The Basic Roles of Student Nurses
The roles of student nurses are essential in the healthcare system. Don’t feel like you cannot do much because you are still a student. And if you want to know what student nurses do, this post can help clear this up!
What is a Student Nurse?
Student nurses are individuals who study nursing. They also work to maintain, restore, and promote patients’ health while following the policies and procedures laid out by the hospital or healthcare facility.
The duties of a student nurse are limited. Often, approval is needed before you can administer care to patients. They must also follow the instructions given to them by their clinical instructor.
Working at a health care facility gives student nurses a chance to practice what they have learned in school. They are also given a specific time frame to complete these duties.
Roles and Responsibilities
As student nurses, you will also have roles and responsibilities to do. Take it as your “warm-up exercises” in the nursing world as you prepare yourself for your future role.
Getting your patient assignment
Clinicals are exciting for many student nurses. This experience will give them a feel of what it is like to be actually on the job. As a student nurse, one of your roles is to acquire a patient assignment. It will consist of the names of patients you have to take care of during the day.
Your instructor will expect you to understand the diagnosis of the patients under your care. It means that you must understand their medical condition to execute the treatment they need. Whether it be a bed bath or a simple change of bedding, knowing your patient’s condition will also help you determine the right kind of treatment to give.
In addition to that, it is also vital that student nurses are well-versed in modern technologies. It will be helpful when it comes to giving patient care.
As part of your clinical rotation, student nurses must experience administering medications to patients. However, this is not done of their own accord but with the instructions and supervision of a clinical instructor and physicians’ approval.
Administering medication involves preparing them in the appropriate dosage, specified time, and correct procedures. They must also ensure that they give the right drugs by asking their names. To avoid confusion, student nurses must also check the patient IDs to confirm the right person.
One of the primary roles of student nurses is to provide patients with the proper care they need. It could be eating, bathing, or changing bed linens; student nurses assist these patients.
Student nurses must also provide nursing care to bedridden patients. One of their duties is to bathe them. It could be laborious, but they must ensure to execute the procedures correctly and provide bedridden patients with blankets to keep them warm.
Before doing these nursing care procedures, student nurses must first ask for the patient’s consent. It is best to remember this as some patients are uncomfortable with student nurses.
A patient’s chart is essential in learning about the patient’s health history. It provides the involved healthcare professionals with the information they need to administer the correct patient’s treatment. This chart is also a good opportunity for student nurses to learn more about their patients.
A chart includes the details of the patient’s condition, treatment plan, symptoms, and medication list. It also contains the treatment done to the patient or the medications/drugs given to them as part of the plan.
As part of your duties as a student nurse, you must record these details by writing them down on the chart or recording them on the computer.
Knowing what to expect during your clinical will help you understand the roles of student nurses better. These will help you get the experience you need, and you will be more confident in taking on the part of a future nurse.
12 Nursing School Supplies You Need
Studying as a student nurse is exciting but buying nursing school supplies is even more thrilling! Who doesn’t love school supplies anyway? I know I do! If you are excited to start your school year as a student nurse, here are twelve of the essentials you need.
The 12 Must-haves Nursing School Supplies
So, you are ready to start nursing school, a bit nervous, I assume? Don’t be! Going to nursing school is one of the best experiences you will ever have. And to start your year right, you must also have the right stuff.
As you prepare for nursing school, make sure that you have these items and enjoy your time as a student nurse.
As one of the items you need, scrub suits should be the first on your list. And for a good reason, too – scrubs are the go-to uniforms for nurses and student nurses. However, some hospitals or schools require a specific color for the scrubs used.
Once you know what color is needed, you can search for the features and the kind of fabric you want to keep you well-vented during clinical. Make sure that your scrubs have pockets, as it is essential. It will help you carry various items like pens, note pads, etc.
If you do not know your size, take measurements first to understand how it fits you. That way, you don’t have to suffer wearing the wrong fit the entire school year!
When I was in nursing school, my aunt gave me a specific kind of nurse shoes for my clinical. I never understood why she sent me those but little did I know that wearing the correct type of shoes makes a lot of difference in your life as a student nurse.
