Find Nursing Schools Blog
Posted On: April 16,2014
1. Set realistic goals
Chances are high that other recent grads are searching for the same position you want. Don’t let the fear of competition discourage you. However, you also need to set realistic expectations for your first job. For example, it probably isn’t realistic to expect to land your dream job immediately following graduation. Specialized positions often require years of previous nursing experience. In searching for an open position, remember that acquiring your dream job might require you to work in a setting that you didn’t initially plan for. Even if it’s not your utmost desire, entry-level positions will prepare you to become the best nurse you can be.
2. Learn to be flexible
It is important to discover your interests while in nursing school; this will guide you to well-suited opportunities post-graduation. However, don’t count an open position out just because it doesn’t directly align with your goals. Go in for the interview with confidence and never let the interviewer know that you would prefer to be placed somewhere else. You may accept the job and enjoy your coworkers, patients and the area of specialty.
3. Build a network
Networking is crucial. Who you know rather than what you know often gets you through the door for an interview. There are a number of ways in which you can use networking to your benefit. Focus on making meaningful connections during your clinical hours in nursing school. One connection can lead to a referral for an open position in the future. Keep in touch with your mentor, and if you don’t have a mentor, find one; they can serve as strong references and offer meaningful guidance over the course of your career. If you are feeling ambitious, you can also choose to work as a part-time certified nursing assistant while attending school in order to make relationships in the profession.
Be persistent in searching for openings and checking on the status of your applications. Effective follow-up is important in distinguishing yourself from other qualified applicants. For example, people often forget to take the time to write personalized thank-you notes after interviews. Be sure to express your interest and excitement in each position and thank the interviewer for their time.
Throughout your job search, remember to stay positive! Your passion for people drove you to nursing school, and with persistence, it will also land you a job! Find the right nursing program to get started today!
Posted On: April 9,2014
Nurses know how to take care of their patients, but sometimes they forget to take care of themselves. As a student in any nursing program, it may seem impossible to get enough quality sleep, drink enough caffeine and eliminate stress from your life. It’s important that you are educated about the effects of sleep, caffeine and stress and know how to effectively manage all three.
According to doctors at the Mayo Clinic, healthy adults should get 7-8 hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep each night. Your body may need more or less sleep depending on a number of physiological and genetic factors.
Effects of sleep deprivation: Getting less sleep than what your body needs negatively affects the way you feel and the way your body functions. Sleep deprivation can result in slowed reaction times, a rise in blood pressure, higher levels of anxiety and depression, impaired cognition and memory, unhealthy food cravings, a higher risk of many deadly illnesses and many more unwanted effects.
What to remember: When it comes to sleep, quality is just as important as quantity.
Tips: There are many things you can do to help yourself sleep better, including maintaining a consistent daily schedule, avoiding caffeinated food and drinks at night, turning off electronics while in bed and exercising regularly. Also, naps are good for you so don’t be ashamed of taking a quick nap for a study break!
Caffeine accelerates heart rate and stimulates central nervous system functioning. It also temporarily enhances one’s ability to learn, focus and comprehend. But, how much is too much? According to the Mayo Clinic, 200-300 mg of caffeine per day (equivalent to 2-4 cups of brewed coffee) will not cause harmful effects in the average, healthy adult.
Effects of too much caffeine: While moderate caffeine intake above the normal daily amount isn’t likely dangerous, you may experience some unpleasant symptoms. These hidden side effects include increases in blood pressure, insomnia, muscle tremors, stomachaches and anxiety.
What to remember: It’s okay if you enjoy a cup of coffee, or two, to start your day. It’s also okay if you feel like you need caffeine in the morning to wake you up and keep you alert. In normal amounts, caffeine isn’t harmful.
Tips: Every person reacts differently to caffeine. On average, caffeine takes about 30-45 minutes to take effect in the body and it lasts for about 3 hours. For quality sleep, it’s important to avoid caffeinated foods and beverages in the evening.
It’s normal to be stressed, especially as a student, but stress can be harmful. According to the American Medical Association, stress is the root cause of 60% of illnesses and diseases. The human body does not distinguish between big and small stressors. That’s why it’s important that you know how stress affects your overall well-being and how you can control your response to stress.
