31. EXPERT TIP #6: How to save time 🕰 and brain 🧠 space in nursing school! Guest Expert Nurse Denetra Hampton, founder of the Nursing Education and Study Center, tells us!

Welcome to Episode 31 of Navigating Nursing School with Your Nursing Tutor. Today, you’ll be hearing from Nurse Denetra Hampton, founder of the Nursing Education and Study Center

Denetra will be on the show to reveal where you will find some of the most important information in your textbook…even though most nursing students will completely overlook this.

Quick Links

FIRST EXPERT TIP #1 – Start at the beginning

NEXT EXPERT TIP #7: Should you work a job while in nursing school?

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Links from Episode 31:

Denetra’s Website: www.nursingeducationandstudycenter.com

Denetra’s Website: Www.fornursesbynurses.org 

Denetra’s FB Grp: facebook.com/groups/nursingeducationandstudycenter

LIVE Tutoring Membership: www.YourNursingTutor.com/VIP

Transcript for Episode 31

Before Denetra shares her tip, I wanted to let you know that this is the sixth in a series of expert tips for new nursing students. Although honestly, most of the tips in this series can be used all throughout nursing school, and many even after you’re a new grad working your first nursing job, too. 

So make sure that you subscribe to the podcast to be notified when each new tip is available, and make sure to listen to all the experts from the beginning of the series if you haven’t already, because you definitely don’t want to miss them. 

Also, any links or resources that I mention today, including how to connect with Nurse Denetra outside of this podcast, can be found on the show notes page for this episode at www.YourNursingTutor.com/episode31

By the way, if you don’t already know me, my name is Nicole Whitworth, and I’m a Registered Nurse who earned her BSN through an Accelerated 2nd Degree Program. I’m also a professional nursing tutor with over 12+ years experience helping nursing students learn how to study in a way that teaches you to think like a nurse WHILE you’re still in nursing school, so that you can spend less time studying, get better grades, and feel confident when it comes time to take NCLEX and start your first nursing job.

Now let me introduce you to my guest expert for today, Nurse Denetra Hampton.

Denetra is a Registered Nurse with her Masters in Health Services Administration, and served for 22-years in the US Navy as a Naval Nurse Corps Officer. She has experience working in a wide variety of nursing fields, including everything from Med-Surg to Quality Improvement. 

She is also the founder of the Nursing Education and Study Center, which provides a unique “Study and Learn” workspace for Nurses and other science creatives. It includes a “Pay per Click” option where you can study on-demand at your own pace and rate, or you can enroll in her private NCLEX Master Class. You can find out more about that at www.NursingEducationAndStudyCenter.com 

And if that wasn’t enough, Denetra also founded “For Nurses By Nurses Productions”, a media platform that includes a global health leadership initiative, a digital education center, and film production company, which you can learn more about at www.ForNursesByNurses.org

All in all, Nurse Denetra’s work is focused on the development of the future nurse scientist, through a lens of diversity, global health and scientific story-telling.

Here is Denetra’s tip for you:

“Hi, this is Denetra and I am the founder of Nursing Education and Study Center. 

My number one study tip for all students who are getting ready to go into nursing school is this: you have to remember that it is a science. And so you have to see it as that perspective. 

When you are studying, every box in your books has a guideline attached to it. Make sure that you go to that guideline to refer to what you are studying in your book. A lot of times students do not go and do that. And they miss a lot on the science that ultimately relates to their NCLEX. 

So when you’re studying your books, if you have a photo in that book, underneath that photo is a guideline, go to that guideline and then relate it back to what you are studying. It’s a reason for that, because most of the time, your NCLEX relates back to that guideline. Have a great day.” 

Thank you, Denetra, for your helpful tip about focusing on the science to link what you study to how you’ll eventually be tested on NCLEX. 

Now I want to take a moment to make sure everybody clearly understands what Nurse Denetra means when she says “guidelines”. She’s referring to the references to scientific studies and reports that you find throughout your textbook. You can usually find an entire list of references at the end of each chapter, but if you pay attention then you’ll notice that they are also sprinkled throughout the text, tied right next to the topic they are being used to provide guidance for. You can also find them in the captions below the various pictures, boxes, and clinical procedures. 

Before hearing Denetra’s tip, I had never really thought about it this way, but these guidelines truly are a BIG tip that something is “the most important information”. And so you really should take note of them and relate them back to what you are studying. 

Let me explain why this is true. See, nursing is an evidence-based profession, therefore NCLEX is testing you on evidence-based practice. So the test-writers need to maintain a firm-foundation, grounded on the research evidence supporting clinical practice…because if they asked questions related to anything else, then it would be based on “fuzzy” guidelines, instead of evidence.

And no, “fuzzy” is not an official nursing school term, it’s just an official “Your Nursing Tutor” style term. But if NCLEX used those fuzzy guidelines, then the answers really COULD vary depending on anything from what hospital the test writer worked in, to what field she specialized in, or even where in the country she lived. 

Instead, every nurse (and nursing student!) has a basic foundation of science that you can refer back to when you are making clinical decisions to determine best practice. 

And it is those very guidelines that Nurse Denetra is referring to. Basically, they’re a “wink wink, nudge nudge” that a particular topic has some research evidence behind it, therefore there must be some evidence-based guidelines supporting it…which means it is MUCH more likely to be tested on when you get to NCLEX. So you’ll be better off if you identify that important information NOW, as you’re still going through nursing school. 

