Last Semester… already?

mantra

Wow… have I been on another planet or what? Not even considered MIA anymore… Well… let’s get to it. I’ll be giving you some updates, tips, and words of wisdom as I enter into my last semester of my 2-year ADN nursing program.

UPDATES

I honestly haven’t been posting lately due to being so busy with school and just going goING, GOING! If you are a nursing student, and have been through at least one semester, you would know what I’m talking about… I bet you’re even wondering why you’re even able to read this because you should be doing other things like… writing your care plan, finishing your readings, watching nursing related videos (FYI I love THIS girl on youtube for quick reviews! She is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G).

My fiancĂ© and I moved back in with my grandmother, which means less space, and more distractions, but we are happy to be here to make sure she isn’t alone. I usually just go to campus or Starbucks when I really need to get down to business. I know what you’re thinking, “Nicole, how are you even able to study at Starbucks? It is SO loud!”. Really, I go for the white noise of people talking, coffee brewing, and I don’t feel like I can really procrastinate there when I am surrounded by other people who are studying too which makes me feel like I need to be constantly working… on my statuses for Facebook and pictures for Instagram. I KID! HA!

I feel like I have a solid way of studying, and I’m pretty sure I dominated that style of studying at the end of my 2nd semester (I think). I will share how I study in the “Tips” section of this post.

I took on a new hobby! Calligraphy and bullet journaling! Sooooo… not saying you have to, but you can totally go follow my calligraphy/bujo Instagram account (@calligncoffee). I’ve been finding that to be my self-care lately. It keeps me busy, and it allows me to be a perfectionist. Also, it satisfies my stationary addiction with all these cool brush markers and pens! WOO!

Not so much of an update – I’m still engaged but I HAVE started wedding planning more since the end of my 3rd semester. This semester, I am going to do my best not to really plan intensely due to rumors saying that this semester is over-the-top HARD. So with that… I’ll lead you into my tips where I will tell you how to get through your remaining semesters (I’ll do an updated version when I actually pass this semester, because who knows, it might change!)

TIPS (Do’s/Don’t’s)

DO:

  • Bring in either a printed version or the power points or your electronic device with the power points (excluding your phone) provided by the professor (either 4 or 3 slides per page for the paper version).
  • Record lectures if you are allowed to (always ask the professor beforehand).
  • Re-listen to the lectures about a day or two after the lecture to catch any important information that you might not have thought was so important in class or didn’t hear/pay attention to.
  • Take notes on the same power points in a different color when you are re-listening to the lecture.
  • Take additional notes to add to these power points from the book in another color to differentiate your sources (lecture/re-listening/book).
  • Ask questions because whether you want to ask your question or not, someone else is probably wondering the same thing.
  • Be respectful while other peers are talking. It is SO disrespectful when you are trying to hear someone ask a question (or hear the professor answer the question) and someone else is talking over them with their side chat.
  • Highlight only key points, mnemonics, lab values, other important numbers.
  • Be on time (nothing more distracting than someone coming in late to a lecture that has already started and the door slamming).
  • Have some kind of calendar and mark your exam dates, events, clinicals, and what you should be wearing/bringing with you to those days. I know that sounds silly, but some events probably require you to wear your uniform, a polo, or scrubs, etc.
  • Use post it’s. They’re fun.
  • Drink coffee (or tea, whichever your prefer).
  • Keep your chin up.
  • Keep a positive mind and outlook on the road ahead.
  • Take it one day at a time.

DON’T

  • Be shy. Ask your question, involve yourself in case studies, etc. Professors notice those thing! I feel like most shy people end up coming out of the program a more outgoing person due to the nature of this field. You can’t be shy and work with all these different people in a hospital… it just doesn’t work! LOL.
  • Use highlighters galore. Use one or two colors, and make a key on the page somewhere as to what the colors indicate.
  • Have side conversation in class. It’s rude!
  • Come in the class with a bad attitude, leave that at home. It will ruin your focus in class. Treat lecture/clinical the same as any other job you have had where you had to leave all your personal life at the door (which you should be doing at every job anyways).
  • Expect the professor to baby you. You are a grown adult in a professional nursing program, and it is up to you to be in charge of due dates, assignments, and exam material that the professor establishes.
  • Expect the professor to praise you every day. Sometimes professors have other ways of praising you without directly going up to you and saying “WOW NICOLE! You did great on that last exam!”. Sometimes it will be a smile, or a friendly “hello”, etc.
  • Exclude yourself from all events. You don’t have another time in your life where you get to do all of this fun stuff that you get to do in your program, so take advantage of it now!
  • Make enemies. That is just a big no-no. You and your cohort should be a little family helping each other along the way to graduation. If you have a problem with someone, let them know so issues can be resolved and not gossiped about.
  • Sleep in class. That is just awful and so disrespectful!
  • Fail. Nuff’ said.