Effects of stress: Even small amounts of stress can cause headaches, increased irritability and anger, increased heart rate and anxiety, stomach problems, weight gain and decreased concentration. A person without stress is more positive, productive, energized and has a healthier immune system.
What to remember: The best way to deal with stress is in the moment. Take control of the situation.
Tips: Some strategies for reducing stress include regularly exercising, organizing your work environment, setting aside personal time for relaxing and learning to say “no” so that you don’t take on too many responsibilities.
It’s no secret that sleep, caffeine and stress are interrelated. Now that you understand how each affects your body, you have all the tools you need to keep yourself healthy. Luckily, we’ve made searching for a nursing program easier.
Posted On: February 26,2014
In a world where information is literally at your fingertips, it is easy to get distracted with the constant overload of information. In recent years, Apple, Android and other smartphone developers have even taken it a step further by making it so that you don’t even need to search for information. Your phone will automatically notify you when something needs your attention. These notifications used to only consist of automatic alerts to let you know when you had a text message or email, but now push notifications have been incorporated into most apps, allowing the app to alert you with updates, news and more. These notifications can often be helpful, but they can also be a distraction, especially in nursing school. That is why we have created this quick guide about what your push notifications should look like in nursing school.
Stop Stressing Over What’s Going On in Social Media
Social media is an important form of communication for many people around the world. It keeps you updated with what’s going on with your friends, reconnects you with people and exposes you to new things like art and products. However, during nursing school, social media can be another distraction that needs to be kept in check so it does not inhibit your performance. Most social media apps alert you with a push notification when someone writes to you, a picture has been posted and so on. Though these are great pieces of information and something you might want to respond to, you don’t necessarily need this information beeping on your phone reminding you to stop what you’re doing to see what Betty had to say about last night’s episode of The Walking Dead.
Instead of allowing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social channels to send you push notifications that will interrupt you during times you should be focusing on school, set a time each day when you have a break to check your social media. You may be a few hours late to responding to your friend’s comment or liking their picture, but that won’t matter as much as your grades on the work you completed while you weren’t distracted.
Save the Games for Your Break
Game applications on your phone are also big on push notifications. They alert you if your high score has been beaten, a new level is available and so on. Like with social media, turn these push notifications off so you are not tempted to take a break early and spend the rest of the day playing Candy Crush when you have an exam coming up.
Pick and Choose your News
News apps also send you push notifications throughout the day if you select for them to do so. These are fine to keep as they can alert you if something major has happened that needs your attention, as well as keep you informed about weather. However, if you have a heavy load of work during a semester, having constant ESPN notifications with game scores can be a major distraction over the course of the term. Be selective with your news alerts.
Stay on Schedule with Your Calendar
The calendar and schedule apps are push notifications that you should activate one your smartphone. Keeping track of your schedule is important in nursing school and in your career as a nurse. That is why we recommend setting all important calendar appointments with an alert to go off and as many reminders as you need. For example, if you know you have a test at 8 am on Tuesday, March 11, set the appointment for that date and time so you won’t forget and add reminders prior to the event to remind you to study. You may set as many as you like and the reminders will show up in your push notifications.
Remember to Take Care of YOU
Health apps can come in handy while in nursing school, whether you are wanting to maintain or lose weight or just be healthy overall. We recommend allowing fitness apps like MyFitnessPal or others to send you push notifications to remind you to log your meals to keep track of calorie consumption and exercise.
Use Resource Apps
Push notifications can come in handy for resource apps and normally aren’t too frequent to the point where it would become a distraction. Normal notifications for resource apps remind users when updates are available or new features have been added to the app. Some apps even remind you to study! For a list of resource apps that are very useful for nursing students and nurses alike, check out the 12 apps we recommended.
By following these steps, you will have an organized smartphone that will keep you smart and less distracted during nursing school. If you are ready to begin the process of searching for a nursing program, look no further than Find Nursing Schools!
