#NurseLife

The Pros and Cons of Being an Adult Learner
October 15, 2021

The Pros and Cons of Being an Adult Learner

The Pros and Cons of Being an Adult Learner

The thought of going back to school after having your life pretty much established for years can be a bit terrifying. That's how I felt after deciding to go back to school after being out of college or years, getting married, buying a house, and having a baby. I thought, do I have time for this? Am I still cut out for college life? The late nights studying, the early morning classes, the financial burden, etc.

But then I thought about something else…Do I feel fulfilled with my current career? Am I happy on the drive to work every morning? Am I doing something I love? Can I honestly encourage my kids to follow their dreams if I don't follow mine?

The answer to all those questions was a HARD no. That's when I knew I had to go back, despite all the thoughts and questions racing through my head. 

Fast-forward to my junior year in my BSN program, I've learned that I'm at an advantage in some areas compared to the rest of my nursing cohort.

If you're wondering if it's too late to go back and become a nurse or wondering if you'll have a hard time adjusting to the nursing student lifestyle, read some of my pros and cons below!

Pros-

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How To Prevent Burn Out
October 08, 2021

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
October 01, 2021

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 Is In My School Bag vs. My Work Bag
September 24, 2021

What Is In My School Bag vs. My Work Bag

What Is In My School Bag vs. My Work Bag

Before I start this blog, I want to preface this by saying everyone has different things they like to put in their bags for school and work, but this is the system that works for me… make your bags unique to you and your needs for school and work! My day-to-day routine and system crossed over fairly quickly from work to school, so almost everything I carried in bags was for school and work. Here are a few of my favorite items and some tips! 

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What does it mean to you to be a nurse?
September 17, 2021

What does it mean to you to be a nurse?

This week's blog is going to be a little different. This week we are doing a check-in with our nurses! There is a comment section below; please add your reasoning.

What does it mean to you to be a nurse?

We are going to make these comments into a video and post them to our social media!

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What I Wish I Knew as a First-Year Nursing Student
September 10, 2021

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?"
September 03, 2021

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
August 27, 2021

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
August 20, 2021

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 Make the Best Out of Your Nursing School Preceptorship
August 13, 2021

How to Make the Best Out of Your Nursing School Preceptorship

How to Make the Best Out of Your Nursing School Preceptorship

You’re about to start your nursing school preceptorship in an area where you may potentially work in after graduating nursing school! How exciting!!! Preceptorship is essentially a time where you get to work with and learn from an experienced nursing staff member and see firsthand what it really is like to work as a nurse.

On my last semester of nursing school, I was assigned to precept at an intensive care unit on night shifts, and I got the SWEETEST and honestly the BEST preceptor I could ever have hoped for. Despite having to precept during the pandemic (where I primarily had COVID patients), my preceptor taught me the value of resilience and of speaking up for oneself, especially when advocating for your patient, as well as helped strengthen my nursing clinical skills. With that being said, let’s jump into some tips/things that I found really helpful during my preceptorship!

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How to Build Relationships While in Nursing School
August 06, 2021

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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Preparing for a Clinical Shift
July 23, 2021

Preparing for a Clinical Shift

Preparing for a Clinical Shift

When I first started clinical placements in nursing school, I was constantly unsure about what I should be packing, preparing, and doing to make myself feel more organized. I want to share some of the tips I have picked up along the way.

Routine, routine, routine: This is so important! I have curated a routine that allows me to ensure I always have what I need for my shift. These steps work for me, and something different may work for everyone; feel free to build off of this.

1. Ensure your lunch is packed and ready in the fridge the night before: The last thing you want the morning of a 12-hour shift is to sleep in and not have time to pack nutritious food. Nursing is a hard job, and you want to make sure you have adequate brain power packed in your lunch bag!

2. Layout a clean pair of scrubs/socks the evening before: I have had a panicked morning or two early on in my schooling where I was digging through the dryer in a frantic search for my school uniform scrubs. Laying this out the night before your shift will save time and stress!

3. Print out any necessary documents 1-2 days before: This helps prove to your instructors and nursing staff that you arrive prepared and show off your organizational skills. Plus - if your printer runs out of ink, you’ll know before it’s too late!

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How to Create an Effective Course Study Guide
July 16, 2021

How to Create an Effective Course Study Guide

How to Create an Effective Course Study Guide

Nursing school is all about adaptation. Keeping up with the course load and managing your personal life, relationships, work, and everything else can be delicate. Figuring out how you learn best is an integral part of studying effectively and not only learning but retaining the material. What works for some people may not work for all. Using resources such as YouTube videos, flashcards, and more can help to solidify information. Personally, I wouldn't say I like reading textbooks. I find that I do not retain the information. Therefore, I have had to develop a system that worked for me by creating my own course study guides and using other resources and material to fill in any blanks.

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What's in my Bag? Nursing Student Essentials
July 09, 2021

What's in my Bag? Nursing Student Essentials

What's in my Bag? Nursing Student Essentials

Every person has their essentials in their gym bag, makeup bag, or purse, but nursing students having essentials that can help through their nursing school journey. There’s a huge pile of items I've collected throughout my three years of nursing school that I believe EVERY nursing student needs to succeed. Below are some of the items I highly suggest if you are going into nursing or a current nursing school student.


RekMed Organizer:
I am the messiest person in terms of keeping all my things together in one place. Sometimes, it is like a treasure hunt trying to find my penlight. But, yet again, RekMed saved me with their compact organizer that I use as my pencil pouch and clinical essentials organizer. The organizer is a hard-shell case that can keep it all together and protect all your valuables.

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Specialties: Where Do I Belong?
July 02, 2021

Specialties: Where Do I Belong?

Specialties: Where Do I Belong?

During and even before my nursing school career, people always seem to have the same question. “Do you know what specialty you want to be in?” Before nursing school, I knew the answer to that in 2 seconds! But as time went on through school, the more experiences I had in all the amazing specialty groups, the answer progressively changed. I would think about my original answer and then make a pros and cons list about a new specialty I am interested in! The process went on and on, and there is no specific timeline of when this must be done, but I did want to take the time to share some advice and tips that might help you along the journey of making that choice!

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Balancing Life and Family While in Nursing School
June 04, 2021

Balancing Life and Family While in Nursing School

One of the questions I consistently receive in my inbox goes something like this, “I am so overwhelmed. How do you balance school, being a mom, and still have time for yourself?” And while I am flattered that I put out the perception that I have it all together and give advice on the topic, that isn’t the reality.

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Nailing The Nursing Interview: My Favorite Tips and Tricks
May 21, 2021

Nailing The Nursing Interview: My Favorite Tips and Tricks

Today is the day you have officially graduated (or soon to be), and you are ready to enter the nursing world! Exciting day but a daunting task, especially if this is one of your first times ever interviewing for a full-time position through a hospital. I get asked all of the time about interviewing, how do I personally interview, what do I even ask them?! I do not have any nursing experience. How do I even get a job or answer any of these questions or scenarios they throw at you?! Just stop… take a deep breath and try to relax...... 

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