When your nursing journey takes longer than expected…a Tutoring Consult with Amber F (Episode 55-Navigating Nursing School Podcast)

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Hey there! This is Nurse Nicole, founder of Your Nursing Tutor and the VIP Tutoring Membership. Today, I’m doing something a little bit different on the podcast that I think you’re going to love…I’m going to let you be a “fly on the wall” for a recent Tutoring Consult that I did for one of my VIP Tutoring Members, Amber! 

Amber’s nursing journey has taken her longer than she originally hoped, with several unexpected twists and turns. One of those “twists and turns” included not one, but TWO previous failures with Dosage Calculations. These failures resulted in a 10-year pause from nursing school while she worked as an LPN instead, even though her ultimate goal was to become a registered nurse. 

But there’s good news, of course!! Because today she’ll be sharing how she was able to transform her Dosage Calculations weaknesses into strengths, even surprising her instructor by achieving 100% on all her Dosage Calculations after becoming a VIP Tutoring Member for only a month.

You’ll also get a peek into how Amber manages nursing school while also balancing a full-time job AND taking care of her family and teenage boys. Plus, she’ll be sharing her honest thoughts and feelings about the final grade she earned in her LPN to RN bridge class.

Enjoy today’s episode!

——–

Nicole Whitworth  


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Links from Episode 55:

Free Dosage Calculations Study Toolkit: https://www.yournursingtutor.com/dosage-calc

VIP Tutoring Membership: www.YourNursingTutor.com/vip

Free Facebook Group: Nursing Students in Nursing School, (Free Help and Support)


Transcript for Episode 55

Hey there! This is Nurse Nicole, founder of Your Nursing Tutor and the VIP Tutoring Membership. Today, I’m doing something a little bit different on the podcast that I think you’re going to love…I’m going to let you be a “fly on the wall” for a recent Tutoring Consult that I did for one of my VIP Tutoring Members, Amber! 

Amber’s nursing journey has taken her longer than she originally hoped, with several unexpected twists and turns. One of those “twists and turns” included not one, but TWO previous failures with Dosage Calculations. These failures resulted in a 10-year pause from nursing school while she worked as an LPN instead, even though her ultimate goal was to become a registered nurse. 

But there’s good news, of course!! Because today she’ll be sharing how she was able to transform her Dosage Calculations weaknesses into strengths, even surprising her instructor by achieving 100% on all her Dosage Calculations after becoming a VIP Tutoring Member for only a month.

You’ll also get a peek into how Amber manages nursing school while also balancing a full-time job AND taking care of her family and teenage boys. Plus, she’ll be sharing her honest thoughts and feelings about the final grade she earned in her LPN to RN bridge class.

As always, if you’d like to read the transcript for today’s episode, or find ANY of the links that I mention, you can always go to my website at www.YourNursingTutor.com/episode55 to get that information.

Enjoy today’s episode!

——–

Nicole Whitworth  

So, I’ve been thinking about for a while that I wanted to, to get one of my tutoring members on a call with me, too, for the podcast because people wonder, like, you know, when you before you get into whether it’s like, traditional tutoring and what I do is not what most people consider traditional tutoring. Right. So they don’t really understand what it is. And so I think the best way to let people understand is for them to like, be a fly on the wall. Exactly. So thank you so much for being willing to, to, to let the flies sit on the wall.

Amber F  

No problem, no problem.

Nicole Whitworth  

For everybody who’s going to be listening to this and to refresh my memory and all the details. Why don’t you share a little bit about your backgrounds. But, you know, how you your your nursing school journey up to this point, and then we’ll talk about why what, you know, when you emailed me and the issue that we’re going to be talking about, um,

Amber F  

well, I started this journey back in 2006. When I was doing all my prerequisites. I entered the nursing program in 2008. And unfortunately, dosage calc got me. So a lot of people, yes, yes. So I ended up finishing my LPN certification, December of 2009. I went on to advanced med surg, which is the RN level, and unfortunately, that got me. So life happened and I was unfortunately not able to go back to school at that time. So I applied to do the NCLEX on the LPN level. I got that in May of 2010. And I started working that summer. I think I’ve started in July, and I’ve been working ever since. As a nurse, so I’ve been I’ve been in geriatrics. I spent most of my time in pediatrics. I’ve done OB GYN. I’ve done Gosh, endocrinology. I’ve done rheumatology. I’ve done all sorts of stuff that was all in peds but with a guy with a

Nicole Whitworth  

PD pediatrics is like a specialty within a specialty when you work on those things. Because yes, I was an operating room nurse when I graduated, and it was at a pediatric hospital. So I say like, it’s a specialty within a specialty because there’s like the O R stuff. But then there’s the pediatric concerns on top of it. And it’s the same Yeah.

Amber F  

I must think like a kid because I loved it. I didn’t didn’t have any problems. It was so much fun. So much. Yeah.

