Nouha Hassan, a senior 3-Year Bachelor of Science in Nursing student on Chamberlain’s Troy campus, started documenting her journey through nursing school two years ago on Instagram. In the time since, she’s amassed more than 18,000 followers, who follow her journey working full-time while attending class, clinicals and studying at home.
Through Instagram, she gets a lot of questions from current and prospective nursing students and recently put together a FAQ on her new blog, Future NP. Read the full entry at: https://futurenp.wordpress.com/2017/05/03/nursing-school-qa/. She has shared excerpts of her post below:
Hi guys! I’ve put together a Q&A of the top-asked questions to use as a reference if you like. I hope you find it helpful! Just a friendly reminder, these are my opinions on these topics. There is obviously no correct answer, no right way to do things. Everyone’s journey in life is unique and experiences play a large part in the decisions we make.
What advice can you give to a student that wants to earn their BSN with Chamberlain?
Call your local Chamberlain campus and ask to meet with an admissions representative. They will give you a list of prerequisite courses and let you know which courses will and will not transfer over. If you will be applying within the next six months, you should start prepping for your HESI A2 entrance exam. The more time you give yourself to prep for the exam the more comfortable you will feel when the time comes to sit for it. If you are not sure where the nearest Chamberlain is, find them at www.chamberlain.edu/locations.
How can I practice for the HESI Exam? What resources can I use? And what are some things that we need to know about the HESI exams?
There are many books available to practice and prepare for the HESI. A good text to review is HESI Admission Assessment Exam Review. The book provides practice questions and review. The HESI tests math, reading comprehension, vocab, grammar, chemistry, A&P, and bio. Give yourself a month or two to complete the book before sitting for the exam. Covering the material before sitting for the exam will put you more at ease while testing.
How do I juggle school and work? Any tips on keeping up with studying & going to clinicals?
Every program is a little different in terms of classes. But, the first semester when you actually start clinicals and having a bunch of classes can definitely be overwhelming. I recommend if possible to cut back on hours at this time. I worked throughout the entire program and completely understand the struggle. Best way to juggle is by staying organized. Get a planner and fill in all the important dates. Your planner is your best friend, seriously. Knowing you have a 6-page paper due Wednesday, and discussion post on Thursday, and an exam on Friday will definitely keep your priorities in order. NEVER, ever wait last minute to start assignments or start studying. You would only be doing yourself harm and putting yourself under unnecessary stress. Try getting as much sleep as possible, even if that means a quick 20-minute power nap.
I’m curious what your weekly schedule looks like when you start clinicals.
Every program and campus is different. With that being said, the courses you are taking will determine what your schedule will look like. For me, med-surg clinicals were two 8-hour shifts a week with two days of lecture. Fundamentals was only one 8-hour shift, with two lectures a weeks each for funds and health assessment. I have friends at other nursing schools that were taking med-surg and specialty courses together and they were looking at 3-4 days of clinicals. So it really varies depending on your school and schedule.
What were the hardest things to overcome as a new nursing student? Please tell us how you handled bed baths, inserting catheters, changing adult diapers, or a pressure ulcer for the first time. I’m nervous about starting clinicals.
Nursing school is a lifestyle change. Adjusting to new study habits, such as studying every day and learning how to answer and pick apart NCLEX style questions was fairly difficult. Make sure to make friends with your clinical groups. They are the best resource throughout this program. If you feel uncomfortable during a task, ask your fellow classmates to come help you. Your classmates can definitely make you feel more comfortable when learning/practicing new skills. The first time you see a real pressure ulcer, depending on the size, it may take you out of your comfort zone. Ask your clinical instructor for help, or ask them to demonstrate packing the wound the first time to ease you into the process. At the end of the day, you need to think that you need to care for your patient and get them better so that they will heal and go home.
Any tips on studying for community health, mental health, OB, HESI’s, critical care, Adult health?
I have studied the same way for every course for the most part. Chamberlain provides us with PowerPoints correlated to each chapter. I have printed those PowerPoints and used them as a broad picture to focus. I follow along in the textbook to fill in the important details that may be missing on the slides. I make sure to give myself a day or two to do practice questions after completing the readings. Great resources for NCLEX-style practice questions are: Evolve/Elsevier, NCLEX Mastery and ATI RN Mentor.
Other helpful resources are Pinterest and www.nurseslabs.com. Pinterest was extremely helpful in mother/baby and peds. Sometimes visuals that you find on Pinterest help you piece the material together. Do as many practice questions as possible and make sure to fully understand the rationales, EVEN if you get the question right. Rationales have been my best friend since day 1.
How did you study for anatomy and physiology (A&P)?
I took A&P before I started nursing school as a prerequisite. I spent a lot of time in the lab learning the anatomy portion. I used to take pictures and save them to my desktop so that I could review outside of lab. For the physiology portion, I took extremely thorough notes by reading the text, PowerPoints and focused on the study guide my instructor provided.
How do you stay focused between school and work?
It’s important to stay dedicated and remember why you started and what your end goal is. My end goals keep me focused; knowing that I’m working towards a better future is my motivation.
Want to read more, including how Nouha studied for pharmacology? Visit her on her blog or on Instagram.
Important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended this program can be found at www.chamberlain.edu/gebsn.
By Molly Mattison
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