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UST Hosts Nursing Boot Camp

About 30 pre-nursing students got the inside scoop about the best way to prepare for nursing school from University of St. Thomas School of Nursing students during a three-day Nursing Boot Camp held Jan. 6-8.

In the second year of the boot camp hosted by the UST Nursing Success Center, director Geny Moreno said the program was designed to prepare pre-nursing students for the last semester before nursing school. There was a focus on time management, stress management, critical thinking skills and test taking skills.

“Students want to hear from other peers about why these resources are important and why they should care,” Moreno said. “From my experience, students tend to pay more attention to and accept what their peers have to say. When peers advise fellow students how to study more effectively, the students tend to identify with their peers and say to themselves, ‘If it worked for them it can work for me.’”  

In addition to the student presentations, Dr. Connie Silva, nursing adjunct faculty, presented about stress management.

Most of the attendees were students admitted to begin nursing studies in summer 2014, though it included a handful of students who plan to apply for admission to the class entering in 2015. 

The boot camp prepared students for what to expect in taking difficult prerequisites this spring – pharmacology and pathophysiology.

 “I’m hoping that by hearing from their peers on time management and test taking that they’ll take it more seriously for the next semester,” Moreno said. 

Junior pre-nursing student Maria Simms said she appreciated the guidance of the boot camp before taking the upcoming heavy pre-nursing course load.

“The information we received, as well as the School of Nursing students’ personal experience and advice, is invaluable,” Simms said. “Attending the boot camp was a real eye-opener.  I now have a better idea of what's in store for me and how best to approach these new and exciting subjects.”  

Simms said the boot camp is an example of the SON students' cooperative spirit. 

“The seniors and juniors, cohorts 2014 and 2015, respectively, often look for opportunities to help pre-nursing students succeed in the program,” Simms said. “They have begun what I'm sure will become a tradition: caring about others, so we can learn to care for others. That's what nursing is all about.” 

The boot camp also includes a tutorial on taking the Health Education Systems, Inc., exam, or HESI – a nursing admissions standardized exam. While most nursing schools use the test to gauge students’ proficiency in English, math, anatomy and physiology as a criterion for admission, St. Thomas takes a holistic point of view, and doesn’t base admission solely on test scores. However, the school uses the HESI as an assessment to know where students need the most support through the Nursing Success Center.

The University of St. Thomas Nursing Success Center enhances the educational experience of UST nursing students. It provides services such as academic advising, peer-facilitated study groups, Web-based tutorials and academic and career workshops. 

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