5 helpful study habits – straight from nursing schools!

A Nurse’s Guide to Good Living
By: Scrubs


We all know there is nothing easy about nursing school, but even the best students often are shocked at just how intensive a program can be. In addition to all the time you must devote to actually being in school and clinicals, a big part of your success depends on how you manage your study habits.

Regardless of how you’ve done in your educational career up to this point, you’ll likely find it necessary to brush up on those study habits and refine your process. Fortunately, many nursing schools themselves offer tips to help student nurses succeed, and we’ve put together some of the best advice here.

Additionally, be sure to check out our 10 great tips for nursing school students (which also has some study advice), and if you’re still looking for a school, you may want to visit our Guide to Nursing Schools.

1. “Be Prepared to Be Overwhelmed” – Learn Time Management Skills

Okay, that’s not the most assuring statement to start this list, but it’s the exact advice Rhode Island Community College gives its future nursing students. Fortunately, the school offers some tips to help overcome this.

The first is that before you can properly manage your study habits, you need to first manage all of your time. The school offers ahandy chart to chronicling what you do with the 168 hours you have in your week. The chart is a good way to realize where all of your time goes, and how you can carve out enough for effective study.

2. “Plan It!”

Texas Tech University Health Science Collegeadvises you to plan out the specific studying you’ll do each day, pointing out that random studying leads to random grades. In addition to planning out the time you will study, be sure you have a place picked out that is great for studying. Choose a place that has as few opportunities for distraction as possible.

Another important piece of advice that may be a little less obvious is that you’ll want to plan your breaks as well. Particularly if what you are working on is reading intensive, you’ll probably want to take a break every 30-45 minutes to do something physical, like taking a walk (even if it’s a walk to get a snack!).

3. “Don’t Do It Alone”

Mid Michigan Community College offers some very interesting statistics that illustrate why you should always have at least one buddy with you whenever you study. On average, you’ll retain 20 percent of what you’re taught if you just rely on hearing it once in class, and you’ll retain 60 percent if you go over the information on your own again on your own time.

However, that retention rate jumps up to 90 percent when you study in a group and share the information with others. The article points out that there are other indirect benefits from group study, including encouragement and moral support.

4. “Don’t Be Disorganized”

Villanova University states that nursing students “receive an almost constant flow of information while completing their degree.” This is certainly true, and part of that flow is the materials you will be studying.

Be sure to keep all of this as organized as possible, whether that means in paper form or in specific folders on your computer. After all, it’s impossible to study what you can’t find.

5. “Schedule a Little ‘Me’ Time”

While all of these tips are important, a huge part of your studying success will be ensuring you take enough time for yourself to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Jacksonville State University advices that using your downtime to “treat yourself” – whatever that may entail for you – is crucial to keeping “yourself healthy in body, mind and spirit.”


7 ways to deal with REJECTION!

A Nurse’s Guide to Good Living
By: Scrubs Contributor


So you made decent grades in your prereqs and passed the entrance exam. Yet that dreaded rejection letter from your dream nursing school managed to arrive in your mailbox. It “regrets to inform” you that you didn’t make the cut. Should you wallow in sadness thinking you’re not good enough? Of course not! Brush it off and read on.

7 ways to deal with rejection

1. Remember your true calling. Nursing is a calling, and those who are called know they have a gift. “You have a responsibility to share that gift,” says LeAnn Thieman, coauthor of Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul. “You can’t let a rejection letter get you off course.”

2. Keep reapplying. “The more your application comes across the admissions desk, the sooner they’ll figure out you really want this,” says Jeremy, an RN student who applied 13 times over the course of four years before finally getting accepted this year. He says, “Your goals may take a while, but keep applying and don’t give up.”

3. Don’t let the schools tell you no. It doesn’t mean “no.” It means “not now.” This is how Dawn Koehn, BSN, defines rejection. It took her 10 years to complete her RN while raising three kids (including a special-needs child). “For all the times you felt you weren’t going to get there and got turned down, it’s worth it,” says Dawn. “Success is the best revenge.”

