How To Study For Nursing School

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Nursing school is hard but being a nurse is even harder. Something I get asked frequently on my Instagram is how to study. You can follow me at @rebekahtaylora <<click. Well this is a simple answer but not so simple at the same time. Everyone learns differently and you need to figure out what works best for you. Below are my tips and what I did to study.

First off, do not compare yourself to others. Some things come easily to certain people while others will struggle. Also, lets be honest…there will be a hand full of people who fail. That can mean failing a class, failing a test or failing out of their nursing program. That is reality and it is okay. There are many reasons why someone may fail. Maybe they did not study enough, may be they did not take nursing seriously or they may be dealing with personal problems. You need to make sure you are at a point in your life where this is your #1 focus! You need to make sure you are willing to make sacrifices in your life! That means less time out with friends, missing social events, missing family events and sleeping less.

A huge factor for me was having the ability to not work throughout nursing school. Again, this depends on the person and their financial abilities. Most people are not able to quit their jobs. Even though I was blessed I had many classmates who worked, had kids and where able to make it through. So yes! It can be done! Is it easy? NO!

So what did I do to study…..

On days I had no clinical or class I spent all day up in my office alone studying. I prefer to study alone than in a group. Just not my thing. This meant making flash cards, reviewing concepts, watching YouTube videos, rewriting notes, reading chapters, practicing NCLEX questions. I did a whole blog post on the resources I used and there are some not listed. You can read that post >>HERE<<. When I say I spent hours…I mean it! I treated it like a job and used my day like a workday. When I had an exam approaching my husband would come home from work and quiz me with flashcards I had made. When I had a week left before an exam he would quiz me twice a night. I would make flashcards after each lecture based off power points provided by my professors. That way I would stay on top of them. Lets just say I had stacks on stacks of note cards. Those flashcards worked for me and they did wonders! I was able to take the topic and teach it back to my husband. Some people hate note cards but I credit this for being a huge factor in my success. I did not do concept maps and I hated them so I have no tips on them.

Use your resources! Again, every college is different with the resources they offer. My school had a resource nurse. If anybody got a test score below 78% (failing is 75%) then you had to visit the resource nurse. I had to see the resource nurse twice throughout nursing school because I scored a 78% and a 76% on two tests. She would give me tips on how to study. Great thing was you could visit her anytime you wanted and whenever you wanted. Personally for me it was never helpful and I was always able to pull my grades back up. BUT, you do not know unless you check out the resources you have! You already paid for the class so use the resources your college provides! My college used ATI which most people either love or hate. I liked it for some things and thought it was useless for others. They do not provide quality rationales in my opinion but again it may help you so use it!

Hope you found these tips and how I studied helpful! Remember everyone is different and you need to find what works for you through trial and error. I am including some links down below to previous posts with more tips and tricks! If you want some more resources I used that are not listed. Please hit me up on Instagram or comment below.

Nursing Exams: Strategies For Test Taking
Study Resources for the Nursing Student
Prepare for Nursing School: Pediatric Nursing
Prepare for Nursing School: Medical/Surgical Nursing
Prepare for Nursing School: Maternity Nursing
How I Prepared for NCLEX-RN
Nursing Student Must Haves
ADN vs. BSN: Your Guide to Earning A Nursing Degree

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Functional and Stylish Nursing Work Bag

Being a nurse means being prepared for anything and carrying the right tools in my bag. I was using a tote bag but my shoulders started to hurt from the weight and pressure of the bag. I do have a locker that I keep specific items in but considering how small the locker is I tend to take a lot of items home with me. I decided to purchase a back bag from Target so this way it holds all my supplies and I no longer have to carry a purse. I do keep a small bag in my locker but I will cover that in another post.

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Some essentials I carry include my stethoscope, umbrella, clipboard, orientation packet, pens and a calendar. I also keep my wallet, hair ties and misc items that every women needs.  This bag is perfect because it is made of nylon so it is easy to clean and my items stay dry if it rains. Plus it has a ton of pockets to stash smaller items in. The zipper is gold which I am a sucker for!

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You can find this bag at Target >>HERE<<  The bag comes in multiple colors so if you are not a fan of stripes. I have been carrying my bag for over a week and it is super comfortable on my shoulders and back. Do you carry a tote, purse or back bag to work? I am all about convenience, functionality and style so this bag is perfect for me.

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The Perfect Gift | Unique Wood Watch

Recently, it was my older sisters birthday and I had no idea what to get her. After a little thought I decided to give her a JORD wooden watch. I have one and love it! I knew she would love the minimalist style, simplicity, and Eco-friendly material.  Plus, I knew she liked my watch!

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(Bonus points to you if you know the above quote!! And she was nice enough to allow me to wear her watch to take pictures because I wanted to test it out hehe).

