Bests of the Nightingale Blog Posts

Popular Nightingale blog postsThe Nightingale blog consists of articles ranging from nursing school anxiety to test taking tips and career development. With the help of all departments, especially Learner Advising and Life Resources (LALR), we can write on a variety of topics that benefit our learners, graduates, and even users who happen to land on our blog.

But which posts are considered most popular? Here are our top 16 Nightingale blog articles that have been measured on the number of views.

How to stay motivated in nursing school

Popular Admissions questions and answers

How to effectively study and hold down a full-time job

5 tips to beat procrastination

First day of nursing school lab: What to expect

Destress this season in 10 steps or less

A crumpled mess: Why clean scrubs matter

7 tips to overcome test anxiety

Nursing school study apps to try

4 recommended study guides to prepare you for the NCLEX-RN

The interview

NCLEX Confessions with a graduate: Summer Kervin

10 tips for starting the semester off right

14+ tips to get you interview ready

11 tips to writing a memorable cover letter

43 tips to a strong resume

Looking for a specific article? Cruise through our blog posts at www.nightingale.edu/blog.

How to Write a Professional Email

how to write a professional emailLost in a world of informal communication, it is common to not know how to write a professional email. With the average person receiving fifty texts per day (click to read the study), we get caught up in the “lols” and “jks” of today’s communication. Often, it is difficult to find the words that are the foundation to a professional email.

Part of a successful education is mastering the skill of professional email writing. While nurses are seen more hands on working with patients, communication is vital, including written communication.

Instant communication is a benefit of email messages; however, it comes at a high cost. Misspelling, incorrect grammar, and the use of “u” instead of “you” are only a few examples that depict an unprofessional image. Scurrying around to undo a sent email message does not have to be in your future if you learn the basics to professional email writing.

When speaking with instructors and faculty at school, potential job connections, or coworkers, it is important to remember to be professional in all communication. Welcome to the blog on professional email writing.

Here are some tips to help you write a professional email.

Choose an appropriate subject line and make it count

It may be easier to come up with the right subject line after you complete your email. Make it short, sweet, and to the point, but also formal.  Visualize the subject line like the title of a paper; make sure each word is capitalized, and it summarizes the main reason for the communication.

Your subject line is the first thing read by the recipient. Be sure that the subject line makes the right impression and is not misleading. A great email subject line can set the tone for the remainder of the email. No matter what tone you are interested in relaying, professionalism is key.

Make sure you address who you are emailing and say hello

You may just address the person with their name (using Dr., Mrs., Ms., Mr., etc.) or say Hello (then add their name). Refrain from using “hey” or “hi”. This isn’t any old email being sent out to a dear friend. Take your reputation seriously. Make sure the recipient knows you meant to send the email their way.

Address the person in the correct way

Especially in the medical field, it is important to address the recipient of your email correctly. If the person is a doctor, address them as Dr.  If you do not know whether the person is married and they are a female, it is okay to write Ms.  If you do not know the recipient’s title, a quick search on the school or company website might give you the answer.

Make sure you use the proper and formal tone

Remember, this is not a text message to your friend. You must write in a professional tone.  Think about the person you are writing to.  If you are writing to a professor or boss, you want to ensure that the email is as formal as possible.

Always sign your name (first and last)

You may write sincerely or just simply put your name and title. The more popular sign off is simply “Best.” With several different ways to sign off, it can be hard to decipher which sign off is the best for the situation. For more information on sign offs, click here to read 57 Ways to Sign Off on an Email.

An easy way to make sure your email has an appropriate sign off is to select a generic, professional sign off (such as “Best”) and set it on automatic. When you send off an email, every response will have your selected sign off.

Check for grammatical errors and typos before sending

Reread your email and make sure you do not have any grammatical or typographical errors. First impressions cannot be undone with a click of a button as some email can be.  Do not count on spellcheck.  Again, make sure you are using proper English and not abbreviations.

Eliminate exclamation points or all capitals as these can make it come across that you are yelling or in the very least, upset to a certain degree. Lastly, check for run-on sentences.  Remember, you want to write this email as if you were writing a paper for school.

If you are angry, do not send the email just yet

When reviewing your email, if you find several statements that may come across as angry or see several sentences or phrases that are IN ALL CAPS, save the email to your drafts and wait until you calm down before sending it. Once you are calm, go back and check the email.  Make sure you edit it before sending to reflect your calm state.  There may be things in the email that you typed out of anger and do not want to send.

