Last week I finished my final for my second quarter of nursing school and I am now on spring break! As much as I want to go do everything I haven’t been able to do because of school, I’m exhausted. That second quarter was a lot. It was a lot of work (especially busy work in place of clinical), a lot of time, and a lot of stress. I also adopted a puppy so I definitely didn’t help my stress level! But I have received some messages about a recap for this quarter and how things are going, so I wanted to write the second quarter of the nursing school recap! I’m hoping this will help anyone who is just starting nursing school to know what they might expect and what they might learn!
If you want to go back, you can check out my first two nursing recaps below! 🙂
If this is your first recap of mine, I will just go over some of the things that I learned during that week. This will give you a better idea of the structure of the program and what you’ll be learning about (if you’re curious). Of course, everyone’s program is laid out different. In the end, I will go over some things I wish I would have done differently.
Second Quarter of Nursing School Recap
Week One, Week Two, Week Three
I am clumping the first couple of weeks together because we learned all about maternity nursing and OB. I wish we had more time to go over all the information because it was SO much to go over in just three weeks. We talked about each trimester of pregnancy, the changes in the body, interventions to help pregnant women, and some of the complications (but not in depth). We also talked about warning signs to look out for, labor, nursing interventions, assessment (APGAR for babies, BUBBLE HEB for moms). During this time we also did databases and care plans, went over what is covered during appointments while pregnant, and some of the high-risk pregnancies. In week 3 we also went more in depth on intimate partner violence, which we talked some about in the first quarter.
That is just some of the things we went over, it was really too much to 100% retain in just three weeks. I liked learning about maternity nursing and wish we could have had an entire quarter to learn about it. During this time, I overstudied and learned way too much about complications that aren’t too common that we didn’t really need to learn about for the exams. I learned that the Saunders NCLEX book is so hopefully for the info you do need to know!
Week Four – Ten
The remainder of the quarter was set up pretty much the same. Each week focused on a different age group (with the exception of week 8). Within each age group, we learned about the physical assessment and any modifications such as pain scales needed, psychosocial development focusing on theories (Erikson, Freud, Kohlberg, etc.), and then the health promotion for that age group (vaccines, patient education, concerns related to the age group.
The age groups covered were neonates, infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school-age, adolescents, young adults, and older adults. During week 8 we took a break from age groups and learned about neurodevelopmental concerns such as spina bifida, hydrocephaly, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, and autism.
I found videos to be helpful during this quarter to learn some about the neurodevelopmental module. Registered Nursing RN’s videos were also helpful to learn about the developmental milestones for infants and toddlers and vaccinations up to age 6
What I Wish I Would Have Done Differently
- Kept up with my healthy habits! I fell off eating well and ended up just eating a bunch of snacks all the time or skipping meals. This was a combination of stress, poor time management, and having a new puppy. I also didn’t exercise this quarter (like I did during my first quarter). This didn’t help my mental health or stress management. Learn from me and take care of yourself!!
- Stopped mindlessly scrolling on my phone. My time management was poor. I had so much work to do, but when I wasn’t doing work I ended up scrolling on TikTok. Those minutes added up and I probably spend way too much time on there this quarter. I wish I would have put my phone away and use my free time better.
- Studied better. Once I got a puppy, I stopped studying a little bit at a time ahead of time. There was so much info that notecards didn’t work like last quarter. I crammed a couple of days before the test and while my grades were okay, I definitely don’t feel as satisfied with my learning as I did during my first quarter.
This quarter there were more care plans, databases, and virtual simulations than in the previous quarter. The workload was more time-consuming and I felt like I didn’t retain as much information because I just kept pushing myself to keep going. I ended up feeling burnt out by the final weeks and I’m just starting to get over that burnout after a week on break. I was also disappointed that we weren’t able to go to clinical again because I was looking forward to OB and seeing if it is a specialty that I would want to continue in!
Although it was hard, I feel more competent and was able to pick up on things in databases and simulations that I wouldn’t have been able to in the previous quarter. I have seen improvements in therapeutic communication and the skills lab was so much fun! I learned and checked off on foley catheters, IV spike + prime, IV piggyback, tracheostomy cleaning and care, and IM injections.
My wishful thinking is that I just had a lot going on outside of school this quarter and that future quarters will be easier. I know that there are going to be a lot more care plans and databases to come next quarter and we are going to clinical so that will be more to manage. But, I am going into med-surg 1 which I think will be interesting, and I will be finishing the remainder of my skills check-off!