#NurseLife

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint. How to Handle Failure in Nursing School

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint. How to Handle Failure in Nursing School

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint. How to Handle Failure in Nursing School

Nursing school is a long process. Whether you are in a two-year or a four-year program…there are bound to be failures or areas where you fall short of your expectations. Coming into nursing school, I was used to failure. It was all I knew because I failed out of college two times before beginning again in 2018. I had to meet with advisors, appeal my academic suspension, provide letters of recommendation, and re-take the classes I failed. Being back from that and getting accepted to nursing school, and maintaining a 3.90 GPA has been one of my most significant accomplishments. Not only am I in a position that I never thought would happen, but I am doing it, and I am doing it well. So, how do you handle failures while in nursing school and come back stronger?
While I have been doing well in nursing school, I have failed. Quizzes, medication calculation exams, skills check-offs, it happens. More important is how you handle it and what you do to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

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The Weekly Preparation: Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan

The Weekly Preparation: Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan

The Weekly Preparation: Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan

I think we can all agree that there is so much prep every week in nursing school. Papers to be written, chapters to be read, notes to review… it can become very overwhelming! The anxiety of thinking about everything on that extensive to-do list we have written in a notebook keeps piling up. But managing this list and working through that list in a productive, positive way is beyond important! Here are some helpful tips to consider:

  • Get A Planner: Yes. This one may be obvious, but having a monthly and weekly layout can sometimes be the simplest of solutions to the overwhelming feeling!

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Things I Wish I Knew Before Nursing School!

Things I Wish I Knew Before Nursing School!

Things I Wish I Knew Before Nursing School

I decided at 29 years old, when my son was 4 months, to quit my job that I had been at for 5 years and go to nursing school. Talk about terrifying. What if I don’t have enough time? What if I don’t do well? What if I don’t like it? All of these questions kept swirling around in my head as I contemplated this huge life change. These doubts and insecurities were some of the main reasons that I didn’t go to nursing school sooner. I didn’t know how to begin, where to start, what to expect, or if I would even be capable of doing it.  So, in order to ease your mind if you’re having similar feelings, I wanted to share some of the things that I wish I knew before starting nursing school.

First, your age doesn't matter. I will be 33 years old when I graduate next August. I have had classmates who had just graduated from high school, and others who were in their 50’s (and KILLING IT), with ages spanning everywhere in between. It is never too late to follow your passions and continue your education.

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So Close But Yet.. So Close. Remembering Your End Goal

So Close But Yet.. So Close. Remembering Your End Goal

So Close But Yet.. So Close. Remembering Your End Goal

We can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. I think we can all agree that this semester of nursing school has pushed us, motivated us, caused us stress, or brought us the best days of learning. With only one more week in the semester, we've been assigned homework, ATI's, and studying material for our finals. What makes it all worth it is the amount of knowledge and skills I've learned. I remember looking at the material a few weeks before school started. I closed my dosage calculations textbook just as quickly as I opened it. I was so nervous because I saw things that made me think: "Is nursing school for me?" But as the semester went on, I excelled in something that I feared. My class chose me to be class representative, which motivated me to go harder. I would constantly hear, "You're the smartest in the class." That made me feel really good inside. We had a test one week, and I remember making my first C on an exam. Everybody would say, "well, if you didn't do good, then I know I didn't." It put so much pressure on me because I didn't know my classmates believed in passing every exam. But again, it motivated me to make sure I understood the material and made sure my classmates knew the material. 

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Taking Notes: Finding Your Niche

Taking Notes: Finding Your Niche

Probably one of the most frequent questions I get asked is about note-taking. What I use to take notes, how I prepare to take notes in class, my style of note-taking. I can not emphasize the point enough; I encourage everyone in the nursing field and going through nursing school to find the note-taking style that best fits your needs! There are thousands of ways to take notes, but only one way will most benefit you. Find what works and stick with it! Here are just a few tips and tricks I used to help narrow in my focus on notes and note-taking because, let's face it, we take A LOT of them!

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How To Prevent Burn Out

How To Prevent Burn Out

How To Prevent Burn Out

Burn Out: Two words, especially during these times; we hear more about nursing school and the nursing field in general. It can be terrifying and brutal to hear about constantly. So how can we prevent this from happening to us? Here are some tips and tricks I have acquired over time to help you, hopefully!