An aching foot is the number one enemy of nurses. Even professional nurses hate it. Choosing the right kind of shoes that fits correctly is essential in protecting your feet. Generally, you should find something that has laces. Slip-on are also excellent choices – it’s easy to wear and save you time putting them on. Shoes with loop straps are good too.
When choosing shoes, find something easy to wash. Clog-style designs can be easily wiped down and disinfected. Many nursing shoes come in different styles, colors, materials, and makers. Make sure to choose something that is slip-resistant and comfortable to use.
Nursing planners and notebooks
One of the essential things you must have as a nurse is your nurse planners and notebooks. If you haven’t used a planner before, you will be the moment you become a student nurse (and nurse in the future!). It is an excellent way to put all your activities and class schedules to avoid missing any.
Notebooks are for your class notes. While we are in the digital age, taking notes can be as simple as asking for a copy through USB. However, there’s nothing more authentic than taking down notes! It is also a satisfying feeling when you have a pen in your hands to write down something important.
Sounds old school, right? But a watch is essential. A watch is needed as some hospitals do not allow student nurses to use their smartphones. Of course, for a good reason too. Mostly, it is for safety and privacy reasons.
When choosing the right watch, make sure it is water-resistant. A water-resistant watch is excellent for procedures that may involve liquids. Plus, you don’t have to look for a clock to check the time constantly.
Jackets and labcoats
Other nursing school must-haves are lab coats and jackets. However, this may depend on your nursing school. In my case, for example, we were assigned to use our lab coats whenever we check for our patient assignment.
But of course, lab coats are not just for checking assignments, it is also useful when you are going into professional meetings and others. Labcoats and jackets are also great as extra layers and pockets for all your items. Make sure to add your name to it so it doesn’t get stolen or mixed up with others.
When I was in nursing school, my first stethoscope was a hand-me-down one from my aunt, a nurse. I couldn’t be happier! Of course, it was still working, and it served me well.
A stethoscope is essential to help check for the vital signs of patients. You will also use it in your practice, so if you can afford a good one, like a Littmann stethoscope, get it. Yes, it may be pricey, but you can use it for a long time, and it will save you money.
Make sure to personalize your stethoscope too. It will be much easier to identify it when you are doing your job.
Blood pressure monitor or BP Apparatus
A blood pressure monitor is another essential nursing school supply to add to your list. It would be best if you had this to check your patient’s blood pressure.
When looking for a blood monitor apparatus, you will find different kinds of them. However, the sphygmomanometers have digital and manual types. So make sure you do your research first before you buy one to know how to operate it properly.
A penlight may be small, but it has a great purpose. This mini flashlight is a powerful tool for assessing the patient’s pupil responses. It is also helpful in checking the wounds, throat, and mouth. It is also light to carry, so make sure that you have one with you.
Not just any scissors but nursing scissors, to be exact. Adding this to your list is essential. This type of scissors helps cut bandages, dressings for wounds, medical gauze, tubings, and so on.
If you decide to buy one, add some medical tape or gauze. These will come in handy in the future.
Papers and pens
What’s a nurse without her trusty pen? I know I wouldn’t say I like it whenever I lose a pen, so I have a stock of them. You can do the same. Get yourself a box of pens that you love using. It will make your life easy as a student nurse.
Avoid using pens with caps as they can get lost easily. Aim to use clicky pens; it is more practical! In addition to pens, include highlighters, markers, and other essential school supplies that you need.
Stock papers, too; you will need them for class and take notes at the hospital. If you do not like loose papers, find a mini notebook that you can stuff in your pocket. It will be easier to jot down a few important notes to remember.
Let us not forget the most vital part of your studies – nursing textbooks. Find out what you need for the semester and check where you can buy them. You can order them online or go textbook hunting if you are up for it.
Bag or Backpack
Of course, you cannot go anywhere without these items, so finding a reliable and sturdy backpack for your things is a must-have. Make sure to find something that is going to last for a while. It will save you money too.
Nursing School Supplies Honorable Mentions
Besides the one listed above, there are also other vital supplies that are not so important but something you might need while in nursing school. These are:
- Compression socks – help prevent soreness on your legs.
- Laptops and iPads – are needed for your research and studies.
- Voice recorder – if you don’t want to take notes during lectures, you can always record them; it will come in handy.
- Water bottle – keeping yourself hydrated at all times is vital. A water bottle that can hold enough water to last you through the day is a must.
