6 Study Habits of Successful Nursing Students

6 Study Habits of Successful Nursing Students

6 Study Habits of Successful Nursing Students

Becoming a successful nursing student does not happen overnight. It takes time, practice, and of course, dedication. To become a successful nursing student, you must have discipline and apply it every day.

Be a Successful Nursing Student

Do you want to graduate on time? Of course, you do! Do you aim to be one of the best nurses in the field? If you answered yes, you must start developing good habits early on in nursing school.  Here are the habits of successful nursing students. 

Time management is the key.

One of the most crucial keys to passing nursing school with ease is to manage your time efficiently. Whether you are working on your BSN, MSN, or ADN, you must know how to balance time and make it work. To do this, you must break your day into blocks and decide what activity or school work fits where.. Know how much time you need for each activity so that you can manage your time more closely and allow for non-nursing-related things.

Your schoolwork takes most of your time; tests, exams, papers, assignments, reports, clinical – all of these require a lot of dedicated time. The best action to take is to plan around your study hours and remove anything that could block or affect your focus and time to study. 

Study smarter, not harder. 

Some people can miss a lecture and still ace an exam, but in nursing school, you must focus on each topic and understand how it is applied in the healthcare setting. Keep in mind that nursing exams are not always A or B, it may seem as if there are multiple correct answers but always think about the priority.  Plus, some questions can even be selected all that apply. 

When studying it is good to memorize content but also understand its function and learn how it pertains to a certain situation. Think of nursing as cause and effect, if one thing happens how does it affect the rest? 

Now don’t get frustrated with the exams if you don’t always pass them. When you find yourself in a tough situation always remember to change or add a study method to study more effectively. . How can you do it? 

For one, You have to know which subjects give you the hardest time or what areas take you the longest to learn. Don’t just study the same material for hours; instead, divide them. Let’s say you have allotted four hours of studying.

You can separate each hour into one subject that way you can study multiple areas and it may help you understand how each concept affects another. . It will be a lot easier for you to understand the topic. 

Avoid having distractions. Stay away from things that are not part of your studies. Turn off your phone for a few hours or put it on silent mode. This way you won’t get distracted by a text or social media.

Review your notes before you go to class. See if you have retained anything from the last lecture. Try practice tests too, this will help sharpen your test-taking skills and help you remember questions when you take the actual exam. 

Lastly, give yourself enough time to study. As a student, you must learn how to estimate the time it takes to understand a topic, finish a report, or complete an assignment. It will also help you open up room for some free time. 

Keep your focus.

Back in the day, social media and smartphones were not a thing, so they didn’t keep us distracted. When it’s time to study, you need to have your full attention on your notes and textbooks. Unfortunately studying rarely comes without any distractions.

While technology is helpful in many ways, it is also the source of major distraction. It is so easy to get off-track and be distracted by a text or social media, before you know it you’ve spent the 30 minutes on your phone. 

Turn your focus back to what you are doing. Eliminate distractions by organizing your space. Turn off your phone or tv when you are studying. When you stay focused, you can finish quicker and have more time to do other things you want to do. 

Join a study team.

Another good tip on how to study better is to join a group that you can learn with [1]. You can also find a study partner if you prefer a one-on-one study buddy. One advantage of studying with a group is listening to different perspectives while discussing a subject or topic. 

Learning how other people think and apply their knowledge helps you develop critical thinking and test-taking skills. Remember, critical thinking skills are developed in nursing school and are key to a nurse’s success. It will help you when it comes to taking exams and answering different types of questions. Joining a study group or team can help you with a lot of your struggles. 

Develop a study strategy.

Be honest with yourself; do you prefer studying with others or by yourself? One of the good habits of a successful nursing student is to not only know how you like to study but also what time of the day you learn best.

Do you like staying up late? or do you prefer studying early in the morning? The truth is there is no correct time to review; it is all about personal preferences! 

To be successful with your study habits, create a calendar to determine the hours of studying. If you do not plan your time, it’s easy to get sidetracked because the majority of things take longer than expected.

The best plan to have is to block out study time during your most productive hours, this way you are setting yourself up for success.

Reward yourself, as you should.

I’m not going to lie; nursing school is hard work. I have been there, and I know how it goes! So when you have done everything you needed, reward yourself [2]. Get ice cream or a froyo. Buy those shoes you have been eyeing for a while – in short, you deserve a reward for studying long hours and for keeping yourself from distractions. Get into the habit of doing something nice for yourself after all that stress. You deserve it!

