10 Skills Nursing Students Must Have to Succeed in Their Career
Nursing students must have many skills to succeed in this career.
So, you chose to be a future nurse? Excellent choice! But to succeed in nursing school, you must have innate qualities and skills to help you enjoy your time while studying to become a good nurse in the future. Here’s what you need to have.
You must have confidence.
Your future job requires you to meet and be with different people from all walks of life. If you are not confident with yourself or have the confidence to talk to patients, how can you provide quality care? Not only that, but you will be making decisions for your patient’s care and needs. It is why your nursing school will help you and make you ready for this job.
Confidence is about being able to carry yourself and being optimistic, assertive, and independent. It is about your enthusiasm for your work and emotional maturity to help you do your job at a higher level than others.
You must have communication skills.
Communication is the number one skill you must have as a nurse. Most of the time, you will talk to people in the hospital. Proper communication also helps in giving quality care to patients. Keep in mind that you will also be talking to doctors and other medical professionals in the future. Good communication skills also foster meaningful workplace relationships with your peers. It will also aid you and your group in studying for nursing school.
You must have leadership skills.
As a future nurse, one of your roles is to handle patients and families looking to you for guidance and updates. You will also work with your fellow nurses and may require your leadership. You must know how to manage your time, especially when you have projects, emergencies, and even conflicts in school or your future job.
You must have critical thinking skills.
As a student nurse, you will constantly face situations that require you to observe, think critically, and make the right decisions. You must also remember that nursing students are often exposed to high-stressed situations like demonstrating procedures at school.
You may have the skills to do the procedure, but with quick thinking to make decisions in high-stressed situations, you will be able to succeed as a future nurse. Thus having critical thinking skills are vital.
You must have a passion for nursing.
Besides your critical thinking and leadership skills, you must also have a passion for nursing. With passion, you can use these skills. You won’t even try to do your best in nursing school.
As a student nurse, you’ll be constantly challenged to learn new skills. You will also study for exams. And if you are truly ready to become a nurse, your hard work and passion for this profession are worth it.
You must have learning skills.
Nursing school is still ongoing once you have earned your degree. As you prepare for your job and even as a nurse, your learning does not end. You will constantly explore, develop your critical thinking skills, and question things you encounter at work.
The healthcare field is constantly changing, just like a nurse’s role evolves. You must be ready and having the desire to learn and adapt is essential; it is one of the vital skills nursing students must have. Whether a student nurse or a professional nurse, you’ll always have something to discover and learn about.
You must have teamwork skills.
As a student nurse, you’ll meet different people from different places and with whom you’ll study. There will be situations where you will be working together in class or in hospital exposures. Without cooperation, you will fail nursing school. Understand that nursing and nursing school are collaborative fields.
Working together as a team to accomplish goals is essential. You will also need this skill when you become a future nurse as you work with doctors, health aids, lab techs, and other members of the healthcare field.
You must have the skill to handle high-stress situations.
Nursing school can become stressful, especially in the months leading to your graduation. You will be dealing with many exams, school assignments, projects, and many requirements to pass and graduate. As you become a professional nurse, you will also be constantly on the go and face stressful situations. You will deal with patients, their families, as well as other members of the healthcare team. When your patient is in critical condition, that stressful time is when you are needed the most. Managing these situations and keeping a clear head will help you become a great student nurse and future nurse. It’s also one of the essential skills nursing students must have.
You must have the skills to ask for humility and feedback.
As a student nurse, you are there to learn everything in nursing school. You’ll probably feel clueless when you start, so be ready to seek guidance. Ask questions and accept constructive criticism from your mentors or instructors. Remember, everyone has been in your shoes as they were starting to be a nurse. Seeking humility and accepting advice will help you become the best nurse you can be.
You must be an advocate for patients.
As a student nurse, you will be your patient’s advocate. Learning this skill will help you better assist a patient and become the person to debrief team members or interpret tests. You’ll also explain procedures and instructions for patients and families. All of these are vital as you become a patient advocate.
Nursing is a beautiful profession, and if you want to be a successful nurse someday, you must train yourself to be the best while in nursing school. And the more you adapt to that mindset, the easier it will be for you to handle any difficulties you’ll encounter in this job. Start now; you’ll be glad that you did!