Posted On: February 12,2014
The right online RN program. How can you tell if an online program is reputable? Successful? Student-focused? First, check for these key features:
1. Online Program Orientation
Getting onboard in a totally new environment can be nerve-wracking. That’s why most of today’s best companies create orientation programs for new employees. Good bosses understand that the first day of anything is intimidating. Newbies need time to learn the technology, set up their email accounts, meet their peers, figure out where the bathroom is…
Okay. Granted, an online nursing student you won’t need directions to the bathroom. But everything else applies here. Even if you’re already pretty savvy on a computer, look for programs that care about your comfort factor and early success. Programs that offer an “introduction to virtual learning” or similar orientation hit the mark.
The internet is amazing, but sometimes it’s hard to tell what you’re actually getting. Just ask anyone who’s ever tried online dating. Catfish, anyone?
Quality online programs won’t make you guess. They will be upfront about the teaching staff, the student success rates, course withdrawal policies or other key factors that impact your decisions. You can often gauge the transparency level of an online RN program by browsing its FAQ section, visiting its contact page and checking for student testimonials. Schools with something to hide will dodge the details—making phone numbers, physical addresses, and real names hard to find.
3. Easy Access to Instructors
Online RN programs are popular because they’re convenient. Case closed. If you have the opportunity to avoid commuter traffic, added fuel costs, schlepping around campus in the freezing cold or the sweltering heat, not to mention those infamous student parking tickets, you should definitely take it.
But you should also demand the same easy access to instructors that campus students enjoy. When researching virtual RN programs, ask about instructors’ office hours—these are designated time slots when you can contact specific faculty members and expect to find them available. Since many RN students have busy working schedules, it’s also important to know you can reach your instructors outside of normal workday hours. Ask if phone, chat or email access to instructors is encouraged and what the average response time is.
4. Personal Attention
Do you remember your favorite teacher ever? Maybe a fourth grade librarian who introduced you to a great author? Maybe a high school coach who pushed you to try harder? We all have different stories, but our favorite teachers share one thing in common: they knew us well.
Adult students need that same level of attention—probably even more so, given all the chores and responsibilities that compete for our time. Worthwhile online programs will make a point to meet you, individually. And they’ll make recommendations based on your academic history or personal learning style. If you struggle with specific courses or overall progress, they will have support options in place (like one-on-one tutoring). In the end, you’ll have real-life, first name-basis supporters to thank—not just a URL and a student login.
Ready to find the right nursing school? Start your search today.
Posted On: January 29,2014
Every new nurse or nursing student needs some gear to get started. From scrubs to shoes to stethoscopes, you’re likely buying things you’ve never purchased before. This exciting time is something most nurses remember fondly, but trying to figure out what to choose can be stressful. So, should you buy your nursing supplies online?
Here are some pros on cons of making these important purchases through an online retailer.
- You could find deals. One upside of shopping online is you have more retailers to choose from, often leading you to get better prices on your supplies. Wholesale and discount websites can be extremely helpful when you’re trying to save money. Of course, depending on the stores nearby and what your school bookstore offers, you might be able to find low prices without going online. Plus, cheaper isn’t always better when it comes to these important pieces.
- There’s more variety. Online shopping gives you access to more than what the school bookstore or local retailer has in stock. With multiple websites specializing in nursing gear, you can choose from a wide selection of scrubs, stethoscopes, scissors and more. The web also gives you the ability to research the products you are considering purchasing.
- It’s convenient. As with buying anything online, the simplicity of clicking a button to purchase is a major pro. You don’t even have to get out of your pajamas to purchase everything you need for nursing! Plus, you can get it all done a lot faster than if you had to drive to multiple stores, and it will all be delivered right to your door!
- You can’t try before you buy. If you’re new to buying nursing supplies, you probably want to try things on, feel the material or check the quality. Online reviews and specs can be helpful, but when it comes to things like shoes, you definitely want to know that you’re getting something that is quality and comfortable. Sometimes in-person shopping is the only way to know if you’ll be happy with your purchase.
- Online shopping is impersonal. At shops and school bookstores, you can talk to the people working about what they recommend and maybe meet fellow nursing students or nurses when you’re shopping. Online shopping doesn’t given you the chance to ask others their opinion on what to purchase so you’re left with ratings and reviews from those you don’t know.
