Congratulations! You’ve enrolled in nursing school and should be proud of yourself for embarking on this journey. As you follow the path to become a nurse and join the world of healthcare, it may feel surreal, challenging, and rewarding all at once, but don’t worry, you’ve got this.
If you’re wondering how you should prepare for nursing school, you’ve come to the right place. You can get a headstart on learning and studying the fundamentals of nursing.
What are the Fundamentals of Nursing?
You’ll take a nursing fundamentals course at the beginning of nursing school.
This comprehensive class will help you build a foundation of skills you’ll need for the rest of your nursing career.
Usually, this course has a lecture, lab, and clinical site portion so you can apply your new knowledge and skills to real-world situations.
The Importance of Mastering the Nursing Fundamentals
Learning nursing fundamentals will help you interact with future patients properly and effectively, minimizing the chances of medical negligence. The fundamentals consist of the primary day-to-day duties you’ll perform as a nurse and the basics to diagnose, assess, and treat your patients.
The skills you’re required to learn are medication administration, caring for patients, positioning patients, charting, nursing legalities such as HIPPA laws, charting, and the nursing process.
The Five Stages of the Nursing Process
The nursing process is one of the most important things you’ll need to remember. It will be on the NCLEX, and you’ll need to use it on every patient throughout your nursing career.
The nursing process is at the core of nursing and consists of five steps to properly care for every patient. An easy way to remember the steps is an acronym, ADPIE.
Use the following steps in order:
- Assessment: Observe and gather information
- Diagnosis: Using your gathered information, make a diagnosis
- Planning: Make a plan of action to treat the patient
- Implementation: Go ahead and implement your treatment plan
- Evaluation: Evaluate the outcome
Dive even deeper into ADPIE with this blog about the nursing process, giving memorable visual and written examples of the process.
5 Tips to Study the Fundamentals of Nursing
This set of foundational skills can be tricky to pick up at first but don’t stress right off the bat. Every nurse must learn these skills, and if many before you have succeeded, so can you! With the proper preparation, study banks, guides, and resources, you’ll be good to go.
1. Create Your Study-Haven
Whether you prefer to study in the library or the great outdoors, making sure your study environment is tailored to your needs is essential. Put on some low-fi music, take study breaks as needed, and keep plenty of water and snacks nearby.
It’s all about ensuring you can absorb the fundamentals. And yes, taking care of your needs includes fueling up on caffeine–if that’s your cup of tea.
2. Raise Your Hand
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes you need to double-check you have the right procedure down, so reach out to your teachers or fellow nursing students!
You can even post on nursing forums, read online resources, or ask your favorite search engine. There’s no shame in needing a helping hand. Read these students’ tips to learn more about succeeding in school.
3. Ready, Set, Practice
You’ll be taking many exams as a nursing student. So, it’s best to use this as a learning opportunity for the NCLEX. Take a practice test, and learn how to tackle NCLEX-style questions. You’ll be prepared to ace your first exam about nursing fundamentals, and eventually, pass the NCLEX on your first try.
4. Handy-Dandy Flashcards
Flashcards will always be in style. Whether you prefer to color code your lined cardstock or go digital, use flashcards to remember important nursing processes and acronyms.
5. Master It with Mnemonics
Memorizing gets a bad rap, but memorization doesn’t mean you won’t fully understand complex topics. Visual learning is effective for memory retention. Picmonic’s entertaining, silly picture mnemonics can help you learn, master, and recall difficult subjects like the fundamentals of nursing.
For more useful tips and information, check out our nursing student blog to support you throughout the school year and your entire time as a nursing student.
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