Have you just graduated from nursing school? If you have then congratulations! There’s just one more small but significant hurdle to overcome- the NCLEX exam.
Just hearing about the NCLEX exam can put fear into many young nurses, but it shouldn’t. Of course, it’s a major exam, but many people have passed it and you can too. If you’ve already graduated from nursing school, then you’ve proven that you know your stuff.
You’re already on the home stretch and once you finish, a rewarding career is waiting for you. You just need to put in that last bit of effort so you can hit that home run.
Studying for the test doesn’t need to take over your life. There are some simple tips you can follow to create a balanced study plan which suits you. This plan will help identify your strengths so you can get the most out of study sessions. You’ll then feel confident as you walk into the exam.
So what are some great study tips and how can you install them?
In this article, we’ll share 5 effective study strategies that work so you can pass the NCLEX exam the first time.
Read on for more information.
1. Make a Study Plan and Stick to It
Most people don’t write out schedules but we highly suggest you create an NCLEX study guide/plan.
A big mistake you can make in the beginning is to make a vague schedule in your head. You may decide to study on a certain day and time, but other things can easily get in the way or you could forget.
Instead, you should sit down with a diary or at your computer and work out a study schedule.
First, you should write down your daily routine. This would include when you’re at work, at the gym, looking after the children, etc. These are usually the times in which you cannot study at all.
Next, you should identify any future plans you may have such as vacations, parties, and medical appointments.
Finally, write down any weekly chores such as cleaning, shopping etc. You should also put aside time to meet up with family, friends and to chill out.
Once you have the schedule in front of you, start to identify suitable times in which to study. Ensure that you can stick to these and identify any hurdles you may face. For example, it may not be the best idea to study after a long gym session.
Once you have your study plan finalized, keep it somewhere you can easily access it.
2. Identify Your Study Style
You probably know by now how you study best, but if not then don’t worry.
Just think back to how you previously prepared for exams and what you focused on. For example, if you prefer watching and listening to lectures, then there are loads on Youtube to help. In fact, there are now even some great podcasts so you could listen to some in the car or whilst exercising.
Alternatively, you may have enjoyed being in a study group so you could discuss topics. If so, reach out to fellow graduates who are also preparing for the exam. You could hold weekly skype sessions or meet up for a coffee.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure it’s helpful and beneficial to you.
3. Take the Test Not Long After Graduating
Ideally, you want to take the test within a few months of graduating if possible.
After you have graduated, you’re usually full of confidence and in the right frame of mind to pass the exam. You also will still have a lot of information fresh in your head. If you wait a year or more, you’ll likely forget important things and have to spend longer studying.
It’s ok to take a few weeks off for a vacation just after graduating but be clear on a return date to studying. If not, you could end up procrastinating and weeks turn into months.
4. Take Practice Exams
Before you enter the real exam, you want to know how it works and the type of questions you could be asked. Therefore, sitting practice exams should be at the top of your to-do list.
A practice exam will help you to understand what the invigilators are looking for in your answers. You’ll also be able to practice your time management skills.
Once you have completed a practice exam, you should go back and look at your answers. Focus on the questions you didn’t get right and research the correct answers.
Try to take as many practice exams as you can so it becomes a small habit. You’ll feel more confident on the day as you’ll know the structure of the exam.
5. Take Some Time For You
Whilst some people find it hard to start studying, others find it hard to stop. This may sound rather beneficial but it can negatively affect their exam results.
Stress and anxiety can be very damaging to our physical and mental wellbeing. So, you need to learn how to relax and know when to switch off from studying.
Eating healthy and exercising regularly will help you to stay calm and focused. The last thing you want to do is turn up to the exam a nervous wreck. If you do, you set yourself up to fail.
Ensure you take time out for yourself to just relax. This way, you’ll pass the exam in no time. You may even decide to gain advanced qualifications to further your career even more.
Helpful NCLEX Study Tips
We hope you have enjoyed reading our article and have found these NCLEX study tips useful.
As you can see, by being prepared you set yourself up to pass. You’ll also find studying a breeze and most likely enjoy it.
