Orientation and First Day of Nursing School!

Hey everyone! Wow… it has been quite a whirlwind since my last post and so much has happened. Let’s just jump right in!

Orientation

I had my orientation about a week ago and that was an incredible experience and it was so much information thrown at us. Throughout the day, my brain felt like it was on overload, but that is totally okay because I was also super excited for everything to begin. Our class went over rules, signed papers, overlooked out schedules, etc. Compared to my first day, orientation was more like a pre-orientation. On orientation day, we also started our first lecture, so it was super important that we all had our first reading assignment done before coming into class. So technically, I “started” nursing school a week beforehand to get caught up on reading.

On my way to my school in the morning, I felt so overwhelmed with emotions. Good emotions! I was nervous, scared, anxious, but I was also excited, happy, and filled with joy! I ALMOST cried in my car while driving, HA! It just hit me that I actually got to where I wanted to be in a short amount of time, and I was so proud of myself and what I had done thus far. I am so fortunate to have gotten into the school of my dreams, without having to be put on a waiting list! If you want to know how I felt when I got accepted, see this post.

First day

Thanks to orientation, a previous class, and another event my program hosted, I felt less nervous when it came to my first day. I felt like I could conquer anything and I felt READY! My day was long, and was chuck full of important information, that got me thinking, “I need to organize STAT“. HA! But seriously, we went over so many different topics, that I knew I would be tabbing things left and right when I got home.

It was a long day and I had to wake up very early, and I was so exhausted by the end of the day. I could’ve easily taken a nap as soon as I got home, but didn’t.

I will update you all next week and let you know how my organizing went because I need to crack the whip and get started immediately before I get scatter-brained!

If you have gone to your orientation, started school, or have organizing tips, I would love to hear from you. I want to know how your experiences went! This is such an exciting time!

Ta-ta for now!

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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 fiancé 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! 🙂

 

Keeping Myself Busy

If you’re anything like me… you are probably impatiently waiting to start nursing school like I am… but I realize I have to keep myself busy until then. Here are some activities I am currently doing as well as plan on doing over the summer to keep myself busy:

Work

That’s a given. I plan to work as much as I can and save up as much as I can for my wedding/honeymoon. I’m not too sure how much I plan on working once I start my nursing program, but I was told that the absolute maximum I should work while in nursing school is 16 hours. Nursing school is a full time commitment and requires almost 50 hours a week of class, clinical, and study time.

School

I decided to take a pre-nursing class which goes into depth about different study skills. Not only is this keeping me busy, but I’m getting a little sneak peak into how the nursing program will pan out. It seems as though I can’t give myself a break from school because I feel this need to be doing SOMETHING. I’ve been going to school non-stop since Fall 2014, whether it be many classes or just one. I’m that crazy girl who enjoys school and studying!

Painting, Scrapbooking, and Sewing… Oh My!

I absolutely love being crafty… my only problem is finishing something I start! HA! I’ve organized and dedicated a portion of my office to my craft supplies. Different crafts I like starting have to do with:

  • painting (acrylic and watercolor)
  • sewing
  • scrapbooking
  • knitting/crocheting
  • wood burning
  • photo album assembly.

These crafts keep me busy, and also challenge me to be creative! It also stimulates my need to be doing something.

Blogging/YouTube

Hellooo… blogging of course! I also plan on making videos for YouTube as I’ve announced in my previous post. Some topics I plan to tackle are:

  • Preparation for Nursing School
  • My Journey through Nursing School
  • Organization
  • Q & A’s
  • And much, much more!
  • (If you have a request or suggestion, please email me! futurenursenicole@gmail.com)

Relaxing

I feel like every person entering a nursing program should rest as much as they can, and prepare themselves for what is to come. I’ve heard different opinions from previous nursing students and friends who are RN’s, of what to do before starting. Majority of these individuals have suggested resting. You deserve it! Sleep in, nap, watch Netflix, workout, go out and have fun (as time allows). I personally suggest simulating a schedule similar to what your schedule will be like for nursing school about a month before. Waking up early right off the bat will be awful if you don’t get yourself used to it beforehand.

Most of all… have fun, be healthy, and stay cool!

Have a beautiful day!

 

I’m on YouTube!

Hello everyone! Quick update… I’m on YouTube!