Nicole Whitworth  

Yeah. Kids are really great to work with because, you know, a lot of people say, Oh, how could you work with the kids? They’re so yes, yeah, yeah. They’re like, Oh, it’s so sad to see them. And I’m like, there’s so much fun. They are so resilient. I’ve worked with a lot of kids in a lot of hard situations. Even before I was in nursing. I was in clinical psychology, and I worked with kids who had come from not so good situation. Automatic. Yeah. And then, you know, going into that I was a little nervous because I’d never worked with that population before. But then as soon as you get around them, they’re just kids. They’re just but yeah,

Amber F  

exactly. They’re just kids. Yeah, they’re very simple. So from that, I went into OB, and then I needed something that was a little bit more sustainable. So I went back into geriatrics and that’s where I’m currently at. been doing that for about three years. But in that time, I’m like, I don’t want to sit at an LPN. level. I never, that was never my goal when I initially started this journey. So I applied back to school and that’s kind of where I’m at. I did the LPN to RN transition last fall and unfortunately dosage count got me. So it wasn’t till I found your program, then I’m like, okay, because I got all hundreds on my dosage count. So yeah, I finally have mastered it. I still have some confusion a little bit sometimes with, you know where to put it. But other than that I did exceptionally well, this semester, and even the instructor commented she was very surprised, and, you know, very happy for you. So, yes.

Nicole Whitworth  

Are you have you been going to the same nursing school for this whole time or?

Amber F  

No, no, um, I, here in Michigan, there’s one in my town in Kalamazoo. I went there to get my LPN, but they don’t have a part time program anymore. And I have to work full time. Yeah, and do this. So the only one is in Battle Creek, so I attend Battle Creek community, Colorado.

Nicole Whitworth  

Okay, so your full time LPN to RN program. I’m sorry, part time part time. Yes. Part time LPN to RN Bridge Program. You’re working full time in geriatrics as an LPN. Okay, and you’re rocking the dosage calculations now, which is what got you twice in the past. So first of all, congratulations, that is absolutely amazing. I can see a smile on your face that you’re proud you should Yes, absolutely. Should be, you need to own that success. Because I, you know, tell people that I’ve had people tell me that the way that I teach dosage calculations, which of course, is with dimensional analysis,

Amber F  

that’s how I learned it. So

Nicole Whitworth  

yeah, but even though you learned it that way, originally, something wasn’t clicking. Right. Yeah, yeah. And so I’ve been told before that I explained it like your five in a good way.

Amber F  

Or something, just how you have to do it in order to

Nicole Whitworth  

you know, it is yeah. And, and one of the and the reason why I always say is that there’s this problem in nursing. It’s not just in nursing, it’s, it’s everywhere, actually. But it’s very, very bad. In nursing school, it’s called the the expert to novice problem. And I don’t know if you’ve heard me talk about this before Amber, but it’s where experts and there’s a lot of research on this. Experts are notoriously bad, like horribly bad at explaining things and breaking them down for beginners, because they can’t remember what it was like to think like a beginner. So, and I’ll say, like, I just, I read up on this stuff. And because I think it’s important as a tutor who works with beginners is because if you’re in nursing school, if you’re anywhere, you know, before, at least your first year as a new grad, you’re a beginner nurse, right? And so you, you know, you have to be talked to like a beginner nurse, and that’s not condescending, it shouldn’t be condescending, and it shouldn’t make you feel dumb. It’s just where you’re at, you know? Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And too many, I think too many nursing students end up getting made to feel dumb, like they can’t think like an expert yet, which is ridiculous. So, but I was reading this example, in this book that was talking about this issue, gave an example this children’s book that was about a fish and a tadpole, that we’re friends and the fish bear with me. And it’s a children’s book, but no, your fish, the fish, like really wanted to know what it was like to live in the in the world out of the water, but of course could never leave the water. So the tadpole said, Well, when I grow up to become a frog, I’ll go explore the world come back and tell you about it. And so that’s what they you know, this tadpole grows into a frog goes out, explores the world comes back, telling the fish all about it. He says, oh, there’s these things called people. And they walk on two legs upright, and the fish and then of course, the illustrations. This is what the words are, but then the illustrations show the fish imagining what it looks like. And he imagines fish standing upright, walking on their two fins. Right? Yeah. Yeah, he has no idea that the fish is thinking this way, because they both had this completely different frame of reference perception. Exactly. And what happens with with professors and instructors a lot of times is that they’re the frog, who’s already grown up to walk on land, and then they’re coming back and trying to teach all you little fishy nursing students. And so they say things that seem very obvious and clear to them, completely forgetting what, what their frame what your frame of reference is, having never left the pond. And so That’s why that’s where I come in. Yeah. Yeah.

Amber F  

And I thank you because, yeah.

Nicole Whitworth  

Wow. But, but and that’s where I say, too with LPNs, who are coming back, it’s kind of related to you, too, I see this problem a lot with, you know, experienced LPN is like you who are coming back to, to pursue, you know, RN, is, you are also a frog. So you know, but now you’ve got to try and kind of transition back to fish in some ways. And it’s, it can be a very challenging transition. And this is why you hear a lot of instructors say, sometimes discouraging things about, it’s going to be even harder for you. Because you know, there’s the real world versus NCLEX world, ideal world and NCLEX. And there is some truth to that, because there’s, you know, the NCLEX questions are designed to test how you think as a safe beginning, nurse, right. Correct. And, as an LPN, you are already an expert. And so you kind of have to learn how to break down your own thought processes, the way that I do as a tutor, to take it back from being an expert, back to the context of how a beginner would think and think things through that way, a little more simply, and so that can be challenging. So, which is I’m jumping ahead of myself, because I knew what we were talking about today. So that’s gonna play into my advice for you later. So why don’t you share in your own words? So when you emailed me, you told me that you, you passed your dosage calculations, which was awesome. Yeah. But you weren’t completely happy? And why was that?