- Things might not arrive on time. If you’ve waited until the last minute to do your shopping, you could end up paying more for shipping or not being prepared with the supplies you need. If you plan to shop online, allow yourself time to receive the items and also to return them if the product isn’t what you expected.
When it’s all said and done, most find that some supplies are easily purchased online while others require a trip to a store. When purchasing your nursing supplies, remember not to sacrifice quality. These supplies become your toolbox and, in most cases, the more comfortable or well made they are, the better. For more on nursing supplies, read how important one student’s stethoscope became to her, what to consider when buying nursing shoes and how to nurse in style!
Posted On: January 15,2014
When you think of who it is coming to save the day, you may think of a fictional superhero from comic books or Hollywood blockbusters. But in all reality, hospitals hold the real superheroes: nurses. Nurses may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound or drive their own “RNmobile,” but nurses possess many of the same traits as our favorite superheroes. We created this list of five reasons that prove nurses are superheroes among us. Check it out!
The Power to Heal:
Nurses have a one up on Wolverine in their ability to heal. Unlike Wolverine, who can only heal himself, nurses are able to heal others. This superpower is something they use every day and not just when the bad guys come to town. Nurses dedicate their career to healing others and improving their health.
Strength and Agility:
Although Superman and Spiderman may be able to run faster or jump higher than humans, nurses are constantly bending over backwards for patients and running the floor to tend to emergencies. The 12-hour shifts most nurses work requires a lot of superhuman determination.
Although nurses aren’t able to use x-ray vision on the spot like Superman, they are able to look into patients bodies to find the source of an issue with the use of x-ray equipment. And, their education helps them do more with the information they gather than Superman can!
Like Elixir from the X-Men, nurses have the power to heal broken bones, aid in curing diseases and repair or enhance biological body functions. Nurses need not graduate from the Xavier Institute along with other X-Men to use this super ability. In fact, the schools that super nurses graduate from can be found on www.findnursingschools.com!
ESP (Extrasensory Perception):
You may be hard pressed to find a nurse who is fully telepathic with all the powers of Professor X, but you can certainly find one with extra senses. Once a nurse has worked in the field and has dealt with hundreds of patients, nurses develop an innate sensory supremacy. This is the ability to sense when patients are in peril. By reading the signs of a patient’s behavior and picking up on things few people without their degree in nursing and experience would notice, nurses save many lives before it’s too late.
Have these five reasons convinced you that nurses are superheroes in scrubs? If so and you would like to join the elite team of nurses saving lives every day, let Find Nursing Schools help you become a super nurse! Soar your career path to new heights by earning a nursing degree. Up, up and away!
Posted On: January 8,2014
In my 33 years on Earth, I’ve been fortunate to enjoy good health. No chronic conditions, no lengthy treatments, no broken bones. But for those rare times when I’ve needed extra medical care, nurses were there to help me get back on track. Here are three moments from my life where I relied on the help of a nurse to get me through:
1. The birth of my first child.
The morning I checked into the hospital to give birth to my daughter, I was 41 weeks pregnant, also known as seven days overdue, also known as PLEASE GET THIS THING OUT OF ME. My obstetrician had estimated that my daughter would be a large baby, but after 13 hours of Pitocin, it became clear she was too big to deliver “the regular way.” That evening, my doctor spoke to me about scheduling a C-section and gave me some time to think it over.
The minute she left, I began to cry. I had worked so hard to optimize my chances of giving birth with as few interventions as possible. I waited to be induced seven days after my due date to give labor more time to start on its own. I endured eight hours of Pitocin-induced contractions without pain medication because I wanted a chance at natural childbirth. And yet, despite my best efforts, I was still destined to go under the knife.
It was the wonderful nurse on duty – Kelli, my third OB nurse of the day – who made me feel better about my predicament. She patted my hand and told me that my OB was one of the best surgeons on staff, so the scarring would be minimal. She congratulated me on making it this far and told me everything was going to be okay. And even though my husband, sister and close friend were telling me the same thing, it was comforting to hear it from my nurse. Kara was born an hour later, healthy and perfect. Eleven pounds of perfect, to be exact! Kelli and the others were right. Everything was going to be okay.