Her watch (pictured on the right) is called the Frankie and it is handcrafted from smokey dark sandalwood. The wood is sourced from East Africa and the texture is fine and smooth. The great thing about this watch is the minimalist style, large face and ability to wear with any outfit.

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Another great thing about their watches is the ability to engrave the backplate. I got my sister’s engraved but we will keep the quote a little secret between us both. It also comes with a one year warranty and free world wide shipping.

jord2.jpg She loves her watch so now we are both part of the JORD family! If you would like to become a part of the JORD family as well I am hosting a giveaway to give one of you a $100 credit for any watch of your choice. (And even if you don’t win, you will get 10% off just for entering 🙂 To enter, just CLICK HERE and enter your info. The contest closes on  Feb 17, 2019 at 11:59pm. Good Luck!

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Wooden Wrist Watch

 

Goodbye 2018

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I has taken me a while to decide to write this post. I was feeling lazy and it has been a while since I did a post. My thinking was forget about doing a year in review and just start fresh in 2019. Well, as you can see I changed my mind. Why? Because 2018 was an amazing year and so much has happened and what better way to reminisce and build on making 2019 an even better year. So this post is all about what I am thankful for from 2018.

  1. My Husband
    Time to get cheesy so feel free to skip this part! My husband has always been my best supporter and a shoulder to cry on. Lets just say the man puts up with a lot haha! There have been tears on tears on tears in 2018 and he has always been there to pick me back up. This year we celebrated 5 years of marriage and 10 years together. Crazy!!! But I can not wait for the next 10 years. Somehow I was lucky enough to find my perfect match. We are so opposite but we compliment each other so well. Thank you for supporting me through my tears and struggles and always having my back.
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  2. Family
    I have never mentioned this on social media or my blog because it is a very sensitive topic. My little sister passed away unexpectedly 2 years ago. I am not going to go into details. As difficult as the situation has been it had blessings in disguise. My family has become closer then ever and I will be forever grateful for this. There are family members who I did not talk to that I am now close to and talk with frequently. It has been great to go on family outings and family parties. I love my family.
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  3. My Sister
    Yes, she gets her own number! HAHAHA! I love my sister and she is my best friend. She trolls me on social media and I love it. She even made me cry on Christmas because she gave me a coffee mug with our pictures on it. She puts me in my place and we have so much fun together.
    2018-12-31 11.19.22 2.jpg4. Nursing
    This year I graduated nursing school, passed NCLEX and started my first nursing job. I never thought I would be a newbie nurse in her thirties. It has always been a dream of mines and it finally came true. It took hard work! I have always doubted myself and my abilities and I still do (2019 is my year to work on myself and improve my self esteem and self doubt). I was able to graduate with honors and get into a nurse residency program with a great hospital. Thank you to all my friends and family who supported me and all the amazing friends I made in nursing school. I am lucky to have been working with great preceptors who have taken the time to teach me and let me ask a million questions.
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    5. You
    Thank you for reading my blog, following me on social media and liking my posts. I have met some incredible people online and I look forward to meeting more great people. This past year I have taken breaks, gone private and fallen off the face of the earth. I have gone between hating and loving social media. In 2019, I am going to work on learning to balance it all. I am going to work on not focusing on the numbers and comparisons.

    I am sure I could go on and on with the list of things I am thankful for. 2018 was an amazing year and I look forward to what 2019 will bring. I hope you will join me as I embrace and celebrate what was and what is to come. HAPPY NEW YEAR and remember “The beginning is the most important part of the work.”
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2018 Nurse Gift Guide: Awesome Gifts for Nurses and Nursing Students

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One//Two//Three//Four//Five//Six//Seven//Eight//Nine

The holidays are approaching quickly and finding the perfect gift can be hard. I have put together a gift guide so you can find that perfect gift for the nurse or nursing student in your life. The gifts in this list are practical, meaningful and can be used in the workplace or outside the workplace. Even better…they are affordable. Happy Shopping!

  1. O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream
    Health care providers can clean their hands up to 100 times in a 12 hour shift. So imagine how dry those hands can become. This concentrated hand cream heals, relieves and repairs extremely dry, cracked hands. The formula is non-greasy, unscented and hypoallergenic which makes it perfect for everyone. Cost $5.49
  2. Heartbeat Earrings
    Nurses and other healthcare workers usually like to avoid large bulky jewelry. Trust me you do not want a patient grabbing at hanging jewelry. So instead I like to wear simple stud earrings. These earrings are adorable heartbeats and are perfect.
    Cost $18.00
  3. Floral Scrunchie Pack
    Another great gift idea are scrunchies! Most nurses do not wear their hair down because it gets in the way and its just gross. So why not have cute hair accessories to hold their hair back. These are super cute and give the illusion of a hair scarf! I wanna get my hand on this set of three! Cost $25.00