Amber F  

We took our final on the 20. Well, we had to buy the 20. And so I took the final, which was kind of a comprehensive overall of all LPN level stuff that that they test on. And again, there were some questions that one question is specific about G tubes that I’m like, none of this matches the answers. You know, and trying to figure out what the question was, was truly asking. And it frustrated me. So when I finished I got a 71, which, you know, okay, but I wasn’t happy with it. Because I had worked really hard and trying to understand. And I thought, There’s got to be a way to break down these questions. Maybe I’m not doing that correctly. So that’s why I emailed you. I’m like, maybe I’m not looking at the questions. So granted, I am, I am wanting to read the question really quickly. And not really read it. So I’ve got to work on that. But there’s got to be a way to pick out what it’s truly asking. And maybe I’m not focusing on that enough to understand what the answer is. So that’s why he do because there’s got to be a way to master this.

Nicole Whitworth  

Yeah. Now you did tell me that. So what’s the what’s the passing grade at your school? What do you have to get to pass this class? Well,

Amber F  

I was reading that if you don’t get a 78 on any test, you’re remediated. And then you’re kind of what looked your watch closely. Um, as far as I know, you have to get above a C, I think a C or higher in order to pass.

Nicole Whitworth  

Okay, cuz I was gonna say, because some, some schools will actually change the grading scale. I don’t know if you’ve heard that. But like,

Amber F  

well, she did. Because she did email us and say she threw out three questions, which ended up I ended up with an 82

Nicole Whitworth  

Oh, well, that’s, that was even better, but that too.

Amber F  

But it’s like, I didn’t actually I wanted to earn that. You know what I’m saying? It’s kinda like the doses Calc I finally mastered that. Yeah. How is it that I can’t master

Nicole Whitworth  

these questions? Your very first semester? Yeah.

Amber F  

Well, come on.

Nicole Whitworth  

Okay. So so there’s a couple of things that I want to share with you then just to kind of give you some context, because I know, and this is one of the things that you know, with the VIP tutoring membership. I tell people, like I’m very much a nursing school coach, not just a tutor, right. And one thing that a coach does a lot of times is gives you context helps you with mindset helps you identify, like when you’re thinking in the right way, just about life in general. Not even just like how to answer this nursing school question. And also, because I’ve worked with so many students, I have a perspective that’s going to be different than yours. You can’t like you’re the one fish in the pond. I’m like the eagle flying over the pond not eating the fish because I don’t eat Yeah, that’s a bad analogy. But I’ve got this, you know, overview because I work with, you know, so many students and I, even around the world and because I work with mostly US students, but I also have students in Canada and Australia. So I can tell you what it’s like in other nursing programs to, which sometimes I say, reduces the crazy factor. I know when I was in nursing school, I went into it with one expectation. And that expectation was not met. And I was like, looking around, and everybody’s acting like this is normal. And I’m just like, this seems insane. This really seems insane to me. And yeah, I’m like, am I the only sane person in the house? Or am I crazy? Yes. What I discovered is, I actually did feel like the only sane person in the crazy Yes, but I’ve since like, there’s like good reasons for why it feels that way. Well, and actually, maybe they’re not all good reasons. But there’s reasons why. Okay, like, it’s kind of a systemic thing that has happened. Unfortunately, nursing, you can’t turn that around overnight. So you just have to, you know, notice where you’re at, as a student, and deal with it. And sometimes I really do find that when you when you understand why things are the way they are, it makes it a little easier to deal with. Because that number one, you know, it’s not you. Yeah, yeah. And then you can, you know, you can kind of just work through it, because now you know, what your parameters are? Correct. You know, what you’re dealing with? Exactly, exactly, you know, what you’re dealing with. And so you just deal with it, it makes it a little bit easier. So, that being said, I will tell you that the majority of nursing schools will have they, they like permanently change the grading scale to make it harder to pass compared to other majors. So usually, it’s anywhere between 75 to 80% has to be passing. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they do like in your school, which is where they just say like individual tests, but they’re talking more about the final grade, like your final grade has to be a 78% or higher. Yeah. Okay. And that means like, just for anybody listening. nursing schools do not round up.

Amber F  

Okay. Yeah. And even says it in the policy. Yes, yeah.