Nurse Denetra and I are 100% in agreement that to be successful in nursing school, you have to have a firm foundation on the WHY behind the processes you are studying. 

In fact, that’s a large part of how Nurse Denetra helps nursing students through the “Nursing Education And Study Center”. She offers online videos and trainings that helps explain the nursing information by linking it back to the science of nursing.

I think another reason that Denetra’s tip to remember the science is more important than ever is because the NCLEX is making moves to emphasize that as well. I mean, they have always been evidenced-based as we mentioned, but you may have heard all the buzz about the format changing within the next couple years. I hear from a lot of students who are feeling worried about possibly taking the new format when they graduate. 

But rather than being scary, you should feel relieved in light of what we’re talking about today! Because the truth is, if you’re studying with a focus on understanding HOW all the nursing information fits together, and you’re staying focused on the science of nursing to help you to understand that, then you are going to be fine no matter which version of NCLEX you end up taking. 

That’s because the new format is still going to be testing you on the same things that the old format was trying to test you on…namely, how to think like a nurse! The test writers don’t just want to quiz you on how much nursing knowledge you’ve accumulated over the past several semesters…instead, they want to know if you can analyze and apply the nursing knowledge that you HAVE accumulated in a clinical situation. 

So in that sense, I think the new format is going to be a lot harder for students who haven’t learned how to study this way, in a way that helps you focus on understanding how all the puzzle pieces of nursing information logically fit together AND interact with AND influence one another. That’s basically what critical thinking is, actually. 

Which is why I focus so much on teaching students the best way to study when you join my VIP Tutoring Membership, which you can learn more about by going to www.YourNursingTutor.com/vip. Because it’s like anything in life…the more you practice, the better you’ll get. Studying for your exams doesn’t have to be a guessing game. You can be more efficient and use your study time to practice thinking like a nurse. 

In fact, I use a method I developed called the Silver Bullet Study System, which is an easy-to-follow study method which walks you through 4 simple steps that mimic the way experienced nurses think. This way, you can be practicing NOW for how to analyze and apply the foundational nursing knowledge that you are learning, long before you ever take NCLEX, so that when it is time to sit for NCLEX, it won’t be the first time you’ve used those “thinking like a nurse” skills, so you will feel less anxious and more confident.

So between studying in a way that mimics how experienced nurses think, and using Nurse Denetra’s suggestion to always be looking for the guidelines and link that science to the why of what you are learning, you will definitely be picking up on things that your classmates aren’t noticing AND doing better on your exams as a result!

Now if you go to the show notes, you’re going to find one more link that I think is especially unique and interesting. As I mentioned, Nurse Denetra is also the founder of “For Nurses by Nurses Productions”, and she has produced several documentary films that address the complicated history of diversity and nursing. One of these films is “The Black Angels: A Nurse’s Story”, which shares the untold story of African American nurses who risked their lives to care for patients with Tuberculosis, back before there was a cure, when other nurses refused. I highly recommend visiting her “For Nurses by Nurses Productions” page to see the interesting and important film projects she has going on.

As I mentioned earlier, Denetra’s tip is the sixth in a series of tips for new nursing students from over 2 dozen different experts…and in our next episode, Student Nurse Devon Taylor, who is in his last semester of nursing school, yet still managed to find the time to launch his own podcast called “Memoirs of a Murse” (and a “murse” is a male nurse, if you don’t know that already). Anyway, Devon will be joining me to answer a question that I get asked ALL the time from new nursing students…should you work while in nursing school? He’ll be giving you his definitive answer, along with some great, “in the nursing school trenches” type of advice for how to make yourself look good to all the nurses, nursing faculty, and other healthcare personnel you’ll be working with throughout nursing school. 

So if you’d like to hear his tip along with other essential advice from other experienced nurses and nursing students who have been in your shoes (and lived to tell the tale), then make sure to subscribe to this podcast to be notified when the next episode in this series goes live. 

And while you’re subscribing, if you liked today’s tip and are looking forward to the upcoming tips as well, please leave a rating and review on iTunes or your favorite podcast app to let me know! A 5-Star review with 1-2 sentences of your honest opinion goes a looong way towards helping other nursing students find these tips, AS WELL AS motivating me to create even more useful resources like this for you in the future. 

One last thing…remember that HOW you study matters more than WHAT or even HOW MUCH you study. If you’d like to learn how to study more efficiently so that you can save time and improve your critical thinking skills faster than you can on your own, then I invite you to try out the Your Nursing Tutor VIP Tutoring Membership with a free trial. It’s an affordable way to learn the Silver Bullet Study System, an easy-to-follow study method that will help you get through your assigned reading faster AND retain more information for the long-term.

The VIP Tutoring Membership comes with curated resources you’ll need to conquer all the common nursing school challenges, and also includes live tutoring sessions via Zoom, topical trainings, and a private Facebook group so you can ask questions anytime. 

You shouldn’t be driving home in tears at the end of every nursing school day…instead, let me guide and encourage you so that you can transform into the confident soon-to-be-nurse that you know you’re capable of becoming by joining today at www.YourNursingTutor.com/vip

Until next time, good luck on your nursing journey!

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