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Step outside of school to sharpen skills
Nursing students prioritize leadership and communication skills
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EDITOR'S NOTE: Former Nurse.com student blogger Alexander Alvaro Salinas, BSN, RN, is a med/surg nurse on a Head Neck Thoracic Oncology and Hospice Unit at Sisters of Charity Hospital, Buffalo, N.Y. He received his bachelor’s degree in 2017 from the University at Buffalo and is an MSN student at Pennsylvania State University.
As a nursing student, exploring experiential learning and developing interpersonal skills are just as important as your academics.
We need to prioritize improving our leadership and communication skills from day one at nursing school. Clinical skills alone are only part of what tips the scales from becoming a good to a great nurse. Engaging in at least one of the following tips will give you a step up the ladder and make you a more competent nurse.
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As the president of the Multicultural Nursing Student Association at my university, I work with the organization to find beneficial ways to enhance the student experience and promote diversity. To broaden the student experience, we are collaborating with local hospitals on internship opportunities. We also hold workshops and host social events, such as a potlucks. Support your student organizations and become an active member, and consider running for a board position.
Salinas_Alexander_BlogVersion
By Alexander Alvaro Salinas
BSN, RN
Join your school nursing organization
Volunteer in your community
Volunteering in your community during nursing school gives you a preview of the population you will serve and what their clinical needs might be. You’ll gain a better understanding of the current issues the community faces, including health concerns. Contact preventive health organizations for information on volunteering. They are always looking for students’ help.
Network with local associations
You may find several nursing associations in your area, and some may focus on a specialty you are interested in pursuing. Introduce yourself and network within the association to get you a foot in the door and create new connections to nurses who soon will be your colleagues. Some of these nursing associations offer a student discount membership.
Explore a particular topic or health outcome that piques your interest as an undergraduate and get involved in a research project. Engaging in research activities also complements your nursing curriculum studies. Your university may have research teams or a faculty member who is already studying a topic that interests you.
As a research assistant for my school of nursing, I was able to successfully disseminate my research at regional and national nursing conferences and meet graduate and undergraduate students conducting research at their nursing schools.
What are your ideas for becoming involved in your community and the nursing profession? Share them with your fellow students; they may have ideas you can try as well!
Visit your clinical placement location
At your clinical placement location ask if you can attend unit-based council meetings to gain a greater understanding of how the unit works and hear about successes the staff has had, as well as challenges they’re experiencing. In these meetings, you can find out how nurses see the bigger picture on how to improve quality and care for their unit.
Take on a research project
Volunteering in your community during nursing school gives you a preview of the population you will serve and what their clinical needs might be."
— Alexander Salinas, RN
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Happy Birthday, Nightingale
A special timeline illustrates quite an extraordinary life.
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A nod to Nightingale
WHO designates 2020 Year of the Nurse and Midwife.
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Smooth care transitions matter
Learn how to avoid readmissions in this free CE course.
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Are you an ethics champion?
You are if you promote three core responsibilities.
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If Nightingale were alive today
Veterans? The poor? Read about causes she may have championed.
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Certification bolsters career
Earning certification can help your nursing salary surge.
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DAISY blooms across the globe
The program continues to make its international mark.
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Wound care you need to know
Learn how outdated practices can compromise wound treatment.
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Letters with lasting impact
Florence's letters reveal what her concerns were back in the day.
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Achieve peace of mind
Try meditation and feng shui to take your self-care to a new level.
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The cape comes with the job
RNs can’t leap tall buildings, but they show heroism in other ways.
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Two minutes with Florence
Nurses share what they would ask Nightingale if they had the chance.
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CE: EBP in a clinical setting
Learn how evidence-based practice is a boon for patients.
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Make sound ethical choices
Do you know the six key ethical principles that guide decisions?
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Celebrate education progress
Nurse education requirements are changing to meet patients' needs.
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Manage conflict like a pro
Use these 9 tips to keep the peace at work and at home.
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Inspired by Nightingale
An asteroid was named after her! Read more namesake fun facts.
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Learning goes beyond school
Communication and leadership can sharpen your nursing prowess.
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We celebrate our nurses
Churchill, Twain, Dickens ... Get inspired by our RNs' quote picks.
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Nurses and their causes
Nurses are taking the lead as advocates in various settings.
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Browse our CE catalog
We have the education modules you need to elevate your career.
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Don't wait to say 'thanks!'
Weave regular recognition into your goals. Nurses deserve it.
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Celebrating is academic
Faculty and students take part in Nurses Week celebrations.
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Life as a nurse attorney
Blogger shares why she became a legal advocate for nurses.
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Diversity takes center stage
RNs are improving workforce diversity and cultural competence.
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A walk down memory lane
Read how Nurses Week was born out of decades of advocacy.
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Self-care feeds good ethics
Find out why RNs should prioritize staying healthy.
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Are you satisfied?
Nurses reveal whether their jobs are making them happy.
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Help human trafficking victims
Learn to identify and assess victims with this CE course.
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Nursing students celebrate, too
Find out how students get inspired on National Student Nurses Day.
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Protect your nursing practice
25 legal tools you need to protect your career.
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