Be professional in all further communication

Great, you’ve sent out the initial email and have received an email response. This is no time to let your professionalism guard down. Continue the communication in a professional manner. While you may be tempted to add some individual flair to the email, it is okay to show your personality through emails, but do so in a manner that will not put your professional reputation in jeopardy.

Still address the receiver of the email in your correspondence.  You may start out by saying “Thank you for your email” or “Thank you for getting back to me”.  Just make sure your writing is consistent.


When you send a professional email, it shows the recipient that you are serious about your education, your job, and their time.

If you need help, please contact Samantha Hanlon, Counselor in Learner Advising and Life Resources.  She is happy to proofread emails and help you write a professional email.

“Please remember to always try to send all instructors and faculty professional emails and use your Nightingale email.  It is great to start practicing this skill before you start your professional career and we are here to help you do that.” – Samantha Hanlon

Nightingale College Announces Accreditation Status of the BSN Program

Nightingale College Official Announcement

Nightingale College celebrates the initial accreditation of the baccalaureate degree nursing program by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) through June 30, 2022 . With such an achievement, the College is able to offer an accredited RN-to-BSN Program to licensed nurses who are ready to take the next step in the nursing education and career. We are excited to share this news with our community and look forward to continue to serve our nursing education in communities throughout Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming.

“All of us at Nightingale College are thrilled with the CCNE’s recognition of the quality of our baccalaureate nursing program! This achievement brings the College closer to realizing its mission of elevating health care throughout the nation and the world!”

Mikhail Shneyder, President and CEO of Nightingale College

Read our full press release by clicking here.

Nightingale College Welcomes New Collaborators to Team

Nightingale College Official AnnouncementThe Nightingale College collaborators strive to elevate the organization in a manner that helps us achieve our long-term goals to improve communities our nursing graduates serve. But to help us reach our goal, we need our team to consist of exceptional and dedicated individuals. For that reason, we are excited to announce that the team at Nightingale College continues to grow and brings on more talented individuals. This week is the College’s New Collaborator Orientation Week that allows new collaborators to orient to the College and learn more about what the Nightingale Difference truly is.

We’d like to welcome the newest team members to the Nightingale family.

Beth Messinger, Instructor

Judy Elquist, Instructor

Erika Gunter, Instructor

Shane Otis, Instructor 

Amanda Nussbaum, Instructor

Nightingale College Celebrates Spring 2017 Graduating Cohort

Congratulations to the Spring 2017 graduating cohort.

Full Graduation

*We apologize for the absence of sound. We are working on improving this process for our next graduation.

Faculty Address

Delivered by Susan Jero, MSN, RN

How to stay motivated in nursing school

motivated in nursing schoolStaying motivated in nursing school sometimes can be a challenge, especially with those looming exams and strenuous homework assignments seem to keep building up class after class. It is easy to lose motivation during nursing school and fall victim to the nursing school blues. You begin to count down the semesters, maybe even months, to graduation when you are able to celebrate your hard work and take the next step in your nursing journey.

As the days go by, you slowly start to see that motivational triumph losing its effect. Whether it is caused by stress, anxiety, or school burnout, getting out of the rut seems impossible. Go ahead and admit that motivation dwindles away after some time and that you are in desperate need of a pick-me-up. All learners experience burnout and lack of motivation some point during nursing school. The question that needs to be answered now is how to stay motivated in nursing school before you reach the brink of motivational withdrawal. The beginning of the new semester is the optimal time to freshen your mindset with positive and motivational thoughts.

While there are several causes resulting in motivational withdrawal, one thing is constant, which is being in a motivational rut is not productive, effective, or efficient. Nursing school is a commitment requiring 100 percent of your focus and effort; it is energy consuming.

Let’s help you find your motivation.

Celebrate your successes. Even if you are just starting nursing school, it is important to keep celebrating your successes no matter how small or large. A pat on the back for a job well done will do wonders for your motivational health. Arrived to class on time when you struggle with time management? High five! Did well on an exam? Treat yourself with a dessert of choice. Studied until one in the morning but finally understand that one difficult concept? Do something you enjoy to celebrate.

No matter what you deem as success, celebrate it with a reward.

