It’s officially been a little over two weeks since I started the BSN program at National University! I’m was actually excited to hit the books! I know? Who wants to study? But, when you have been working your entire life to get to this point, not to mention the many times I failed and was mocked about “going back to school”! I can finally say I’m here! I’m doing it, and I’m excited!
Let’s get down to business! I’m sure there are plenty of you out there wanting to know what school is like. I know I was, I was googling and reading every blog I could get my hands on! The first day, we receive an email from the professor with the usual syllabus, this includes the typical rules, regulations and homework assignments. Now my first nursing class is an online Nursing Theory class. We are assigned ATI tests that are due weekly and we are to score a 100% on all ATI quizzes. Don’t worry you get to test as many times as you need until you get that 100%. Here you will watch a few ATI videos then you are tested on what you learned. Not to bad, right?
Okay, not to bad so far, next we are assigned a partner as well as a group to work on two different assignments. We are to work on a diversity paper with a partner. Which I may add, in the many blogs I have read none of them mention having to work with partners. I don’t mind working with people, however, I tend to keep to myself and I am a quiet person. So it’s not easy for me to be assigned some random person. I don’t know how the other person writes/studies/ are they reliable? As you can tell there were a lot of thoughts running through my head. At the age that I am now, I have picked up a few things, here and there and have learned to work with different people. However, I have also learned that it is difficult when you have to rely on someone to get the grade you want! Ahh, the joy of learning through experience!
Moving on, we have a diversity paper due the third week of class, it’s looking good so far. Next is the group project, we are to pick a theorist and create a voiceover power point. Again, more new people to meet! We are to communicate with our group and chose a theorist and submit to the professor. I made it a point to introduce myself to my group and ask them to communicate with me, so that we may choose a topic. That’s great, your out of your comfort zone! Well, it was through e-mail, never the less it can be difficult to reach out to others as you don’t want to seem pushy or bossy. We all talked through e-mail and everyone seemed nice. Great! Schools not bad so far we are also assigned weekly readings along with power points in addition to some videos. We’re looking at about 8 chapters of reading in about two weeks, this would prepare us for the mid-term which would be 12 days after we started class! Remember this is an accelerated program we are in this class for 4 weeks and then on to the next class!
I would use the weekend to study, again since I commute 5 hours in total a day, it was difficult for me to come home and try to attempt to study. I am not one who can study for an hour. I can’t retain things this way, give me 10 hours a day and I can learn and understand anything! This is how I have learned to study and it works great for me! Over the weekend I was able to study and learn a few chapters both Saturday and Sunday. Of course, I took off Sunday morning for a mental break. Working two jobs, running two online stores, ( one of our online stores thankfully is run by my sister) Got pets? We have your accessories! In addition to having my blog, my plate is starting to fill up. Since this is my favorite time of year, we always go to the pumpkin patch, there is something about the outdoors that helps me clear my mind. Back to the week, my group decides we should meet in person. Gulp, ok, let’s do this! I am going to have to get used to meeting people, and these are going to be my classmates for the next two years. I’m going to have to meet them eventually. We decided on a day and meet up at the library since my schedule is very busy thankfully they were willing to work around that. Great start, I arrive at the library, a bit nervous but I felt good, maybe it was the energy drink that was starting to kick in. I walk in (late- thanks to the wonderful La Jolla traffic) and sit down and we begin to discuss our project, this wasn’t so bad, everyone was nice! We discuss and share our portion and decided we can meet up after our mid-term. I force myself to stay at the library and get some studying in.
We are now on Wednesday, two days before the midterm, after work, I had met up with my friend at the library. Here’s a tip to push you to study -accountability, it forces you to stay committed when you involve someone else in your study time. Since I had requested time off from work, I figured I was able to stay late at the library get as much studying in. This is exactly what we did, I left the library a little after 9:00 pm, then off to my one hour plus commute. I am home a little after 10:00 pm, I make myself a cup of coffee, hit the shower to wake me up, round two of studying. I was able to get a lot accomplished that night. Clearly, I went to bed close to 3:00 am. Dedication! Off to bed, we go!
Thursday morning, I fight the grogginess and get up 7:00 am! Lets hit the shower, another cup of coffee, eat some breakfast play with all my puppies. If you weren’t aware I have 7 dogs! Yup, we love dogs, well I do, my boyfriend couldn’t say no when they started multiplying. 🙂 Back to studying, I was able to study for 13 hours that day. With a 15 minute break every 2 hours. I was able to get all the reading done as well as my notes, I am a good note taker, I was able to get all 8 chapters into 40 pages of notes. I know that seems a lot, but I need small explanations as to what I am learning so this makes my notes seem longer, but it helps that I don’t have to constantly be referring back to the book. I made it a point to be in bed by 11:00 pm. I needed a good nights rest for the midterm.
Friday! We made it, again, shower, coffee, and let’s go! I’m off to school, not an early as I hoped but with enough time to meet my friends and get some more studying in. One thing I learned that helps on my commute is listening to youtube videos about the topic I am learning. I arrive at school on time meet with my friends as we test each other. We show up to the computer lab and begin to test. For some reason, I wasn’t as nervous, I felt comfortable in what I had learned. I could have used an additional day to study, to really feel confident but this is also our first test with this professor, you don’t know how they test or how in depth you need to learn things.
Now I don’t know about other nursing programs, but here at National, you are not allowed to score less than a 76% on a test, once you score that low you are put on probation. You meet with the professor and figure out why you scored low. Now after meeting with the professor and you still score lower than 76% in the class, you are out of the program! Umm… no one mentioned this! Now, this has been lingering in the back of my mind since class started. I was doubting myself, the way I study, and how I take notes. Until one day it clicked, in order to be where I am at now, I was not allowed to “C’s on any of my courses. I needed those A’s and B’s to get in the nursing program. So what was so different now? Nothing, I am determined to pass all my courses.
I completed the midterm not as difficult as I expected it to be and I was definitely in the right direction as for my note taking skills! Of course, I didn’t do as well as I hoped. Glad midterms are over, I then met my partner at Starbucks to work on our diversity paper. We were able to get a good outline done and finish early! Now on to finals! Oh, that’s right and our group project. See these past two weeks weren’t bad, it was overwhelming at first but after breaking down the days and the homework I was able to see that school wouldn’t be as hard as others had said. Although we are only in the beginning stages I will continue to stay positive about school and look for all the good in it!