Finally, check out the benefits of being a travel nurse and why you should consider it once you pass the NCLEX exam.Read More
With a COVID vaccine being made available, it’s starting to look like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. There’s a lot of confusion and misinformation when it comes to the safety and the efficacy of the vaccine and why you should get it, who can get the vaccine, and where to get the vaccine. Below, you can find more basic and general information. However, the vaccine rollout can be dependent on state/city, and as Biden comes into office, the rollout may change even further. As a travel nurse, you likely will be in the first few rollout phases (or maybe, you’ve already been vaccinated)! It’s best to consistently check local state regulations and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for the most updated and accurate information.
What are the effects of the COVID vaccine and is it safe?
If a vaccine is effective, it helps prevent the person from getting sick if they’re exposed to the virus. For COVID specifically, it’s very important to note that you must continue to remain socially distant until enough people have received the vaccine. There is not enough information to determine whether or not a vaccinated person can pass and transmit the virus to others, hence the importance to remain socially distant (Hopkins Medicine).
The FDA approved vaccines (which you can see below) are safe and encouraged. As BBC states, “there is no evidence that any of these ingredients cause harm when used in such small amounts. Vaccines do not give you a disease. Instead, they teach your body’s immune system to recognize and fight the infection they have been designed to protect against.” If you think you may have any allergies or reactions to the vaccine’s ingredients, it’s always best to consult the CDC website and your doctor before receiving the vaccine.
What COVID vaccines are out there?
As of now, there are two COVID vaccines that the CDC recommends: the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. Each has their own requirements and eligibilities:
- Recommended for those 16 years and older.
- 2 shots in the upper arm. There should be 21 days between the initial and second shot.
- According to the clinical trials, “the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was 95.0% effective… in preventing symptomatic laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in persons without evidence of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
- Mild to moderate symptoms following vaccination can include: pain, swelling, and redness at the injection site, and chills, tiredness, and headaches. This is normal, and these are common symptoms with many safe vaccines.
- Recommended for those 18 years and older.
- 2 shots in the upper arm. There should be 28 days between the initial and second shot.
- According to the clinical trials, “the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine efficacy after 2 doses was 94.1%…in preventing symptomatic, laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 among persons without evidence of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, which was the primary study endpoint.”
- As with the Pfizer vaccine, mild to moderate symptoms following vaccination can include: pain, swelling, and redness at the injection site, and chills, tiredness, and headaches.
Who can (and should) get the vaccine?
- Currently, eligibility to receive the vaccine differentiates between states. For example, Illinois is making the vaccine available to certain groups in different phases. Travel nurses would be in Illinois’ first phase, because it includes healthcare personnel (hospital settings and non-hospital healthcare), long-term care facility staff and all residents, and other identified congregate care staff and residents. The second phase includes people 65 years and older, frontline essential workers, and inmates. Then the rest of the phases move accordingly to who is deemed at a higher risk of contracting and suffering from COVID. Often, you register ahead for the vaccine, but this also varies by location. Webmd has a good, collective list of links to states’ different rollouts.
- Overall, the COVID vaccine rollout across the United States will likely change when Joe Biden takes office. NPR reports that Biden has a five-part plan to speed up national vaccinations: “To bring the virus under control, it proposes hundreds of billions of spending for a national vaccination program and public health measures such as testing and contact tracing; new jobs for public health workers; and expanded U.S. manufacturing for protective gear.” The full five-part plan can be found here.
Why should a travel nurse especially get the COVID vaccine?
- First and foremost, getting vaccinated for COVID will help keep you healthy, and greatly lower the risk of serious complications of COVID. Travel nurses typically have a higher COVID exposure than non-healthcare workers. Getting the COVID vaccine will not only give you peace of mind but will also allow you to continue to work and help those in need.
- The CDC points out that “Healthcare personnel who get COVID-19 can also spread the virus to those they are caring for—including hospitalized patients and residents of long-term care facilities. Many of these individuals may have underlying health conditions that put them at risk for severe COVID-19 illness.” Getting vaccinated not only protects yourself, but it helps protect the people you’re working with.
As always, please refer to the CDC for the most updated information regarding COVID and the COVID-19 vaccine.
