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5 must-read tips for new nursing students

It’s that time of the year. The calm before the storm for all those individuals who have been accepted into nursing school and are waiting for their journey to start.

You have roughly a couple of months before that infamous first day of school, so I thought I’d share a couple of must-have tips that I think will help you in those first few weeks of your new adventure. Here are five tips, along with some videos, that might help.

Sit in the front of the classroom

The front is where there are the fewest distractions. It’s all about intention and attention. The front of the room is where all the action is, people. You’re forking over a lot of money to advance your education and your career; you might as well get your money’s worth, right? (Hint of sarcasm there). I talked about your first day of nursing school on Scrubs Beat, and my very first tip? Sit in the front!

Be remembered

In a good way, of course! Don’t be another face in the crowd. The next time your professor or instructor sees you, you want them to call you by name. They know your name because you gave them a reason. This act will serve you well in the months to come. When you go to ask for help with job placement and interviewing, you want them to remember you. Trust me.

Be the volunteer

It’s not only a great character trait, but it affords you some leeway in the “mistakes” department, if you know what I mean. As a green-behind-the-ears nursing student (at any level of education), you’re going to make mistakes. Get used to it. Why not be the first to make the mistakes? When you wait to be last to perform a duty or skill, you are expected to be almost perfect, because those before already made mistakes and you should not repeat their performance. So, in essence, volunteering allows you to be the first to screw up!

Know what kind of learner you are

Are you a visual, tactile or auditory learner? Do you need graphical representations? Or can you get by with just words on paper? Do you do better in complete silence? Or do you need studying music? Do you study better at home? In your dorm? In a library? How about studying alone? In a group? Do you pre-read the material being presented, or do you do better reading after the lecture? What about distance education? How well do you listen to lectures via webcam?

As you can see, this is not a simple discussion. Know what your strengths and your weaknesses are.

Study within a group

Even if you prefer to study alone, at least try it once. You can gain quite a lot from studying with others…the least of which is discovering how much you DON’T know. You can not only learn more about the material and topics you are studying, but you also gain some insight into how others study–how they organize their thoughts, what study queues they use, how they utilize their time, what study aids they use, etc.

Also, keep in mind there is a social aspect to the group study adventure. The socialized studying, whether you know it or not, actually helps you remember better. When is the last time you recalled information because of what someone said or did? How about remembering something purely because it was entertaining? How often have you or a fellow student said, “Remember that one time…”?

Psst: If you haven’t heard yet, I’m on YouTube now (hold back your shock and awe…). Yes, the long-time “word” blogger is wading into the video blogging world. Now, on top of reading my blog posts here, you can check me out over at Scrubs Beat for weekly episodes released every Wednesday. The well-known Katie Duke, who has been featured here on Scrubs before, and I talk about all things nursing. Stop on by and leave a comment!

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