you’re thinking, “So why are you blogging if you are freaking out?”, because I’m venting OKAY! Don’t judge me! HA!

First Clinical Days

YES, I was a nervous wreck on my first patient care day. Which is weird because I have always been so used to interacting with patients and clients with no problem before starting my program. I guess something about being in a school uniform and being fresh off the boat was what made me so anxious. I was paired up with another student on our first patient care day to alleviate the stress, which was good, but was also irritating because we were focusing on different tasks.

My second patient care day was also nerve wrecking because 1. I was by myself, and 2. I had to get all the information I needed for my care plan that is due in 2 weeks! Since we are so crunched for time, I felt rushed and felt that I could’ve asked more questions to my patient but I also had to chart on the computer, do vitals, do my head-to-toe assessment, complete my assessment on paper to turn in, and come up with two different nursing diagnoses (as well as implementing them with our patient)… talk about a busy day! I could only imagine how stressed out nurses are when handling 5 patients! Oh, might I also add that the computer system is SO tricky and takes some time getting used to!!!

Everything Else

Do I have a life? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA NO! I can guarantee I won’t for the next 2 years either! When I do go out to have fun, I feel so guilty and feel as though I am wasting time when I could be spending that time studying. This also goes for my mornings on the days I don’t have theory or clinical… I am NOT a morning person. I cannot get up and start studying immediately. I have to eat breakfast, wake up, and be awake 100% before I can start studying. So I am easily an afternoon/night studier. I bet you can imagine me on the mornings I do have class… See picture below LOL

ANYWAYS… back to trying to survive on the daily. I actually really enjoy what I am learning and everything is very interesting. I also can’t believe how fast we are learning skills. It has only been one month, and I already know how to insert a Foley catheter, like wait… I thought yesterday we were just learning how to give someone a bed bath. But seriously, things are going 200 mph and I can’t read fast enough, HA! I work with it though. It is all about time management, whether you are a student nurse or a RN. You can do it, I can do it! We are in this together! Thanks for stopping by an reading about my life in nursing school thus far!

Ciao for now! 🙂

P.S. I am moving in about 2 weeks, and can you just imagine how quickly that stress level went up?! Bring on the sleepless nights of studying and unpacking. WOOHOO!

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