4. Keep busy. While you are waiting to reapply, prepare yourself for the medical field by volunteering at a hospital or working as a nurse’s aide. Study the nursing courses in advance so that you will be ahead of your class when the time arrives. This is what human behavior specialist Dr. John Demartini suggests. Dr. Demartini was a dyslexic high-school dropout-turned-chiropractor who taught himself how to read. Before beginning chiropractic school, he read his textbooks months in advance in order to keep up with his classmates.

5. Turn to your support system. It’s normal to feel depressed and to question your self-worth when receiving that rejection letter. When you feel this way, turn to your support system. “Your friends and family are a part of your confidence as well as your shelter,” says nursing professor Margaret Hegge, RN, MS, of South Dakota State University. “They are the ones you can always go back to, who give you a hug and tell you it’s okay.”

6. Have a plan B. Don’t limit yourself to one school. Apply to schools outside your region or state. Didn’t get into a BSN program? Then apply to an ADN or LVN program instead. This is what University of New Mexico academic adviser Ann Marie Oeschler, BSN, MA, tells students. “The more programs you apply to, the more you’ll increase your chances.”

7. Know exactly why. What did the other candidates have that you didn’t have? Perhaps your GPA needs improvement or you’re still missing prereqs. Email the admissions counselor and find out. Afterward, work on your areas of weakness. Then follow tips 1 through 6. Got it?

Tiffany Le is a former journalist and Marine. After helping her sister-in-law recover from a traumatic brain injury, Le was inspired to become a nurse. She quit her job as a reporter and works as a caregiver at a retirement home. She is currently applying to nursing school.

10 great tips for nursing school students

A Nurse’s Guide to Good Living
By: Linda Xiao Kang


As an aspiring nursing educator, I’ve spent plenty of time in nursing school and around nursing students. As a result, I’ve collected some useful advice for students on getting through nursing school. Some of these may seem obvious, but they can be easy to forget when you’re in the flurry of the program!

1. Self-care is crucial. Get enough sleep, drink plenty of water, exercise and apply what you’re learning in nutrition class to yourself. You have to be able to take care of yourself before you can take care of someone else.

2. Work hard with a system that works for you. Different study systems work for different people, and even for different classes. For example, I make videos in which I pretend I’m teaching the materials that I’m learning. Other methods include making up songs using medical vocabulary and using flashcards and acronyms. Find study methods that work for you. Nursing programs are difficult, so ignore the scuffs from your pre-med friends and make sure you’re putting everything you have into your classes. Remember that what you learn will be used to protect and save lives later in your career, so don’t just study for the grades—study to learn.

3. Develop good study habits and be organized. I found it helpful to prepare for classes by reading assigned materials that we would be covering a day before lectures, and then reviewing them within a day after the materials were taught. There have been scientific studies that say this is helpful to retain information. Being organized is important for almost anything you do. Have a big calendar on your wall with all the exam dates and other important dates, and also a personal calendar (paper or digital) for the daily tasks you need to do. There are plenty of books out there that will help you with organization skills. Our school has a learning center that helps students get organized and develop great study strategies.

4. Form a study group. Nursing programs are unique in that the group of people you know will most likely be with you throughout the program and take the same classes as you. So make friends! Even if you prefer studying by yourself, remember that nursing is a cooperative career where you have to work with others to give the best care to your patients. Your study group of nursing students can also become your support system, since they’ll know what you’re going through when you get frustrated or discouraged.

5. Ask your professors for help when you have questions. In clinical courses, ask your clinical instructor for help when you’re not familiar with the procedures. Also make sure to practice until you’re confident that you can do it right by yourself. Be sure to ask plenty of questions in your classes. In fact, be like the child who continually asks why something works the way it does. One question that I always asked my professors in my nonclinical courses was “How does this apply when we’re treating patients?”

6. Talk to senior nursing students for advice and tips. Most of the time, they can offer you lots of insight into a particular professor’s teaching style or tell you what to expect for certain classes you have to take. Some schools will even assign you nursing student mentors in addition to nursing professor mentors. Mentor program at schools can be helpful even for such things as book hand-me-downs, class notes and tips, study guides that nurses won’t need anymore, and tips on clinical locations. It’s valuable information that only a person in the program ahead of you would know.

