Study Tips for the Student Nurse

Millions of nursing students began their spring semester last week. For some, it marked their first week in nursing school, while others are continuing their nursing journey. Whatever the circumstance, effective study habits are needed in order to be successful in nursing school.

Everyone has their own way of learning and studying, but developing good study habits early will help you get your semester off to a great start.

  1. Make a study plan. Write out a study plan detailing what you will study and when. Your study plan can change depending on if it is general study between exams or studying for an actual upcoming exam. Write your study times down on your calendar to stay on track.
  2. Find a quiet and comfortable place to study. Your study environment is an important factor of your study plan. Find a place to study that minimizes distractions (extreme temperatures, noise, people, etc.)
  3. Disconnect. Turn off the TV and turn your phone off to minimize distractions. If you can’t live without your phone for a few hours try to place it out of reaching distance so you won’t be distracted by constantly checking status updates.
  4. Read and summarize. Read your class handouts and assigned reading and then summarize the information into your own notes. Your notes should be produced in the form that aids your learning the best; flashcards, outline format, diagram, audio recording, or a combination of all of the above.
  5. Review and update. Review and update your notes with new information frequently. You should do this after each class so the material is fresh. Old material is reiterated when new information is added. Reviewing and updating keeps information fresh in your head so you won’t have the need to cram before a big exam.
  6. Take breaks. Studying is mentally taxing and you need to take breaks to stay alert. Study in 30-45 minute blocks and then take a well-deserved break to mentally refresh yourself.

What study habits have aided your learning? Share them with us!

Originally posted in MinorityNurse.com

Lauren McCool, RN, BSN, Represents Mississippi with Entry into Renowned Publication Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare

Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare and the International Nurses Association are proud to announce that Lauren McCool, RN, BSN, is being honored for her exceptional successes in the nursing community.  With many years in the industry, Lauren has demonstrated the passion, dedication, and enthusiasm for patient care necessary to be considered a Top Nurse in her field.

Lauren works at the Singing River Hospital System, a multi-hospital system based in Mississippi state.  Lauren works on many units, and has experience in pediatrics, gastroenterology, gynecology and post-surgical floors.  She is also well versed in basic life support, advanced cardiac life support, and pediatric life support.

In 2007, Lauren received her nursing degree at the University of Southern Mississippi.  She then received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree shortly thereafter.  A member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, Lauren also works at nearby Ocean Springs Hospital, another Singing River facility.

To find out more about Lauren McCool, please be sure to look out for her upcoming publication in Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare.

Caryn L. Powers, LPN, Represents New Jersey with Entry into Renowned Publication Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare

Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare and the International Nurses Association are proud to announce that Caryn L. Powers, LPN, is being honored for her exceptional successes in the nursing community.  With many years in the industry, Caryn has demonstrated the passion, dedication, and enthusiasm for patient care necessary to be considered a Top Nurse in her field.

Caryn is a home health care nurse, working at Preferred Healthmate Inc., located in Brick, New Jersey.  The company provides hospital and non-hospital home health care nursing to New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  These services extend to the geriatric population to the pediatric population, for children who need skilled nursing at home.  Caryn also does personal errands for those who cannot get out to the store or other places to do them themselves.

In 2010, Caryn received her Licensed Practical Nursing degree from Lincoln Tech Institute.  Her goal is to become an RN, and she is currently enrolled in school while battling Chron’s Disease.  She is a team leader for Land of Hope and Cures, and has a blog to reach out to others suffering from this disease.

To find out more about Caryn L. Powers, please visit www.preferredhealthmate.com.  Also be sure to look out for her upcoming publication in Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare.

How to Maximize Your Experience with Your Nurse Mentors and Preceptors

nurse preceptors and mentorsNo one can successfully get through life without the support and caring of others. The same is true for our careers. Nurse preceptors and mentors act as our personal guides, especially when we transition to new levels in our careers. Whether we get that first job as a new nurse following graduation or get that promotion, the need for support intensifies.

