Have you ever had to memorize so much information for nursing school and simply felt like it was impossible? If so, this is the blog post for you. In an attempt find ways to study better, research led me to Picmonic.
What is Picmonic?
Picmonic is an audiovisual learning system. The program uses stories, characters, and cartoon graphics to assist you in remembering everything that you need to know for school.
Why use Picmonic?
It is research proven to help students pass exams.
It is efficient and effective. This system helps you save time by enabling you to memorize details quickly all while keeping you entertained.
It is easy to use on the go. Just download the app to your phone or desktop and you are ready to go.
It is customizable to your personal needs and current topics you are reviewing in class.
It is always up to date with the newest concepts and videos relevant to your studies.
It uses related facts made easy.
It is inexpensive.
What is more, it is free to sign up. With the free option you are able to learn and do a quiz on 1 Picmonic video per day. Use this link to try it out for yourself today!
This quarter of nursing school, I had to take my first ATI assessment. I was a little familiar with the product because I needed to take the ATI Teas when I was applying to school. As a student nurse blogger, I like to be transparent with my audience to ensure they too know all about the many woes of nursing school. So what is ATI????
According to ATI:
ATI’s Comprehensive Assessment and Review Program (CARP) is a focused remediation resource that is with you and your students throughout the nursing program. This comprehensive learning solution goes beyond NCLEX preparation by offering unique and proprietary remediation on each test, whether it’s practice or proctored. It does what no other test prep can do – it ties directly back to the NCLEX®. To address diverse learning styles, this program offers multiple remediation tools, including traditional and online reading materials, videos, practice assessments and Internet sources.
The thought is the results will yield increased pass rates and student attrition rates are decreased. The program offers 8 specific targeted areas to test you on. Each subject area comes with study materials attached such as eBook or physical book. This is to assist you on major concepts that you must conquer to ensure successful mastery on assessment test. The targeted areas are below.
Targeted Subject Areas:
RN Adult Medical Surgical Nursing
RN Community Health Nursing
Fundamentals for Nursing
RN Maternal Newborn Nursing
RN Nursing Care of Children
RN Pharmacology for Nursing
Nursing Leadership and Management
Nutrition for Nursing
So if your school use ATI products, you should be glad. There are also many other companies that offer similar products such as Kaplan, Hesi, etc. If your school does not offer these products to you, you can do a little research to find individualized products that are available. Hopefully, if your school want you to succeed. they will already have a program like this incorporated into the program.
Although, it can be a pain to have to study for these assessments, I find it to be helpful to easily point out my strengths and weaknesses. This allows me to go back and focus on the material that I can improve on. Moreover, it allows me to be better prepared for the NCLEX.
I have recently been having a hard time dealing with stress and anxiety. I think the reason for this is the constant going of nursing school. There is always somewhere to be and something to do. Regardless, this is what I signed for so I have to stay on top of things. If you fail to it is very easy to get behind and even fail out of nursing school. Luckily for me, I have finally been able to get into a flow that works for me. I wanted to share it in hopes that I am able to help someone else.
Get organized!!! You can start by getting a planner. This helps because my syllabi are always at least ten pages long on average I have at least three classes per quarter. Seeing what I have to do on a daily view is better than seeing what I have to do over an entire quarter. I also do not want to carry around several folders each class in order to stay on top of things.
Make sure that you are incorporating ME TIME! People often forget just how important this is. This can be achieved by making sure you are doing things that you love such as, hanging out with friends and treating yourself to something nice. Self-care is a must in nursing school. If you do not take care of yourself, it often develops into stress, anxiety, depression, etc.
Avoid Caffeine! Like majority of Americans, I too enjoy a cup of joe each morning. However, when you have anxiety sometimes coffee can make it worse. What is more, caffeine is know to cause gastrointestinal upset.
Practice Relaxation Techniques! People often underestimate the benefits of this. This can done by meditation, yoga, aromatherapy, etc. One of my favorites is tuning into the relaxation music on YouTube. It helps to put me in a better mood so that I am capable of being more productive.
Tell yourself Self-Affirmations! This is important because if you do not believe in yourself and can motivate yourself, you cannot expect someone else to. For example, you can do this by adding sticky notes to your bathroom mirror. Additionally, when you feel negative thoughts creeping into your mind, you can silence it by speaking something positive to counteract it. For spiritual or religious people, you can download applications to your phone that can send you daily devotionals.
Do NOT Cram! Cramming can create the most anxiety because you are putting unnecessary stress on yourself by not properly planning for an exam. In nursing school, there are usually minimum 6-7 chapters on one exam and these chapters have a wealth of information. When you wait until the last minute, you likely will not remember everything you studied. Also, you will not remember the information long term and that will not do you any good when it is time for the NCLEX. That brings me to my next point.
Shut Your Brain Off! You heard that right. Sometimes you have to learn to quiet your mind. I usually do this when I go into what I call “information overload.” This is basically when I studied for too long and now feel like I cannot retain any more information at the time. I step away from the material and go relax. Once I feel that I can handle looking at the information again, I go back to it. This can also be done the night before the exam. Instead of cramming more information the night before, just take a step back and do nothing. This will help you sleep better, feel refreshed the day of the exam, and hopefully help you perform better.
Seek Help. Unfortunately, sometimes are mental health can get far beyond our control. It may be some lingering trauma that we have yet to deal with or some genetics that are out of our control. If you feel that you are unable to maintain control of the anxiety, do not be afraid to seek professional help. This can be by way of a Licensed Clinical Profession Counselor, Psychiatrist, Psychologist, and Therapist. Their services include but not limited to, therapy sessions (one on one or group) and medications.
Well that is all the tips I have for now. I really hope this can help someone. I am placing a link here for those who may be interested in aromatherapy. It is super useful for relaxation and stress relief.
Being a first quarter nursing student has been quite the journey. As the quarter is coming to an end, I would like to point out four things that have resonated with me.
1.) Textbook are SUPER expensive.
This is somewhat a no brainer but nursing textbook are even more costly than many textbook. Reason being, usually nursing text books are bundled with multiple text. This may be a pocket manual, digital access codes, eBooks, physical text, etc. Most of my professors opted for these text and on average the price range is usually $400 and up.
2.) Classmates can be VERY competitive.
You would think that when you start in a cohort that you will eventually become close with all your peers. However, some of your peers may not feel the same way. Nursing school can get pretty segregated as people tend to cling on to people they identify with. This is not necessary a bad thing, but it can be when people become reluctant to share things like notes, tips, recordings, and study guides. That brings me to my next point.
3.) How IMPORTANT having an ally is.
These will be the people you run to in the time of need. They will be there to help you when you fall short and also support you through school. They will be the ones you lean on when times get tough. Often times, these people will become more like close friends and family. If you notice that you have certain people within the program that you have a bond with, strengthen those relationships. The relationships will prove to be valuable.
4.) CHALLENGING your professor is ok.
Oftentimes, we are reluctant to challenge a professor because we feel that are always correct. The truth of the matter is, they are human and can indeed make mistakes. Do not be afraid if you see something wrong or concerning. This can be something as simple as a weird test question, missing information in a question, vague answer choices, etc. You may find that others too have those same concerns. If no one spoke up, then you are doing yourself a disservice. Professors also respect this because it shows that you are proactive and care about your grade.
This is just a first quarter reflection. I am sure as the program progresses, so will this list. If you have any experience with any of these topic, please drop a comment below.