7. Get some learning experience during the summer. If you’re not taking classes during the summer, consider an externship at a local hospital or community clinic, and review your textbooks for classes you’ve taken or will take. Whatever you do, definitely continue learning during the summer, even if you have a summer job. If you’re passionate about nursing, this won’t be hard to do, and you’ll be a lot more confident when the semester starts. Working in the clinical setting is invaluable experience that can make you more comfortable when the school year resumes.

8. Get a NCLEX review book. I didn’t put this on the list of things you could do for summer because you should be doing this even when it’s not summertime.

9. Believe in yourself and don’t give up. I said this at my high school commencement, and it applies to this day. When times get tough, remember the reason why you wanted to become a nurse in the first place, and call on your support system for help if you feel you’ve forgotten or you feel too overwhelmed. You’re not the only one going through this, so talk to your fellow nurses.

10. Remember to relax. Have a good sense of humor, don’t forget to laugh and breathe even when things get hectic.

BONUS ADVICE: Be the kind of nurse you would want if you were a patient yourself. This is the nursing version of the “GOLDEN RULE.”



NCLEX Test Taking App


Release Date: May 2014
Available on Google Play & App Store

Price: FREE


1. 20 different NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN questions per category (Initial 50 questions are installed in the app).

2. Timed questions – timer is hidden and will measure the test taker’s competency in answering questions.

3. Random Questions and Answers.

4. Performance rating at the end of each test.

5. Reminder note for the NCLEX Exam date.

6. More to come…..

Intravenous Therapy Education and Training Programs

Intravenous Therapy Education and Training Programs
By: Infusion Therapy Institute – Excellence in Intravenous Therapy Education


Basis and advanced comprehensive hands-on training programs are prepared according to the Infusion Nursing Society’s Standards of Practice and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

Who should attend: RNs, LPNs, new graduates, and allied healthcare professionals with little or no experience in IV therapy, and those who are longing to advance their career by obtaining in depth knowledge and precise skills to successfully insert and maintain vascular access devices.

Customized on-site Programs tailored to your facility’s needs and your clinicians, skills and experience are available at your locations.

Upcoming Events, Dates and Locations
Please log in www.infusioninstitute.com and refer to upcoming events for additional programs, dates and locations, fees and objectives.

Intravenous Therapy Certification program
16.0 CE Contact hours

March 31- April 1, 2014 》Hilton Grand Rapids Airport, MI
April 24 – 25, 2014 》Infusion Institute, Des Plaines, IL
April 29-30, 2014 》Hilton Garden Inn, Uptown Charlotte, NC
June 18 – 19, 2014 》Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL
September 25 – 26, 2014 》Infusion Institute, Des Plaines, IL
November 6 – 7, 2014 》Infusion Institute, Des Plaines, I
Ultrasound Guided PICC Insertion Training
12.0 CE Contact hours    
March 13 – 14, 2014 》Infusion Institute, Des Plaines, IL
April 2-3, 2014 》Hilton Grand Rapids Airport, MI
October 14 – 15, 2014 》Infusion Institute, Des Plaines, IL
Advanced Infusion Nursing Program
16.0 CE Contact hours
March 17 – 18, 2014 Ramada San Jose, CA
Home Infusion Nursing Program
8.0 CE Contact hours
March 12, 2014 》Infusion Institute, Des Plaines, IL
May 15, 2014 》Infusion Institute, Des Plaines, IL
October 12, 2014 》Infusion Institute, Des Plaines, IL
IV Skill Enhancement Workshop
4.0 CE Contact hours
April 22, 2014 》Infusion Institute, Des Plaines, IL
October 16, 2014 》Infusion Institute, Des Plaines, IL

Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16135. Provider is also a continuing education sponsor approved by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulations. License No: 236.000070

Professionalism in Nursing: What Does It Really Mean?

By: NurseTogether.com

In order to understand the concept of professionalism in nursing, we first need to define the word profession. Webster describes profession as a “chosen, paid occupation requiring prolonged training and formal qualification.”

