April 8, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions By Nursing Students

1. What do I need to know in order to be successful in nursing school? 

Make sure you understand concepts (not simply the right answers) AND have proper time-management. Nursing school pulls you in different directions, from clinicals to writing papers. You have to be organized and dedicated to being successful.

2. What is the best way to study for nursing exams? 

That’s a tough one. Just know there isn’t a right or wrong way to study, as long as you are “actually” studying. Whether it involves podcasts or reading a textbook, there are various ways to learn a particular topic and subject. If one route isn’t working, try another. Each semester required me to change up my study habits, and I feel doing different study techniques really helped me in the end.

3. What should I do if I don't understand the course material?

Do NOT ask other students. Don’t learn this the hard way, like I did. I was given all types of inaccurate information from friends in my nursing program (though, they thought this information was accurate at the time). After doing poorly on a few exams, I finally spoke to the professor and she really opened my eyes to what I was missing. It simply took a simple conversation for it all to click for me. Your professor creates the exams and can really steer you in the right direction.

4. Why is the material in my textbook so different than what I see in clinicals? 

Textbooks present the best-case scenarios and present situations with no time constraints. In the real world, that usually doesn’t happen but the education is needed nonetheless. Take what information you can from the books, but know in real life that you will have to adjust and accommodate for each patient or situation.

5. I get really nervous and anxious before going to clinicals. How should I handle this? 

I suffer from anxiety as well, but being prepared and not “sorta” prepared really calms me down. I noticed that I’m most anxious when I’m unsure if I studied enough. But, if I KNOW I’m prepared… the anxiety is diminished drastically. It's all about preparing for success - it doesn't happen by accident.

6. Should I continue to work while I'm in nursing school? Why or why not? 

Working depends on your lifestyle and needs at the time. I know people who didn’t work and received poor grades in nursing school. Yet, I also had classmates who worked full-time and received excellent grades. It comes down to the person and their ability to focus with the time given for school. If you use your time wisely, either option works.

7. What can I do to handle the stress of nursing school? 

Ahh stresses, now that’s a big one! What really helped me was remembering the goal at hand. The goal was to graduate and become a nurse. The nursing school gossip, bad grades, stressful group projects, late nights… all were an experience but ENDED with graduation. Know that your hard work will pay off. Work towards that goal and don’t look back.

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