What I Wish I Would Have Known Before College

There is no step by step guide to survive school while pursuing a higher education degree. Many people describe college as some of the best years of their lives. However, higher education is a dramatic lifestyle change that can be hard to adapt to for many students. As a recent graduate reflecting on my college years, there are a few things I wish I had realized before I entered college. Here are a few things I wish I would’ve known, including stress, studying and money management.

In high school I was a three sport athlete, a member of the National Honor Society, the secretary for the student council and part of many other committees. I balanced these activities very well and loved every minute of it. However, the set schedule I was used to changed when I came to college. You are in charge of managing your schedule. No one is there to guide you along. This can be a major change of pace for many people. So my tip to you is to set a schedule. Sit down and plan out your week. Designate times to do assignments, tests and to study. Stick to your routine. Your grades will thank you.

If you had poor study habits in high school, it’s time to make a change. Students are often shocked by how much effort they must put into their classes. Even though students are often told how much time and effort they will have to put into their classes, they are typically stunned when they are actually expected to do it. If you’re really struggling, reach out to your advisor for helpful tips on how to manage your course work. They may also have resources available to you to make studying easier or more enjoyable! Don’t take on more than you can handle. Some students can handle four courses at a time while others may only be able to focus on one. Wherever you fall on this spectrum, that’s okay! Progress isn’t linear. Lastly, ask friends and loved ones what worked for them or look up studying tips online. If one method fails, don’t give up! Everyone is different, you just need to find your niche.

In all honesty, college was the most stressful time of my life. When my routine was no longer existent, I found that I had to discover new ways to manage stress and anxiety. It wasn’t until my junior year that I was able to find ways to manage that stress that worked for me. I found that what worked for me didn’t necessarily work for my friends. I had always been an extremely active person, so I naturally gravitated towards fitness to take my mind off of whatever I was stressed about. Going to the gym at the end of the day helped me relax and refocus. Other stress relievers can be painting, reading a book or even just watching a movie or tv for a little while. Find a healthy coping mechanism and make sure to incorporate it into your new routine.

Last but not least, money. Money can be a huge concern while earning your degree, and managing it can be difficult. My advice would be to set a budget or allowance for yourself. You can make it weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly. Factor in the cost of your loans, along with other expenses such as books and materials. When I made my budget, I also included money for food, extracurriculars along with how much money I would put into savings. I really stress putting money aside for savings. When my senior year rolled around, I was able to pay off my whole first semester with what money I had put aside which saved me the stress of paying more interest on my loan. Every bit counts, save what you can, when you can.

For many students, college is a whole new world and what comes along with it can be stressful and overwhelming. Finding what works for you during this time is extremely important. Sometimes, though, a little guidance can be helpful — take it from people who learned the hard way.

Is This Really Worth It?

There comes a time in every person’s life when they question if they’re on the right path. Perhaps you’ve been studying for 4 hours a day, multiple days a week, and still don’t pass that exam. Maybe you don’t feel the same excitement you felt during the first week of your job. It might even be that you have loved one’s telling you you can’t do it. All of these factors may cause you to ask yourself why you’re making the sacrifices it takes to become a nurse.

This week, Distance Learning Systems decided to reach out to RN’s and see why they chose the nursing field and why they stick with it. These men and women have offered us insight into their lives and careers.

Everyone has a story, and one day, so will you.