So I was totally nervous making this “welcome” video, but I’m sure I’ll loosen up over the upcoming videos I intend to upload.

Follow the link here to my first video:

Welcome to Future Nurse Nicole!

If you’re interested in seeing videos that go into more depth of my blogs, or you have a request about nursing, organization, or just school in general, please feel free to send me an email, and I’ll do my best to help out!

Please subscribe if you are interested in seeing more. The support is awesome!

I’ll be posting more blogs shortly. I’ve been preparing for a summer course that is starting tomorrow 🙂

Have a cool day! (It has been super hot where I am… summer is NOT my season)

 

 

Summer Reads

Happy June! It is the first day of June and I feel like ripping apart my whole office to do some “Summer cleaning”. In the midst of doing that, I plan on doing some light reading because I’m enjoying the days where I don’t have anything to worry about, especially since I will not be able to do that once I’m in my nursing program. Here are three books I found on my trip to Barnes and Noble:

Anatomy & Physiology made Incredibly Visual 2nd Edition by Janyce G. Dyer

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If you have read my post about studying, then you will know that I am a visual learner. This was an awesome find since it will be great to lightly review any anatomy and physiology. This was around $50 at Barnes and Noble.

Chicken Soup for the Soul – Inspiration for Nurses by Amy Newmark and LeAnn Thieman

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Even though I am not a nurse yet, I still love reading stories from nurses. Just a little inspiration will get me even more excited for what is to come in the following 2 years and beyond. This was around $15 at Barnes and Noble.

 

Saunders Guide to Success in Nursing School by Susan C. deWit

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This isn’t necessarily a book that I would sit down to read, but rather a guide for when I am starting my nursing program. I’ll probably skim through it to see what I am getting into. This was around $20 at Barnes and Noble.

Along with these books I have assignments due for the first week of school. These assignments include a lot of reading from the assigned textbooks we were told to purchase.

I’m also taking a prep course over the summer that will be an eye opener for incoming nursing students. I’m doing my best to keep myself busy, but it is so weird because I have haven’t had free time like this in a while. Maybe I’ll return to some hobbies I started back when I had the free time… when was that? HA!

If you have any suggestions for some “Summer reads”, please shoot me an e-mail! futurenursenicole@gmail.com

Have a wonderful day! Ciao!

 

 

Study Tips and Tricks

Hey there! I’m here to show you how to efficiently study, and get ready for that next test/exam/midterm/final! These are some tips and tricks on how I personally study that have done wonders. So with a little technology, and organization, you can get that “A” you’ve always hoped for!

Notability

I have found this app to be very helpful every semester (especially all my prerequisites for nursing programs). Unfortunately you will have to pay for this app on the MacBook and iPad but it is absolutely worth every penny! I have used this app religiously in every class. Here are some screen shots of how I have organized my Notability app on my MacBook, iPad, and iPhone.

MacBook

NotabilityMac

iPad

NotabilityiPad

iPhone

NotabilityiPhone

There are so many great things you can do with this app. One of my favorites is to record lectures (when allowed), and as I’m highlighting/drawing/typing, the recording will sync with your modifications to the lectures. So, as your are listening to the lecture and want to skip around but aren’t sure when the professor mentioned “monosaccharides”, you can click on your text, drawing, or highlighting of where that slide is, and it will bring you to that point in the recording, awesome right?!

  • Side Note: While I’m listening to my lectures at home, I make more notes on the slides in case I forgot something.

You can also add pictures/videos/stickies, as well as change the size of your modifications with a simple pinch on the screen or track pad with the “dashed square icon” to draw around the part you want to make smaller or bigger. The search bar is great when you don’t have a recording but need to find information on one particular thing (ex. monosaccharides).

  • Side Note: Sometimes the search option doesn’t work depending on what kind of file your professor is using.

I personally use my iPad the most because of the option to use a stylus to draw or write notes. It is also very convenient to put in a bag/backpack instead of bringing a whole computer.

I use my iPhone is case of emergencies when I forget to bring the iPad or MacBook, and I can still record the lecture, as well as take notes on paper (it would look ridiculous trying to type of draw on a tiny screen).

  • Side Note: Lectures are downloaded onto the Notability App. I am able to download from my school’s site where the Professor has uploaded the lectures.

If your professor offers their lectures online, USE THEM!!! Either through the Notability App or print them out and write on them. Any information that is not mentioned in the slides, you should be writing down.

