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.

Basic RN Classes

There are many Universities that now offer web based programs or have a distance studying program for certain degrees. Learning management systems would also be a good spot to look as they have an extensive selection of programs that cover all careers and degrees. You can complete a lot of your studying or studying online, however, you must be present for your clinicals. With nursing, it needs not only a lot of knowledge, but also practice routine. You are not going to understand how to successfully do everyday tasks such as putting in an IV to a person if you don’t actually practice on a person. However, you can get a lot of your RN classes out of the way by completing them online. Do some research, check out what schools offer distance learning programs or what other online schools have the RN classes necessary to help you complete your training.

RN_ClassesTo become an RN, you only need a 2-year Online Degree in Nursing (ASN). There are also ‘fast-track’ programs that will allow you to produce your LPN degree in about 10-12 months, but they will load the work on you during that interval. A lot of the LPNs usually work in assisted living facilities or physician offices. Pay ranges are going to be based on your experience, the shift that you like and the setting in which you want to work.

Most programs offer RN-BSN programs solely so RN’s are able to work and go to school. But to get your main RN licensure, you must have a certain number of hours of classroom times to do the RN classes and you also have to work a certain clinical site (where you work in a hospital or long term care service while attending school). This is done to make sure that you successfully pass your tests, since a lot of them are hands-on.

RN Classes and Training Online

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurse is among the top 10 professions with the largest job growth. A registered nurse (RN) requires a large base of knowledge used to evaluate, plan and get involved to promote wellness, prevent disease and help sufferers deal with illness. When providing direct patient care, nursing staff observe, evaluate and record symptoms, responses and progress, which provides the basis for proper care planning and involvement. They are wellness teachers and supporters for sufferers, families and communities.

healthcare workers using laptopThe RN nursing programs are requirements of recent times, as the certification they offer to the nursing staff are essential for them to progress later on. Many individuals like to go to universities for study, while in the present busy world, individuals aren’t getting enough time for them to go to the colleges. Hence, online RN classes are a trend currently. Nevertheless, there are individuals who believe that universities provide the quality of study that’s unmatchable in comparison to study which is offered on the internet. This completely relies on the idea of individuals. Hence, online RN classes are really a good way through which a health professional turn into a registered nurse and can improve their degree. Through this, a health care professional needs to be present at the evaluation known as National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

The way of functioning of an RN health professional relies on the ecological situation of the medical center and on its work structure. Nevertheless, RNs have been considered as the absolutely most important unit of the entire health system. The very first thing that must be done by a nurse is to put up an efficient course of action for their sufferers, since this technique helps in the appropriate nursing of the patient. Some activities included by the plan, such as the appropriate checking of the doses, avoiding too much interaction and providing appropriate dose of medicines to the sufferers. Therefore, these activities are being considered as the main area of an efficient strategy of an RN.

Questions to Ask Before Enrolling in an Online LPN Class

What you know may not be enough to get you through getting an online LPN course. This will help you figure out questions that you did not ask during the path of practical nursing application. For one to get the appropriate answers, one must ask the right questions. That concept is applicable when seeking for an online LPN class. Below are some of the most significant questions that you must consider.

Which is less expensive, a regular LPN course or an online LPN program? If you would compare costs in terms of college tuition, an online and a regular LPN programs is actually just the same. On the other hand, the reason why online LPN is considered less expensive is because you can undoubtedly save from housing and travelling costs and you can easily obtain an entire material on the internet from the college’s website, which considerably reduce your costs with purchasing books.

online-lpn-programsWhat are the courses that are usually trained in these programs? Online courses have the same objective as regular courses. The main objective would be on providing and preparing learners on nursing values, advanced skills on patient care and different necessary practical nursing procedures within a medical care setting. Majority of programs have courses like first aid, dose computation, medical terminology, documentation and obstetrics.

What are the different requirements for the online course? Like its campus-based equivalent, on the internet LPN courses need you to complete secondary school. Most online schools require a CGPA that is usually between 2.0 – 2.5. The programs should be cleared with no less than an ACT of 18 and a minimum grade of C+. There are also nursing schools that need completing courses like anatomy and physiology which is a basic requirement of an LPN program.