1. “I chose to be a nurse because I’ve always felt called to help others. Even though nursing school was hard, the day I saved my first patient was when I knew it was all worth it.” – Sam, 42
2. “It takes a special kind of person to be a nurse. I have been a nurse for over 30 years. I have had my share of disappointments, but it is from my own experience I am able to draw the perfect pleasure of nursing. I was a psychiatric nurse and worked with youngsters who had issues with drugs and abandonment. I became very enlightened and gained abilities to intervene in many cases.In one case, as the young lady was leaving she said to me, “I’ll never forget you, what you said to me, as long as I live.” I guess that one instance made my life important to someone.” Maureen, 61
3. “ I wanted to become a nurse so that I could impact people’s lives during some of the most difficult and traumatic times that they may ever experience. I always knew that I had a heart for helping others and nursing was the perfect career to make a difference. They say that nursing is a combination of art and science and I truly believe that. I wanted to care for patients’ minds, bodies, and spirits which is the holistic approach that nursing is centered around. I have stuck with nursing because I honestly cannot see myself doing anything else after the experiences that I have had. Saving a life or being present when someone takes their last breath are moments that I believe are a privilege for me to take part in. The skills, compassion, diversity, and connections are all reasons that keep me coming back shift after shift. I have seen healthcare teams work together to completely change the prognosis for a patient which is extremely rewarding. Nursing is a career where I have been able to use my talents and knowledge to make a positive impact on others.” – Judy, 25
4. “ I am a supervisor in a nursing home where I oversee 50+ residents. I comfort my residents while they are alive, and I comfort their families when they pass. They give my life purpose. At times it seems as though money is the most important thing., I am proud to know I matter and make a difference in someone’s life.” – Jason, 56
5. “When I was about 6 years old, I was sent to the children’s hospital in our state for some health complications. I ended up needing surgery and check ups every 3 weeks. Since I was there so much, my family and I formed a sort of bond with some of the nurses. They even threw me a little surprise when I had an appointment on my birthday. I never forgot how well they treated me and how comforting they were. I guess that was the motivation I had to be a nurse and why I stuck with it. I wanted to touch lives like they had touched mine.” – Jamie, 29
6. “When my husband passed away, the nurses were there with him every step of the way. They made his last moments comfortable. They earned my trust. To see everything they do and how hard they worked, that’s what inspired me. I became an RN at the age of 50.” – Sharon, 58
7. “I knew I wanted to be a nurse as long as I can remember. I’m not exactly sure why, I just felt drawn to the profession. It’s not a job for me, it’s a calling.” – Rebecca, 22
8. “Nurses run in my family. My great grandmother, grandmother and mother were all nurses. Seeing how fulfilled they were with their jobs and hearing their stories made it an easy decision for me. Was the road to becoming a nurse easy? Heck no! But was it worth it? Absolutely.” – Joanna, 44
9. “I didn’t know I wanted to be a nurse until my sophomore year of college when I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I was so young and so scared. My doctors and nurses touched my heart and saved my life. I believe it’s my life’s duty to repay the favor and serve others.” – Sydney, 31
10. “God called me to be a nurse. I woke up one morning and knew that’s exactly what I was created to do. I enrolled in school that very day and have never looked back. I’ve been a nurse for over 20 years now.” – Charlotte, 49

In times as uncertain as these, remember why you’re doing it and who you’re doing it for.

Nurses and Public Policies

The National League for Nursing (NLN) is dreaming of more complete nurses under their wing. That is why they are also offering programs that deal with issues outside of the nursing field. Issues such as public policies. This is a subject that is unheard of during the earlier days of nursing. It is a topic that finds its discussions only with civil servants and politicians, not with nurses. But NLN is striving to put the subject of public policy to their nurses.

Making a Difference
Inserting public policy as one of the subjects for nursing courses is raising the level of care to their patients. This is all in place since taking care of your patients is one way of initiating change, which is the desired effect why public policies are instituted.

Coming Together
The spirit of camaraderie is also at work with public policies. This is somehow closely related to the work nurses are doing. Sometimes nurses work not just the concern of a single patient, but the concern of an entire community also.

The Power to Change
Taking care of your patient has its own power. Public policies can change not just laws, but lives as well. That is what NLN wanted their nurses to have. If they can connect their calling as a medical practitioner into something nobler like extending their care to their immediate community, then change is possible.

