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April 27, 2018

HOW TO STUDY FOR FINALS IN NURSING SCHOOL


So it's that dreaded time of year again, finals week. Studying for finals is one of the hardest things in nursing school because they are cumulative- which means you are tested on SO much material! If you are struggling with how to tackle this, keep reading as I will share my best tips for "ace-ing" your finals!

My first tip is to create a schedule with what you will cover each day. I color code mine based on the class and make check-boxes next to the material so that once I have studied that I can cross it off. I create this schedule up until the day of my final that way I know what I will need to study each day. Here's an example of one I have made in the past:
After I created this schedule, I would separate my outlines for each day and clip them together. This kept everything organized and saved me time because I didn't have to sort through all of my outlines to find everything! Here's what this looked like:

My next tip is to really focus on the areas that you struggled with on your previous exams! My university allowed us to have exam review sheets where we could write what areas we got wrong during our exam reviews. I kept all of these and reviewed the areas before finals!

The most important tip is to not stress out! I know that you are very overwhelmed with a ton of material, but don't try to re-learn all of it in detail because you won't retain much if you are very stressed out. Make sure you take a deep breath- you can do this! Good luck to you all!


April 22, 2018

HOW I PACKED FOR A WEEK IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC...IN JUST A CARRY-ON


I spent a week in a remote area of the Dominican Republic for a medical mission trip and I was told all I could bring was a carry-on. This is due to the fact that our checked luggage was to be used to bring supplies and medications. Packing a week's worth of scrubs, clothes, and toiletries in a duffle bag was a challenge, but with some creativity, I made it work- and want to share my tips with all of you!

Here's what my bag looked like:



My first tip is to pack all of your clothes in storage size zip-lock bags. This saves space, helps keep things organized, and in case of spills, will keep your clothes dry! Rolling your clothes instead of folding them also helps prevent wrinkles and saves room! 

The next tip is to wear the same clothes there and back home. Wear your sneakers on the plane, as well. This will save you a TON of room! 

I also only packed a couple t-shirts and shorts and just re-wore them throughout the week instead of bringing clothes for every single day. 

The BIGGEST challenge I faced was toiletries. Since we had to bring everything as a carry-on, TSA has such strict regulations with liquids. You have to bring all of your liquids in < 3 mL bottles and it all has to fit in a sandwich-sized bag. This made me leave some liquid shampoo at home and bring 2 mini bottles of dry shampoo. I washed my hair twice that week and used dry shampoo the rest of the week. I highly recommend the brand Batiste! 

A lot of my team members also brought baby wipes + face wipes instead of liquid soap. You can bring baby wipes in your carry-on! 

Since bug spray counts as a liquid, I recommend bringing those mosquito repellent bracelets! My team wore them throughout the week and we had no problems. You can find them here: Mosquito Bracelets

That's about all of my tips! Have you gone on a medical mission trip or plan to? Comment below! 









April 20, 2018

HOW I STUDY IN NURSING SCHOOL



This post has been very long overdue, but it's here! Within this post, I will be discussing how I study in nursing school. I am graduating in May with my BSN, and it took a lot of trial and error to finally figure out what worked for me!

A quick disclaimer: Just because this works for my brain, doesn't mean it will work for yours. Everyone learns differently- just remember that! 

The first thing I always do (or at least try to do...) is read the class materials before a lecture. This helps immensely because you are going to the lecture with a background on the topic.

After I leave lecture, the first thing I do is go home and make my outlines. I have a separate blog post with a detailed guide on how to make outlines like mine. You can find that here: http://thefuturecrna.blogspot.com/2017/05/how-i-make-my-outlines.html

Once my outlines are made, I just study those by covering one side of the paper with a sheet of paper and quizzing myself, almost like flashcards. Once I master something- I highlight that section in green.
It also helps me to write as I study. As you can see in the picture above, it's not always the most pretty handwriting, but it gets the job done!

Once I feel like I know a topic well, I do tons of practice questions. Some great resources for practice questions are the Saunders NCLEX review book, Evolve Adaptive Quizzing, and the Success books.

And that's about it until test day! Of course, there are liters of coffee involved in this process as well ;)

Happy studying!