First, let me define the two terms, which in my mind are slightly different. The New Oxford dictionary describes a mentor as an “experienced and trusted advisor.” Meanwhile, a preceptor is defined as a “teacher or instructor.” Regardless of the term we use or the learning setting we are in, the influence and support of such individuals are vital to our success.

Which brings us to a more important question: how can you work well with your nursing preceptor or mentor? How do you even start finding one? Here are some recommendations that have been extremely helpful in my personal journey for lifelong learning.

  1. Reach out to people who can help you in the areas that you would like to grow in.This can be beyond the walls of the organization. You may find them in the local community, the government or even the greater nursing community. In my experience, I have never been turned down by individuals that I have reached out to who, in my mind, seemed so far out of my league. In exchange, I have never turned down requests for help and advice from anyone who has approached me. I see helping others as a way to give back for all the support I have received. Instrumental people can also pull you into their league by offering networking opportunities.
  2. Lose your ego!Throughout my nursing career, I have seen people destroy themselves in various situations because they thought that they knew it all and had no capacity to learn. Life is nothing but learning and improving, so letting your ego get in the way of personal growth will close the door for you.
  3. Be open to suggestions.Be willing to change behaviors to improve your practice and ultimately your performance. Recommendations and suggestions do not mean that you should feel like a failure. These are gifts to help you grow.
  4. Seek new knowledge and ask the questions that need to be asked.I always tell those who work with me that the only stupid question is the one that does not get asked. You will lose the opportunity for learning and surviving modern health care if you are afraid to ask questions.
  5. Always ask about your progress.Especially if you’re in a new role. Frequently ask your nurse preceptor or manager how they feel about your progress and what can you do to improve skills. Ask for recommendations if you are seeking new knowledge.
  6. Read, read, and read.Ask your mentors and preceptors what publications would improve your learning. Also read material on related issues that may be outside your world. For example, current economics, politics and global issues have a tremendous effect on our healthcare system. This type of knowledge broadens your understanding and helps put issues in context, achieving professionalism in nursing.
  7. Be grateful for having nurse preceptors and mentors.Appreciate all of the help that you are receiving from those who are supporting you through your lifelong journey. Learning should never end—make sure to enjoy the trip.

Originally posted in Nursetogether.com

Jeanie L. Werner, RN, BSCN, Represents Saskatchewan with Entry into Renowned Publication Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare

Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare and the International Nurses Association are proud to announce that Jeanie L. Werner, RN, BSCN, is being honored for her exceptional successes in the nursing community.  With many years in the industry, Jeanie has demonstrated the passion, dedication, and enthusiasm for patient care necessary to be considered a Top Nurse in her field.

Jeanie works for the Sunrise Health Region in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Canada.  Serving over 90,000 people, Sunrise is comprised of several living communities for all ages.  At Sunrise, Jeanie has the role of clinical nurse instructor, instructing new and seasoned nurses, performing best practice research and assisting with projects directed by the Ministry of Health.

In 2005, Jeanie received her nursing degree.  Serving many facets of healthcare, Jeanie once was a registered massage therapist from the McKay School of Massage Therapy, and a certified dental assistant Level 2.  Jeanie is also staying active in the field, and is a member of the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses.  This organization is a group of registered nurses in various health specialties educating the public about nursing and enhancing the quality of the field.

Jeanie has an entrepreneurial spirit and is striving to incorporate her passion for nursing and the patient and family experience by providing various private healthcare services to those in need.  Her desire is to help individuals stay healthy and safe in their homes for as long as possible and maintain the optimal level of dignity and empowerment for each, when faced with healthcare challenges.

To find out more about Jeanie L. Werner, please visit www.sunrisehealthregion.sk.ca.  Also be sure to look out for her upcoming publication in Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare.