In every hospital unit, you’re bound to find specialized nurses that devote their training, skills, and time to provide the utmost level of medical care. Monitoring patients remotely after surgeries and other cardiac treatments are at the heart of telemetry nurses’ responsibilities – no pun intended. Whether you’re just starting your journey as a nurse or you’re looking to find a specialization, this is everything you need to know about telemetry nurses.
What is a Telemetry Nurse?
A telemetry nurse works with patients struggling with heart disease, heart failure, and other cardiac conditions. To understand a telemetry nurse, you have to understand the term telemetry, which comes from the words tele meaning “remote” and metron meaning “measure.”
Thus, a telemetry nurse monitors patients using remote electronic signals and specialized equipment. They monitor patients’ progress, provide medical care, and provide specific cardiac interventions in an emergency.
National average salary: $107,536 per year
Job outlook: 7% increase
Where Do Telemetry Nurses Work?
As their name states, telemetry nurses work in the telemetry unit of a hospital. These units provide care for patients leaving the intensive care unit (UCI) that still require consistent monitoring. In the telemetry unit, patients are more stable but even need close monitoring should their situation change.
Sometimes, telemetry nurses also find work in outpatient surgery centers and long-term care facilities. Other medicine areas may also employ a telemetry unit, so nurses may find themselves working with sleep clinics or neurological units.
What Kind of Patients Are On A Telemetry Unit?
The telemetry unit receives a wide range of patients. Most patients need telemetry monitoring, particularly those with a history of high blood pressure, stroke, or a heart attack. Patients in this unit have a high turnout rate because most patients are already stepping down from a more intense level of care.
What Does a Telemetry Nurse Do?
In short, telemetry nurses provide care for patients with cardiovascular issues and related consequences. They perform frequent patient assessments to watch for any changes. This includes measuring blood pressure, levels of consciousness, and breathing patterns.
Telemetry nurses also operate heart monitoring equipment, perform diagnostic tests, and follow protocols to treat chest pain. Most of the time, nurses also assist with procedures like cardioversions and other procedures performed in the telemetry unit. However, their biggest responsibility is recognizing and responding to cardiac emergencies quickly.
The telemetry nurse has a mixture of responsibilities that include registered nurse duties and technical skills to monitor patients’ health.
Most responsibilities include:
- Caring for cardiac patients
- Using electronic equipment like an echocardiogram (EKG) and breathing machines to monitor patients
- Looking for cardiac baseline changes, arrhythmias, and abnormalities
- Responding to irregularities
- Performing stress tests
- Administering IVs and medications
- Monitoring telemetry units of hospitals
- Assisting cardiologists throughout cardiac procedures
- Using diagnostic tests to evaluate patients’ cardiac health
How Do You Become a Telemetry Nurse?
As a baseline, telemetry nurses are registered nurses (RNs). To become an RN, you need to earn either a Professional Nursing Associate’s Degree or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree. You must then pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and meet your state’s requirements for RN licensure.
After obtaining your RN licensure, you can start transitioning into telemetry. Consider speaking with a supervisor about your interest in telemetry and ask how you can train in this specialty. Unlike other specialties, there’s no central organization that focuses on telemetry certification. The two most common credentialing programs include the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).
- The Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification obtained through the American Heart Association
- The Processive Care Certified (PCCN) certification given by the Association of Critical-Care Nurses
What Skills Do You Need to Be a Telemetry Nurse?
Telemetry nursing is a highly technical environment that requires a more specialized skill set. This career path involves acute care for patients experiencing cardiac problems. The dual nature of telemetry nursing that combines technical and practical skills separates them from other specializations.
Most common skills for telemetry nurses include:
- Understanding of cardiac rhythm monitoring techniques, interpretation, and treatment
- Knowledge of basic and advanced life support procedures
- Knowledge of drug dosage and continuous monitoring
- Knowledge of standard interventions to stabilize patients should an emergency arise
- Understanding of monitoring machinery
Starting Your Telemetry Nursing Career
If the above responsibilities sound like the type of work that interests you, there’s a straightforward path towards becoming a telemetry nurse. With a specialty like this, you could become a coveted travel nurse. At Stability Healthcare, we place nurses in hospitals across the United States in specialties like telemetry. Browse open jobs today!Read More
Travel Nursing is a career that offers a unique set of perks. It’s one of the only jobs that gives you the opportunity to check off all of the places on your traveling bucket list. If that alone isn’t enough, keep reading to learn why you should be a travel nurse.