Nicole Whitworth  

If you get to 77.99%. And your passing is 78. You failed. Okay. And that feels unfair. But that’s just the way

Amber F  

it is. So I found my employer to half half point. Yeah,

Nicole Whitworth  

that’s a really common, I hear that a lot. Now, it’s good news. But when you’re close, because that means you’re close, that means you’re close. That means that just need to do like, you know, that’s why my system of teaching works so well, because you get these small tweaks on how you study and how you think about the information. And it can make big results. So if you’re already close, then you’re gonna be solid, once you make that transition. So that’s it. So, one, good news, it sounds like you’re in nursing school, like you’re well within the passing range, you know, if you have just had to get a C or better right. Now, this issue with getting an 82%, you feel like you don’t deserve it, okay. You deserve it. This is another context thing. It goes way back to, again, my day in nursing school, and it’s been repeated, it’s repeated in nursing schools everywhere. It is really, really common for professors and instructors to adjust the test grades after you take it. Okay, this can either be because they just miss kita. Sometimes. And so. And since a lot of times, you know, since most testing nowadays is done on the computer online, you know, you might see your grade immediately. But that doesn’t take into account any corrections that she has to make, you know, maybe she goes and she’s like, why don’t literally everybody get this easiest question. Oh, it’s because it’s supposed to be C and I accidentally marked D as the correct answer. Okay, so that’s one reason and then go back and change it and you increase your score, obviously, in that case, you did get it right. And you totally deserve that points,

Amber F  

those points. That makes you feel bad.

Nicole Whitworth  

Yeah. Because that that could just be like a miss keying error on the instructors side. Okay. The other reason that they do it is NCLEX questions are really, really, really hard to write. Okay? They take a lot of time. And because there’s so many layers that go into them, and because they’re trying to test you on how you think, not just on what you know, and this is the problem with the way that most nursing students study is they focus on what to know, this is what like all of the other kind of major nursing school memberships focus on I’m like, watch these review videos. Let me explain this to you, blah, blah. But it leaves out the entire second half of the equation, which is what my membership focuses on, which is how to think like a nurse. Okay, yes, you do need to know, a certain amount of content, not as much as you think, you know, probably need to know probably, yeah, yeah, some of it. And then, but then you need to turn around and start off analyzing and applying that information. And that’s what the tests are testing you on. Okay. Now, this is not a skill that completely happens overnight. But the good news is you already have the skill. And I guarantee you do because you’re a grown adult, living on your own, like, you pay your bills. You’re like you, you made it into nursing school. Okay. You can think like a nurse, and then you of course, you’re an LPN. You’re clearly an expert. Notice, you’ve been an LPN for, you know, 10 years or more. So you can think like a nurse, you can your critical thinking skills are just fine. But what we need to do is learn how to apply that same skill set to a different situation, which is RN, thinking like an RN, and specifically in this situation, applying it to the tests. Okay. So you do have critical thinking skills, we just need to figure out how to tweak that for you to apply it to the test. Okay. So, anyway, the test questions are really difficult to write for this, because it’s not just like, what’s the symptoms of this? Like, what are the steps to do? Yeah, yeah, the ITU or whatever. It’s, it’s, it’s more about, like, how do you think and how do you prioritize and stuff like that? And so they’re hard to write. And sometimes, if instructors trying to write their own, sometimes you write a bad question. And this is partly that expert to novice problem, like something that might seem easy to them, they give it and literally everybody in the class gets it wrong. That’s a good sign that it was not, not that everybody in the class is dumb. But that it was a bad question. So if that’s why your professor is throwing out those questions, she is a good professor, who is on your side. Okay. Good. Okay, nice is that she recognizes that. And that’s not anything to you. Like said she just recognizes? Sometimes it’s a bad question. And you can tell that from the data. Now, the problem between when you have classroom tests, versus NCLEX, or hesi, or ATI, or any of these, like big company tests, is that big companies have big data sets. Okay. So they can do really complicated statistical analyses to make sure that every single question on their tests that counts towards your score is a good question. So if you get one of their questions wrong, then that gives you some good information. Okay, classroom tests can like it’s impossible for them to have that kind of data. And so and so, you know, the instructors are saying the best they can to make that fair to you. So if she threw out those three questions, I would say there’s probably a good reason for it. And it’s not that she because trust me, none of your instructors want to just pass you through school. Yeah. Because they know you might be taking care of them someday. Okay. That’s true. Yeah. So this is why they tend to be so hard on us nursing students sometimes, too. And, obviously, sometimes some instructors go overboard with those kinds of remarks. And but deep down, they really do care. That’s why they’re in this profession. Because trust me, it’s not for the money, okay, they’re not doing this. Or the work hours, probably. They could do better hours, better, better money, and probably better shifts, going back to the bedside nursing. So they really do want you to succeed. They may not always be good at expressing it. But so I would say own that 82%. That’s awesome. You’re doing good. Okay. Now, some more mindset stuff.

I always tell people, so number one, you’re more than your grade. Okay? you’re a high achiever. I can tell that because like you’re really on top of it. You’re very proactive. You’re determined. Yeah. Which is awesome. And I hope people really listened to your story about, like, how many times you had a failure, but in front of you. And it made your nursing journey longer than you had hoped or anticipated. But you kept pushing through, so you don’t fail, unless you still want something and you give up. Okay, and you haven’t So you haven’t failed, you had some failures, but you have not failed. Okay? Failures are a learning experience. You found two ways not to conquer dosage calculations. And then the third way you found it works. Yes. And now you’re a master. Okay, that’s awesome, because that’s a skill you need for nursing clearly. So, grades do not define you. You probably have already heard C equals RN. Okay, I will say that a little bit dismissively, sometimes. C equals RN, when I say it does not mean you don’t care about what you’re learning. Okay. And I’m saying this to you, because I know you care. What about what you’re learning? Yes. Yeah. So, but the grades are not equivalent to what you’re learning. Does that make sense? Yes, yes. Okay. So what you’re learning and how you’re learning to think is going to be a separate issue from the specific grade that, you know, gets calculated in your GPA. Yeah. And part of what goes into that grade. You have to think about the things that are challenging to you, besides just nursing school, because you have other things going on in your life. You have work full time. I could just stop there. Yeah. Do you have family? If? Yes. Okay. You have a family? Do you have kids?

