By Ashley Prince, ThriveAP Contributor and [Former] Nursing Student
It’s official ThriveAP readers- I can add more letters behind my name! As of 1 pm on August 27, 2016 I am now Ashley Prince, BSN. Graduation day was a day neither I nor any of my classmates thought would come, after one long year of round the clock classes, clinicals, exams and NCLEX prep. But, now it has come and gone, and I’m left with one question: What now?
Well first, I took a much needed vacation and didn’t think about a stethoscope, syringe or sponge bath for a week! I also binge watched Stranger Things on Netflix*, and have Eleven fantastic things to say about it.
Now, I’m waiting to get officially licensed as an RN. My application is in and I’m awaiting for the golden ticket- my ATT or approval to test- to take and pass my boards. This waiting game is the hardest part for me. I’m traditionally terrible with self-study; I usually need a professor jamming a deadline down my throat for me to even start cramming. But now self-study without a clear timeline? Yes Netflix, I’m still watching!
So how am I studying? First and foremost, I recommend taking Kaplan’s Live Review* course. My school provided this invaluable course to us during our last week of class, but it’s well worth your money. While I might still be struggling with the Decision Tree, my instructor gave me AWESOME information on how the exam is structured, how to create a study program, and great tips on approaching questions (looking at you, Select All That Apply!).
Now that the jetlag from my post-graduation vacation has worn off, I’ve created a study program with Kaplan’s advice that I’m trying my hardest to stick to. Despite the still warm weather and this great season of House of Cards* that I’m finally able to watch, I’m also doing my practice questions, flashcards for what I don’t know or never bothered learning, and looking up every drug known to mankind. Based on when previous graduates took their NCLEX and new online application that Ohio is kicking itself for creating, I’m assuming I won’t be taking my boards until Thanksgiving or so. It seems like a long time off, but of course there’s job applications to fill out and phone interviews to have in between episodes and alternate-format questions. Before long, I’ll have a couple more letters at the end of my name- RN!
*Again, not sponsored, just things I genuinely love and want to share with others. But I wouldn’t say no to Netflix or Kaplan tossing something my way 😉