Live Anywhere You Want
As we mentioned before, travel nursing will have you checking places off of your bucket list left and right. With short placements, you’ll be able to experiences for just the right amount of time before you head to your next placement. If you near the end of your placement and realize you aren’t done exploring, it’s easy to extend.
Not only can you live in any city or town you want, but you can also live in any living arrangement you want. Live alone in an apartment, a house, a trailer, a treehouse, anywhere. Or even find a roommate or two! Travel nurses often times find a place together during their stays. You can learn more about finding a place to live on our blog.
Have Professional Flexibility + the Ability to Experience Different Work Environments
Being a traveler is great because it creates more opportunities to experience different areas of the hospital and work in different types of hospitals! As a traveler, you’ll be exposed to all types of practices and ways of doing things. Hospitals across the country vary in policy and rules but don’t worry they will fill you in and you won’t be left confused. With different hospitals requiring nurses to do things a certain way or have certain knowledge in a specific area – you’ll be growing your skills every day. If you ever return to a full-time stationary role, hospitals love seeing travel nursing roles on your resume for this exact reason.
In terms of flexibility, being a travel nurse is ideal because you can plan your placements whenever you want to. Once your placement ends at one hospital, you can wait however long you’d like until you pick up your next one. This makes it easier for scheduling off for big life moments and vacations.
Increase Your Earnings
Travel nurses typically see higher pay than the other nurses in the units, this is because a traveler is filling a role that NEEDS to be filled. On top of higher base pay, travelers will still receive the benefits that go along with being a full-time staffer.
Not only do travelers get paid for their work, but they also receive a housing stipend to go towards their living situation.
When a hospital is looking for a travel nurse, it is because they need a spot to be filled. That’s right, travelers are always needed. This ensures that as long as your a rockstar in your role, you’re all set and don’t have to worry about facing layoffs or staff cuts. Who doesn’t love job stability 😉
Meet New People
One of the greatest gifts of travel nursing is the people that you meet along the way. Working in different hospitals and living in different places, the opportunities are endless for making new connections. Many travelers will grow out their communities and networks to sizes that they never thought possible leaving them with lifelong professional and personal relationships.
Some travelers will even form a pod and pick up assignments in the same cities so they can all live and experience new cities together.
Finding a Job is EasyRead More
Happy New Year! Now that we’re officially getting settled into 2021, we wanted to share some tips and ideas for journaling and setting goals. While this isn’t necessary and people can have mixed feelings on resolutions, the new year presents a great time to reflect and reset (especially after 2020). Check out our recruiter reflections on 2020 and scroll down to get started on your own!
It’s helpful to start off with a self-reflection. Last year was a year like any other – ESPECIALLY for nurses and healthcare workers. One big feat we can all be proud of? Surviving a pandemic AND working through it on the frontlines.
Questions to ask yourself
How have I grown?
What have I learned about myself?
What is one thing I gained? One thing I let go of?
What is an obstacle I overcame?
What were my highs and lows of 2020?
Draw, paint, write out, or print your top 3 moments of the year!
Now let’s take our learnings and reflections and put 2020 in the past. 2021 will continue to prove challenging, but there is one thing is different – there is hope.
Questions to ask yourself
What brings me the most happiness?
What can I do this year to bring me closer to my ideal life? In what ways can I start living that life right now?
What goals can I set to help me have the kind of year I want?
How can I take those year-long goals and break them down into manageable pieces? What can I do this month? This week? Today?
Draw, paint, or write out your top 3 goals for 2021. These can be anything from something tangible like taking a travel placement you’ve been dreaming about to being more positive at work.
Pick a word
If you’ve read through all of this and don’t feel like setting out goals and reflecting, this one is for you. Pick one word and then throughout your year when you are in moments of uncertainty remember that word. For us that word is optimism!