Amber F  

Yes to two teenage boys. Okay,

Nicole Whitworth  

so there you go. You have a family. You have two teenage boys and all the hormones that come with that. I have not My oldest is going to reach teenage years. Next year. Boy, yeah, I know. But I’ve heard from other friends that the teenage boys have worse mood swings than the girls. I don’t know. We’ll see. You think

Amber F  

somebody else said it? Because I was wondering, and I only have boys. So it’s Yeah, I think they’re worse.

Nicole Whitworth  

Yeah, no, I’ve heard from friends who have both genders? And they said, Yes, it’s, it’s been worse with the boys. So we shall see. But you’re dealing with that you’re dealing with working full time. And then you’re also going to school part time. Okay? If you did nothing else in your life, I want to give you a standing ovation. Okay? Because Sue Got through the semester, with all of that, like, that is amazing. And I think when you first sent me that email, that was what popped into my head, I’m like, you are not giving yourself enough credit for everything that you accomplished this semester. And I think that when you look at that grade, even if it even if that test grade had stayed a 71%, but you still passed for the semester, you need to give yourself a pat on the back. And like think I got I passed this semester, while working full time and taking care of my family. Okay. And so that by itself, is like worth it that adds like 20 points to your score, okay. Because I know you’re working on learning this stuff, too. Okay. So. So that’s why I wanted to give you a suggestion. So next, every time you see a grade, I want you to think about the context of that grade, when you’re evaluating it. Okay. And one way to do this is to by kind of set goals for yourself. And this was an idea given to me by my mentor, who talks about setting good, better best goals. Because I tend to be very hard on myself. I’m a high achiever, too, you know, and so I could have like, a personal best and be like, you know, it could have been a little bit better.

Amber F  

Yeah, exactly.

Nicole Whitworth  

So we need to set some parameters for ourselves, so that we can clearly measure good, better best and celebrate where we’re at. And so what I mean by good, better best, so, you know, we can set some, you know, goals for ourselves, and these change for every test or for every goal we want to set. Okay? It’s not just going to be like, it’s, this is always what it is, throughout all the nursing school, okay. It’s going to be like, given what’s going on in my life right now. What would be the best possible grade, I would expect to get on this test? You know, maybe it’s the 95. That would be a personal best for me. If I could get a 95 or higher on this test, that would be like, I’m going out to dinner. I’m celebrating right. And then better would be this this grade range, that would be pretty darn good. I’d be really really excited and happy with myself if I got this grade. And then good would be, you know, I’m passing given the fact that I’m working full time and taking care of two hormone teenagers. Like, maybe maybe you got you got sick, maybe you were for a day or two, or maybe when your kids was sick, maybe your car broke down and you had to deal with it, like, whatever things are going on. You’re like, good as I passed. Yeah, you know, heck yeah. And given that I also had to deal with all these other things in my life, I did pick up an extra shift at work and blah, blah, blah, like I still passed, you know, then you can still be excited when you pass even if you don’t hit like that better investable. Okay. But you can see, yes, I am doing good enough to get through this. Does that make sense? It does. Yeah. Okay. What do you think about this, this idea of making grades that are like good, better, best goals instead of just like,

Amber F  

I think is great, because it keeps him in my head, that I’m still doing what I had set out to do. That. I mean, that’s the ultimate goal is, you know, back when I started nursing school, I was going to become an RN, no matter how long it took. So this just puts it into concept. Yeah, best would be great. But if I, if I get to the final goal of becoming an RN, I, you know, if I pass this, yeah, then that’s the best. So yeah,

Nicole Whitworth  

yeah, it’s keeping your eye on your ultimate goal. Your ultimate goal is not to get 100 on every test. Who cares about that? Really?

Amber F  

I mean, it’s, it would be nice, but it’d be nice. Yeah, that’s cool. Yeah,

Nicole Whitworth  

but it’s not. Yeah, you can you can’t make that the all consuming goal when the real goal, like you said, is to get your RN. That’s Amber’s personal goal. So yeah, yep. So then we just break that down into smaller goals. And in order to do that, you know, we do need to pass your tests pass each semester. Those are the smaller goals that make up the big goal. But it doesn’t mean you have to get 100 on every test in order to get that big goal. Yeah. So. So that’s one thing that I definitely recommend that you start doing. Because it sounds like you did great this semester. You know, not not all of my one on one tutoring assessments with students at this time of year are had that much of happy news in it. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Not finds me early enough. And,

Amber F  

you know, so they’re done that one, the T shirts.