A Democratic Right
NLN acknowledges that it is a democratic right of every individual to have an accessible health care. And their nurses should be at the forefront of this right. Every person should be entitled to a medical attention regardless of his or her station in life.

Distance Learning for Nurses

To become a nurse, you are usually required to finish the program in the classroom. But today, there are already nursing programs offered online which allows you to finish most of your classes online while you are at home. The program sets internet and interactive classroom for students and is offered only by accredited colleges and universities. This program is known as the distance learning program and is now offered for nursing. The program is one of the strategies used by the government to answer the problem with the nursing shortage. This effort strives to invite more students to enroll with the nursing program, since it is more affordable and will no longer take long hours in the classroom.

DLSThe distance learning programs allows flexibility for the students. They can have their classes everywhere since it’s online, they can be at home or anywhere as long as it’s quiet and free from distractions. Students can also do their homework and tasks anytime they want as long as it meets the deadline. The students who are very far from colleges and universities are now more interested to enroll since it is more convenient. This is also suitable for those who are already working and want to have another degree in nursing.

If you are in the distance learning program, you save more money since you will no longer have to pay for transportation, rooms, dining and other expenses. You will no longer require dealing with the daily transportation which takes a lot of your time and energy; making the program very convenient and stress free.

The universities and colleges who offer this program usually hire the same professors they have in the campus, thus making it competitive with the classroom settings. You can connect with them through the internet as well as with your classmates. For those who are interested with the nursing program but want it more affordable and online, then try the distance learning program. Distance learning becomes viable today and more practical.  You can inquire about this program via online or visit the nearest university that offers the program. It may be the program suited to your needs.

Importance of NLNAC to Nursing Programs

Choosing a nursing school is an integral part of your career. There are a lot of considerations to take into account, like the distance of the school from where you live and the cost of the program. One thing to consider is the accreditation of the nursing school. Nursing, like some professions, has more than one accrediting agency. The university is either accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

accreditationLet’s get to know the background of this accreditation agency. NLNAC was first created in 1893. When the new Higher Education Act made some changes in the accrediting requirements and processes, the NLNAC was not able to comply. This made way to the entrance of the CCNE in 1998. There are people who favor the NLNAC accreditation because it supports a larger mixture of institutional missions and therefore provides greater opportunities for students. Some say that it had an explicit standard addressing a program’s integrity, which the CCNE lacked. Having an accreditation basically controls the profession’s quality and standards. They are referred as gatekeepers to quality. Through accreditation, students will be guided on what program or school to choose, determining the more dominant program and the more competitive. The two accrediting agencies have their own focus and standards.  Both have their pros and cons, but helps improve the quality and effectiveness of a nursing school.

Accreditation is very imperative for the forthcoming nursing student when choosing an entry-level nursing program. In the U.S., all nursing schools must have a license and an approval from the state where it is located. There are certain requirements that must be met by the school to be accredited. Whatever accreditation the school will use, it will enhance the quality of its nursing program which will create more competitive nurses.

 

Teaching Fundamentals of Nursing

If you are among those who find satisfaction in helping and looking after people, then nursing is the best suited profession for you. There is a great demand of nurses in the healthcare sector. Today, nursing staff are not only limited to medical centers, but they are also in demand at treatment centers, volunteer organizations, pharmaceuticals, hospices, jails, residential areas etc. Nursing is a growing profession with no signs of decline. Hence, the first step to start a profession in the patient care market is to get registered in a college of nursing. There are many universities, colleges and community colleges that offer programs on nursing for learners desperate to learn primary skills and fundamentals of nursing.

fundamentals_of_nursingHowever, the qualification for a person to engage in a degree in nursing is only after finishing secondary school. Once registered in the course, a person is taught the basics of the anatomy of the human body, physiology, chemistry, other basic nursing skills and ideas to handle sufferers properly. The fundamentals of nursing include the primary and important jobs of a CNA in the healthcare market. These primary responsibilities are activities of everyday life like bathing, washing, grooming, dressing, ambulation, exercising, feeding, etc. Apart from correct diagnosis and medications, the recovery of an individual also depends on the type of care and support he gets from the hospital staff. Hence, it is necessary to know and carry out the fundamentals of nursing concepts and practice efficiently. Most of the training programs accomplish direct placement to people who qualify with good grades.