 

WORDS OF WISDOM

  • You will do amazing things.
  • You will make a patients day and that is going to make you feel awesome. I speak from experience!
  • You will make mistakes but that is what is going to make you a better nurse… because you’ll never make those same mistakes again. YOU ARE HUMAN! Again, I am speaking from experience!
  • Always TREAT YO’ SELF after a huge accomplishment… *COUGH* ICE CREAM *COUGH* (like finishing an exam that you studied so hard for… just do it… even before you get your grade because you worked so HARD!)
  • Take care of yourself and try not to get burnt out. It is okay to ask for help from family/friends/etc. We all want to be wonder woman/superman but keeping us from being that amazing is stress because stress is our kryptonite. Did that even make sense? I’m trying to be humerus here. HAHA, get it? Humerus?…Alright I’ll stop… 😛
  • Love yourself. You are going to be an amazing nurse!
  • Take one day at a time. I know it is easier said than done, but it is something we all (including myself) need to remember and live by in life in general.

 

Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to read my post. I am writing this at midnight and I just really felt like I needed to share all this info (I’m sure there is a bunch more in this brain of mine, but I’ll save it for another post). I volunteered yesterday at my nursing school and presented to the new incoming nursing students about some of the things I said in this post. Hopefully you find it helpful too!

Hope you are having a wonderful beginning to 2018! Cheers! ❀

 

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End of 2nd Semester and Summer Thoughts

Hey guys! It’s been a while since I’ve been on here. I have made so many plans to post a lot on here and to make videos, but this summer has been amazing and I don’t want it to end… ever! I’ve also been working on my health! (Go me!)

I had been taking classes non-stop before entering into a nursing program and that involved me taking classes during the summer and winter sessions so that I could apply by a certain time. It all paid off because now I am enjoying my summer and preparing myself for what is to come for my 3rd semester.

Let’s talk about 2nd semester, shall we?

My second semester was great, I passed clinical with an “A” and theory with a “B”. I enjoyed all the new information I learned while in clinical and in class. I can definitely say that my study habits have changed based off my instructor. I never really have found a uniform way of studying that will suit every professor I have.

Each professor has different ways of reviewing for tests and helping us prepare for their tests. Slowly but surely, I have been figuring out these NCLEX style questions. Critical thinking is SO important in nursing school. If you can’t think critically as well as out of the box, then maybe nursing school isn’t for you. Patient’s lives are in your hands!

After going through clinical in the med-surg setting again, I have come to realize that I really love it, and I am hoping I can start off in med-surg as a new grad. Although, I am going to try and take any job I can get!

(I can’t believe I am already half way done with my nursing program, and in less than a year I will be graduating and planning to take the NCLEX! Ahhh!)

Anyways, like I’ve talked about in a previous post, I really cannot see myself working in pediatrics, although I can definitely see myself working in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) or L&D (Labor & Delivery) down the road after working in med-surg for a bit.

A word of advice: Try not to listen to your upperclassmen. Some will try to scare you that the next semester you are going into is going to be scary/hard/crazy.

Everyone experiences their semesters differently and goes through their own type of stress. I have been told plenty of times that 3rd semester is going to be very hard and stressful. I have been doing my best to block that kind of thinking so that I can ensure that I will go into this next semester with a positive outlook on what is to come and what I will learn.

But for now, enjoy your summer, study as you should, and always remember to breathe. Tell yourself that “everything is going to be okay”, because it will be. You have to be the one to make it that way because no one else is going to make everything “okay” for you. Study like you mean it and always reward yourself! (Even if it is a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream). OH! Also remember, it is okay to cry! Crying is good for you! 🙂

Have an awesome day! 🙂

“On the other side of your maximum fear are all of the best things in life” – Will Smith

Why I Don’t Like Pediatrics

So… yeah! That post title must have gotten your attention. Well, it’s true! I cannot see myself being a Pediatric nurse. As much as I love children and babies, I just cannot see myself going through every shift with them in pain or discomfort. It is very sad!

