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I have homework… January 20, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Student Life.
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.. and my nursing classes don’t even start till Monday.

I now have all the textbooks I ordered from Amazon… All I need is a Saunders Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX-RN. Apparently it’s the book for our NCLEX review class. It wasn’t listed at the bookstore, but it’s on the syllabus. The same syllabus that was posted just today. Go fig. But that’s ok. I don’t have syllabi for my other nursing classes. I’ll take a look at what they have at the bookstore tomorrow. (I may just order from Amazon again.)

Anyway, I have some work to get done. I want to get ahead… because I have a feeling if I DON’T stay above water, I’m going to D-R-O-W-N this semester.


Getting ready… January 10, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Student Life.
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132 days till graduation. A week and a half till I go back to school.

I ordered my books online today. I can’t remember the last time I did that… but I can definitely recall WHY I don’t normally shop online for my textbooks. I hate waiting! 

Another downside is that I won’t get to start reading before classes start. When you’re in nursing school, they throw you right in. The intro, if one exists, is often abbreviated. Take out your syllabus. Look over it. Honor code, class objectives, grading, tentative schedule. Any questions? No? Let’s proceed. In most of my classes you’re expected to already have read the syllabus, having printed it out or bought it from the bookstore.

PowerPoint slides for the lecture should already be printed out and ready. Nobody really bothers about taking roll, because at this point in the game nobody dares to miss the first class. I did once have an instructor who had her first class before school was even technically in session for the semester. Those who did not get the memo were pretty much SOL.

Anyway, I’m going on campus tomorrow to pick up my syllabus. While I’m at it, I should probably buy a parking permit and get my TB skin test.

Ooh, how exciting!

study aids January 9, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Student Life.
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133 days till graduation. If I make it through with my sanity intact.

My program has us doing ATIs. The last proctored ATI exam I took was the RN-Comprehensive, which projected I will do well on the NCLEX… but I’m not satisfied. I’ve heard that ATI doesn’t fully prepare you for the labyrinth that is NCLEX. How can it?

I was at Borders today looking through all the NCLEX review materials they had. Three bookcases filled with nursing and medical books and boxes of notecards all haphazardly shelved together. There was no order. None, as far as I could tell. I looked through them… Saunders, Mosby, Kaplan, etc. Where do I start? What’s best?

I bought a Kaplan NCLEX-RN strategies book.

There is an optional case studies class I enrolled in this coming semester. It should help with content and critical thinking. Previous students have dubbed it “NCLEX prep”… I hope it lives up to the nickname.

My next step? Find a good box of pharm flashcards.

Books January 8, 2010

Posted by futurenightnurse in Student Life.
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134 days.

After tuition, rent, and food, books are the next biggest money eater. My first semester of nursing school I think I paid over $1000 for books alone! That includes books for: Fundamentals, Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, Physical Examination, Clinical Skills, Gerontology, Neuman’s, Nursing Diagnoses, Manual for Diagnostics & Labs, Med Reference, Nursing Dictionary, plus ATI package. (Phew! Did I miss anything?) I want to say I spent about $2000 total, including PDA, PDA software, uniforms, shoes, and supplies… Luckily, the so-called starter package was meant to be used throughout the program with only a couple more textbooks each subsequent semester.

You may or may not have to buy 3 boxes of books like I did. (Yes, there literally were 3 boxes!) Go to your bookstore before classes start to beat the rush! Here are a few other tips:

Tip #1
Buy used. If available. (That’s a big DUH!) However, I’ve found that nursing books are hardly ever available used, since nursing students do tend to use their books through the program. Which leads me to…

Tip #2
Don’t sell your book back unless you’re absolutely, positively sure you won’t need it again. I know people who sold their books back only to be sorry later… If anything, ask an instructor or another student who’s further along in the program. (But I still think your best bet is to keep the books!)

Tip #3
This one goes back to tip #1. Check out online prices. Personally, I prefer Amazon.com. Remember, online textbook shopping is not without its drawbacks. In addition to checking out the seller’s rating, I always check out how far they live from me and how fast the shipping is going to be. No way I want to be without my book on the first day. (Believe me, you will need your books the first day.)

Anyway, I have my book list… thanks to my university bookstore’s online service! I have the ISBNs and I am off to Amazon.com to compare the prices. Then on Monday I’m going on campus to see what they have available used!

Any tips you want to add?