Where should I look for online LPN classes? You would be able to look for online LPN classes at different organizations that offer not-so-distant quality learning services. You can surf through the internet and check if there are medical or nursing schools offering online LPN classes within or near your area.

Fundamentals of Nursing

The nursing education that a nursing professional has obtained will play a large part towards the critical thinking abilities that he or she is going to use at work. But before any nursing expert should think of studying the advanced course on the world of nursing, they must first master the fundamentals of nursing before going for areas of expertise and further credentialing.

nursingA lot of nursing staff are considering a better job right away when they step into the world of nursing. Everyone is so qualified that they feel that the need of a high level nursing education and studying or applying for RN programs is a must for them to have as soon as they can, so that they can move up the corporate ladder in the healthcare field. This attitude somehow delivers a beneficial feel, but there is still a flaw to it whenever the nursing specialist overlooks the essential areas of indulging on advanced nursing programs. It is essential for the nursing professional to master the fundamentals of nursing first before he or she is able to relocate from their present profession in nursing. This thought is often neglected, but it will become a large aspect as they achieve the end line of a better job and they will understand that they have gaps that were not able to fill up all along.

The high quality of nursing education from the training organization is also an essential aspect towards the nurse’s skills and potential. As long as he or she was able to obtain a top quality nursing education, then it will most likely show up with his or her efficiency as a nursing professional in nursing care facilities. There are just factors in nursing that have to be learned properly and cannot just be dictated by common sense. This is why they must value the nursing education that they are going to get out of their bachelor’s degree, because all of the topics and subjects trained in there are not just given to give themselves a hard time, but it is because they are going to be needed by them once they are at the professional level.

RN Classes and Online Training

The LPN to RN on the internet degree programs have been designed for professionals who have legitimate licensure as certified practical nursing staff. LPN to RN on the internet programs are available at the associate’s and bachelor’s degree and can take one to two years to finish. In order to be eligible for a registration, the student will need to have completed a determined amount of clinical hours, monitored in a medical facility. A student who is registered in this system will finish the majority of their RN classes on the internet; however, some in class time will also be required. Through school web servers, the student can access live or documented lessons, finish projects and get involved in class conversations.

RN_classesA student will utilize webcams and other tools to enhance class conversations and to observe certain methods. Many educational institutions will also require that a student meet on campus for the clinical portion of this method. LPN to RN classes on the web are based on the student’s general knowledge of the nursing industry and the practical knowledge they have obtained while working in it. A student will research specific subjects and issues in medical care and nursing and will also examine the role and responsibility of the nurse.

RN classes on behavior health will allow a student to become familiar with diseases that can be a result of an individual’s social and emotional wellness. Learners will discuss the methods that are used to identify disease symptoms and will also research the methods for advertising a healthier lifestyle. The family medicine class will provide students with a look at the skills that are needed for providing medical care to families. Patient assessment and evaluation will be the primary focus for this course and students will learn hands on how to take vital signs, provide shots and how to perfectly document the condition of the patient.

National League for Nursing and International Nursing Programs

National_League_for_NursingThe Vision for the Nursing Education Pathway and the ADN is to be recognized regionally and worldwide for providing top quality, impressive, nursing education and for advertising quality in nursing practice. The Accreditation Commission for Nursing Education (ACEN) was formerly the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC). It provides specific certification for nursing education by assisting the interests of nursing education, nursing practice and the public. The ACEN claims that certification is a non-reflex, nursing instructor opportunities self-regulatory procedure by which educational organizations or programs meet or surpass requirements and criteria for academic quality.

