Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

Nursing school supplies you never knew you needed

nursing school supplies

If you’re a nursing student (or about to be), you already know that you need a stethoscope, tons of pens and highlighters and a reliable alarm clock. But here are a few nursing school supplies you may not even know you need (but you’ll absolutely LOVE life more if you have them!)

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The most common types of difficult patients and families…and how to deal

difficult patients

Are you heading into your 4th semester preceptorship, or perhaps you’re a new grad getting ready to start out on your own. By now you’ve seen a glimpse of some of the types of difficult patients/families that the RNs have had to deal with. Sometimes the challenge is subtle and easily handled…like the patient with 10 family members who all call for separate updates (that one’s easy…designate ONE spokespserson), or it could be more overt with hostile, aggressive behavior that makes you question the continuity of your own personal safety.

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PodQuiz Fundamentals 2: Episode 10

Nursing Fundamentals

Think you know your nursing fundamentals? Listen to this PodQuiz and find out!  In this episode, we cover:

  • Bowel elimination
  • Ostomies
  • Enemas
  • Occult blood and pH testing
  • Urinalysis
  • Latex allergies
  • Sterile field

What’s a PodQuiz? It’s essentially flashcards for your ears! Nurse Mo asks a question, pauses while you answer, then states the answer…it’s a fantastic way to study while you’re on the go, exercising, commuting, folding laundry, making dinner, feeding the baby, getting your nails done….you get the idea.

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Clinical calculations

clinical calculations

As an RN, you’ll find that you need these four basic calculations almost every single shift you work. In this post we’ll cover what they are and why they matter.

Anion Gap

The anion gap will usually come into play when you are taking care of a patient in diabetic ketoacidosis. However, to be totally accurate, it is actually used to alert us that the patient is in ANY kind of metabolic acidosis and can even help us differentiate what caused it.

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NCLEX strategies that work

NCLEX strategies

Even though you graduate from nursing school, it doesn’t mean all your hard work is over. Nope. You still have countless hours of studying ahead of you…sorry to be the bearer of bad news! Of course, we’re talking about the NCLEX and if you’re a new graduate, then it’s on your mind…just like it is on this  new-grad’s mind as seen in this email:

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Why the QT interval matters

QT interval

When you begin taking care of patients who are on cardiac monitoring (AKA “tele monitoring”) you’ll need to chart a few key ECG measurements once per shift and any time there is a change in the rhythm. These are the PR interval, the QRS, the QT and the QTc. You probably are already very familiar with the PR interval and QRS measurements…but what is a QT and why do you need to measure it?

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Nursing School Paperwork Hacks

nursing school paperwork

Even before your first semester of nursing school classes start,  you will be OVERWHELMED with the amount of paperwork. That’s why I quickly realized I needed to come up with a foolproof system for organizing all of it for easy reference and keeping my sanity intact. Turns out, I’m not the only one who realized this…here’s a note I received recently from a reader in St. Louis:

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Podcast Episode 7: Giving End-of-Shift Report

end of shift report

In this podcast we talk about giving a succinct, flawless and informative end-of-shift report. Sounds simple enough, right? It should be, but you’d be surprised how often a bad shift report can leave you with more questions than answers. But, if you follow these guidelines, you’ll be someone that all the other nurses LOVE getting report from…and yes, you will be giving report as students, too!

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Mailbag Monday: Skills Checkoffs!

skills checkoff

The one thing that is MOST dreaded in nursing school is the skills checkoff. Sure, the exams can be downright terrifying, but skills checkoffs are where you go one-on-one with your professor as they scrutinize your every move. Make too many mistakes (or even just one “fatal” mistake) and you fail…but the good news is, you get to re-take it! The bad news is, if you fail the checkoff a second time, you very well could  be out of the program. Here’s an email from a reader about this very topic:

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Mailbag Monday: admission requirements

admission nursing school

Nursing school admission requirements can be confusing, and it’s even worse when you can’t find the guidance you need.

I recently stumbled upon your website for my anatomy and physiology class and have told my classmates about it. I do have a question though in regards to getting into nursing school. I have tried to talk to my academic advisors about my concerns, but they haven’t been exactly helpful. I am finishing up my last 3 classes before I am able to apply for nursing school. Do you know if nursing schools look down upon students who have taken classes over for a better grade? Also, I should graduate with a 3.4 GPA (I also have been working almost full time and I’m a single mom). Do the schools take into account these things while going through applicants? Thanks so much for your time! -Heather

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