Personally, I don’t think anything could be harder than 3rd semester so 4th semester like felt like I had finally overcome the peak of a mountain and can begin to relax as I head downhill (in terms of academics).

4th semester is challenging, but I really enjoyed all the classes. I have found one of my passions to be in critical care so I really enjoyed it although it can be challenging. This is also the semester where you will be submitting your choices for residency, submit your BRN stuff, and have your first Kaplan week!
My schedule looked a little like this:
  • Monday: Varies (Usually some sort of training, sim lab, orientation, etc.); towards the end you will have Mondays off
  • Tuesday: Community Care Clinical 0700-1600
  • Wednesday: Leadership 1000-1200; Scientific Writing 1300-1600
  • Thursday: Community Care 1000-1200; Critical Care 1300-1600
  • Fridays: Critical Care Clinical 0630-1700

Community Care

There really isn’t a secret to passing this. You would have to try to fail to fail this class. In terms of difficulty, it is much easier to past courses. These course will enhance your teaching skills if you take full advantage of this course. You can also truly make an impact and have something great to add to your portfolio if you get involved. There were mostly short writing assignments. Stay on top of those and you will be fine.

Leadership

This one is also much easier in terms of difficulty. I love that it is focused on preparing you for graduating! You will work on your resume, portfolio, cover letter, and interview skills in this class. My advice is to actually put your all into the assignments so you won’t have to spend extra time on them later when you are applying to jobs. I would also recommend making both a hardcopy and online portfolio if you have the time. I went with a online one, but I am pretty internet savvy (as you can tell with this blog). I would also like to make a hard-copy once I have time after residency. I will post a sample of all the above in the future when I have landed a new grad position (hopefully by the end of this year!).

Scientific Writing

Find your topic and submit your PICOT ASAP! Time management is how you will do well in this class. There are many large writing assignments and you need to make sure to avoid procrastinating! My advice is to find a topic that you can easily find enough articles on and get your PICOT approved ASAP. The sooner you do this the sooner you can start working one each assignment. I worked on it a little each day because it takes so long to write evidence-based papers. Utilize the writing center and your APA book as well!

Critical Care

There is so much to know and there is no way to know it all. Like in previous classes, focus on what is different. How can you differentiate one condition from another? What will the labs look like? How will they present? Know your labs, basic ECGs, and hemodynamics!!! Review your ATI if you are rusty on skills like central line care and trach care! Know how to prioritize!!!