The procedure includes an exterior review and an affirmation of values. Accreditation would also ensure ongoing top quality improvement by enhancing resources spent, procedures followed and results obtained. The certification program is not unique to all. All nursing programs whether a Degree, Associate, Bachelor’s or Master’s degree must follow the same program to be approved. The ACEN is the only company in the United States that grants certification to Practical, Diploma and Associate degree nursing programs. ACEN or National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission has given International nursing programs the opportunity to follow best practice guidelines for nursing education and to be included in the certification procedure. In order to apply for candidacy and following certification, the following must be in place: Positioning within a regulating company that is approved by an approved accrediting organization or maintains unconditional acceptance by the appropriate regulating organization that has legal power for education programs.

Placement within a regulating company that is approved to allow the certification granted at the completion of the program. Finally, the nursing program must have commenced; hence, the process for certification could not start until the program started in January of this year. The normal need for international programs is that the program has to be in operation for at the least, 5 years and have completed at the least, three classes of nursing graduates.

Accreditation Watch

Unaccredited nursing programs will gladly greet you, take your cash, and disgorge you into the job market where you will be at a serious drawback in comparison to graduates from approved programs. How does this work? State boards of nursing agree to educational institutions of nursing and have the power to shut down a nursing program. Their job is to protect the public, so if they are pleased that the university is doing an acceptable job of turning out certified, safe graduates who are passing the NCLEX at a good rate, they will agree to the program. This is done on a state-by-state level and approval is not the same as accreditation.

Two bodies take care of accreditation in the United States: the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission or NLNAC and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or CCNE. These bodies make sure national requirements and reliability of nursing curricula and are available completely to make sure the reliability of nursing education across the country. They do not have the power to shut down a college of nursing, but they can take their accreditation to sanction the system.

NLNAC

Why would a nursing university not be accredited? These organizations require master’s-prepared staff, and not all programs have enough teachers with this education, particularly programs for practical nursing staff. Accreditation is also expensive. The site visits cost the program money, as do the yearly account charges for the accrediting body. In addition, the university must often pay teachers for a longer period invested in planning for the visit by the accrediting body. And, of course, sometimes the university does not meet the national requirements established by the accrediting organizations for educational institutions of nursing.

Most nursing programs that are approved by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission say so noticeably on their publications or Web sites. If the program you are looking at does not say anything about accreditation, that is a red flag and should immediate investigation work. Do not be shy about asking, either. You’re about to spend a lot of cash on your nursing education and you do not want to reach the finish line only to find that it did not really count for anything.

A Collaborative Model of Nursing Education

A new effort designed to ease the conversion between associate and baccalaureate degree nursing programs started out to its first class of learners this summer. Based at the School of Nursing at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA), the program enables learners with associate degrees in nursing (ADN) to earn baccalaureate degrees in nursing (BSN) in 12 months. Supporters of the program see this as a big improvement over the typical ADN-to-BSN conversion, which can take learners two years to complete and often includes repetitive training because of unreliable curricula across nursing educational institutions. It will also enhance diversity in the nursing employees and help develop more wellness professional management, followers said.

“The idea is that learners will get their BSN in a year with no repeating of courses,” said Mary Dickow, MPA, state-wide director of the California Action Coalition, a group of wellness professional management and nurse champions who will work to enhance nursing and nursing care in situations by changing the nursing career. The California Action Coalition is a part of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, a national campaign supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and AARP that is attempting to convert health care through nursing.

nursing_educationThe CSULA programs draws from a white paper on nursing education upgrade, called the California Collaborative Model for Nursing Education (CCMNE), which was released in 2008 by the California Institute for Nursing & Health Care. The model set out in the white paper and now implemented at CSULA, has been duplicated in other configurations around the state.

The program’s overall goal is to create a more highly knowledgeable nursing workforce, which is needed to ensure there is an adequate supply of nursing staff and to enhance the quality of care. Research has shown that BSN-prepared nursing staff provides more secure care, in part because of their background in pathophysiology and because of their understanding of disease procedures, Judson said. Equipped with this type of nursing education, many companies in the region are now demanding that new nursing staff hold bachelor’s degree or higher, leaving ADN-prepared nursing staff with less job opportunities. This program is a life line that allows many to continue their nursing careers.