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Home Explore Letter from a Current Student

Letter from a Current Student

Published by kbakrim123, 2016-11-21 15:39:15

Description: Letter from a Current Student


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Dear Future Accelerated BSN Student, First and foremost, congratulations on being acceptedinto TTUHSC’s Accelerated BSN Programs; they don’t letjust anyone into this program. You were chosen for areason. The selection committee saw in you what it takesto be successful in this program and what it takes to be anamazing nurse. Remember that this year, because the yearahead is going to be a challenging one. Keep your eye on theprize, and keep working toward your goal. While it’s a fast and furious year, this is the bestaccelerated nursing program for BSN students in Texas.You will not get this kind of immersive clinical experienceanywhere else. When the year is over, you will be confidentand ready to walk into the hospital and take a full patientload because you have been working towards that goal allyear. You will be familiar with how the hospital operates,comfortable interacting with patients and colleagues, andable to use nursing judgement to make correct decisions onyour patients’ behalf. All of the hospitals hold TTUHSCaccelerated BSN students in high regard. They know thatthis program produces top tier nurses, and they want tohire you. Because you completed this program, you willhave an opportunity to hire into many nursing positions

that are not normally open for new grads. Remember thiswhen you are in the thick of it this year (because thisprogram is not easy); there is a reason why this programproduces phenomenal new graduate nurses.Following is a list of advice that has helped me be successfulthis year:• Don’t buck the system. This program is hard. Accept it. This program also works. There is a reason why this program produces top notch nurses. They know what they are doing, and the faculty is on your side. Go into this year with blind faith, and trust in the program and your faculty.• Find a study group. Don’t just find any study group; find one that studies and takes notes similarly to you. You cannot do this program on your own. Don’t even try. You do not have time to read all of the material on your own. You need a core group of people who you trust to take good notes to divide work up with.

• Share everything with your classmates. You and your cohort are in this together. This is not a competition to see who can do the best in school. You need to help, carry, and encourage each other all the way to the finish line. If you have study materials, study guides, templates, suggestions, answers, etc., share them with everyone. It is in everyone’s best interest to take on a “no man left behind” attitude towards your classmates• Find some type of stress relieving activity that is just for you, and no matter what, do it on a regular basis. Whether it be some kind of exercise (running, going to the gym, a kickboxing class, etc.), yoga, meditation, inspirational reading in the morning, date night with your spouse, certain activities you do with your kids … find something to do on a fairly regular basis that relieves stress and promotes healthy living to give you a brief “time out” from school. Then – the key is to do it no matter what.• Communicate with your lead faculty. Tell them everything, ask them questions, ask for guidance, share frustrations and concerns with them, ask for help, inform them of schedule conflicts as soon as they arise, and ask

for clarification. They are in your corner and want you to succeed. With that being said, let them know that you appreciate them. As with all relationships, professional and personal, treat them with respect, thank them for their help, and apologize when you are wrong. It is in your best interest to build a mutually respectful and appreciative relationship with your faculty members.• If you are used to being a straight A student, get over it now. You are probably going to get some B’s this year, and that’s okay. There are points in each semester where so many classes, assignments, clinical shifts, and tests overlap that you just do not have the time you need to study as thoroughly as you would ideally like to study. You will have to make choices to do a little less for one class so you can focus a little more on another. Prepare yourself for this. This program is incredibly time consuming. Thinkabout it. You are about to complete 60 credit hours in 11months; that’s 20 credit hours a semester. I don’t knowabout you, but when I was in college getting my firstdegree, I occasionally took 15 credit hours when a coupleclasses were a cake walk, but for the most part, I took 12credit hours a semester. In addition to the course work,you will be in clinical for one or two 12-hour shifts every

week. Those shifts take the entire day (usually 6:30 am/pm– 7:45 am/pm); this leaves no time on these days foranything else. Marinate on these time requirements for asecond, and be realistic with yourself because you are goingto be very busy this year. With that being said, these timerequirements are also manageable. Remember that time isa commodity. Guard your time and use it wisely. I held onto my job as a patient care technician thisyear in order to maintain those professional relationshipsand keep a foot in the door at a hospital I may want towork at when I graduate. I went “PRN” when the schoolyear started and am only required to work two shifts amonth. Although I am very strategic about when I schedulethose shifts, and my manager is incredibly flexible with me,those two shifts a month often cause a great deal of anxietybecause I have so much homework I could otherwise bedoing. There is absolutely no way I could work more than“PRN” and still be successful in this program. The programcoordinators are absolutely correct in discouraging studentsfrom working during the school year. Don’t fool yourselfinto thinking that you are the exception. There’s no reasonto cause yourself that added stress. Those students that tryto work more than a couple shifts a month sufferacademically.

