Reference Your Way to Success - Owning Your Nursing School Journey

by Meris Shuwarger BSN, RN, CEN, TCRN December 13, 2021 Updated: June 16, 2022 4 min read

When you're in nursing school, having to constantly turn to your reference and diagnostic manuals to look up lab ranges during class, assignments, or clinical, can be exhausting. Worse, turning to Google might lead you to something that's not peer-reviewed, accurate, or up-to-date, unless you do the work to vet it. 

In this video, Meris explains how having easily available nursing reference material can save you time and energy. We've designed our Nursing School Planner with expert-curated, peer-reviewed, up-to-date reference pages containing what nursing school students are most likely to look up. 

These planner pages cover key reference material across lab values, health assessment, fundamentals, pharmacology, med-surg, pediatric and maternity nursing.


Full Transcript

Hi. I'm Meris with Level Up RN, and in this video, I just want to give you a brief glimpse into the reference pages of our Nursing School Planner, and just let you know some of the thought that went into these pages.

So if you don't know, I'm talking about our Nursing School Planner, right here. This is the first edition here, so this is the first one we've ever made, and I think it's pretty great. We have so much content in here that I cannot possibly go over all of it with you in one video, so I'm going to give you just kind of a glimpse into one thing that I think is really cool.

So at the back of the planner here, you'll see our reference pages, and we have a list here, we have reference information from lab values, health assessment, fundamentals, pharmacology, med surge, pediatric nursing, and maternity nursing. And so that covers a wide array of topics for you while you are in nursing school.

But this isn't just content that we threw in there willy-nilly, it was actually curated with a lot of intent.

So we have a team of expert nurses and nurse educators at Level Up RN, and we went through and thought about "what are the things that nursing students look up the most?" and also, "what are the things that will help you the most when you are in your own clinical practice as a nurse?" And so we pulled out the things that we thought would be most helpful to you.

So for instance, we have lab values here, and you can see that they are separated by test. So this is something that we did very intentionally because it's not enough to know that we're talking about white blood cells, you need to know the normal range for a white blood cell count.

But in clinical practice, you need to know if the doctor says, "Hey, I want to order a CBC and a BMP on that patient," well, what does that mean?

What is a CBC?

What are the components of that test?

What is a BMP? What information are we going to be able to see when we are ordering those tests? And it's important that you understand that so that you have a better idea of what you're doing and the orders you're carrying out rather than just doing them blindly. So you can see that we group these things together.

We have our CBC here, our complete blood count, we have our metabolic panels, the BMP, the basic metabolic panels.

We have liver function tests, arterial blood gas, ABG interpretation telling you how to interpret those values.

And then we also have our coagulation values, very important, but we left room here for you to write down things that you are looking up frequently, to write down things that help you to remember a value, or to just keep track of stuff that you think is important that maybe we didn't include because every school is a little bit different on the things that they really hit on the most.

It's all the same content, but some schools really focus on one thing more than the other so we wanted to make sure that in all of our pages, we had room for you to add your own notes.

I remember being in nursing school and having to constantly turn to my reference manuals like my diagnostic and test manual to look up normal values, or god forbid, turning to Google and having no idea if the source I'm looking at is actually accurate, peer-reviewed, and up to date.

So you can have confidence that when you use our planner and you use these reference pages in the back of the book that not only is it referenced up to date and peer-reviewed, but it's also what current working nurses think that you need to know while you are in nursing school.

And again, like I said, we have information here from every major class, so we've got pharmacology, maternity, pediatrics, Med-Surg.

We have nice tables, we have nice drawings and illustrations because we know that it is important to have a multimodal way of learning, meaning that you are reading, you're listening to our YouTube videos, you have visual input with nice colors, diagrams, images, and charts.

So I hope this is helpful for you. I'm really excited about these reference pages because it's something that I wish I had when I was in nursing school.

I can't wait to hear your feedback on it. If you already have your planner, I would love to hear what you think about those references pages.

And if you get one in the future, please drop us a line so that I know what content you're looking up the most. Thanks so much. And happy studying.


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