I wish I can make all their pain go away, and I am sure most of these children have no idea what is wrong with them or why they are in this unfamiliar place, and that makes them more upset. I bow down to those nurses who do what they do as Pediatric nurses, I definitely learned a lot from the nurses I was paired with for each of my clinical days (especially their soft voices, and their never ending patience).

On one of my clinical days, the corner of the floor I was on was full of many babies who just would not stop crying, I started to go a little crazy and even contemplated if I wanted a baby of my own. HA! Kidding! I want children for sure!

I am finished with my OB and Pediatric rotation, and I can say that I really enjoyed OB. I especially liked Labor and Delivery and NICU. There is something about working in critical care that just intrigues me. I am excited to see what my future brings!

I am still unsure as to how I want to start off my career as a nurse… my options are:

  1. Start off in Med-Surg and go into a specialty (that being L&D or NICU)
  2. Go straight into a specialty (if available)
  3. Take any job I can get!

I have heard that I can’t really be picky, as it is sometimes hard to get a job. We will have to see how the market is once I graduate and get my license.

Oh! Have I mentioned I will be starting to plan for my wedding in the fall?! Can you say “stress”? I plan on meditating every day to keep my cool. HA! I’ll be planning my wedding during my 3rd and last semester of my nursing program, ahhh! Wish me luck!

How did your OB and Pediatric rotation go? If you haven’t experienced it yet, are you excited? Neutral? Not looking forward to it? Let me know!

Have a fabulous day! 🙂

New Year, New Semester!

So the holidays are pretty much over, and I can honestly say I am ready to go back to school… is that weird? Probably, but I am SO BORED! I haven’t had a real break from school ever since I made the decision to become a nurse, which was back in 2014.

Ever since Fall 2014, I had been taking classes non-stop in order to get into a nursing program as soon as I could. It paid off!

I am happy to just be doing NOTHING, but then again, I get this need to have to be doing SOMETHING. I was always going, going, going, and my mind and body got so used to it. I am also happy to just have some time to myself and not be so busy every day, but I was just so used to being in school all year long. I am hoping that I will go on some sort of vacation or trip in the summer and make it worth while!

I plan on getting some reading/studying done, and updating my medications before my second semester starts on Monday. I want to get ahead of the game so that I don’t feel like I am falling behind with all the new information we will be taught. I have been hearing from the upperclassmen that this next semester is a less intense than the rest of the semesters, so I am excited about that!

I am going to continue the same study technique from last semester in hopes that I will get by just as well as I did last semester! Crossing my fingers! I’m shooting for A’s!

Anyways, until my textbook comes in, I am going to kick my feet up, get some organizing/cleaning/hobbies in before next Monday, and just enjoy the freedom I have. HA!

What do you plan on doing before your next semester? Do you plan on trying something new for the upcoming semester? Let me know!

Hope you are having a fantastic New Years! 🙂

We should have done something fun…

Yeah… what is fun? Fun (noun): something that provides mirth or amusement (Source: Dictionary.com). Well… my summer isn’t what I imagined it would be. The fiancĂ© has a better job that requires more hours at work, and I’m working/taking a class… NOT FUN!

Actually, my ONE class that I decided to take this summer is pretty much a pre-orientation/pre-nursing school class. I get to hear about some stuff about the nursing program I’ll be going into in August (which is just around the corner!). This is an online and in-class participation class, so it would be impossible for me to go on vacation for more than a week. Missing one class is missing a ton of information, so I’m being a good student and staying put… at home… in my office… staring at a book and computer screen… FUN! *sigh*

Logan got a new job that requires him to work a normal 12-8pm shift (oh, that’s not normal?) and, therefore, I don’t get to see him until about 9pm… Boooooo! I’ve also been working a bit (about 4 hours/5 days a week), which is not too much, but keeps me busy!

So between our schedules, it would be impossible to do any type of vacation. Especially unplanned.

What do I plan to do instead?…

As mentioned in my previous post… relax. I’m enjoying doing nothing, because I know I won’t be able to do such a thing when school starts. Logan and I are going to try planning a vacation maybe for this winter or next summer. We are currently saving up for our wedding/honeymoon, so nothing too fancy or extravagant.

What are your plans the rest of the summer? Have any day trip ideas for Logan and I?

E-mail them to me at futurenursenicole@gmail.com

Have a terrific day! 🙂