Top 10 Student nurse tips

Confident Voices in Healthcare -

Confident Voices in Healthcare is an excellent resource for nurses who are passionate about compassionate care. The blog is published by Beth Boynton (RN, MS) who is an international speaker and the author of several books about using medical improv to improve soft skills like emotional intelligence and listening. Beth describes Confident Voices in Healthcare as “a professional blog that focuses on making health care safer and more compassionate for everyone.” Here you can read about issues that affect nurses in the workplace, such as bullying, patient complaints, nurse overload, communication dynamics, and more. We recommend starting with her blog post, “Nurse Overload: The Risk to Employee and Patient.”

Use Different Colors

Color coding can help students organize their nursing school notes. Some students will use different colors for medications, side effects, complications and so on. “I always suggest nursing school notes in colors,” said Kathryn Murto, MSN, RN, CMSRN, the CAS manager on Chamberlain’s Troy campus. “It breaks up the sections and it is easier to read. If something is going to be on the test, I put it in red.” "Simplified my acid/ base lecture into notes that are easy to follow and fun to study."

Don’t Get Duped by Inaccurate Travel Nursing Pay Quotes

These days, travel nursing pay packages are everywhere. However, you need to be careful about where you find them. You see, there are a couple of job boards that have job postings with pay packages. They even compare pay packages between companies on the same job listing. Discover why travel nurses are calling us their “secret weapon”. Sounds amazing, right?! Unfortunately, the pay packages on these sites can be highly inaccurate. Here’s why. First, very few agencies have the technology to automatically calculate accurate pay packages for every job. The software and data management are simply too complex for most agencies to tackle. Instead, these job boards import very basic job data from the agencies en-masse. The data includes the bill rate and work-hours per week for each job. Then, agencies select a default percentage to take off the bill rate in all cases. The job board removes that percentage from the bill rate for every single job and multiplies the remainder by the number of work-hours per week for each job. Anybody who knows anything about travel nursing pay will tell you that this is a gross oversimplification that will result in inaccurate pay packages on both sides of the equation. Travel nurses are not happy about it. They routinely express their disgust on social media. Here are some examples. And that’s not even the worst of it. You can bet your bottom dollar that an agency will not honor a pay package that is too high. At the same time, the agency will most likely not increase a pay package if it’s too low given that you’ve already expressed your interest. So, these sites dupe travel nurses either way. Moreover, erroneous pay information will actually harm your ability to negotiate.

Diversity Nursing -

Diversity Nursing features a blog, job board, forums, podcasts, and more. Its aim is to address the growing demand for nurses across the country by connecting registered nurses with employers while increasing diversity in both the employee and student nurse populations. The Diversity Nursing blog is a great resource for news and insights related to the nursing community, with a particular focus on diversity, inclusion, and cultural competence.

Make Sure to Document

You’re going to want to skip your documentation. If not you’re going to want to breeze through it and move on. I get it. But you need to resist the urge. Remember what they said in nursing school if it’s not charted it didn’t happen. Make sure to give yourself credit for doing what you did.

See If You Can Find a Nursing School Mentor

One of the most important things you should do when you first enter nursing school is to try and find a mentor to help lead the way for you. There are many older nursing school students and recent nursing school graduates who would be happy to take a new student under their wing. A mentor can be an invaluable tool for those who are just getting their feet wet in the world of nursing. You’ll be able to ask any questions you have about nursing school now to your mentor. You’ll also be able to ask questions to them well into the future.

How to Find Salary Ranges for Travel Nurses

So, where can travel nurses get accurate information on pay ranges? Facebook groups dedicated to travel nursing jobs are actually a very good resource. The reason is that recruiters have actually run the calculations manually before posting pay packages there. Additionally, you can call agencies in advance and request pay quotes. You can even call multiple agencies to obtain pay quotes for the same job. Just be sure that you’re comparing the pay quotes accurately.

Reality RN -

Reality RN is a community for new nurses, and as such it has some great articles geared toward those nurses who are just embarking upon their careers. Popular topics have to do with handling stress, interacting with patients, nursing theories, interview tips, and much more. It also has a job board and community-driven discussion threads.

Provide clear directions

Students in classrooms are used to having face-to-face time with faculty before and after a class. In person, students can easily ask questions and get clarification; this opportunity isn't as easy to come by within the online classroom environment. Providing clear directions for participation helps students become engaged in the online learning process. Be sure to include assignment rubrics, detailed expectations, and due dates. Questions or confusion can frustrate students, so be concise and avoid ambiguity.

Go Beyond the Practice Questions

Practice exams are absolutely the best and most important way to prepare – HOWEVER – simply taking the practice exam questions is only half of the process. It is just as important to:

  • Look up questions that you answered incorrectly. Practice question banks provide explanations as to why each answer choice is correct or incorrect, as well as outlining the particular content topic it falls under.
  • Jot down notes of which concepts you want to revisit, so with your next study session, you can focus on problem areas.
  • Practice, practice, practice. It is especially useful to take at least 1 or 2 full online mock NCLEX exams so you are used to the experience of computer testing. Go through as much of the question bank as you can before exam day and you will be miles ahead.