A degree program in nursing is generally of three to four years. This program is separated into two parts. One part of the training is conducted into classrooms where learners are introduced to the fundamentals of nursing. This is called the Common Foundation Program. While the other aspect concentrates on the working experience and is performed in medical centers or medical organizations. After studying the primary principles in nursing, a person is needed to choose his/her field of expertise. For example, specializing to emotional wellness issues or specializing to studying problems or in nursing for children. Those people who opt for a degree course in nursing spend three years, while those who opt for a degree program in nursing are needed to study for four years. However, there are some organizations that provide a degree in nursing in just three years.

What RN Classes Give to Students

In the U.S., RN training is regarded to be extremely essential in preparing learners to take on the obligations that lie before them. If you want to become a nurse, it would be best for you to examine the various training choices that are available. You can start by determining accepted educational institutions that provide state-approved RN programs. You can also evaluate different educational institutions and choose the one that is not only ideally situated, but also one that costs a training fee that you can manage to pay. It is important for you to observe that the specifications for applying for RN classes vary from one school to another. The cost of training also varies based on the program of each school. It is also essential for you to be aware of the aspects that can disqualify you from searching for RN classes. One of the aspects is unable to successfully pass the criminal background check.

Most states also require every student to provide a duplicate of his/her criminal record report before he or she can be permitted entrance in any of the RN training facilities. Another thing that can disqualify you from applying for RN classes is deficiency of expertise in writing, reading and speaking English. It is also required that all candidates must hold at least a secondary school degree or a GED certification.

RN_classesIt is a comfort for economically deprived learners to know that there are various free RN training choices that are available. Such learners are recommended to check out local medical centers, assisted living facilities, treatment centers, recovery facilities and community facilities within the state and find out about the requirements used to figure out the qualifications free RN training. There are also various medical care facilities that provide free training to those who desire to become RNs. If you are already applied and would like to relocate from a CNA to an RN, you can talk to your company and your training may be assisted. However, your company will require you to sign an agreement in which you will have to accept to stay applied by that particular company for a particular period of time after your training. Take advantage of the various choices that are available for RN training and increase your possibilities of obtaining a reasonable job in the nursing field.

What are the Fundamentals of Nursing?

fundamentals_of_nursingThere is lot of training and education involved before anyone can be truly certified as a health professional. Anyone who intends to be a health professional has to meet up with certain specifications. Without satisfying those specifications, an applicant aspiring to be a nurse cannot join any hospital, medical center or any medical relevant institutions.

The beginning to starting the journey of becoming a nurse is to have a school certificate. It is essential to select a training institution that will provide the essential coaching, information and abilities to become a health professional. Someone who is interested in nursing should show interest in topics like health sciences and biology. Any topics relevant to science can also be very useful in gaining information and training to become a health professional. After finishing the basic programs, a student undertakes an advanced program such as Associate’s program in Nursing. An applicant also has to clear certain national examinations to be certified and registered as a nurse.

There are different requirements for qualifying for the best training institutions on nursing. Some of them include having basic information on first aid, interest in topics such as biology, anatomy of the human body, psychology, chemistry, terminology relevant to healthcare. Criteria or pre-requisites for becoming a health professional differ from nation to nation. In USA, nursing is a safe profession as the nurses are paid according to the spending program of the region. So what are the fundamentals of nursing which every ambitious health professional needs to know? To study and comprehend the fundamentals of nursing, it is essential to know the various factors in different stages. The first level contains knowing the “Fundamental nursing skills and concepts” which gives an introduction to nursing and gives details on nursing care, the procedure of nursing and ethical and legal aspects when it comes to nursing. The second stage is to comprehend the fundamentals of nursing procedure and practice. This contains communication, main symptoms and assessment of health, infection and details on key medication for various diseases. The concluding stage includes the physiological understanding of a range of practices needed to be a nurse.