Nicole Whitworth  

Exactly. You know, what it’s like,

Amber F  

you know, like,

Nicole Whitworth  

so the other thing, so let me ask you. So with the VIP generic membership, you get, you know, a lot of the curated, like recorded classes that I have that teach you certain things like to address certain challenges in nursing school. So clearly, you’ve done the dosage calculations that helped you out. Have you done any of the silver bullet study system stuff yet?

Amber F  

I believe so. I’m gonna refresh. It just broke like before this semester, just because I did it a while ago. But I want to refresh it into my mind so that when I get into January that I know, you know exactly how to study.

Nicole Whitworth  

So perfect. And what classes are you scheduled to take in January?

Amber F  

We take one class this semester. So it’s the first stage of advancement surge. So I’m assuming it’s going to be like fluid and electrolytes and all the stuff that I took, you know, 11 years ago.

Nicole Whitworth  

Okay, good. Then what I’ll do is I think I have a, let me see real quick. Yes. Okay, I was just going to check. So in the VIP theory, membership materials, there’s the full Silver Bullet study system that just takes you through everything. And then I also have a QuickStart Video. So I’m going to send you the link after this call to the QuickStart Video for a med search, because each of my Quick Starts has a different example where I go through the four steps, the silver bullet study system, using an example from that topic. So I’m going to send you the med surge version. Okay. So this is going to be really important for you, as an LPN, transitioning to RN because like I said, the expert to novice problem is going to be alive and well in your brain. So the silver bullet study system. So I developed this as a way to counter this expert to novice problem, because it’s basically a form of like metacognition, which is metacognition means thinking about how you think, very, very hard to do. Very hard to do for most people. And so it breaks down how an experienced nursing thinks into four steps. So that when you study, you just go through each of the four steps. And you, you study the topics or you do the things that are part of that step, before you move on to the next step. Now, like everything in nursing school in life, it’s not going to be completely linear every time like it’s laid out as a 1234. Sometimes you will get to step three and realize, Oh, whoops, there’s something that I should have studied in step one, that I didn’t realize I needed to study. But that’s good, because that’s why the system works so well. Because then all you do is you just like, real quick, you go back and you jot down and step one, whatever it was that you realized you forgot about. And then you can jump back to step three. And finish studying that now and know that next time you study, you’re going to start at step one again. And you can review that to make sure you remember it permanently, right, but you got, you have it in your notes now, so you won’t forget it, you can take it out of your brain. And when you’re done the four steps you’re done studying. So it eliminates that problem of like never feeling like you’ve studied enough. Yeah, and it’s, and it just makes you feel more confident, because now you know how all the pieces fit together. And it also guides you through identifying what the most important pieces to study are. Because everything that you’re studying, you’re, you’re using it right away as you’re studying the topic, so you know, it’s going to be important if you’re able to use it. And so, and then, the first two steps are a lot about building that content knowledge, which everybody tells you to do. Right? That’s all you hear, actually. Yeah, yeah. Ask your professor like, Well, what do I need to know for the test? Oh, you need to know everything in the textbook you’ve ever been told that?

Amber F  

Yes, anything in that chapter? Great.

Nicole Whitworth  

Yep, that’s what about the word the Yep. Even though. Okay, need to know everything. And that’s technically true. Because you couldn’t be tested on anything. When you get to NCLEX. However, it’s literally impossible. And you’re going to drive yourself crazy trying. And like I said earlier, it totally skips the second part of the equation, which is learning how to analyze and apply that information, which is really what it takes to think like a nurse. And that’s really what you’re being tested on. So there’s this big disconnect. And this is why most of the students who come to me, like you, they think they need test taking strategy. Right? They you said that you need help, you know, reading, yeah, yeah. And, you know, there’s a little bit of that tiny, tiny bit, though. Because really, if you’ve been studying the way that you’re going to be tested, then the better you get at studying, the better you’re going to get at the tests. And so that’s the real secret is, is learning to study in a way that helps you analyze and apply the information right away as you study. Because then when you get to the test, you’re going to get to that question you said was a GI tubes that you said, yeah, yeah, yeah. So you’re gonna get to a question about gi tubes. And what you’ll do is you do have to read the question, you know, make sure you understand it, like, yeah, first, yes, yeah, but you, but it’ll be easier for you to read it faster, though, because you’ll look at it. And you’ll read it. And then even before looking at the answers, you start, you start, your brain will automatically start analyzing, applying. It’s just like, as an LPN, you walk into one of your patients rooms, or you just look at their diagnosis in their chart or something like that. And immediately, you start thinking about all the things you could potentially going to have to be aware of that particular diagnosis, it’s based on your nursing knowledge, it’s based on your previous experience, it’s based on like, what’s going on that night? You know, yeah, that’s critical thinking, Okay, it’s taking all those together, and combining them to be able to make an educated guess. Okay. And so and that’s what you need to do on tests, is to be able to take the information on the test question. Take the nursing knowledge that you have been studying, sometimes take previous knowledge. You know, cuz I always say tired nursing knowledge, the things you previously know, like, if you’re studying, say, you’re studying some schizophrenia, think about somebody you know, who has schizophrenia. Right? So it doesn’t always have to be just like, you know, nursing practice. You don’t have to have ever worked in healthcare to have that either. But yeah, always tie it to something that you know, you know, medications, think about that medication commercial use on TV, like really? Anything where you

Amber F  

start singing the song or something? Yeah, yeah.

