From student to new grad RN

after graduation

Making the transition from nursing student to new grad RN is one of the most intense, nerve-wracking and amazing experiences you’ll ever have. Even though you’re excited, you’re likely also a little bit terrified. These tips for new grad nurses will help you ease into your new role like a pro.

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5 Time Management Tips to Start Your Shift

time management

Getting your shift off to a good start is crucial if you want to have a good day (or night). I’m a big believer in routines…and your Start-of-Shift routine (SOS) is one of the most important ones you’ll ever develop. Here’s my SOS…maybe it will help you develop your own! Here are the five things I always do right after receiving report.

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Compartment syndrome…oh the pressure!

compartment syndrome

Compartment syndrome, in the clinical setting, is considered an emergent situation that requires immediate treatment. Note we’ll be talking about acute compartment syndrome here, and not the chronic variety which is usually caused by muscular exertion. What we’re talking about here is a limb-threatening condition that, if left untreated, could result in loss of the affected body part, kidney failure and even death.

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Pro tips for nursing students and new nurses

nursing tips

If you don’t yet follow Straight A Nursing Student on Facebook…here’s a great reason to start! For all of May we’re posting “A Tip A Day” for all you nursing students and new nurses!

In addition, if we get to over 2,000 LIKES by the end of May, we’ll have a drawing for a Littmann Master Classic II stethoscope…but you’ve got to be a Facebook follower to get in the drawing! And, stay tuned for a great giveaway from Uniform Advantage to celebrate Nurse’s Week! So much good stuff…why haven’t you followed yet? Hmmm??? Hope to see you there soon!

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Hyponatremia Nursing Care


A few years ago a local radio station had a contest…Hold Your Wee for a Wii. The contest rules dictated that the contestants would drink copious amounts of water and whoever could hold their pee the longest, won a Wii game console. Despite numerous physicians and nurses calling in to the switchboard to tell them how dangerous this was, their pleas were ignored. They undoubtedly thought…”It’s water…what’s the big deal?” Well, the big deal was that the winning contestant went to bed that afternoon and never woke up. It was an enormous tragedy and absolutely beyond heartbreaking. I can’t imagine what her loved ones went through to have someone close to them die from such an avoidable event. Hyponatremia is deadly serious…and here’s what we’re going to do about it.

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What the heck is heliox?


I first encountered Heliox when working in ICU and assuming care of a patient with severe asthma. As the team brought her up from the emergency room, I saw the respiratory therapists pushing a huge cart with what looked like gigantic oxygen tanks. The patient was wearing an oxygen mask hooked up to these tanks via long tubing and working hard to breathe. As I would learn later, she was on Heliox and it made the difference between ending up on ventilator or improving enough to downgrade to telemetry the next day. Which she did. Go us!

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First semester clinical, demystified.

First semester clinicals

Starting your very first clinical rotation can be nerve-wracking, if not downright terrifying. Wondering what to expect in first semester clinical? Then this post is for you!

Before First Semester Clinical Begins

Before clinicals even start, you’ll need to learn a TON of new skills. This will most likely be done in your skills lab course, so be prepared to have a lot of reading, quizzes, prep and check-offs in your first couple of weeks of classes. Before you are set loose on real patients in the hospital, you’ll need to learn:

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Types of Nursing School Classes

nursing school classes

The question, “What kind of classes will I take in nursing school?” is one that comes up pretty often…and rightly so. Nursing school classes are a bit of a mystery and not knowing what to expect certainly adds to the anxiety and nervousness. Never fear, I’ve never let you down before and I’m not about to start now!

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