You Can Do It

Yes, nursing school is not an easy path, but if others made it, so can you! You can do it, you too can become a full-fledged nurse, but to be one of the best, you must start early. Developing these habits of a successful nursing student will guide you through, not only a nursing school but through life. Start planning your way up to the top today; good luck!


EP 144: What to do After You Graduate Nursing School

EP 144: What to do After You Graduate Nursing School

Things to Know After Nursing School

Life, after you graduate nursing school, seems a bit overwhelming but with proper guidance and helpful tips, you can manage it too. Where do you want to work? What are the key takeaways from nursing school? What do you need before you step into the unit? It can be tricky to find the right opportunity. To ensure you are happy with your first decision, take your time and explore the market to learn about the types of opportunities that will be best for your career goals.

Understanding Different Opportunities

Finding a hospital to work in after you graduate nursing school, is often the main goal of many nursing graduates to start their careers. A common misconception for new graduates is that hospitals are the only options available to them. 

Healthcare settings can include:

  • Home care
  • Long term care
  • Clinics

Other career opportunities (non-bedside): Legal Nurse Consultant, Hospice Nurse, Public Health Nurse, Occupational Nurse, Dialysis Nurse, Nurse Educator 

Research the facility you will be applying for to learn more about the role you’re applying for. Answer the following questions:

  • What are the facility’s mission, vision, and values? 
  • Do you know what is the facility’s designation? 
  • What population do they serve? 
  • Do you know if they have been awarded or recognized?

Different Units – What Unit Do You Want to Work On?

  1. How would you describe yourself? 
    1. Lead the team?
    2. Do you love to collab?
    3. Do you work best alone?
  2. What does your ideal workday look like? 
    1. Consistent, likes to plan ahead?
    2. Something new every day to keep you on your toes?
    3. A mix of this and that?
  3. Who is your ideal patient?
    1. Elderly, acutely ill, new mom and infant, children?
  4. When it comes to patients, the best way you can help is?
    1. By training and educating other nurses
    2. Face-to-face interactions

When you land your first job after you graduate nursing school, it might be your ideal unit. You can use this opportunity as a stepping stone to advance internally up the specialty ladder. For example, starting in Med/Surg then working up to PCCU and then ICU. Other managers and supervisors can notice you and help you cross-train to their unit. 

Utilizing your Network and Resources 

Since you can’t rely on years of professional experience to land your new gig, using your network to get your foot in the door is your next best option. After you graduate nursing school, many nursing schools have a network as well to help with different employment available for you before making the decision on your first job. While doing clinical rotations you can also inquire about opportunities. 

Build your support network early on, as they can offer advice, guidance, and job leads. You can start by getting all your classmate’s and professors’ email addresses. 

Job fairs are another great way to look for opportunities. At a nursing job fair, you can meet with dozens of prospective employers in a single day, instead of sending out stacks of resumes and waiting weeks for a response

If you’re unfamiliar with which facilities are hiring you can consider major job boards such as Indeed, Linkedin, and Simply Hired. 

Tips on using jobs board effectively:

  • Make sure your Linkedin profile and resume are congruent. 
    • Adding new responsibilities and new volunteer opportunities you’ve taken
  • Be attentive to the language you’re using in your profile resume
    • Mirror the language of job listings that interest you in your profile and resume/
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out directly
    • Most job boards won’t list direct information to employers but that doesn’t mean you can’t reach out with a follow-up email about your application. The human connection can be the deciding factor.

Clean Up your Social Media Account

  • Have appropriate profile photos on all accounts
  • Edit the biographies, headings, and descriptions to reflect a professional manner.
  • Run a google search on your first and last name. Make sure all photos are appropriate. 
  • Change your privacy settings to private if you do not want potential employers to view your social media profiles and photos. 

Preparing for Your Interviews

The purpose of the interview is to determine if they like you and whether you’re a good fit for their team. Nursing is a team effort. They also want to see if you’re as good as you seem on paper and can help them reach their goals as an organization.

Tip: Treat the interview like a conversation where both candidate and employer have a shared goal of getting to know each other. 

You’ll be spending a lot of time at work, so make sure your core values align and it’s an enjoyable work environment – not just tolerable. 