2. …And my third.
My children are very close together in age – Kara just turned six, Nathan will be five in a couple of weeks, and Liam turns three in June – and all three were C-sections, so you’d think that by June 2011, I’d be an old pro at surgery prep. But I wasn’t. I was extremely nervous, remembering all of the drawbacks associated with the operation. When it was time to receive my spinal block, I couldn’t stay still. My body was wracked with sobs and I couldn’t stop shaking. But my nurse was amazing. She walked me through some deep breathing exercises until I was still enough to receive my medication. Once I was on my back, she stood next to me and stroked my hair until my husband was allowed to join me. Such simple gestures, but isn’t it always the smallest acts of kindness that mean the most? To this day, I can’t remember her name, but I will never forget the feeling of peace she gave me during one of the scariest moments of my life.
3. Recovering from gallbladder surgery.
Liam was five months old when excruciating abdominal pain resulted in my second surgery of the year to remove my gallbladder. It was laparoscopic gallbladder surgery, meaning the incisions would be small and recovery smooth. Except that it wasn’t. In a few days we would learn about the excess fluid in my belly that indicated a biliary leak, but all I knew during my initial hospital stay was that my gallbladder was gone and I was still in the same level of pain as before. To draw on my childbirth experiences, it was like my worst contraction ever, only it wouldn’t go away.
For the two and a half days I spent in the hospital, I had the same day nurse. His name was Shane, and he went to great lengths to make sure I was as comfortable as possible. He was prompt with my pain meds and helped me use the bathroom multiple times because it hurt too much to walk on my own. He was extremely gentle with me and never made me feel bad for needing so much help. I was so grateful for his care that I nominated him for a staff nurse award before I left the hospital.
I’ve received excellent care over the years from all sorts of medical professionals, but when I look back on those times, it is often the care of my nurses that stands out the most. They may never realize what a difference they made in my life, but their willingness to spend time with me, listen to my concerns and prepare me for the challenge ahead, will never be forgotten.
Are you inspired to become a nurse? Click here to learn more about career tracks and specialties for nurses.
Posted On: January 1,2014
Welcome to 2014! January is the month for resolutions. How about making one to advance your nursing career? Whether you’re just getting started or building on education you already have, take the beginning of a new year as the opportunity to get the ball rolling on going to nursing school!
Here are a few things you should do to achieve your goal of starting nursing school in the new year:
1. Find the right degree program.
Degree options are vast. Depending on where you are in your career and what previous education you have, many degree options could work. Before even looking into schools, determine what degree program you want to pursue. Find Nursing Schools can help.
2. Research nursing schools.
As our site proves, there are numerous nursing schools available for each program choice. Do your research and choose a school that’s accredited and respected in the healthcare community. Use our database.
3. Talk to advisors at nursing schools.
We recommend talking to more than one nursing school. You might not get into your top choice or there could be a wait list. Having options allows you to make the right choices about your future. Your admissions advisors could become your best friends through this process so keep in touch and get to know them.
4. Study hard and take entrance exams.
Don’t make the assumption that entrance exams are easy. If your school requires the TEAS, take time to truly prepare for it. We’ve put together a guide that can help. Other exams have study materials as well. Avoid mistaking the exams as a formality. Your score truly makes a difference.
5. Take your prerequisites.
Many schools will require that you take some prerequisites before you can enroll in their nursing program. Find out what they are from your admissions advisor and take the classes seriously. There’s a reason why they are required classes so don’t brush them off.
6. Apply to nursing schools.
Like many of the other steps, take time with this one. Fill out your applications carefully and make sure all of your materials arrive where they’re supposed to by the deadline. Never wait until right before an application deadline to apply.
7. Choose a school.
When the acceptance letters roll in, choose the school that’s right for you. Consider the length of the programs, the cost and the reputation when making your final decision.
