Giveaway – Mosby’s Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX Exam

I’m extending the contest until noon tomorrow (Monday, March 23). Don’t forget to follow all of the steps below to enter! Good luck!

Becoming a Nurse

Guess what?! My birthday was earlier this week, and I am celebrating by giving away a brand new copy of Mosby’s Comprehensive Review for the NCLEX Exam! Are you excited? I wrote about how awesome this book is here.

IMG_3155How to enter:

1. In order for a chance to win, you MUST commentbelow with one piece of advice on how to study well, how to be a great nurse, or how to include relaxation in your day. This will get you one entry.

2. If you would like to earn more entries, you can do the following:

3. Once you have completed the above steps, you must…

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How are you using your extra hour?

Daylight savings time ended today, and that means we have an extra hour in our day! I need it!

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I spent the last four days in Chicago visiting one of my friends and attending a conference with the hubster. We listened to amazing speakers who shared what makes their stories special like Glennon Melton Doyle and her story of vulnerability and truth-telling, Donald Miller and his passion for showing others how to live a good story, Joshua Becker and his simplicity in possessions and life, and Bob Goff and his radical love-doing. Needless to say, it was inspirational, and it made me want to live out a story of great meaning with purpose.

I did not study much while I was in Chicago, so I will be using my extra hour trying to distinguish between left and right heart failure for my exam tomorrow! I better get back to the books before I use up my hour on my blog. Eeeek!

How will you be using your extra hour today? Tell me all about it in the comment section! 🙂

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!

Summer Studying

I am smack dab in the middle of my summer break, but you wouldn’t know it by the weather here (68 degrees in July? Seriously?).

I was in Memphis for the past two weeks, so the studying has been very minimal. But I am back and ready to hunker down with my books and get in the NCLEX groove!

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Grant, me, Mom, and Julia at the Levitt Band Shell in Memphis, TN.

My third semester instructors sent out the calendar and clinical assignments last week, which made me realize that school will be starting up way too soon! But don’t fret if you’re in the same boat; you have at least another month to study and prepare for Fall Semester.

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Here are my tips to make the most of July and August (this is as much advice for you as it is for me).

If you have been in nursing school for any length of time, you know how important it is to practice NCLEX questions. I would like to add that the method you choose to study those questions will make or break your ability to follow through. It is not difficult to take the huge NCLEX book off of your shelf when you plan to study at home, but a book is probably not helpful if you are on the move a lot.

If you find yourself running from your job to school to the grocery store to picking up the kids (or if you’re on vacation), I would recommend something a bit more portable, like an NCLEX app for your phone or tablet. Some have free trial versions so you can see if you like the format before purchasing.

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NLEX Mastery App

If you don’t have a fancy smart phone or tablet, I would recommend an NCLEX pocket book so that you can carry it in your purse or pocket.

A couple classmates and I started a weekly NCLEX party during the summer months to stay in touch with each other and to stay in touch with all of the content we learned in the past year. I was worried about losing a lot of the knowledge from the first two semesters during my three month break, so this has been a great way to ease those worries.

We each bring an NCLEX book, and we select different sections to ask questions from. We go around the circle and ask a question, read the rationale, and try to stay on task (which is kind of difficult with such a great group of girls).

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I go to YouTube for inspiration, motivation, and to find help with difficult content. Simple Nursing is my favorite spot to check out when I need help. Michael Linares is the man behind this YouTube channel, and he totally saved me when it came to learning about hepatitis and cirrhosis…no joke! The other vlogs I enjoy are Robin’s Nursing Journey and Maryam Moradi. And who doesn’t love Nurse Mendoza? Please share your favorite channels in the comment section!

My college offers a summer simulation class once a week to all nursing students. My classmates and I receive some information regarding our patient(s) prior to the simulation (e.g., vitals, diagnoses, pertinent medical history, medications, and other MD orders). There is always something our instructor wants us to achieve during the simulation such as adequately responding to an emergency, prioritizing appropriately, or giving the discharge teaching.

Simulation allows me to brush up on my skills, too. Let’s face it, most students are not able to use all of the nursing skills during their clinical experiences (peritoneal dialysis during clinicals? Yeah right!). Simulation is a way to practice those skills in a safe environment so that when we do have an opportunity in clinical or real life, we can carry out those skills effectively.

I am definitely not a perfect study-er, so please tell me what you are doing this summer to stay ahead of the game! If you are not in school any more, what study habits worked for you during your school breaks?