The process of earning your Practical Nursing education certificate might seem daunting, and that is perfectly okay. Nursing education is challenging, but also extremely fulfilling. It feels good to overcome a challenge, and even better to know that the end result of your nursing education will be a career in healthcare. Some people, it seems, were simply born to be nurses. Nursing is one of those “dream professions,” which will come up whenever you ask a group of young people what they want to be when they grow up. Many of those same young people carry that desire over all the way through educational programs, and into their careers.
It is also fitting that earning your PN certification is challenging, as the nursing profession itself presents unique challenges unseen in other professions. It is important, though, to look at nursing education as an achievable challenge, not an impossible one. Chances are you have some friends or family who are nurses, and all of them went through the same training as you will. Ahead, you will see some tips on how to achieve success in your nursing education, enjoy the process, and work your way toward a rewarding career in healthcare.
Usually the “have fun” tip comes at the end of this type of list, but it is important to lead off with it, given how many people have probably told you that nursing education is hard work. There is no getting around the fact that nursing school will require hard work on your part, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the process. If you are interested enough to enroll in nursing education, chances are you will find the subject matter involved interesting, once you get going. Practical Nursing programs also presents a unique opportunity to meet and befriend people with similar interests.
Set Aside Study Time
Many nursing students have families or full-time jobs, which, combined with attending classes, can make finding time to study a difficult proposition. While it is perfectly okay, and even encouraged, to take any opportunity that arises to study, it is also important to set aside regular blocks of time for studying. This will help you develop sound study habits, and give you a time in which all you have to think about is the material in front of you.
Set Goals for Yourself
Whether it is putting in extra time to nail down a particularly difficult subject, or simply brushing up on a topic you are comfortable with, it is important to set learning goals. The key is setting goals that are both challenging and able to be achieved. Goals don't have to only be about work habits, either. You may want to set a goal of regular interaction with a professor you respect, or making new friends on campus. Setting goals will help you stay disciplined, and give you an added sense of satisfaction as each goal is completed. When things get frustrating, try to remember that as long as you persevere, you will reach the ultimate goal of PN certification.
Yes, it's cliché to say it, but there really is no such thing as a stupid question. While you are in school, take advantage of the expertise your professors possess. There is no better time to seek clarity on a difficult topic than when you are in school. Besides, chances are if you have a question about something, then someone else in the class does too.
Build a Network
Networking isn't only about setting up contacts for potential future jobs, though that's important, too. You can also network with your fellow students. For many people, studying in groups is easier than studying alone. Even if you prefer studying alone, it is helpful to spend some time with your peers. It will give you a chance to look at subject matter from a different point of view, while presenting the opportunity to make some new friends!
Sometimes the best thing you can do when you are feeling overwhelmed is talk to someone who has already been through the process. Whether it's a family member, friend, or total stranger, most practicing nurses will be happy to lend an ear to the nursing student. A practicing nurse can give you reassurance, answer questions, or even just allow you to vent.
Overall, nursing education is in many ways a personal journey. Not everyone studies, learns, or succeeds in the same way. While the tips above provide some general guidance, your best bet is to learn what works for you, and stick with it. It may take some trial and error, but by putting in the effort you will be well on your way to becoming a Practical Nurse in no time.
Interested in becoming a practical nurse? Click below to download a brochure on Mildred Elley's Practical Nursing programs!