Outlines

I am a visual and kinesthetic learner, which means I have to either look at pictures, watch videos, and write/type notes over again.

Especially if the professor does not explain things very well; it is best if I rewrote their lectures with information I think/know will be important for the next text/exam/midterm/quiz… you get the idea! Microsoft Word has a fantastic template for outlines.

I like to start off my outlines with all the definitions at the top that I need to know that pertain to that lecture and every important subject after that with their sub-category/texts/lists/etc. Here is an example of my outlines:

OutlineLayout

When in Doubt… Write

When technology is not an option during a lecture, write what you can…

Different highlighters, pens, and whiteout are a must have. Using different colors have to do with the visual learner in me, as well as the kinesthetic learner with writing it down.

Unfortunately, I am not a reader because it bores me. I usually use the textbook in desperate measures (and I’m sure that will be changing once I start my nursing program). But if using the textbook is your thing, then I would suggest post-it notes, and rewriting anything you find informational (obviously). I don’t however condone writing and highlighting in the textbook (especially if it’s a rental or a book you plan on reselling).

 

As for right now, this is what I suggest using to stay successful! I will update by writing  another blog for when I’m in my nursing program. To see how I organize my school materials, see this post 🙂

Have a great day! 😀

Binder Organization

I’m going to explain how I organize my binders for maximum use. If you are struggling on keeping your papers in order, keep reading!

“Applications for Nursing Programs” Binder

I don’t know what else to call this binder, other than my “Holy Grail” when I was applying to nursing programs. I felt so organized and had everything in one place.

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Here is a basic view of what my binder looks like (2 1/2″ Binder).

  • Pocket folders were dedicated individually to the nursing programs I applied to.
    • In the folders, I included information like:
      • transcripts needed for that program (one from each college I attended and my high school if needed)
      • the application
      • checklists that needed to be included with the application (provided usually online from the program website)
      • a checklist that I wrote of what I needed to do next
      • Post-its of important things I had to do or questions I needed to ask
      • Letters of recommendation/hours worked (paid and volunteer) (one from each place I worked)
      • Basically anything and everything that needed to be included with the application before handing it in
      • Any extra information I wanted to know for that specific nursing program (i.e. cost of the program, classes, etc)
  • Clear pockets were dedicated to:
    • Transcripts (opened and unopened) (EXTRA)
    • Class Descriptions (some programs required this in order to see if the class is equivalent to their prerequisites that they offer) (EXTRA)
    • Letters of Recommendations/Hours worked (EXTRA)
  • In the back of my folders:
    • I included any handouts/folders that were given to me from Nursing Workshops I attended or other BSN programs that interested me.
  • In the binders pockets (front):
    • Receipts for transcripts ordered
    • Various checklists of transcript orders
    • *I also had a document on my computer that I sometimes printed out that I used to keep myself up to date with the transcripts I ordered from the college or my high school/received from the colleges or my high school/sent electronically to the nursing programs/delivered in person to the nursing programs. This document also had questions I had and I answered them as I found out the corresponding information.
  • On the front of my folder:
    • I included an Excel spreadsheet of deadlines for each school. I used Disney character names to represent an example of each college’s information. It was a very easy a quick view for me to see what is up next. Here is an example:

ApplicationDeadlines

“Nursing Program” Binder

This binder is the one I am using to keep myself in order for the Nursing Program I got accepted into. It is a 1″ binder. Here is how it is organized:

  • Clear Pockets (Primary):
    • Included the Admission Packet that I took apart and put each page in a clear pocket. I then separated the pockets (with small post-its) and put them in sections that made sense to me. For example: Deadlines/Important Dates/General Information, payments on things I needed to have done like Background Check/Drug Test/CPR card (which I had)/TB tests/etc.
  • Clear Pockets (Secondary):
    • I have clear pockets behind the separated admission packet that included all the papers (individually) that I needed to turn into the Nursing Department in order to start the program. I kept extras for myself and extras that I will need to keep in my clinical folder.
  • Loose leaf paper:
    • Located in front of all the clear pockets, used to write down quick notes or checklists
  • 1 pocket folder:
    • Located behind all the clear pockets that includes any extra papers that aren’t necessarily important but good to have.
  • In the binders pocket (front):
    • Checklists of things I have already done and turned in
    • A list of what I have already purchased and the prices
    • Any paperwork I still need to take care of
    • Post-it notes of course, for questions I have/want to ask
  • On the front:
    • Just a paper that I have describing what the binder is for, for example: “Mickey Mouse Nursing Program – Handouts and Information”, and a cheesy faded motivational quote used as the background hahaha!