- Nursing clinical cheat sheets – technically, this is not “cheating” but an excellent way to remind yourself of the critical things in nursing. If you want nursing facts at your fingertips, these are good!
- Calculator – since some hospitals ban smartphones during clinical, you must own a calculator to help you calculate for IV drips.
- Foldable clipboard – will allow you to write notes, vital signs, or general writing. A small one will work fine.
Now that you know what nursing school supplies you need go ahead and get them. Becoming a nurse is an exciting path, and so is getting school supplies! Enjoy!
4 Tips to Do the Night Before Your NCLEX Exams
Your NCLEX exams are scheduled for tomorrow; what should you do? Here are four tips to do on the night before your NCLEX exams.
Helpful Tips to Remember the Night Before Your NCLEX Exams
Congratulations! You are a few tests away from becoming registered healthcare professional. I am proud of your hard work and dedication to finally take the NCLEX exams that will determine your fate as an actual nurse.
Before you take the examinations tomorrow, remember these tips and apply them where you see fit. What should you do on the night before your NCLEX exams? Here are helpful reminders:
1. Be as ready as you can.
Cramming at the last minute is not the way to go. During this time, you should be relaxing. Reading your notes for the last time is not going to help you.
Remember, you already studied for these exams months beforehand, so you must feel confident that you can answer your tests to the best of your abilities.
Instead of cramming, get enough sleep. You can also review your test instructions, ensure that you have the correct number for your testing room and that all the documents you need for the examination are filed, double-checked, and ready for you tomorrow.
- Be sure to set the alarm clock a few hours before the exams. Check your car’s gas and if you have enough to drive yourself to the testing center.
- Check your car’s tires, and ensure they are not flat or have issues. You do not want to be late for the exams because of car trouble or miss it because of these issues.
- If you don’t have a car, ask someone ahead to drive you to your testing site. You can also book a transportation service if this is a better option.
If you want to take a quick look at all the materials you have been studying, do them at least 48 hours before the exams. It is not advisable to review the night before your exams. It will only make you anxious. Instead, try to relax and go to sleep early.
2. Remind yourself that it is normal to be tense.
Perhaps you have been thinking about many things tonight. Well, if you are – STOP. You will only get yourself worked up and might trigger your anxiety.
What you can do is practice breathing. If you feel anxious about tomorrow’s exams, pause, take a deep breath, and exhale. Do this as often as you can until you feel better.
Remind yourself that it is common to feel the jitters the night before the NCLEX exams. After all, this is an important test to take. The tension you feel right now is normal.
Try to relax; take a nice hot bath, light up some scented candles or diffuse oils. Stressing about the exams tomorrow will not help. You might as well enjoy this time.
3. Treat yourself; you deserve it!
The night before you take the exams, eat a good meal. Consider it as your reward. You have been preparing for this moment for many months. Treating yourself to a night dinner is the reward you deserve for all the hard work.
If you don’t want to eat dinner, get something you have been depriving yourself of for months. Whatever treat you give yourself, reflect on your efforts to get this far.
NCLEX is not an easy exam; treating yourself is one way to boost your self-confidence and encourage you to do well on your exams tomorrow!
4. Get plenty of sleep.
Once you have eaten, prepared your documents, taken a nice shower, and prepared your clothes for tomorrow, you can go to bed. Say your prayers (if you’re religious of course) and go to sleep early. Don’t stay up late. It will mess with your body clock. You might also wake up late tomorrow, so avoid this.
Turn off your social media, keep your phone silent, turn off notifications, and get to bed. Being ready for the exams means you must make sacrifices, even for a day.
If sleeping early means you have to miss your favorite show or not reply to messages for a while, so be it!
Preparing the night before your NCLEX exams is essential. You must not overlook it and be complacent. If you are ready to answer the questions, be prepared physically, mentally, and emotionally.
The opportunity to pass NCLEX on your first try is a blessing. You should also be ready for it as much as possible. I hope these tips helped you prepare for the exams, good luck!
5 NCLEX Myths That Are Holding You Back
Are you planning to take the NCLEX but there are NCLEX myths that are holding you back? If this is the case you are facing right now, this post will help debunk their reasons. Here are the most common NCLEX myths that you’ve probably heard of.
