A Day in the Life of a Nursing Student

The story of my day begins at 6:12 AM. Of course I wake up before my alarm goes off. I didn’t really need those extra 3 minutes after all, right? Wrong.

I made the coffee, took the shower, and ate the Wheaties. I came back to my desk (which won’t be a dining room table for another 9 months) to review the common medication dosage conversions for my med dosage exam at 9 AM.

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My desk after a frantic night of studying. It’s not very pretty, I know.

I fed the whining cat, grabbed a snack for class, and ran out the door. I spent the 20 minute car ride to school singing at the top of my lungs. This time it was with the Cranberries. Who cares what people think, right?

I had an 8:30 meeting with the Nursing Club officers. Look at us getting stuff done!

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Not posed at all.

The meeting concluded at 8:56, giving me 4 minutes to empty my bladder and get to the first floor for my medication dosage exam! I made it, and I even had time to pick a wedgie before I sat down (I’m sorry you had to see that, Dave).

I answered the 15 questions carefully and slowly handed the exam to my instructor. I needed to get all of them correct to pass the exam (our school is not okay with medication errors…at all). I watched her as she went from answer to answer. My heart rate and blood pressure were skyrocketing. Can you go any faster? She looked at me and nodded her head slightly. I passed. Phew!

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A look of relief.

After passing the first exam, we were all ready to learn about postpartum care. I mean, who doesn’t want to talk about the uterus, breasts, lochia, and afterpains at 10 o’clock in the morning!?

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At least I get to see these lovely ladies!

I guess it was too much for Bri though…

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I got home around 1 PM and put the BBQ chicken in the crock pot. I re-listened to my lecture, created a Facebook page for the blog, and I ended the day by pumping some iron at the gym!

I’m curious if others started school this week. Is this your first year as a nursing student? Final year? Please comment below! Tell me what you are excited about in the coming year.

Crock Pot Freezer Meals

You guessed it! I spent the weekend preparing for a busy semester by making 20 crock pot freezer meals!

It all started with a little inspiration from my brother and sister-in-law. You see, they had an adorable little girl recently, and they got this crazy good idea to make a bunch of meals BEFORE the little one arrived so that they could spend as much time with her as possible. Because who wouldn’t want to do that?! Seriously.

I began to search out options and came upon Mixing with Michelle, which is a wonderful food blog that showcases many healthy recipes! She created a list of 10 crock pot freezer meals that looked delicious. Not only did she provide the recipes, but she also provided the shopping list and prep list. She sure made my job as easy as possible, and for that I am very grateful!

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Thank goodness for Aldi! I ended up spending $159.22 on all of the items shown in my previous post. That’s less than $2 per serving! And did you see all of those veggies?!

I went shopping on Thursday and prepped the vegetables and meat on Friday. I needed a box of kleenex for all of the onions I had to cut up!

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I started stacking all of the onions I was planning to chop up and noticed how cool it looked. I guess I am an artist. Who knew?!

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Onion snowmen

After I was done playing with the food, I moved on to the celery, garlic, carrots, mushrooms, red peppers, green peppers, acorn squash, zucchini, sweet potatoes, and turnips. Somewhere around the garlic, or maybe it was the carrots, I began to regret spending so much time being artsy with the onions.

It did not take very long to pack the refrigerator, and every time I opened it, my nose reminded me that I purchased a ton of onions.

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After the chef’s knife and wrist were worn out from a day of chopping, I decided to sit back and relax a bit.

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Assembly began early Saturday morning. The food started looking so good; it took a lot of self control to keep putting the meals in the freezer.

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Bacon wrapped chicken anyone?

It took some finagling to fit all 20 meals in my freezer, but I made it work! Proof that you don’t need a chest freezer to do this type of thing.

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I took my first meal out of the freezer last night because third semester begins in only two hours! How does jambalaya sound?! Come on over if you’re in the neighborhood!

What are your favorite foods during nursing school? Have you found it difficult to eat healthy meals on a budget? Please share your tips in the comment section!

Let’s Play a Guessing Game!

I have an exciting blog entry that will be posted by Monday, and I am going to give you a couple hints about the post.

1.  I do not have a lot of extra time to cook during nursing school, and I do not have enough money in the bank to order take-out every night (I guess that is a two-for-one hint).

2. The second (ahem…third) hint comes in the form of a picture. Check. It. Out.

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What do you think my next blog post will be about? Any guesses?

My Learning Process

I have listed my learning process step-by-step below. This is what works for me. Take from it what you wish!

1. First, I print all of the PowerPoints or lecture outlines. I place them in my binder and divide them by the week. This really soothes my anxious soul by making me think I really have it together.

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2. I read through the assigned chapters and highlight the information that I think is important or information that helps me understand a broader concept. I find that highlighting is helpful because I am basically re-reading what is most important when going back to highlight. You can’t highlight too much, right?

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3. After reading the chapter(s), I flip through the PowerPoints. This gives me a good idea of what my instructor thinks is the key information. I answer the questions that my instructor poses in the PowerPoint. If there is information from the text that I find helpful to my thought process, I insert it in the PowerPoint print out on the appropriate page. I recommend that you use blue ink for notes that you take prior to class (I will explain this later…stay tuned!)

4. I record the lecture with a free app on my phone called Smart Voice Recorder. I use ES File Explorer to compress the audio files so that I can transfer them to my laptop. Once it is on your computer, you can unzip them and use them as is, but I like to use Audacity to edit out all of the breaks.

Smart Voice Recorder for Android

Smart Voice Recorder for iPhone

5. During lecture, I take notes using red ink. This is important because it allows me to quickly see what the instructor noted in class versus what I think is important from my notes on the reading (in blue). I can guarantee that what your instructor says is crucial. It will likely show up on the next exam, especially if they repeat it, shout it, or wink while saying it.

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6. I re-listen to the lecture as soon as I get home (or at least the same day). This is an opportunity to write down anything I missed. Use blue ink again, or choose a third color!

7. I create a table for the topic discussed in lecture. I cannot stress enough how helpful this tool is to my learning. Try it. I know you will like it!

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8. After I create a table, I use it to study for the next test! No note cards, no lecture notes, no book…I only use my tables (and some good friends, too)!

9. Time to start all over again with the material for the next lecture!

What works for you? I would like to know! Please comment below with your thoughts on learning.