Any School Binder

I don’t use a big binder for school. I like to do my notes on my Notability app when possible. Other wise, I’ll take notes either in a notebook, or on loose leaf paper (that I will transfer into the notebook later on). This binder is 1/2″. Here is how it is organized:

  • Dividers:
    • Used to separate each classes syllabus and any important handouts given to me
      • I like the dividers with the pockets, so that you can put the handouts in the pockets or whatever is due the next class in those pockets.
  • Loose leaf paper:
    • For taking notes if I don’t have my notebook
    • To-Do checklists (which I will transfer into my school planner)
  • In the binders pocket (front):
    • Any old tests with its corresponding Scantron
  • Clear Pockets:
    • Used for quick access on things I want to keep protected and not lose. For example: in my medication calculations class, we were given a conversions chart for different conversions that we needed to remember.
  • *I also use one or two pocket folders for graded assignments/loose leaf notes/study guides/outlines I wrote/etc. These folders usually get huge over the semester, and I like to keep it separate from my binder because it is just clutter.

So now that you know my organization secrets, you can get started on creating the organized life you always wanted! You can do it!

Have a fantastic day! Ciao!

 

 

ADN vs. BSN Nursing Programs

There are pros and cons to ADN and BSN nursing programs. I’m going to talk about how I chose an ADN program over a BSN program. These are my personal pros and cons towards each program. You should make the decision that is best for you.

ADN Programs

Pros:

  • Only 2 years
  • Can still get a job without a BSN
  • CHEAPER

Cons:

  • Only achieve an Associate’s
  • Most hospitals require a BSN (or a plan to get your BSN)

 

BSN Programs

Pros:

  • Include classes not taught in an ADN program
  • Achieve a BSN (have the opportunity to get a higher education or stay at a BSN level)

Cons:

  • EXPENSIVE
  • 3+ years (depending on the route you take – accelerated program or not)

 

These are just some main “pros and cons” to each program. I personally have been going to my current community college for 5 years now, and I have realized that I have saved an enormous amount of money as compared to what I would have to spend at a (private) university. A private university was my first choice, but after thinking about it (and getting an offer for their waiting list), I declined the offer from that particular school, because I did not want to be in debt, and the distance was too far. I would have to end up staying in a dorm to not deal with everyday SoCal morning rush hour to get to classes on time.

I was fortunate enough to get accepted to the community college that I have already been attending for years (which was my second choice), and I am very grateful. I know the campus, buildings, policies, etc. Plus, I’m saving so much money and still getting the exact education (minus the leadership kind of classes you would get in your years in a BSN program). ADN programs also let you sit for your license and take the NCLEX exam. You can start working anywhere! Although, it is best to have a BSN degree because most (if not all) hospitals are starting to become “magnet”, which means they want all their nurses to have a BSN.

From what I have heard, you can get a job with an ADN as long as you are continuing your education. Some hospitals might even help you to go back to school. I have also heard of online BSN programs!

So again, it is up to you what route you want to take. If you are looking for a quick route, with no money problems, I would suggest to take the route of a BSN. If you are not looking into accelerated and expensive, I would take the route of an ADN. Either way you are almost getting the same education with the difference of a BSN offering some leadership classes and what not.

Choose wisely, and if you have any questions, please feel free to send me an e-mail! futurenursenicole@gmail.com

Have a lovely day! Ciao!

Lifestyle Organization

So, you found yourself here because you want to become more organized. While I am not an expert, I do like to think that I am a little OCD when it comes to having my life organized. So here are something tips and tricks that I do to keep myself organized and on top of things!

Post-Its

I put Post-It notes EVERYWHERE! Whether it is reminders, short lists for shopping, important information, these little guys are awesome! It is also very invigorating when you can throw them away because you got something done!