Nicole Whitworth  

Anything, you know, but you you take all of this information, and you combine it together to make an educated guess. And honestly, even as a tutor, an experienced nurse, I still have to make educated guesses on NCLEX questions too, just like you do. My educated guesses just tend to be a little bit better than yours, because I’m more experienced at this. But you will never get every single NCLEX question correct. Because the NCLEX is designed that way to get harder and harder. Please start getting them wrong. But I’m in school, you know, it’s a little Because that’s not an adaptive test. So when you are putting all the information together to make an educated guess, now, since you’re studying this way, the way I study guide you through the silver bullet study system, you get practice making these educated guesses in step three and four, in a guided way, in a way that you’re going back to check yourself immediately, and that you understand it, and you’re using the things you’ve literally just studied in order to make those so it’s fresh on your mind. And the best way to memorize and retain information long term is to teach it or apply it right away to some way use it. And that’s what I haven’t do in the silver bullet study system, is you study it, and then you immediately use it while you’re learning more important nursing content. So you’re doubling up. So instead of it taking you longer to studies and the silver bullet study system, it’s actually gonna, you’ll find it actually saves you time. Okay, because you’re only focusing on the most important stuff, and you’re, like I said, you’re doubling up, and it’s going to be more effective, you’re going to be retaining a higher percentage of it than you were before, when you’re just trying to stay awake while reading your textbook, right?

Amber F  

They are kind of dry, they are very

Nicole Whitworth  

dry. And, and so you’re gonna retain more of it, which is already, like, if you were only retaining like 20% of what you read in an hour, and now you’re retaining like 75%, right there, you’ve saved yourself time. And if you’re practicing applying and analyzing it, while you’re studying, you’re being more efficient, because that’s what you need to be doing for your tests. So I will send you the link to that, that particular Quickstart, that’s part of your VIP tuning membership. So you can watch that. And then if you want more details on it, you can go into the full course, you know, to kind of just break it down even more. And there’s also I have some free downloads, if you haven’t seen those that have, you know, there’s different ways to implement the silver bullet. So it’s just a tool. You know, you don’t have to do it exactly. Like you don’t have to take written notes Exactly. Like I say, I always tell students do what makes sense to your brain. This is just a starting point. It’s just a framework. It’s just, you know, so that you’re not lost with like, Well, how do I actually do this? Right? Yeah, yeah, I have a free doubt. Or like, well, it’s part of your membership, I have a download where it walks you through step one, step two, step three, step four, this is the type of stuff you meant you study and write down. And each of these, I have little prompts that tell you like, this is where you start, these are the kind of things you should be looking for. You know, you may not use all of those prompts for every single topic you study. It depends on what topic you’re studying in nursing school, but it’s just to get you started. Okay. Yeah. And, and then, and then I also have some completed examples that you can look at. So you can learn how I, how I would fill out one of those outlines for a specific topic. And since you’re a VIP kid, remember, another thing you can do is if you do one of these outlines, and you’re like, cuz a lot of times the first time students do them, it’s so you feel really uncomfortable. You feel like unsure. You feel like gasp A novice. Yeah, yeah. You’re supposed to. And I think that a lot of students have a little bit of PTSD from this, because they do get such disparaging remarks from instructors, sometimes not even just instructors, but from other nursing students. You know, you jump into almost any Facebook group. And everybody’s saying how terrible nursing school is. Right? And how hard it is and how saying goodbye to your life. And, you know, it doesn’t have to be that way. It doesn’t

Amber F  

that that’s, you know, that’s kind of why I am here. I wanted to change that dynamic. I don’t I don’t believe it has to be true.

Nicole Whitworth  

Yeah, it definitely does. And that’s really my whole mission at your nursing tutor is to change the way nursing education is done, because it doesn’t have to be that way. For and it’s better. If it’s not, you know, something doesn’t have to be painful to be worthwhile. You know, just because nursing school doesn’t feel like you’re dying, doesn’t mean you’re not doing a good job. Sacrifice does not always equal. You know, the best choices. Yeah, yeah. And you don’t want to get burnt out while in nursing school. There’s plenty of time for that later. Yes, yes. But hopefully you learn habits in nursing school that will prevent burnout later on to when you study this way. And learn to advocate for yourself and learn what’s what’s reasonable for yourself.

