The duties of a registered nurse remain very much hands-on and in person. However, much of the learning and training to become an RN is done digitally. The trend took off during the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s likely to remain the norm going forward.
Let’s take a look at various digital resources being used by nursing students to prepare for their future careers:
Online exam prep
Exams are a huge part of nursing school. Preparing for them is key. Whether it’s how to pass the HESI exit exam or what to expect when taking the NCLEX, nursing students rely on digital prep tools and services to show up on test day ready to conquer the world. In addition to digital learning systems, prep services also provide aspiring nurses with study cards covering everything from pharmacology basics to arterial blood gas interpretation. The synchronization of online learning with hard copy materials makes for a successful means of mastering the knowledge needed to become a registered nurse.
Virtual learning systems
While the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly led to an uptick in online classes across the board, the truth is virtual learning systems were getting used in nursing school before 2020. True, virtual learning has its limits in the healthcare field, but there’s a lot of material that can still be covered online. These systems also let students learn at their own pace and revisit sections as needed. Highly interactive, virtual learning also helps nursing students grasp some of the denser material thrown at them.
Due to coronavirus, many nursing school classes are being conducted via video, with students at home as the professor teaches from a remote location. However, that’s not the extent of video lessons used by nursing students. There are thousands of instructional videos and tutorials covering a wide range of medical science subject matter. With that said, aspiring nurses need to make sure the videos they watch come from reliable sources. These include medical schools, research institutions, and government agencies.
Free online resources
Videos aren’t the only form of free online information available to nursing students. Other examples include nursing calculators, drug directories, and information published in medical journals. They also have access to thousands of medical studies conducted by the United States government over the years, all of which is publicly available information. It’s more than enough to fill in any gaps that may form during one’s journey to becoming a registered nurse.
There are several smartphone apps available on both Android and iPhone devices that prove to be very useful for nursing students. One of the most popular is an app called Pocket Anatomy. Think of it as an updated edition of Gray’s Anatomy accessible via mobile device. Other must-have apps and technology for nurses include Epocrates, Medscape, and Nursing Central, all of which are available iOS and Android.
Nursing students are under a lot of pressure, and rightly so; the healthcare system can’t afford to have nurses enter the field who lack the knowledge and experience required. With that said, there’s nothing wrong about nursing students taking advantage of every resource available to help them master the material. More so than ever, these resources are digital, which makes them more accessible. It’s a trend that’s here to stay.