Routines: Having a daily routine or planning out your week ahead of time can alleviate a lot of stress on you! When you become overwhelmed or constantly go go go with no direction or guide, it can weigh on your mind. So having a set plan daily of things going on, something you want to accomplish, and routines are beyond helpful. I make it a checklist layout, so as I go, I check things off, and I feel so much better seeing the list get shorter and shorter! It does not have to be anything crazy either. Daily I try to work out, journal, study, call a friend or family member, cook dinner, and get 7 hours of sleep. 

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Staying Fit and Healthy as a Full Time Nursing Student

Staying Fit and Healthy as a Full Time Nursing Student

So, of course, we all want to incorporate fitness and maintain a healthy lifestyle while in nursing school, right? We can quickly lose track of our physical well-being between intensive studying, long clinical hours, and spending time with family. As a veteran, I'm used to working out 2-3 times a day, 5-6 days a week. But I have to make a mental note and tell myself that my studies will come first. That doesn't mean I have to forget about my lovely workouts completely. When I've clocked in about 5 hours of studying, I'm mentally exhausted. Taking in so much information can be a lot and makes us stressed. So what I like to do is get some blood pumping to my brain, take that mental stress, and turn it into physical tension. Even just 30 minutes of cardio is more beneficial than none at all. Working out can be complex and straightforward; 5 rounds of jumping jacks for 30 seconds, jogging in place for 1 minute, or bodyweight squats in your living room can get your mind off of that homework that's giving you trouble or that online test that you have coming up.

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What I Wish I Knew as a First-Year Nursing Student

What I Wish I Knew as a First-Year Nursing Student

Flashback to September of 2018, my first year of nursing school. That was a September of so many worries and so much anxiety... would I find my "people," where I would sit in huge lecture halls, would I pass my exams, why was the passing grade 72%, was I as smart as my peers, how will I carry these 40lbs of textbooks around???

These questions made me wish I had a school survival guide, but in reality, the experience will be different for every student, and that is okay. 

Here are a few of my favorite tips that I know now that I wish I learned a few years ago. 

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This is my "WHY?"

This is my "WHY?"

My "WHY": My dad was diagnosed with Emphysema at 35; I was two years old. I was the youngest of 3, and he and I always shared a strong bond. Growing up, I wondered why my dad couldn't do the things other dads did, like coach my little league team or go out and play. When I was 12, my dad had a massive heart attack and was pronounced DOA at the hospital. He survived, but from that point, his health began to decline steadily. Many hospital visits, a collapsed lung, and various other issues followed. I graduated high school

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Pre-Nursing School Anxiety

Pre-Nursing School Anxiety

Is your nursing journey about to start? Are you full of excitement but also scared, anxious, and nervous? Trust me; I feel all of these emotions. When we sit and think about the joys of nursing school, it can quickly turn to thoughts of doubt—doubting our abilities to provide the best care possible to individuals from all walks of life; doubting our ability to think critically. I have an aunt, a nurse, who gave me some advice that allowed me to take that anxiety and doubt and throw it completely out of the window.

 

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Normalize Imperfections: The Nursing Journey

Normalize Imperfections: The Nursing Journey

Normalize Imperfections: The Nursing Journey

Nursing is one of the most demanding fields that someone can enter into. Maybe I am biased, but I also feel it is a fact. It takes a toll on your physical, mental, and emotional health… you stand on your feet for up to 12 hours a day, helping heal the sick and wounded, giving your everything to this field daily! There is constant pressure to be perfect at what you do, from your friends, family, teachers, future employers, and the most prominent critic of all, yourself. The pressure comes from all sides, and most of the time, it is not intentional! We want to be the best for our patients. I remember being back in nursing school… the pressure I would put myself under would lead to anxiety and make it so hard to focus or do much of anything. Then one day, it clicked… What is the definition of perfection?

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How to Build Relationships While in Nursing School

How to Build Relationships While in Nursing School

How to Build Relationships While in Nursing School

Nursing school can feel like an incredibly scary, intimidating monster (and let's be honest, sometimes it is). However, the experience can improve significantly by gaining meaningful connections with your fellow classmates, instructors, and even potential places of employment. The first thing I do on every first day of the class gets at least one person's phone number. Yes, I am THAT person. Having a point of contact that isn't an instructor to discuss due dates, build a study group, or just a supportive friend has made my nursing school experience improve immensely. No one can quite understand nursing school's stress, pressure, and craziness quite like a fellow nursing student. It is important to stick together. It may take some time, but some of the best friends are made in nursing school. I have met some of the most supportive, helpful, intelligent group of girls since I began my journey, and it all started by stepping outside of my comfort zone and introducing myself.

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