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Planner

No… I’m not talking about your calendar on your phone… I’m talking about a physical planner that you can WRITE down important dates, deadlines, homework, etc. I personally like to separate my personal life (work, events, etc.) from school. In that case, I have two different planners. One for “life” and one for “school”, because we all know that school doesn’t involve a life 😀

I also keep a desk calendar so I can see everything right in front of me when I’m studying at home. The planners I take with me everywhere, you never know when you’re going to have to make plans/appointments!

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Filing Cabinet

I have a two drawer filing cabinet (one drawer for me, and one for my fiancé). This is great to have if you: 1. Like to hoard papers 2. Like to file away and have a safe place for all important documents. A few of my folders I have in my filing cabinet are: “Doctor”, “Pets”, “Car/DMV”, “School”, you get the idea. Some come with locks too!

Binders, Folders, and Clear Pockets

I personally hoard binders… BUT… there is a but… It is great when you have a bookcase and need quick access to different things. For example: I kept a big binder for when I was applying to nursing programs. If you’d like to see how I put that binder together, please see this post. I also keep a separate binder for the nursing program I got into with all the handouts and important information I am given and need to turn in before I start the program, how I put that binder together is also located on this post. A couple other binders I keep are a fitness binder (has healthy meals, workouts, etc), a home binder (has quick medical info for emergencies), and a certificates binder (has all my certificates in clear pockets that I don’t feel need to be hung up, useful in case I need to make copies).

I use folders in the binders for loose papers that aren’t as important but need for reference. I also use clear pockets to display important documents so that I can flip through them faster and they are protected!

Email

I’m the type of person who really does not like an existing inbox. In that case, I made folders kind of similar to how my filing cabinet is set up. If the email is important enough, I’ll “move” the email to the corresponding folder. If set up right, you can get to important emails much faster without having to scroll your inbox for hours.

GmailOrganization

Phone Apps I Like for Organization

As much as I like to do things physically and write things down, these apps are hands down, amazing!

Cam Scanner – Useful for scanning with your phone.

CamScanner

AnyList – For your grocery shopping.

Anylistapp

Notability – For note taking (See my post here for how I take notes).

notability

 

If I find more ways I keep myself organized, I will update this post, but as for now, this is my go-to!

If you would like in-depth descriptions for any of these, please email me to request it!

Have an organized day! 😉

 

 

 

Getting Accepted into a RN Program and Passing my CNA Exam!

Hello! It has been a very busy and exciting week for me! Let me start off by saying…

I GOT ACCEPTED INTO AN ADN NURSING PROGRAM!!! It was my number one pick for an ADN program, and I am so ecstatic about my acceptance! Also…

I PASSED MY CNA EXAM!!! It was so nerve-wracking and I am so happy it is finally over… now onto applying for CNA jobs! Let me tell you a little bit more about my experience with both…

GETTING ACCEPTED INTO AN ADN NURSING PROGRAM

HOLY CANOLI! Who knew I’d get accepted into my #1 pick for an ADN Nursing Program… I mean WOW! So, I was working with my client, and I got a call from the school, and they told me over the phone that I was accepted. The first words out of my mouth were, “Oh my god…“, and the woman on the other end giggled. My heart was racing and I started sweating, it was just this great adrenaline rush, and I immediately started crying after I got off the phone with her. I had to call my mother, fiancé, and grandmother as soon as I could. They were so happy for me!

Later after work, I was able to go to the school to sign my acceptance letter to make it OFFICIAL! I celebrated with some of my family that night with some Mexican food and a margarita for sure!

PASSING MY CNA EXAM

WHEW! That is a weight off my shoulders! I finally get my weekends back! Hallelujah! More time for studying Pharmacology and Organic Chemistry, yay!

I have been recommended by other people and I, myself, recommend to people to become a CNA before nursing school. When I was reviewing how I did with each skill, the RN (proctor) mentioned that everything I learned in this CNA course, is everything that will be seen in the first semester of nursing school. I am happy to be a little ahead of the game! I am very much relieved as well…

In case you were wondering the skills I got for my test were:

  • Hand washing* (this skill is mandatory)
  • Bed pan
  • Transfer patient from bed to chair using a gait belt
  • Measure the weight of a patient

I received my certification through the American Red Cross, and I highly recommend this program to anyone who is looking for a fantastic program to get their own certification! It is a very thorough program and well worth the money if you get the right instructor!

Overall… I am on cloud nine right about now… this week was amazing! I hope you are having a good one!