Amber F  

So,

Nicole Whitworth  

let’s see. I feel like There was one more thing I was going to. Oh, yes. So with the VIP tutoring membership, when you fill out one of these outlines, you can submit it to me, you can post it in our private VIP Facebook group. Okay, I will look it over and I will give you feedback. And you know me, you can not ask me a question that I’m gonna make you feel done. Okay? Yeah, yeah, every single question is valid, because I look at every single question you ask, as if I’m the frog and you’re the fish. Okay, of course, it’s not done for you to ask because you don’t have the same frame of reference as me. And as many years as I’ve been doing this and as hard as I try to, to take on your frame of reference so that I can explain things in a way that truly makes sense to you. And I can try to think through all of the different angles and aspects that you might misunderstand me if I speak as an expert. I’m still going to miss things sometimes. Yeah, we’re all human. Yeah, exactly. And when I miss things, the only way I am going to know that I missed something, is if you told me Okay, yeah. And when you tell me, it’s going to be because you might, you’re not even going to know, that’s the thing. Like, you’re not even going to know about this. So I have to like assess very carefully. That’s why I one of the reasons why I do these one on one, or I offer these one on one tutoring consults, is because it gives me a little more of a chance to dig in and see, well, you know, where are you seeing things that is different than the way I’m seeing things? And then once I identify that, oh, okay, now I can explain it to you, so that it makes sense to your brain. But I need to find that first. And then, and then of course, you can also bring them to the live tutoring sessions, the group tutoring sessions. So because I love I love and even if you submit it in the Facebook group, I might share it in a live tutoring session. Yeah, it’s really one of the best ways to learn. And that’s why. You know, I always encourage students to come to the live group tutoring sessions, even if you don’t have a question. I know you came to your first one.

Amber F  

Yeah. As one day. Yeah.

Nicole Whitworth  

Would you think of it?

Amber F  

It was neat. It was neat to see, you know, there’s all levels between, you know, the two LPs, the gentlemen and I, and then people who were just starting out, it was it was neat, because there was things that I knew, and things I didn’t know. So even.

Nicole Whitworth  

Yeah, exactly. And that’s what I say is that you, because I’m not like other memberships that focus on like just content review, well, then you need to really be with your cohort, right? You need to be with other people who are studying the same things. But that’s not the most important thing in nursing school, because you need to learn how to think and you can do that using literally any topic in nursing school. And it’s actually better, I think, to think outside the box and tackle different topics, which is why I like having everybody together. Because you’re going to see how far you’ve come sometimes by listening to the questions that earlier students are coming and be able to feed into them. So you’re mentoring them. And they get to see that, oh, even the people that are a little bit ahead of me, they have questions, too. You know, it’s okay, we’re all in it together. And it builds us

Amber F  

teach and apply the, you know, that you’re talking about. So, yeah,

Nicole Whitworth  

so it gives you a chance to teach back so that you can retain it better, and builds your confidence and, and your competency, you know, and so and it builds a really nice community. Yeah, where you have positive nursing students who are supporting you, not just sharing all the horror stories, encourage each other and remind each other like the good, better best schools feeling down? Because let me tell you, there’s a lot of high achievers in this membership, are very hard on themselves when they’re doing just fine. And all reality like. Okay, do you have any last questions before we wrap up? Or do you feel like

Amber F  

you know, going forward? Yeah, I definitely, we’ll go through the silver bullet again. And look up those links. So

Nicole Whitworth  

okay, yep. And I’ll send you the link to the the Quickstart that I’m recommending, just so that you can find it, we’re actually getting ready to upgrade our membership site to make things even easier to find. So we’re going to be reorganizing some things, but for the time being anytime you need. If you can’t find something, just you know, post in the Facebook group and I’ll find the link for you so perfect. Okay, well, thank you so much for chatting with me today. Amber,

Amber F  

no problem. Thank you.

Nicole Whitworth  

Yep. And yeah, like I said, Ask any follow up questions in the Facebook group. Otherwise, I’ll see you around in the live tutoring sessions too. Okay. Okay. Okay. Have a good day. Thank you! Bye!

——–

I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about Amber’s nursing journey, and what she’s been doing to help her see more success. It’s always such an honor to be able to walk alongside and support motivated, hardworking students like her so that you can get better grades, see more success, and feel CONFIDENT that you can make it through nursing school. 

I also want to update you on the membership upgrades I mentioned in my conversation with Amber. Since the time of her Tutoring Consult, we have finished the upgrades! 

We’ve now got an easier to navigate members area that is divided by where you’re at on your nursing journey, so it’s super easy to figure out what to do next and how to get help when you need it. 

First, there’s resources for pre-nursing students so that you can hit the ground running, because I always recommend joining the VIP Tutoring Membership if you’ll be starting your core nursing classes within 3-6 months.

Then, there’s a section of resources for current nursing students so that you can improve quickly, while still keeping up with your current classes, because remember…I don’t believe that you have to kill yourself in order to do well in nursing school! Always work smarter, not harder. And as part of your membership, you also get access to our private Q&A forum AND you can attend live group tutoring sessions directly with me, so that you feel supported all the way through nursing school, and never get stuck.

You’ll even find a “teaser” module that will be available later this semester for NEW GRADUATE nurses so that we can mentor and support you through your first 1 to 2 years of being a brand new nurse…because I also firmly believe that your official first year as a nurse doesn’t have to be something that causes you regular panic attacks. 

If you’re ready to learn the method that helped Amber go from failing Dosage Calculations to surprising her instructor with consistent 100 percent’s on every question, then you can request FREE access to my Dosage Calculations Study Toolkit by going to the shownotes page for today’s episode at www.YourNursingTutor.com/episode55. You’ll also find a link to join our FREE Facebook group, “Nursing Students in Nursing School (Help & Support with Your Nursing Tutor). 

Until then, good luck on your nursing journey!

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