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Advice from a nursing alumna

by Kathleen Acierto, staff writer

The Nursing program here at HPU is a challenging yet rewarding major to get into. From personal experience I have met many wonderful faculty members and fellow classmates through HPU and learned valuable lessons that I can take with me when I graduate. But since I haven’t graduated yet I am unable to fully give advice on what it takes to graduate. On the bright side, I am fortunate to be around HPU graduates at Straub Clinic and Hospital, where I work.

One day, while at work, I took the opportunity to interview a new nurse on our floor. I wanted to find out about her background and any advice she could give students at HPU. Her name is Vangie. She is an orientating nurse on the medical-surgical floor at Straub Hospital, and she is a spring 2002 HPU nursing graduate.

It took Vangie five years to graduate from HPU’s nursing program, but before transferring here she spent two years at the University of Hawai‘i. Vangie chose nursing as her life at an early age, when she was 8 or 9 years old, but it was in her second year of college that she decided to seriously begin her nursing career and that’s when she transferred in to the HPU nursing program.

Vangie said that in its entirety the nursing program at HPU is a good program, but she added that, as in any program, it has good instructors that you can learn a lot from and not-so-good instructors that you don’t learn a lot from. The main thing, she said, is for students to adapt to the instructor’s teaching style. If the instructor is difficult for you to learn from, then study the text more than the notes from class. Vangie added that she sometimes found that classmates had better ways of explaining things than instructors, and encouraged students to use their classmates as resources.

Vangie provided a lot of specific advice. Here are some other things she’d would suggest to current and prospective students.

• Study smart. Have a study group and make your study time count. This means don’t be daydreaming or gossiping during study time.

• Allow yourself time to study and relax. Manage your time efficiently and create a balance of work and play. Too much studying can cause burnout, while too much relaxation will cause laziness and bad grades.

• Finally, try not to have a job while in school, but if that is not an option, take fewer classes during the semester. Keep your schedule manageable.

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