Violence in Nursing: What, Why and How to Respond

violence in nursingThe propensity for violence in nursing, particularly in the Emergency Room (ER), is abnormally high. After all, emotions are extremely volatile and judgment is often clouded. In turn, most facilities have instituted a respective “violence-prevention” program to monitor work related assaults but unfortunately, while this intervention can reduce the number of incidents, not all can be prevented. So, what is workplace violence? Most people think of violence in the workplace as solely being physical but consider the following forms of violence which are often dismissed:

  • Threatening behavior – Shaking fists, destroying property or throwing objects.
  • Verbal or written threats – Any expression of intent to inflict harm.
  • Harassment – Any behavior that demeans, embarrasses, humiliates, annoys, alarms or verbally abuses a person and that is known or would be expected to be unwelcome. This includes words, gestures, intimidation, bullying or other inappropriate activities.
  • Verbal abuse – Rumors, swearing, insults or condescending language.
  • Physical attacks – Hitting, shoving, pushing or kicking.

We, as nurses, are the frontline staff and therefore it is important to understand the risk factors associated with a situation that might increase the likelihood for violence. So, think about these risk factors which set the stage for such acts:

  • In the healthcare arena, emotions are heightened.
  • When violence in nursing erupts, staff in the healthcare sector are usually unequipped to fully respond. If there is security, it might take time for them to respond and this time might be longer than the time it takes to commit an act of violence.
    • As nurses, we are focused on patient care—we and other healthcare providers are often able to handle violent behavior when it escalates.
  • In some settings, such as in the ER or inner city hospitals, there is an increased prevalence of the use of handguns by patients and their families.
  • Often, drug use by patients and or their family members comes into play. Such activity clouds rational judgment.
  • In the neighboring parking lots, there is typically poor lighting and decreased security. Hence, there is an increased likelihood for such activity.

So with it being outlined that violence in the healthcare setting is a possibility, what can be done? It should be an organizational effort to follow a plan of staff and patient safety interventions. But, what can we, as nurses, do? Consider the following suggestions:

  • Review policies related to violence in the workplace.
    • Memorize the number for security.
  • Recognize if there is a volatile situation between patients and guests and notify security.
  • When leaving the premises at night or in the early hours, assess the surroundings, and park in an area with good lighting.
    • Walk out to your car with another staff person.
  • Work with your co-workers and management team to help to develop a nursing culture whereby there is a no-tolerance policy for violence and related behavior.

Hopefully this article has outlined that acts of violence are not always “physical acts” and that as healthcare professionals, we can learn suggestions to reduce the likelihood of said acts. Lastly, it is important to remember that everyone has a role in safety promotion so we can all prevent violence in nursing.

Originally posted in Nursetogether.com

Sylvia A. Dabrowski, BA, BSN, MSN, Represents Wisconsin with Entry into Renowned Publication Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare

Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare and the International Nurses Association are proud to announce that Sylvia A. Dabrowski, BA, BSN, MSN, is being honored for her exceptional successes in the nursing community.  With many years in the industry, Sylvia has demonstrated the passion, dedication, and enthusiasm for patient care necessary to be considered a Top Nurse in her field.

Sylvia works at Froedert Hospital in the greater Milwaukee area of Wisconsin.  There, Sylvia works in the critical care unit, which is for intensive care patients as well, as a rotating charge nurse.  Prior to her career in this unit, Sylvia worked in the cardiac intensive unit for several years, treating patients with heart and vascular problems.  In addition, Sylvia has certifications in Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, NIH Stroke Scale, and Medical Surgical Nursing.

In 1993, Sylvia received her nursing degree from the Carrol/Columbia School of Nursing.  She then completed a Master of Science in Nursing in Health Care Systems Management from Loyola University in New Orleans.  While there, she created a mobile response nurse position to reduce unplanned ICU admissions and to support graduate nurses.  Sylvia acts as preceptor at Froedtert and is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau honor society for nurses.

To find out more about Sylvia A. Dabrowski, please visit www.froedtert.com.  Also be sure to look out for her upcoming publication in Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare.

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