Prescreen phone interview for nurses – Usually the first step of the hiring process. The goal is to reduce the number of candidates and invite the best-fitting candidates for the next step. 

They’ll ask basic qualifying questions about:

  • Education
  • Employment status
  • Clinical experience
  • Goals

Tip: Know your availability, as the goal is to invite you for an in-person interview. Also, ask about the next steps, don’t get off the phone and wonder what’s next? 

The Interview 

This will be your first opportunity to meet the hiring manager or the unit. Ultimately, they are determining if they personally like you. No one wants to work with a negative nancy. This includes a number of things:

  • How they feel about you
  • How you’ll fit within their unit
  • Your level of enthusiasm
  • How your strengths can help them reach their goals

During this time or maybe for the next interview you will undergo a panel/peer interview which will include multiple people, usually from the unit to help the hiring manager pick the best candidate. Our advice is to maintain good eye contact with everyone, engage in conversation with the entire group, share your personal stories, and smile. 

Before the interview make sure you understand yourself. Your strengths and weaknesses, the experiences you’ve had in clinical settings. 

  1. What is your 5-year goal? 
  2. Teamwork: Talk about a conflict within your healthcare team. What was the conflict and how did you handle it?
  3. Patient care: Tell me about a time when a patient’s family was dissatisfied with your care. How did you handle that situation? 
  4. Time management: Talk about a time you worked in a fast-paced setting. How do you prioritize tasks while maintaining excellent patient care?

Tip: Be a storyteller. Storytelling is powerful and memorable. Most importantly, it provides evidence to support the assertions made in your resume. It gives the employer a glimpse at the type of nurse and human being you are.

What to Buy Before You Enter the Unit

  • Click pens
  • Penlight 
  • Nursing scissors
  • Good scrubs
  • Right shoes
  • Stethoscope

Giving End of Shift Report

An end-of-shift report is a detailed report of your patients and their overall care and medical status. End of shift reports includes medical history, recent procedures, lab values, medications, head-to-toe assessment, pain management, and plan of care. 

Episode 115: Goes in-depth about the end of shift duties and gives report

After you accept your position, remember that getting off orientation is not a race

If you are hired with other new graduates, it is common to look at them and feel like you are competing in the race of who can be the best new grad nurse. Who can take care of higher acuities quicker? Who will be let off orientation earlier? Your work culture can bolster this, especially if your manager starts making comments that make you feel like you’re behind. 

Tip: You must focus on your journey and fill in the gaps you need. It’s not about winning a race. 

Don’t forget about self-care days

Treat yourself, take yourself out, get massages, buy yourself something nice. Get those feel-good endorphins pumping. The Self-care culture is at an all-time high with talks about the pandemic and burnout.


6 Qualities of a Good Nursing Student

6 Qualities of a Good Nursing Student

6 Qualities of a Good Nursing Student

To become a successful nurse in the real world, the qualities of a good nursing student must begin early. These qualities must be second nature to you as well as these can help determine your success in your career as a nurse. So what are these qualities? Read on for more. 

Must-have Nursing Student Qualities

1. Must be Goal-Oriented

As a nursing student, you must have goals in mind and drive to meet those goals. Successful nursing students must set goals for themselves. Your goals could be anything; it could be your desire to find a career in the nursing world that suits your skills or simply wanting to make a positive impact in the lives of your patients. As a nursing student, you must understand that setting goals will determine how you reach them. 

2. Must be Organized

During your time in nursing school, you will face all kinds of activities and things to do. Managing time is a must-have skill for nursing students. Being able to manage time is a must-have skill for any nursing student. This way, burnout is avoided, and you have time to relax and study. Keeping a handy planner with you will help you organize the activities on your end and stay in tune with the load of schoolwork. 

3. Must Have a Caring Nature

As a nursing student, you must be someone who is caring by nature. You did decide to become a nurse, so it is a given that you have a caring and empathetic personality. Being compassionate and sensitive are two crucial requirements nursing students need when caring for people dealing with medical issues. You should know how to comfort others, especially when you are dealing with upset or scared patients. This quality will also help you handle patients’ families and make it easier for you to lead a long-term career in the future. 

4. Must be Emotionally Stable

Living the nursing student life is stressful. You will be facing challenges every day, not to mention the exams, hospital duties, and many others. That said, nursing students must be able to handle their emotions when under extreme stress. Keep in mind that you will also deal with patients who are coping with fatal conditions. Being emotionally stable can get you through all that [1].