Myths About NCLEX
Myth 1. The length of the NCLEX exams matter.
Many test-takers believe that the more questions you answer, the more likely you are to pass the exams. However, this is not always the case.
The NCLEX has a maximum of 265 questions , and if you get to answer them all, the myth says you’ve failed. On the contrary, reaching only around 75 questions means you’ve passed.
While this may sound believable, NCLEX does not work that way. The length of the exams has nothing to do with you passing it. Instead, the length of your exam is based on how you are answering the questions. If you have answered correctly, the test presents you with more complex questions. The easier the questions means you have answered incorrectly. Your exam will only stop when the computer has determined your competency level.
Myth 2. You have to be computer savvy to take the NCLEX.
Even if you don’t have computer skills, you can still take the exams. The test administrator will brief the test-takers on how they can answer the exams on the computer and work through a tutorial. In this tutorial, you are taught how to use the keys and record your answers.
Administrators will also teach you how you can answer test questions that do not require a multiple choice. So, don’t worry; the main thing you need to use during this exam is the space bar and cursor to highlight your answers and lock them. It will be a piece of cake!
Myth 3. NLCEX in other states is easier.
One of the many NCLEX myths that are holding you back is the idea that NCLEX examinations vary from state to state. In case you are planning to take this exam in a different state because it’s “easier”, stop right now!
It is not true though, keep in mind that this exam is a national exam. It means that the one you are taking is the same as other nursing students in other states. NCLEX is used nationwide, so it doesn’t matter where you take it. It is still the same exams wherever you choose to take it.
Myth 4. The “select all that applies” answer shows that you are doing well in the examination.
Among NCLEX myths, this one is probably my favorite. According to gossip, the more “select all that applies” or SATA choices given to you mean you are passing the exam. But are you, though?
Again, this is not true as it could be subjective. Some may have ten SATA answers, while others may have more. However, the best thing to do is focus on how you answer the examination and not on the types of questions you are getting. Do your best and answer all questions to the best of your ability.
Myth 5. It will take a long time before you can reapply for an NCLEX exam.
Absolutely not; you have 45 days till you can apply for another NCLEX examination . And this is enough time for you to study for the tests again. If you failed on your first try, the nursing board would send you a CPR or Candidate Performance Report.
This report will show you which exam areas you should focus on more so you don’t have to repeat the same mistakes. It shows your strengths and weaknesses as well, which helps assess yourself. CPR also breaks down your performance and shows if you are above or below the passing competency level.
Don’t Let the Myths Take You Down
Now that you know five of the NCLEX myths that are holding you back, go ahead and sign up for the examination. Don’t just believe the myths. Give it a try and see how you do. If you fail, do not worry, you can always try again. You just have to figure out if you are on the right track or not. We hope that our list helped you identify these myths so that you can take the next step towards your RN license, good luck!
Preparing for the NCLEX Exams: 6 Proven Tips for Passing
Preparing for the NCLEX exams is one of the most important things that any nursing student should prepare for. But the question in many nursing students’ minds is, how do you prepare for the NCLEX? If you are asking the same question, let these tips help you prepare for this upcoming exam.
Passing the NCLEX exams is like hitting gold. It is your ticket to a better and brighter future. Before you take the exam, here are some excellent tips that you can apply to your study plan.
1. Understand the NCLEX Format.
When you understand how the NCLEX format works, the easier it will be to pass it. NCLEX uses the CAT format or computerized adaptive testing format. It means that not a single exam is identical. The algorithm produces a new set of questions based on your performance on the previous test questions. Keep in mind that the test bank is comprehensive and contains all kinds of question styles and topics of content.
The exams will produce around 60 questions minimum plus 15 pre-questions with 145 maximum questions. The candidate can pass the test when the tester has answered enough questions with correct answers at about the 95% confidence interval. The candidate will fail if they cannot maintain or rise above the 95% confidence.
It means, that to pass the NCLEX, you must get above the passing line that shows competency with marginal doubt. When the computer has determined your performance, the test can end at any point. You are given a maximum time allowance of 6 hours to do this. So, all you have to do is pass the 60-145 questions.
