Monday, December 22, 2014

What? First Semester of Nursing School is already over?!

student nurse, nursing student, nursing exams

By: Jae Kook Lim, University of Central Florida
THE TITLE SAYS IT ALL!! Last week, I finished my very first semester of Nursing school. I am still in disbelief that it has gone by so fast. Seems like yesterday, I was just attending the nursing orientation with 120 strangers. BUT, it’s over. My peers and I have finished all of our check-offs for the requirement. Those have got to be one of the most stressful things to do; not because of every step needed to be memorized but more of the fact that we were given only two tries to do it. I know couple peers from the past who were held back because of these check offs. Although I was nervous beyond anything, I told myself that everything was okay. These check offs are there to ensure that the future nurses know what they are doing, not to fail people purposely. Honestly, who wants to have an incompetent nurse taking care of them? I wouldn’t!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Beginning and the End as a Nursing Student

Guest blog post by Jae Kook Lim

HELLO! My name is Jae Kook Lim and am currently attending the University of Central Florida College of Nursing. I began my college career in the summer of 2012 and I'm now in my third year of college. I am also the Student Senator, representing the College of Nursing to the Student Government Association and other Colleges. Since I started school, I have been remained active in the school life. In the past, I was an Orientation Team Leader 2013, Volunteer Teacher Assistant for Human Anatomy, dancers for Rukus Entertainment and Fresh off the Beat, student secretary for School of Social Work undergraduate and graduate, and peer adviser! The list goes on and on but from this, you can say that I am very active and enjoy being involve.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Passing NCLEX After Your First Failure: Lessons learned from Churchill

student nurse, nursing school, passing tests, test taking, graduating nurse

Several years ago I was asked by the Chicago Chapter of the Academy of Medical Surgical Nurses (AMSN) to speak about nurse heroes at their Holiday Celebration. The AMSN Chicago Chapter President, Cora Palmer, introduced me to Myia. Myia had graduated from nursing school but had struggled to pass the NCLEX exam. Cora encouraged Myia to reach out to me for help and support. 
I immediately felt a connection to Myia…Why? Because she was determined to do whatever it took to fulfill her dream of becoming a nurse. 
Myia Thompson
Myia and I had several conversations on the phone and via the magic of Skype. I shared my popular blog posts on test taking strategies and offered her my best tips on how to pass a multiple choice exam.
When Myia took the NCLEX exam again, unfortunately, she didn’t pass. I was heartbroken for her. But Myia said she would just try again; she wasn’t going to give up until she passed.
And then I received the most wonderful email. Myia passed!!! She finally made her dream of becoming a nurse a reality.
What did Myia do that worked?
·      Myia asked for help
Myia knew she needed help if she was going to pass the exam. Myia read my blog posts about test taking strategies, we scheduled time to talk on Skype, and she spent time with other experienced nurses (like Cora) to make sure she took advantage of everything!
·       Myia did what it took to prepare
Myia took advice from me and several other nurses. She took practice exams after practice exams. She attended prep course after prep course. Myia did what it took and never stopped preparing.
·      Myia never gave up on her dream
Many people would have given up. But not Myia. Once she made the decision to become an RN, she wasn’t going to let ANYTHING stop her – no matter how long it took.
Just imagine if Myia would have given up after the 1st, 2nd and even 3rd attempt. She wouldn’t be practicing a nurse today.
As Winston Churchill said so eloquently, “Never, never, never give up!”
Even if you've not passed the 1st, 2nd, or even 3rd time - NEVER QUIT!
Thanks for choosing to become a nurse. Take care and stay connected.

If you know someone struggling like Myia did, please share this blog post with him/her. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Nursing: A Sea of Options with an Ocean of Danger

nursing career, nursing options, specialty nursing, new nurse, nurse job, nurse

Sarah was so excited that she secured her first job as a nurse before she graduated, even though jobs were scarce in her community.  Sarah was hired in the OR at one of her community’s largest hospitals. She was a bit apprehensive at first, because Sarah was shy, easily intimidated, and struggled with confrontation. Although she heard about how stressful working in the OR was, she was way more excited about getting offered a job!
On her first day, one of the cardiothoracic surgeons screamed at her for getting close to his sterile field. At the end of the day, the lead OR nurse told her she needed to “grow a thick skin” if she wanted to be successful. Sarah left her first day in tears. Within 6 weeks, Sarah felt she had no choice but to quit.
What went wrong?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Tips for New Nurses: Effective delegation starts with understanding this

new nurse, graduate nurse, student nurse, nursing assistants

One of the biggest struggles new nurses face is learning how to effectively delegate to nursing assistants. Let’s say you’re 23 years old and get your first job on a busy cardiac unit. You quickly learn that the most of the nursing assistants are much, much older and have been there for centuries! When you meet them, they give you a look – a look that says, “We’ve been here for 30 years and we’re not about to let a young whippersnapper like you tell US what to do!” Seriously, I spend most of my time helping individual nurses and organizations eliminate nurse-to-nurse bullying but sometimes it’s not the nurses – it’s the nursing assistants!!! Many nursing assistants try to intimidate the new nurses on purpose so that they will be less likely to delegate to them.
However, the only way you can successfully provide high quality, safe and effective patient care is to learn how to work WITH nursing assistants (and others) and delegate.

Monday, May 19, 2014

3 important ways to grow new nurse wisdom

student nurse, graduate nurse, wisdom, nursing experience, nursing success, rtconnections

One year ago I made the decision to go back into clinical practice. I made this decision for 2 reasons: First, I still teach seminars with clinical topics (certification review courses, medsurg topics, etc.). It’s a credibility thing – I can’t teach about clinical topics if I’m not still practicing clinically!  Second, for me to be an effective keynote speaker and help nurses succeed, I need to know what they are going through.

Going back to the bedside after being away for such a long time (8 years) was the hardest thing I’ve ever done but it was the best decision I’ve ever made. Not only does this experience give me great stories to share while I teach, it gives me great insight and understanding to the challenges current and future nurses face.
This knowledge helps me to help you!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Congratulations Nursing Graduates! Your public is waiting for you

nursing school, nursing graduation, new nurse graduate nurse, renee thompson, rtconnections

Congratulations! You’ve just completed the 1st leg of your journey to becoming a competent and compassionate nurse. Getting through nursing school is a HUGE accomplishment!!!'ve earned the right to call yourself NURSE. However, with this title comes expectations with regards to competence and compassion.