A Week in the Life of a BSN Student
Semester One, Junior Year
Daniel L. Crow
A week in the life of a first semester BSN student is filled with a mixture of anxiety, anticipation, acceptance, and attitude! Each and everyday holds new and rewarding challenges. To assist you with these challenges are the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th semester students who have all been where you are now. If they can't help, then it is guaranteed that at least, one of the helpful and encouraging professors or instructors will lend a hand and/or an ear.
At any given time you will feel anxious, whether it is over the grade you have studied so hard to achieve or about the new clinical skill you have mastered and are about to perform in front of your instructor. However, the anxiety will soon fade with each test passed, each skill checked off, and each new friend made who is there to help and provide a support system.
From the beginning you anticipate that first day of clinicals, ready to get involved with the hands on, nitty gritty so to speak. And everyday after you anticipate the next clinical day so you can apply all the new skills that you have mastered and practiced and experience the "real deal."
With acceptance to the Upper Division of the LBW College of Nursing you are accepted into a distinct and elite group of fellow classmates who are all different in many ways yet, share a common goal to see others brought to health through their knowledge and hard work. Everyday is an opportunity to make a new and lasting relationship with someone who shares your commitment to helping others. With all that has been said, there comes an attitude that is fueled by meeting and exceeding the challenges of the first semester of the JSU Nursing program.
Arriving at the LBW building by 7 a.m., I begin the day by studying for my Pharmacology exam for 1 hour. Then I am in class by 8:15 a.m., not a minute later, and ready for Foundations. Today I prepare for my first day of clinicals after having had 5 weeks of testing and practicing skills (all the fun hands-on stuff). I go to lunch with my classmates at 11:30 a.m., chat and get in a quick study with others to compare notes, and then back to the LBW building by 12:15 p.m.. I take my Pharmacology test at 12:30pm and hope I did my best. While waiting for the others to finish the test, I compare answers with those who have finished. The instructor reviewed the test at 1:15 p.m. and I smile at the 95! Then, we take notes for next week's exam. Class is finished by 2:30 p.m. and it is time to run errands and read over my notes for Thursday's Psychosocial class until 4 p.m.. After that, I head to the hospital (Anniston RMC) to receive my new patient assignment for clinical on Tuesday. I review the chart, chat with nurses and fellow classmates, and meet my new patient! At 5:30
p.m., it's home to eat, review patient notes, and prepare for Tuesday clinical.
Excitedly up at 6 a.m., I am at the hospital and on the floor by 6:45 taking shift report. At 7:15 a.m. I'm in the patient's room, independently making assessments and applying all the skills I've learned thus far. I also help others with their patient until it is time to meet in the conference room at 9 a.m.. Here, we discuss our assessments and plans for intervention with our instructor, who happens to always be there for you if we need her. At 9:30 a.m. ,
we are back on the floor working independently with the patients again. We go to lunch at 11 a.m., have a few laughs with peers, and have to be back to the floor by 12 p.m.. At 2 p.m., we begin to wrap up the day and chart all that has transpired throughout the shift. After clinical, I am off to work until 11:30 p.m.. Finally, the first day of clinical is over and I survived.
I get up whenever I feel like it because today is my day off (at least until 3 p.m. when I have to be at work). I go for a hike, canoe, ride my bike, golf, whatever I feel like doing because this is my time, and of course get some studying in while enjoying it! Then I am off to work at 3 p.m., where I make note cards for Friday's Health Assessment test. Oh yeah, I actually do work some too! I arrive home again at 11:30 p.m., just in time to study a little for tomorrow's Psychosocial exam.
The day begins around 9 a.m. with studying for today's exam. Then, I run a few errands, have lunch, and get to class by 1 p.m.. Before the exam, I compare clinical events with those who are assigned different days and hospitals. Then I take the test and wait anxiously with my fellow classmates to hear the results during test review. For the remainder of the class, we take notes and have a few breaks in between to chat, cut up, share clinical
experiences, and just unwind. I am finished with class by 3 p.m. and am off to work. I study Health Assessment notes and I can't forget to work some too! I am home and in the bed by 11:30.
Today, I am studying at school by 7 a.m. and taking my Health Assessment test by 8:15 a.m.. We are reviewing the test by 9 a.m. and begin taking notes for the next unit. After several breaks and a few pages of notes (to be conservative), it's time for lunch at 11:30 a.m.. I have to be back to the LBW building by 1 p.m. for Assessment lab where new skills are taught each week and last week's skill is checked off. There is also a little time in between to catch up on conversation with a classmate. At 3 p.m., I go to work and am home by 11:30 p.m..
THE WEEKEND! Oh yeah, one more thing, I can't forget to study for Monday's Pharmacology test!
