Getting advice is always necessary, especially when you’re preparing to change careers to become a registered nurse. Fortunately, at Madonna University, you don’t have to look very far – our accelerated bachelor of science in nursing (ABSN) students are always eager to share their own personal tips for future accelerated nursing students. Here are their top five pieces of nursing school advice:
What inspired you to become a nurse? If you haven’t already been asked this question, chances are, you will be soon enough, and it’s important that you know how to respond. “If you do not have a motive for becoming a nurse, then it will be difficult to push through each semester,” says Ed Avena, Accelerated BSN student.
Your motivation may look different than that of your peers, and that’s OK. For example, you may be motivated about caring for patients while your classmate may be motivated by the opportunity to practice in different settings and different specialties. Your reasons for wanting to become a nurse should be as an individual to you as any other part of your identity. “Remember the reason why you chose nursing as a profession because at many points in the semester things will get exceptionally tough,” says Ed.
“Sometimes, your reason for becoming a nurse may be the only thing moving you forward when faced with difficult tasks.” – Ed Avena
As you journey through the ABSN@Madonna you will be surrounded by like-minded peers from all different ages and backgrounds. These individuals will serve as your biggest support system, so it’s important that you turn to them for encouragement and advice during times of need. “Be willing to listen to your classmate’s perspectives because it may just help you in the future,” says Ed.
Focused and successful people inspire those they’re around. Find a study buddy whose work ethic you admire and meet with them every week to review course material. Having this kind of support system in place allows you to concentrate on achieving the knowledge and skill set you need.
“You may not know everything about a subject or topic, but surely there is someone in your cohort that does and can explain it better for you. You learn from each other and build off of each other in this program.” – Kyle Stopa
Finding balance in the Accelerated BSN program is essential to your success. This is because the program includes a blended curriculum that consists of three components: online coursework, hands-on labs, and in-hospital clinical rotations. How exactly do you find balance? According to Ed, you have to stay organized from day one. “Falling behind or not getting things done early can cost you in an accelerated program,” he says. “Do your best not to let it happen, or it will be tough to bounce back.” Organization and planning will help you to actively study for your courses, which leads us to another important tip for accelerated nursing students.
There’s no such thing as last-minute cramming in the Accelerated BSN program. From the time you begin your first online course, you will have to understand the material and know how to apply it in real-world situations. “If you just memorize concepts you will lose it immediately,” says Kyle Stopa, Accelerated BSN student. “You need to fully understand materials so you can apply it to situations that will happen while in clinicals.”
As a student in the ABSN program, you will always have the chance to practice and refine hands-on nursing skills in open nursing labs. Taking extra time to apply the nursing theory concepts you’ve learned online in a risk-free environment will give you the confidence needed to succeed in clinical rotations.
Here are some ways to help you effectively learn course material:
• Create a study guide by topic: Come up with questions and problems and write complete answers. You can do this by creating your own quiz.
• Become your own teacher: Say the information aloud in your own words as if you are the instructor and teaching the concepts to a class.
• Make it personal: Come up with examples that relate to your own experience.
• Make it visual: Create concept maps or diagrams that explain the material.
Additionally, don’t forget to space out your studying over several short periods. The most effective practice is to focus on each class every day. “You have to actively study every day. This way you don’t get behind because there is a lot of material to cover,” says Taylor Kroeze, Accelerated BSN student. Keeping a list of tasks to complete on a daily basis will help you incorporate active studying sessions for each class.
How you view the ABSN@Madonna plays a big role in your success as a student, so be sure to treat it as a full-time job. Doing this will help you develop lifelong habits that will serve you in every area of your life.
Successful ABSN students understand the intensity that comes with a four-semester accelerated nursing program and are ready to put a serious amount of time and energy into their studies. Outside of hands-on labs and clinicals, they typically spend up to 40 hours a week on reading assignments, online learning objects, writing papers, and more.
Your nursing education will only last about two years, so it’s important that you dedicate the majority of your energy to the completion of courses in order to finish as quickly as possible and become the best nurse you can for future employment.
Tips for accelerated nursing students may be hard to find, but at Madonna University, we have you covered. Our accelerated BSN students are not the only ones to offer sage advice. You can also lean on your admission representative, instructors, and clinical faculty members as well.
Now that you understand what it takes to find success in the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, it’s time to get started. Contact an admission representative today.