Time management is the key to success this year …seriously! You have so many tests, assignments, simulationdays, clinical conferences, and clinical shifts to keep trackof, you have to keep yourself organized.Following are some time management tips that haveworked for me this year:• Scrap the phone calendar, and buy an old school, physical paper planner. You have so much going on at once that you need to have it all written down somewhere. The calendar on my phone simply didn’t cut it; I had to go back to the tried and true, physical paper planner. I write everything in that planner and have it with me at all times.• Plan your week in advance, and stick to your schedule. This was a practice I used in my previous career, and I have found it to be incredibly useful in all manners of my professional and academic life. A phrase we frequently threw around in my previous sales career was, “schedule is your lifeline, break it and you die.” When you create a schedule and a plan before the week starts, then you don’t have to make emotional, on the spot decisions about tedious tasks and “to do” list items. It’s on your

schedule, this is when you’ve decided to do it, so you do it. It simplifies everything and contrary to popular belief, keeping a tight schedule actually creates more free time. When you deviate from, or “break”, your schedule that’s when you waste time, become wishy-washy on your decisions to do things, get behind on assignments and studying, and become more stressed. (This is the break it and you die part of the phrase!)• Get up early and get to work. It feels amazing to cross a bunch of tasks and assignments off in the morning and sets you up to have a productive day.• Eliminate distractions. It is easy to get caught up in house work, errands, cleaning, etc. when you are at home trying to study. I have found I am much more productive with my school work when I get out of the house and go to a coffee shop or the library for the day. You may not necessarily need to leave your home to study, but figure out a way to minimize distractions while you are studying.• Make sure your friends and family understand how busy you are going to be this year. They will understand

because they love and support you. But seriously, I have had to say no to the majority of the social invites I have gotten this year and have wasted more money on concert tickets that I wasn’t able to attend. My friends and family understand my schedule though. They know if they don’t hear from me for a couple weeks, it’s not personal; I’m just in nursing school. They all check in and keep me in the loop with all the social events but know that I’m probably not going to be able to attend. They know that if I can work it into my schedule, I’ll be there, but if not, there’s no hard feelings. On that note, don’t feel guilty saying no this year. Everyone will understand. Support from family and friends is an absolute must.This program is hard, and I cannot stress enough how timeintensive it is. You will be sleep deprived and tired. Clinicalshifts and patient encounters will evoke a wide range ofemotions. In one form or another, you will experience thehighest highs and the lowest lows this year. I promise it isall worth it! However, you need a support system in yourcorner cheering for you. Share your goals and purpose withyour loved ones before the school year starts. Reallyprepare them for what lies ahead. Ask them to be a sourceof encouragement and to help you remember your goalswhen times get tough and stressful. You need to be on the

same page. Negativity and a lack of support from lovedones will bring you crashing down when you are in the thickof it and stressed to the max this year. I have found the faculty to be extremely available andsupportive. The faculty want to see you succeed. Theymake themselves very available through many differentcommunication methods. I have made numerous phonecalls to class professors asking for clarification and guidanceon various assignments and have always been received withwarmth and an eagerness to help. Many of the facultyactually hold “virtual” office hours online so that you canmeet with them “face-to-face” to discuss topics. The sitecoordinators are always prompt at returning messages andwilling to help as well. With that being said, there arecertain expectations for communication that must be met.For example, communication about clinical shifts shouldalways be made in Sakai. This ensures that an “official”record of your conversation is recorded. Communicate withyour site coordinators, inform them of schedule conflicts assoon as they arise, share your concerns, and ask forclarification rather than assume anything and they will bemore than willing to work with you and help you findsolutions.

I hope you will find this information helpful as youbegin the journey ahead. Remember that this is an honor,and you are about to begin the most rewarding career.Good luck to you! -Melissa Gilson (Second Degree BSN) & Matthew Reed(Veteran to BSN) Class of 2016

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