  4. Subscription Box
    They are everywhere you look so why not create one for nurses. Scrub Club Now is a “scrubscripton” box that sends clothing and accessories that make working more fun and productive. They send everything from scrubs, cups, beauty items, candles and more! The person who receives this will be able to use everything because it is practical but also awesome. Check them out on their website and Instagram to see some great examples of their boxes. Cost $35.00-199.00
  5. Acupressure Pillow and Mat Set
    Being a nurse is a stressful job. Twelve hour shifts, all day on their feet and barely a chance to eat or empty their bladders. This mat helps relieve soreness, stiffness, pain and even insomnia. The mat has plastic pressure points that help rejuvenate the body, increase circulation and relax. Cost $19.99
  6. Do No Harm But Take No Shit Bracelet
    Nothing is better than simple jewelry that has a customized statement and this one if perfect for a nurse. Nurses take on a lot when it comes to taking care of patients and dealing with people. This bracelet is a perfect reminder. Cost $14.00
  7. Fleece Snap Up
    Who does not love being cozy!? I have this fleece in three colors because I love it so much. It is comfortable, over sized and adorable! This fleece can be pricey but is great when you can grab them when they are on sale. I purchased my first one for $54 but was able to grab two more for $29 each. So I recommend trying to get them when they go on sale because why not save some money? Cost $68.00
  8. Nurse Things Tote Bag
    Long shifts call for large tote bags. Nurses carry a lot of essentials and a regular handbag just does not have the space. Working 12 hour shifts means lots of essentials so this bag is perfect! Even better is it has a zipper closure so nothing can fall out. Cost $20.95

  9. Coffee Mug
    Coffee is life. This mug if tall and holds a large amount of coffee or tea. It is perfect for that morning cup before dealing with a busy work day. If you know someone who is a nurse and collects coffee mugs then this is a must. Cost $12.00cropped-rebekah-taylor3.png

Nurse Residency Program

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I thought I would take some time and explain what a nurse residency program is and a little about the one I am in. I am not going to name the hospital I am working for or the program. I need to keep some privacy and hope people can understand. Also, please understand that all programs and companies are different so the information I share may not apply to you if you get into another program. This is just a post about what the program is and my experience so far.

So what is a nurse residency program? It is a program dedicated to new graduate nurses to assist them as they transition into their first professional nursing role. The program consists of a series of work and learning experiences that emphasize developing clinical and leadership skills necessary for the advanced beginner nurse to become a successful and integral part of the health care team. The program incorporates seminars, educational classes and research to educate the new nurses.

I never planned or really thought I would get into one of these programs. I was honestly just looking for a job. When I applied to my particular hospital I did not think I was going to get accepted. I applied online and a few days later got an email offering me a group interview. Then I thought…”I definitely am not getting in.” Because I never heard of a group interview and I thought that there was no way I would stand out in a group of ten other people. To my surprise, I was given a second interview on the unit of my choice. After that interview, I again received an email and was offered the position. I can not speak for other programs but the process was simple. My program is a year long and at the end we have a graduation.

Throughout the next year our group will have education classes, workshops, seminars, tests and a research project. I also will have a preceptor while I work on the unit for a few weeks. While the program is overwhelming at first I feel like this is going to prepare me even more to be the best nurse I can be and provide my patients with safe quality care. It is as simple as that! It honestly feels like a continuation of nursing school.

A quick breakdown on how my first week went….

Day 1: Basic hospital orientation
Day 2: Clinical based orientation
Day 3: Meet preceptor and computer training
Day 4: Medication Safety Workshop
Day 5: IV Workshop

And that is that! It was pretty basic and simple. So I hope this helps you understand nurse residency programs a little better.

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20 Ways To Practice Self Care and Why You Should

Being a nursing student you are constantly reminded to show compassion and empathy for others, but many times we forget to the do the same for ourselves. Most days my health and personal well being is placed on the back burner. Why? When you get sick, you go to the doctor. When you get cut, you put a bandage on it. Maybe we need to start taking care of our bodies and minds the same way, with respect and self love. So as I am learning to practice self care, I challenge you to do the same. And do not forget this involves your physical body and your mental state. Let’s take those practices we learned in nursing school and adapt them to ourselves! Below I have included some great ways to get you started.

  1. Get enough sleep
  2. Do Yoga
  3. Burn a candle
  4. Check out a new coffee shop or restaurant
  5. Get a massage
  6. Say no to someone
  7. Get a manicure or pedicure
  8. Challenge your negative thinking
  9. Take a bubble bath
  10. Listen to music
  11. Go for a walk
  12. Color or draw
  13. Make a gratitude list
  14. Make a vision board
  15. Reflect
  16. Start a bucket list
  17. Read a book
  18. Do nothing
  19. Buy something you really have been wanting
  20. Declutter a room
self-love
/ˈˌself ˈləv/
noun