2. Avoid self-criticism.
The questions tend to get harder as you move forward. Don’t get frustrated when you get a few wrongs in a row and don’t automatically assume you’ve failed. The best thing you can do is to stay focused on the questions you have. Remember, the NCLEX exam determines your knowledge and tests your endurance. It is best to keep answering instead of talking yourself down each time you get a wrong answer.
3. Manage your stress.
It is expected to get worked up before the examination, but it is recommended that you find a way to manage your stress. Some test-takers get anxious before taking the NCLEX, and if you are one of them, don’t worry there are plenty of ways to deal with test stress.
One of the first things you should do is take as much time as you can to prepare for the NCLEX but don’t make studying your entire life. There is always time for everything and balancing your studies with hobbies is a must.
Be sure to include time for exercising, eating well, and going out. Keeping a balanced life during studying and doing the things you love helps ease your mind from any anxiety that you might feel before the exam. Some nurses say there is a rule to not study the day before the exam, only a quick skim through some notes
On the day of the exam, do not study. Do not attempt to take a glance at your notes or review anything. It will only make you more anxious. Instead, you need to relax, do a short meditation, and eat your breakfast before going to the exam center. In short, do something that will keep you grounded and calm.
The best thing you can do is to study appropriately beforehand. When you know that you have covered everything during your study days and are confident that you will pass, taking the NCLEX exam isn’t that scary.
4. Make a study plan.
Making a study plan means you need to create time for studying. Create a schedule for the week and set aside the hours you need for studying. Be sure to include a goal each time you are studying too. It could be as simple as answering 4 25 question practice exams or reading a few chapters on the topic you are tackling at the moment.
Keep in mind that when you do not have any goals when studying, you are wasting time. The NCLEX is not about how long you have studied or how many hours you have put in. It is about how much you understand the context of each nursing topic. Make use of your time wisely.
A. Not all past clinical experiences can help.
I have bad news for those who worked as a nurse aid, tech, or even nursing students who volunteered. Your clinical experience cannot help you when you take the NCLEX exams. Why do you ask?
The NCLEX exam is based on tested, researched, and evidence-based practices that you may have not learned in your clinical experience. Facilities will have different guidelines and protocols that are just as safe or just as effective BUT never assume that they are the same when it comes to the NCLEX.
It is best if you answered the exam questions as if you did not have any real-life experience as a nurse.
B. Practice your test-taking skills.
Make use of test-taking strategies so you can eliminate the wrong answers. It will also help you with solutions like ALL THAT APPLY or NONE APPLY. Always remember to put patient safety first before considering other options. With continuous practice, you will see that there are themes in the answers. For example:
- Be sure to assess the patient first; calling a doctor is not always the best answer.
- Remember your ABCs – Airway, Breathing, Circulation.
- Deductive reasoning can also help you even if you have no idea about the topic.
- If you have no exact answer, follow your gut. A nurse’s intuition can help you out.
As you practice your test-taking skills, you will realize that there will always be “select all that apply” questions. But if you use a systematic approach and tackle the wrong answers first, you have a higher chance to answer each question correctly.
5. Do more than just answer the practice tests.
Completing practice exams is good, but you can also go beyond that. After answering the practice questions, you can read about the answers and why they were right or wrong. Write down the concept you would like to tackle on your next study time so you are always prepared for the next day. Take as much time as you think you need devoted to a variety of study methods, they each have their benefit and will pay off in the long run.
6. Prepare for the NCLEX Exam day.
The night before you take the exams, go to bed early, or better yet, make sure that you have enough sleep throughout the week before the NCLEX. Hide your notes and try not to study. Be sure to put gas in your car, set your alarm for the next day, take a nice shower, and arrive early at the testing center.
Bring snacks for your breaks during the test, and make sure to stay hydrated. If you get cold fast, bring an extra layer of clothing or a hoodie if you are allowed. In short, be as prepared as you can be. Not only will it show that you are serious about your exams, but it also shows your character as a person and perhaps as a future nurse.
Believing in Yourself is the Key
Preparing for the NCLEX exams is not that hard. All you have to do is stay focused. You are already on your way to becoming one of the best nurses. You had proven this when you passed the nursing school. So believe that you can pass the NCLEX and you will! NCLEX is the last step towards your career as a professional nurse. Hopefully, you find these tips helpful as you are preparing for the exams, best of luck!