8. Prepare financially and mentally.
Before your classes start, get your finances in order. Many programs are so rigorous that you won’t be able to work. Figure out how you’ll pay for nursing school and your expenses before you head back to the classroom. Also, let your friends and family know that you’ll need support and time to focus on your studies while going to school. Never expect nursing school to be easy. It will, however, be very worth it.
Good luck achieving your dream of returning to nursing school in 2014. Download our guide to nursing a career in nursing.
Posted On: December 26,2013
Some people decide from a young age they want to be a nurse. Others decide later in life that nursing is a good choice for them. No matter when you make the decision, the process to becoming a nurse is the likely similar. However, to many, that process may be unclear or daunting. Find Nursing Schools is here to help. We have unveiled the process of becoming a nurse in our 10 Steps to Becoming a Nurse infographic. These ten steps map out each procedure involved in becoming a nurse, from the day you decide to enter to nursing school to your first day as an official nurse.
We hope you found this information helpful in your quest to becoming a nurse. Remember, Find Nursing Schools is here for you every step of the way!
Posted On: December 18,2013
No doubt about it, nursing school is a major financial investment. It offers high returns, for sure—and relatively quick ones if you choose an accelerated nursing program—but there’s still anxiety associated with leaving a steady salary behind to become a full-time student again. What if you want to keep working part-time while attending nursing school? How can you get your boss and your company to support you? Here are a few tips about how to approach the conversation:
Lay the groundwork early:
Bosses, as a rule, aren’t big on surprises, so don’t wait until just before school starts to let your boss know you’re leaving. If your relationship is close enough, let her in on your thought process as soon as you’ve mentally committed to the idea of nursing school. Tell her why being a nurse is important to you, and let her know you’re researching nursing programs. This not only lets your boss get used to the idea gradually, it allows her to give the same courtesy to others who may need to be involved in the decision, like HR. If you feel that being upfront about your impending career switch might make your work life uncomfortable, discuss it after you’ve been accepted. If possible, speak with someone else at the company who has made a similar work transition and get advice from him or her beforehand.
Know your own objectives:
How many hours a week do you want to work, ideally? How much of it will be done in the office vs. remotely? Do you prefer only solo projects or will you still be able to work on teams? Do you want to continue doing the same kinds of things or would you be willing to take on a totally different role? It’s important to be clear about your own goals and where you’re willing to make trade-offs. Make sure you also work with your admissions advisor to understand what’s realistic. Nursing programs, especially accelerated programs, are demanding, and you may not have as much time left for work as you originally thought. Many students conclude that they simply cannot work while in school. While it’s certainly not impossible, juggling a job and nursing school takes exceptional planning, organization, prioritization and time management skills.
Lay out a specific proposal:
Put yourself in your boss’s shoes. Then write up a proposal that answers her most likely questions. If you’re asking to cut your time from 40 hours a week to 20, for example, present a concrete plan for how that would work. Will you move to part-time status or will you become a freelancer? Specify when and where you’d put in the hours, and what kinds of equipment or technology you’ll need to stay in touch. Are co-workers going to pick up some of your current projects? If so, talk to them ahead of time to get their buy-in. Are you willing to check in at regular intervals or continue to attend certain meetings? Your plan should cover not only how things will work after you’re in school, but also what you’ll do in advance to prepare. Write it all down, discuss it with your boss and give her some time to think through it and identify any additional questions and concerns.
So, what if you do all this and your boss still says no? Sometimes it’s in the best interest of the company to hire and train someone else for your position as soon as possible. If that’s the case, professional etiquette dictates that you should still develop a transition plan for your boss and coworkers that prepares the company for your departure. You don’t want to burn any bridges! If staying at your current job isn’t an option, you may want to explore various nursing scholarships or work-study alternatives that will help offset your school expenses.
Even if you’re unable to keep your old job, odds are good that you’ll find a fulfilling new one once you have your BSN degree!
On a wait list? Find schools with no wait list Click here to start!
Want to accelerate your nursing career? Learn more about accelerated nursing programs
Find out what it takes to be a nurse. Download our free Nursing Career Guide
Have you taken the TEAS? Learn want you need to know to ace the TEAS with this free guide