5. Must be Able to Communicate Well

Your communication skills matter even if you are only a nursing student [2]. As a nurse, you will talk to many people, and communication is key to successful patient care. Effective communication makes it possible to give proper care and help patients get back on their feet again. 

6. Must be familiar with Nursing Code of Ethics

As a nursing student, you must have a good understanding of the nursing code of ethics. You have to respect the dignity of the patient and must be honest at all times. It is also your duty as a nurse to improve the conditions of the healthcare environment, so all patients receive the best care possible. And so, while you are still in nursing school, it is crucial that you understand the nursing code of ethics for you to provide proper care for all of your patients in the future. Owning this quality is just important as having the others. 

To complete your nursing degree, you must possess the qualities of a good nursing student. Owning these characteristics will make nursing student life more manageable, help you choose the nursing specialty you like, and turn you into an excellent professional nurse in the future!


EP 139: Nursing with Jessica Sites

EP 139: Nursing with Jessica Sites

The nursing world is a place of wonder and awe in terms of caring for patients. We meet all kinds of people; the young, old, and we also help bring them into this world. This week, we were joined by another wonderful guest in the podcast, Nurse Jessica Sites.

Jessica Sites has been a labor and delivery nurse for over 20 years, social media personality, and voice for the nursing community. We talk about the impact of poor management on nursing and how healthcare has changed over the years.

  1. How did you start off as a nurse? What was your calling?
  2. How was your time as Labor and Delivery nurse?
  3. What are some day-to-day things you do in labor and delivery?
  4. What was one challenging day or night or a memorable experience on the unit that you can remember?  
  5. Share the toughest part about being a labor and delivery nurse? 
  6. How was the unit culture?
  7. What made you leave the profession?


0:00 Cup of Nurses Introduction
1:53 Episode Introduction
2:24 Jessica’s Nursing Background
8:30 Day Flow of a Labor & Delivery Nurse
12:30 What are the difficulties in L&D?
17:56 What are the nurse personalities in L&D?
19:35 What part of L&D Struggles you the most?
47:54 Advise to Nursing Students
50:48 What made you leave bedside?
55:43 What are your future goals?
1:04:00 Where to find Jessica Sites?

Good Nursing Personality Traits You Should Have

Good Nursing Personality Traits You Should Have

Good Nursing Personality Traits You Should Have

You must have good nursing personality traits if you plan on working as a nurse in the future. While your knowledge and skills are top priority, so are your personality traits. So, to become a great nurse, possessing attractive personality traits is also a must! This post will talk about the different attributes nurses have and how they can impact their patients, coworkers, and work in general.

Good Nursing Personality Traits: Why is it Vital in the Job?

Our nurses are in a position of power when they interact with patients. That said, nurses must have good personality traits to provide the best care possible for their patients. These qualities will help them professionally and allow them to maintain healthy relationships outside of work.

Good Nursing Personality Traits of Future Nurses

If you are an aspiring nurse, it’s easy to look at this job and say to yourself it’s easy. But while working as a nurse is generally satisfying, it can also be very demanding. It is why you must possess these qualities if you wish to work in the nursing field. 

1. Good nurses must be emotionally stable.

Being a nurse is a demanding profession. Your day can range from timid to toxic very quickly. You will encounter plenty of situations that can trigger powerful emotions. And to top all that, you will manage your colleagues, patients, and their families while keeping a calm and caring manner. Being emotionally stable doesn’t mean you don’t have to feel anything when the going gets tough. It just means you must know how to control your emotions or responses to focus on the tasks at hand. Emotionally stable nurses can solve problems, concentrate better, and make their patients their top priority. 

2. A good nurse must have an innate desire to help.

Nurses should have a caring nature and desire to help people.  It should be the foundation of their being. If you don’t have the desire to help people, you can’t care for others. Nurses care for people during the scariest times of their lives and act as patient advocates. A good nurse must show compassion, sympathy, and concern for the people they serve. [1]

3. A good nurse must have good communication skills.

One of the good nursing personality traits should have is the ability to communicate well with people. Keep in mind that you will be working with many people, so listening and sharing with patients, their families, your colleagues, and other healthcare professionals is crucial in delivering quality care. Communicating also increases the chance of patient satisfaction and reduces the number of errors in your workplace. 