Take deep breaths. Remembering to take deep breaths when things get overwhelming calms down the mind, allowing you to focus on the task at hand. Too many times, learners allow themselves to get overwhelmed and it is unnecessary. You are in control of how you handle tasks and your outlook. Do your best to not let the stress overcome you, depleting your motivation. Next time you struggle with motivation during school, take a moment to just breathe.

Say positive affirmations. Saying one thing and doing it are not the same. However, saying positive affirmations and living by them is an exception to the common saying. By saying out loud positive, motivational statements such as “I can do this” and “Snap out of it! I have to get this done.” all have a positive effect on your conscience. As those troubling thoughts fight their way in, meet it at the door with your positive affirmation(s) and shut the door before you allow the negative thoughts in. Many learners, not just in nursing school, continue to fight with negative self-reflective thoughts that steal their motivation. Don’t let it happen to you. You are a nurse! Fight like one.

Set your goals. It is proven that if you write your goals down and share them with someone you trust, it can improve the likelihood of you completing your goals. Find a few goals that you want to crush this semester, draft them down, and share your goals. Motivation increases when you are able to cross goals off of the list; the feeling of accomplishment and accountability fuels your motivation to continue going. Go ahead and set attainable goals. Let’s see what you can accomplish.

Look for help. School has often gotten the bad end of the stick, being referred to using terms such as fun sucker, lame, and pointless. However, attending a program comes with perks. Utilize the resources available to you like Learner Services. Sometimes all that is needed to spark motivation is knowing that there are people to support you who have endless amounts of resources at the ready. Instructors know first hand what it is like being a nursing learner. If you can’t find the motivation, ask instructors and other learners for suggestions on how to get motivated again.

Discovering motivation can be both internal and external. Look for opportunities, like improving your mindset, that you can do to help improve your motivation. Likewise, search for the external support tools and services that will help you keep going.

What keeps you motivated in nursing school?

Learning the Ropes as a ADHD Learner

Understanding ADHD

Have you wondered if you have ADHD?

ADHD is an abbreviation for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. ADHD includes inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, which many ADHD learners find it challenging to focus, retain information, and ultimately, learn. While only about 4% of learners are affected, many other learners have one or more characteristics of ADHD.

Here is a breakdown of some of the characteristics of ADHD.

ADHD signs

Don’t assume at first glance that you have ADHD; however, the degree in which an individual is affected by it varies on a personal scale.

If you associate with any of the signs of ADHD and are looking for further information, contact the College’s Learner Advising and Life Resources Department for personalized suggestions and additional information.

ADHD and Learning

Finding it hard to concentrate on learning objectives and retaining information may be a symptom of ADHD. You struggle to keep up with concepts and staying on top of assignments. It makes learning more of a challenge, but your passion to complete nursing school is the only determination you need to keep going. While some may tell you that to learn and stay current in nursing school, a learner with ADHD cannot succeed, we see you as a learner who is excited to learn and become a nurse, but needs a few suggestions to hone those learning skills.

That is why we compiled a few quick tips and tricks ADHD learners can try.

ADHD Information Sheet Download

Download our information sheet on Studying with ADHD by clicking here. With more insights into various aspects of learning and ADHD, our information sheet will get you started in the right direction.

Study Tips and Tricks for ADHD Learners

Before you start: The first step is to recognize that your current learning pattern(s) and habits may be more of a hindrance during your learning times. Simply stated, the way you are studying—whether the environment or study materials—are not helping you, leading you to feel a bit overwhelmed, maybe even stressed.

Understanding the learning style that best helps you will improve your chances of succeeding. Uncover your learning style by reviewing our blog on learning style.

Here are some study tips and tricks that can help you if you have ADHD or any characteristic of ADHD.

  1. If you need help following instructions, try to simplify the instructions to a basic one or two points and go from there. You can either verify this with your instructor or ask if you instructor can help you break it down.
  2. If you need help with notetaking, which many learners need, some good tips are to study with a friend; ask your instructor for more information; take frequent, but short breaks. Contact LALR for more information on how to take good notes, and check out our blog post about note taking! Click here.
  3. If you need help concentrating, you can find a quiet place to study, create a study plan (if you need assistance with this, please contact LALR), avoid all distractions, try meditation and yoga (these are both great for ADHD).
  4. If you need help remembering, try to keep your notes organized and in a specific place, make a list of things you need remember (you can even keep this on your phone so you don’t lose it). If you need help getting organized, please contact LALR.
  5. If you need help with learning in general, make sure you take care of yourself and get what you need. Patience can be hard for people with ADHD, so please come to LALR if you need help with anything. It may also help to figure out your learning style so you are able to learn the most effectively.  You can see our blog post about Learning Styles by clicking here.

