I am less than four weeks away from starting the second semester of nursing school. I was away on vacation for five weeks with my family and I have finally returned back to reality. I know the stress will begin soon so I tried to enjoy the time off and spend as much time as possible with my loved ones.
We have already been scheduled to have our dosage calculation exam during the first week. The passing grade is 100%. I had to take it twice during my first semester because I kept failing by one or two points each time. This time I want to pass on my first try and not be worried about it so I started practicing a few questions already from the practice packet that was given from school.
I also have to brush up on a few things before the second semester starts so I am not completely lost. We start pharmacology so I am going to try and skim through to familiarize myself with the concepts. I have been hearing that majority of the students struggle with pharmacology and it is best to be prepared ahead of time.
As for now, I know I need to get a new planner, few notebooks and pens. I mentioned in my previous posts that I am a traditional note-taker and I love to take notes using my pen and paper. I also did not purchase e-books and instead bought the required nursing books from Facebook nursing groups for reasonably affordable prices.
This semester my clinical rotations will be five weeks long for Med-Surg, Maternity, and Psychiatry. They will be two days a week and 8-hour shifts. I am really looking forward to maternity because that is where I see myself after I graduate. But lets see what happens because experience changes a lot of things!
Hopefully in my future posts I can bring on more exciting updates about everything in my second semester of nursing school. So if you haven’t already, subscribe and share my blog 🙂
Before nursing school started I bought so many things off of Amazon that I did not need. So here are a list of things that I think will really prepare you for nursing school.
Foldable clipboards are a must and so convenient to use and carry during clinicals. I used to fold it and put it away in my scrubs pocket when I wasn’t using it. You can choose the plain one or the one with notes on it.
2. Littman Stethoscopes are the best. They can be a little costly but it is a one time investment because they last longer and you can hear the lung sounds and the heartbeat more clearly compared to the stethoscopes they provide at school.
3. RNotes is a nurse’s clinical pocket guide that has everything summarized and is easy to follow. It definitely helped me during the clinicals and the health assessment class. I think it is a great investment for all nursing students.
4. Sticky notes are helpful if you prefer reading from a textbook and like to take written notes. I am not a digital notetaker and so I prefer using sticky notes and dividers to help me stay organized.
5. Saunders NCLEX Comprehensive Review book has helped me score high on my HESI exit exam. Even though we do not cover all the materials in the first semester, this book tells you how to take the exams and they have great practice questions. I highly recommend using the book as soon as you start nursing school.
6. Undated planners are a must as well. When you are in nursing school, you have to stay organized. It is helpful to jot down all the due dates and exam dates as soon as you know it. That way you will never miss a deadline and be prepared ahead of time.
So these are the six things that has helped me through the first semester of nursing school. I did not want to include the school supplies like pens, highlighters, pencils, etc. because I feel like everyone has a personal preference. I only use black pen because I don’t have the time to switch between pens while taking notes and so that is where the multicolor highlighters come in handy.
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I looked up all the colleges nearby that had a nursing program and what the requirements were for each school. Initially, I wanted to pursue my BSN from the state university that I am currently in but I did not have all the credentials to enroll since I was out of high school for over seven years.
I applied to a community college and registered for all the prerequisites that were required to apply for the nursing program. I took anatomy and physiology, chemistry, and algebra. I applied to the community college’s nursing program as well as the state university’s nursing program.
For the community college, I had to prepare for the TEAS but there was no admission exam required for the state university’s nursing program except that you needed a GPA of 3.0 or above and a minimum of 12 college credits. While I was still preparing for the TEAS, I got an acceptance letter from the state university. If I had gone with the community college, I would have graduated with my ADN in four semesters whereas with the state university I would be graduating with my BSN in five semesters. So it was a no-brainer for me to pick the state university because I did not have to go through with the TEAS and also it was my first choice for the nursing program.
But I am continuing to complete some of the general education courses over the 4-week summer classes so that is how I am able to meet my goal of skipping an entire semester and finishing early. It is very much doable so as long as you stay organized and study daily.
Here are a few tips on how YOU can get into nursing school:
You must be a high school graduate.
Research what school you want to get into and look at their NCLEX passing rate.
Find out the deadlines for application and their admission requirements.