4. A good nurse must be attentive to details.

The ability to pay careful attention to detail is another great quality nurses must have on their list. Whether you are reading and writing a patient’s chart or remembering the doctor’s orders over the phone, nurses should be able to pay attention to it. Being able to recall even the tiniest details about a patient can make a real difference. It can also save your patient’s life and lessen errors at work. 

5. Good nurses can solve problems.

Nurses usually face problems involving patient care. One of the best qualities you should have is the ability to analyze and solve problems quickly. Nurses who can already anticipate and address issues before they occur are an even better quality to have. You can’t predict if the day will be calm or your shift will deal with emergencies. It would be best to be prepared with solutions, ready to talk to families, and even communicate with physicians. So having problem-solving and critical-thinking skills are essential in your day-to-day activities as a nurse. [2]

6. A good nurse must be respectful.

One of the excellent nursing personality traits that a nurse should place on top is being respectful.  Being respectful is part of your duty as a nurse, and professional courtesy must be given to all, regardless of their attitude. Keep in mind that there will be moments in your career as a nurse when dealing with difficult people. Showing respect is a boundary that defines your relationship with patients and makes it possible to care for them. 

7. Good nurses must have the willingness to learn.

Nursing is an ever-dynamic profession. You can choose to work in different fields of nursing. As a nurse, you must be willing to learn and adapt to changes. Continuous education is available to all nurses, and with the medical industry and technology advancing, equipping yourself with knowledge, you are growing as a nurse as well. Improving your skills and learning the latest trends in nursing is one way to keep yourself ready for the challenges in health care. 

8. Good nurses are self-aware.

Being self-aware is to know who you are. Nurses work in all areas of health care. But while all of these are excellent opportunities to work, not all nurses enjoy the thrills and adventures of being a travel nurse, the adrenaline-pumping scenarios in emergency rooms, or the intenseness of operating rooms. Others prefer the business of administrative work or long-term hospice care. That said, it is vital that you, as a nurse, know what you want. Knowing your personality, preferences, priorities, and stamina can help you grow and enjoy a fulfilling career in this industry. 

9. Good nurses must have a good sense of humor.

Laughter is the best medicine, and if you are a nurse, it’s one of the good nursing personality traits to have. Having a good sense of humor can lighten the load in such a stressful profession. The ability to find humor in difficult situations can lighten the load. Plus, it’s always a good thing to mix fun and humor into your work so you can enjoy it better. Working as a nurse is difficult, but it is also gratifying. Combining your knowledge, skills, and humor into this job can get you through even the most challenging times. [3]

10. Good nurses are assertive.

While being kind and compassionate are the main qualities of being a good nurse, assertiveness has perks. It means you can stand up for your opinions without aggression. In some ways, your passion can help you make firm and clear decisions regarding work and caring for patients. But don’t confuse this with aggressiveness, as assertiveness doesn’t involve manipulation or threat. 

11. A good nurse must be organized at work.

A nurse should know how to organize work. The ability to be neat, prioritize, and delegate work while managing time well is not magic but a talent. And this trait should be on top of your list as a future nurse. If you are disorganized at home, how can you prove that you will not be as messy when you are at work? Not only will it affect how you work, but it can potentially increase the risks of your workplace. 

12. Good nurses have strong work ethics.

Knowing what is right and wrong aids nurses through the challenges that their profession faces. It serves as their moral compass when they constantly make choices for their patient’s best interests. It is most needed when the right thing is not the obvious option. Having a strong work ethic helps nurses tell the truth about their condition even when it’s something that they don’t want to hear. It also acts as a foundation where trust between nurses and patients is built. Not only that, but your work ethics also help establish a nurse-physician relationship and their co-workers. 

13. Good nurses must have stamina.

A nurse’s job requires one to be on the go most of the time, primarily if one gets assigned to the emergency room or trauma units. There’s patient lifting, pulling emergency carts, or standing for hours whenever there is surgery. The number of hours you work will depend on the area you are assigned. It is why your stamina must always be on the top. Yes, it’s exhausting and can burn out nurses but by the end of the day, knowing that you help save lives is the best feeling in the world. [4]

It’s More Than Just Your Personality!

You see, working as a nurse is more than just the license or certification. It takes humanity and a heart to serve others. If you believe you have all these good nursing personality traits, you are more than ready to be a nurse. Keep it up, and you will reach your goals in no time!