Meet Samantha Hanlon, MA, PPS (or our Counselor, Learner Advising and Life Resources)

Samantha is your go-to contact when looking for information and suggestions on a variety of topics including managing ADHD and how to find a study plan that works.

I am more than happy to assist you in creating a study plan and helping you figure out how you learn best.  If you need accommodation in your classes due to your ADHD, let us know so we can assist with that.  Learning can be challenging when you have ADHD, or even a characteristic or 2 of ADHD.  We are here to help you throughout school so you can succeed and learn how to learn with ADHD!

A Salute to All Nurses: Happy Nurses Week

May 6 through May 12 is National Nurses Week. Nightingale College wants to thank all nurses for their hard work and dedication to improving their communities through better health. We are honored to have the opportunity to educate the nurses of tomorrow who will selflessly be serving communities across the nation, driving positive health outcomes for their patients and community. With confidence, competence, and compassion, nurses are at the front lines of health care. We wish all current and future nurses a Happy Nurses Week.

To take a look back at the history of National Nurses Week, click here to read our blog Nightingale College Celebrates National Nurses Week.

Happy Nurses Week!

 

Our Nursing Faculty, Fall 2016

Nurses Week

Thank you to the Nightingale College faculty family. Your dedication to our learners is remarkable and we couldn’t imagine a better group of individuals to lead our learners to becoming competent nurses.

Fulfilling Lifelong Dreams to become a Nurse and Teacher: Meet Sheron Cox

“I always thought to become a teacher or a nurse. I pursued my dream of becoming  a nurse, which was a  tough decision to make between the two. But once I became a nurse, I realized that I can also be a teacher and share my passion to mold and motivate future nurses.” Sheron Cox knew she wanted to be a nurse since she was very young. Not only did she fulfill her mission, but she was able to follow her other dream of becoming a teacher when she joined Nightingale College as an instructor at the Evanston DDC in December 2016.

Nightingale College Faculty

Where did you complete your nursing degree? Do you have any specific certificates?

I completed my nursing degree at University of Wyoming. I was a Robert Wood Johnson scholar in the BRAND (Bachelors Reach for Accelerated Nursing Degree) program.

What attracted you to teaching nursing learners? What is your favorite part about teaching nursing learners?

Teaching is very near and dear to my heart. I always thought to become  a teacher or a nurse. I pursued my dream of becoming  a nurse, which was a  tough decision to make between the two. But once I became a nurse, I realized that I can also be a teacher and share my passion to mold and motivate future nurses. My favorite part about teaching new learners is their drive to learn and motivation to become a nurse, and their willingness to devote their life to taking care of others.

What is the best feature about Nightingale College? Why do you love working here?

The best feature about Nightingale College is the compassion every collaborator has towards the learners, helping and guiding them to gain a nursing education. I love being surrounded by some of the most intelligent, experienced instructors who help me grow as a new instructor.

We have our three C’s: confidence, competence, and compassion. Do nurses need all three to be a great nurse? In your opinion, what is the number one characteristic a nurse should have in order to be a great nurse?

I believe every nurse needs all the three C’s to be a great nurse. However, compassion is the number one characteristic a nurse should have to take care of the suffering.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in nursing?

I grew up in a third world country, Fiji Island. Growing up, I realized how poverty, lack of education and lack of nurses affected the lives of many people. People were diagnosed with chronic illnesses but they didn’t understand the etiology of the disease, there were no medications available because people couldn’t afford them. Families didn’t know how to take care of their loved ones who were suffering due to lack of education, and illnesses were preserved as taboo. I always knew I wanted to change that perspective.

Most often when we are kids, we have our dream career. However, majority end up not in the profession their younger self predicted. Have you always wanted to be a nurse? If not, what was your dream career?

My mother used to tell me, growing up I would be a teacher one day and a nurse on other days. I would check my siblings temperatures and pretend to give them meds all day along or yell at them for not writing in a straight line. Deep within my heart I knew I wanted to be a nurse.  And here I am a nurse and a teacher. Not very many people get to live both dreams.