A Week in the Life of a BSN Student
Semester Two, Junior Year
As you will all find out shortly, life as a JSU BSN student is quite an experience unlike any other!! It is definitely the most prestigious major on the JSU campus...Each semester is TOTALLY different from the previous. I am finishing up my junior year, or second semester, so I will be able to fill you in
on what's going on this semester! Here is a day by day account of what we typically go through... Starting on Monday, this is our "Class Day". We are in the classroom setting from around 8:15 a.m. till approximately 3:00 p.m.. Of course its not just straight lecture the whole time. They do allow us a lunch break (thank goodness)!! Then we come back for our afternoon classes. It is sometimes difficult to be in class all day, but the good thing is that its just twice a week.
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are designated clinical days. A person will realistically have only two of those days. So obviously, that leaves one day off!!!! TRUST ME, you will be glad for the day off!! If you happen to have clinicals on Tuesday, you will go to the hospital Monday night and get prepared for the next day...This isn't as bad as it sounds, but it is definitely a work out, and of course you have to have on your "Sunday's Best" and look
professional when you go to the hospital. Its not bad at all...The clinical setting is really a lot of fun...This is where you take what you have learned in the classroom and apply it to real life...You will learn quite a lot during this time. This will go on for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday...
THANK GOODNESS ITS FRIDAY!!! As always, it is SOOO awesome when Friday gets here!! Some particular weeks in nursing school can wear you out, so Fridays are great. Basically it is just like Monday's. You are in the classroom setting for most of the day, except when you leave school this time, you do not have to go to a hospital!! All in all, nursing school is not that bad....You get to meet TONS of new friends who have the same passion and desire as you do...I would not go back and attempt to do anything else other than nursing. Sometimes you may get so stressed you feel like quitting, eventually, there is a light at the end of the tunnel as in anything. The reward of being a nurse is like none other...
Good luck to you all, I hope this can be of help!!!
A Week in the Life of a BSN Student
Semester Three, Senior Year
My name is Jennifer Hardin and I am in my third semester of nursing school. I start my week off early by getting up at about 6:30 on Monday morning and I have O.B. from 8:15- 11:30. I have a long break from 11:30 until 14:15. I have an elective class (women's health) from 14:15-15:45. I would definitely recommend this class, it is awesome and really helps out with O.B.. I then have the rest of the day off to study or just have some time for myself. On Tuesday and Wednesday I have clinical (either O.B. or Psych) which are from 6:30-14:45. (psych clinicals are from 8:30-16:30). Thursday, my favorite day, is off day!!!!!! However, this day is usually spent doing clinical paperwork. On Friday, I have Psych from 8:15-11:30. I also have Women's Health on Friday's from 14:15-15:45. Then wow, I have made it through another week. This semester has been my favorite semester of nursing so far. I love OB and Psych. The instructors for both of these classes are awesome. If you are thinking about nursing, I totally recommend it! After starting clinical you will know if nursing is really where your heart is.
A Week in the Life of a BSN Student
Semester Four, Senior Year
This is a busy, yet exciting semester. I'm finally getting ready to graduate! The exciting thing is that all of the nursing skills I have learned are finally making sense. I now have a much better understanding about how the human body works. This semester I am taking Adult Health II (Critical Care),
Community Health, and my preceptorship. I have learned how to take care of patients with ventilator, tracheostomies, and central lines. I feel more comfortable reading the monitors and EKG's. In Community Health we do home visits and talk to kids in schools about things like smoking. A typical week for me is busy. On Monday we have class from 8:15-12:30 in Critical Care. I study for about two hours when I get home. In the evening I go to the hospital in Anniston to get my patient information for the following day for clinical day. One week we have Critical Care clinicals and the next we have Community Health. On Tuesday I arrive in Anniston at 6:45 a.m. and stay until about 4:00 p.m.. After clinicals I will stay again to find out about my patient for the following day on Wednesday I will have clinicals just like the day before. I will try to study for an hour before going to bed. Thursday is the best day of the week. No school! I love it, because I can get all my paperwork done for clinicals, run errands, and study for the test on Friday. If I have any questions about any of the material for the test, I always go to the school to ask one of the teachers. They are always willing to explain anything that I have trouble with. Finally it is Friday! We have class from 8:15 until 12:30. Saturday and Sunday I try to catch up on everything. I study for 3-5 hours each day and make sure to take time out for myself. At the end of this semester we have a preceptorship with a nurse in a field of our choice. I am looking forward to that, because I will be able to see what working in the real world as a nurse is really like. During my preceptorship I will be able to refine all of my skills and get ready to graduate!
A Final Note from one of our students
about JSU's nursing program Graduating Senior
Tamika Staples Williams
My experience in the JSU nursing program has been rewarding. The instructors were genuinely interested in helping me to succeed. My classmates were cooperative as we worked together as a team to achieve our goal to be successful nurses. The aspects of the program that I enjoyed the most were my clinical experiences, which gave me hands on training in real world situations. I am blessed to have been in an encouraging and supportive environment at JSU.