7 Study Habits That Work for Nursing Students
As a nursing student, most of your time will be spent studying. That said, you must have study habits that work for nursing students like you. How can you do that? This post can help you with that.
Study Habits That Work for Nursing Students
The key to your success as a nursing student is your study habits. How you study can impact your grades, performance at school, and test scores which can determine your nursing knowledge.
Tip #1. Break your work into smaller sections.
Studies show that retaining information is a lot easier when you break your notes into different parts. It makes it easier to move between body systems as you create links between topics. This method makes it quicker to understand the topic you want to study.
Tip #2. Study with other people.
Studying with a group of people is beneficial for comprehensive medical information. It is helpful if you have difficulty understanding or retaining a particular subject . Some students better grasp such topics, and studying with them can also help you.
Tip #3. Study for a few hours each day.
Studying all of your subjects in one sitting is not a good idea. One of the nursing qualities of a good nursing student is being organized. That said, organizing your time to study and breaks can help you in many ways. Take time to learn at least one topic at a time each day. Breaking them into smaller parts is also crucial so you don’t feel overwhelmed by them.
Tip #4. Find a new place to study.
According to research, one of the study habits that works well for nursing students is to change their study locations. It can help improve your test scores and even increase your grade point average in the long run. Finding a new place to study gives your brain an edge to help retain more information.
Tip #5. Stick to a study schedule.
Sticking to regular study time can better help you understand your nursing subjects. There is no standard timeframe for studying. Both are fine whether you like to do it in the morning or at night. Just make sure you can focus on your subjects better. It would be best to stay committed to the schedule you choose. It will also keep you accountable in the long run.
Tip #6. Find your learning style.
Knowing your study style will help you study better. It is one of the study habits that work for nursing students. Are you a visual learner? Gather pictures that could help you understand better. Perhaps you are an audio learner? Listen to podcasts and audiobooks about the nursing topics that you’re studying. Knowing your study style can improve your learning and not waste your time.
Tip #7. Don’t forget to take breaks.
Studying is excellent, and if you want to pass nursing school with flying colors, it is the way to go. However, spending too much time with your studying can also be exhausting. Do take some time out every once in a while. Regular breaks can help you not lose your enthusiasm while studying, and a change of scenery can help recharge your mind and improve your attention .
Completing your nursing school and earning that degree takes a lot of effort and commitment. However, you can achieve that with the right plan, study style, and approach. Hopefully, the tips listed above can help you with all that. Best of luck!
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 for the Night Before Your NCLEX Exam
Your NCLEX exam is scheduled for tomorrow; what should you do? Here are four tips to do the night before your NCLEX exam.
Helpful Tips to Remember the Night Before Your NCLEX Exam
Congratulations! You are 1 test away from becoming a registered nurse. Before you take the examination 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:
Be as ready as you can
Cramming at the last minute is not the way to go. At this point you know everything you can. . You can skim over your notes but trying to learn any new concepts won’t help.
Remember, you already studied for the exam, so be confident that you can answer the exam questions to the best of your abilities.
Instead of cramming, get enough sleep. You can also review your test instructions, ensure that you have all the documents you need for the examination, and make sure you know how to get to the testing center. You are ready for tomorrow.
Be sure to set the alarm clock a few hours before the exam. Check your car’s gas and if you have enough to drive yourself to the testing center.
Remember that cramming the night before will only make you anxious. Instead, try to relax and go to sleep early.
Remind yourself that it is normal to be tense
If you are overthinking, STOP, you will only get yourself worked up which will trigger your anxiety.
What you can do is practice breathing. If you feel anxious about tomorrow’s exam, pause, take a deep breath in, and exhale.
Remind yourself that it is common to feel the jitters the night before the NCLEX exam. 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, and light up some scented candles or diffuse oils. Stressing about the exam tomorrow will not help. You might as well enjoy this time.
Treat yourself; you deserve it!
The night before you take the exam, 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 your 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 exam tomorrow!
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’s clock. You might also wake up late tomorrow, so avoid this.
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 exam 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 exam, good luck!