Anatomy & Physiology Course Relevance

The Anatomy & Physiology course presents the structure and function of the whole human body. You will read about the cells, tissues and walls that make up our bodies and how our vital systems function to help us develop and stay in good health. In this course you will learn to:

  • Describe basic human body features and life process.
  • Name the significant human body systems and associate their functions.
  • Describe the physical locations, components and physical features of the primary elements of each significant system of the human body.

Human anatomy & physiology (A & P) courses are important to a scholar’s success in a nursing program; unfortunately, many beginner learners don’t realize the significance. Some learners who had an A & P class in high school most often learned to remember content; they did not apply what they learned to a practical situation. Other learners were never introduced to the topic in high school. Therefore, beginner nurses registered in individual anatomy & physiology often lack the critical thinking abilities necessary to implement theory to practice. Often they state being unable to comprehend how the topic will serve them in nursing and are more focused on the technical abilities, or ‘real nursing’ material. Seniors, on the other hand, often say they wish they had paid more attention in beginner A & P. With nursing practice, they quickly understand the significance of A & P.

Anatomy_and_PhysiologyTo help beginner nurses comprehend the nursing importance of anatomy & physiology, the writers designed a project giving senior student nurse guides to freshmen. Initially, the A & P trainer, who was missing nursing experience, was concerned with educating A & P material to nurses without providing relevant nursing illustrations. This concern led to the A & P trainer shadowing the critical care nursing trainer and senior nurses during nursing time in the intensive care unit (ICU) to see nursing application of A & P material to practice.

Clinical illustrations are abundant. For example, the A & P trainer saw a patient with serious Laennec’s cirrhosis suffering from severe ascites that was disrupting his respiratory status. Under the nursing teacher’s guidance, she examined, auscultated, and palpated the individual’s fluid-filled stomach and then observed as nine liters of liquid were removed through paracentesis with ultrasound examination. She still uses this research study when educating liquid balance and liver function. This is a great example of how an anatomy & physiology course can become relevant to a student in a nursing program.

Nursing Education Diversity

When you think of a nursing professional, what exactly is the first image that comes to mind? Chances are, you think of a woman and for valid reasons. Many professional nurses in the U.S. are white females. In fact, only about 6 % of nursing staff are men and, considering men make up approximately half of the population and minorities are 30 %, there’s a major difference in the career.

That difference is shown in equal measure in nursing educational institutions, both in the student population and staff. Experts claim improving the diversity in nursing education will improve nursing care by developing more culturally delicate nursing care employees with improved interaction abilities, reduced tendencies and generalizations and fewer inequities, as well as increasing the variety of the nursing education faculty.

nursing-educationAt a time when the healthcare system is faced with a nursing shortage caused at least partly by a lack of nursing teachers, some claim men and minorities signify a low competition resource for hiring new teachers. They believe that by developing new opportunities to entice typically underrepresented communities to the field, we can both fix the lack and create a considerable improvement to our healthcare delivery program. While minorities have made great progress in other typically white-dominated areas and ladies have done the same in typically men areas, nursing is one area where diversity projects seem to have been worthless.

In the case of men, much of the resistance to nursing as a career comes from a social understanding of nursing being a “female” career. Men say that while they enjoy the care giving aspects of the job, it’s difficult when others ask questions or make comments deriding their career choice. For example, male nurses report being asked why they did not choose to become physicians, with the connotation that they did not earn adequate grades or were too lazy to become physicians. In addition, men say that feeling left out of the career, with most training and expert development materials making reference to nurses as “she” and a female-centric approach to teaching and training.