Professionals, therefore can be defined as individuals expected to display competent and skillful behaviors in alignment with their profession. Being professional then is the act of behaving in a manner defined and expected by the chosen profession.

This framework for professionalism in nursing began with our early roots with Florence Nightingale who set the bar rather high in regards to giving herself to others and her expectation of excellence in nursing practice. She was an inventor, a visionary, a missionary and she delivered all with a commitment to passion and love.

We, as nurses, are no different. We bear the tremendous responsibility of upholding the values of our profession. Our core nursing values define the driving force that dictates our beliefs and our behaviors.

Nursing as a profession embodies many values inherent in those who pursue nursing careers. When nurses are asked to identify their core values, they are surprisingly consistent throughout the profession globally. They include honesty, responsibility, pursuit of new knowledge, belief in human dignity, equality of all patients and the desire to prevent and alleviate suffering. In other words, all of us as nurses have chosen this profession to help others in need and to improve the quality of life for all. That mantra has not changed since the days of Florence Nightingale.

So how does this transfer to the expectations of your practice wherever you interface with patients? Your professionalism will be judged in your personal behaviors and how you present yourself to all those around you, and through those behaviors, you tell the world who you are. Components of your professionalism include your attitude, your appearance, and your willingness to help others. Let us explore these a bit.


Attitude in nursing is everything! The way you view your world and portray that view to others is everything. I am sure that you all can identify someone in your work environment with a terrible attitude that does their best to make the rest of the staff miserable.

Unfortunately, many times they are successful pulling everyone into the puddle with them. People behave like this because they are looking for attention and by sucking everyone else into their drama, they get that attention and control the environment. This type of behavior is counter to the expectations of the nursing profession to focus on helping others rather than focusing on our own problems.

Personal issues need to be left at home and not taken into the work area. There are always going to be times when we face issues in our lives that threaten our positive outlook. I find it helpful to be grateful for everything I have. I believe that waking up in the morning is the best thing that can happen to me and the rest of the day becomes a gift.

I had the opportunity to meet a wonderful woman who lost her daughter to cancer recently. A tremendous lesson for her was to be grateful for every minute she had with her daughter and to convert the “have to’s” to the “get to’s.” When her daughter was depressed that she had to go for more chemotherapy, she reframed that to the fact that she “got to” go for more chemotherapy, which kept her alive for much longer.

If we begin to be grateful for what we have, our whole outlook on life changes and the way we relate to people becomes more meaningful. Be grateful because you “get to” be a nurse, you get to pick up your kids from sports, you get to go grocery shopping, you get to wake up in the morning – the list goes on and on.


There is no way around the fact that people judge you by your personal appearance. Clean scrubs, neat hair, clean shoes and a well groomed look makes the statement that you care about yourself as a person and therefore have the capacity to care about others.

People that look sloppy may be perceived by others as unorganized, lazy, and uncaring. If you do not care about yourself, how can you truly care for others? A little attention to how you look goes a long way to display your professionalism.

Willingness to Help Others

What has amazed me in my nursing career for over 35 years is the observation that nurses do not necessarily support each other, as we should. There needs to be solidarity in our profession, and yet, what I have observed, is a more individualized approach where we, as nurses, are more worried about ourselves than the whole of the profession. This translates into your willingness to help others and to work together as a team, as well as speak positively about your profession whenever you can.

Remember, your profession is different from your nursing. At times, we, as nurses, may tend to talk negatively about the nursing profession because we do not like where we work, and that you have control over. There is no question that nursing is a tough profession, both physically and mentally, and that with changes in the economy and the pressures of health care reform, the work environment will become even more challenging.

To survive and actually thrive in nursing, we will all need to pull together as a profession and begin by working together at the bedside and being great team players willing to support each other. Something magical happens when we give to others; wonderful things begin to come back to us in far greater ways than what we have originally given.

My parting message to you all is that we, as nurses, the most trusted profession in the world, have so much to give. Show the world how wonderful we are by always putting your best foot forward not only for yourself, but also for all of us in this wonderful profession! You go nurse!