Going off of the previous question, what is your one piece of advice you want to give our nursing learners?

Keep investing in your own learning, even when it’s hard. And keep searching for a way to contribute to something that helps humanity!

Education is very important, especially when it comes to health care and caring for patients. Do you encourage learners to move forward to a BSN Degree then a MSN Degree? Are you an endorser for nurses to continue their education to at least a BSN Degree level?

Healthcare is a fast growing industry and as nurses, we need to combine our nursing skills and latest medical theory, research, and evidence-based medicine to improve patient care. Pursuing higher education has benefited me through my career and helped transitioned me to  a leader and focus on education, leadership and administration.

Share one of your favorite nursing experiences.

My favorite nursing experience is when I am out with my family in my small community of Evanston. I get lots of hugs from my patients and patient families.

Nursing school is a constant learning adventure, but you often run across a challenge or two. What was one of your bigger challenges you faced in nursing school and how did you overcome it?

I graduated from University of Wyoming’s BRAND program (Bachelors Reach for Accelerated Nursing Degree)  which was 15 months in duration . My biggest challenge was time management because I had never been through an accelerated program. I struggled with working on assignments, studying, taking tests and keeping up with friends and families. After my first week, I learned quick that I needed to put away 15 months of my life to be successful.

Always remember, nursing school, either be a traditional or an accelerated program, requires a tremendous amount of time and commitment. And all nursing programs are temporary. You will get your life back and it will come with two initials at the end of your name, RN.

Outside of caring for patients and training our learners to be nurses, what are some of you hobbies you enjoy?

I love traveling to different countries with my husband and experiencing their culture and of course, I am always curious about the country’s healthcare system.

What is your most proudest accomplishment?

16 years ago, I left my family and traveled to United States to pursue an education. Here I am with two BSNs, a nurse by profession, pursing MSN as a clinical analyst and leadership and married to my wonderful husband of 10 yrs.

Everyone has a bucket list. What are two or three items on your bucket list?

My number one thing on my bucket list is to join my volunteer organization Soroptimist International in a third world country to support women and girls in their quest to lead better lives, be empowered, ending violence against women and help women reach their full potential and live their dream.

What are some of your goals (personal and professional) for the next few years?

My personal and professional goal for the next few years to keep making a difference in others lives.

What will be your legacy?

I want to be remembered for my commitment, empowerment and motivation in supporting women and girls in their quest to lead better lives while gaining inspiration in my own life.

What has been the most daring thing you have ever done?

The most daring thing I have ever done is packed a suit case after graduating high school and boarded a plane to San Francisco from Fiji Island leaving my family behind to pursue  education and build my American Dream.

Is your glass half full or half empty?

Ah…. I see my glass as half full. I am very grateful for the miles I traveled to come build my dream. I guess if I didn’t take a chance, my glass could have been half empty. It’s all about your perspective.

Share anything else you’d like with us. 

I am very passionate about improving the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. Growing up in a third world country where girls and women didn’t have access to education and training that they needed to reach their full potential and live their dreams always inspired me to make a difference.

I am a member of a global women’s organization called Soroptimist International and belong to our local club Soroptimist International Evanston. The name, Soroptimist, means “best for women,” and that’s what the organization strives to achieve. Soroptimists are women at their best, working to help other women to be their best.

Other than my career as a nurse and nursing instructor, I look forward to continuing my education and volunteer work.  I will be married to my best friend and husband Ben for 10 years in May. He is my ROCK and inspires me to do better everyday and brings out the best in me.

Coming Together: Flame! Forward! Week and Give Back Day, April 2017

No matter how far away, collaborators travel from across the nation for a week-long College conference designed to inspire, motivate, and reignite the passion for what we do at Nightingale College. Together, collaborators are inspired and reminded of the College’s mission, building belonging and desire that help catapult the College forward towards its goal of serving communities. Majority of the week is dedicated to collaborating and developing personally and professionally; however, one day is different. That day is Give Back Day, a favorite among many collaborators.

Give Back Day, April 2017

Nightingale College’s Flame! Forward! Week

While we focus on deliberate development and opportunities to ELEVATE our personal and professional lives, Flame! Forward! is dedicated to all College collaborators and a time we celebrate some of the successes certain collaborators have achieved the past year. We recognize these collaborators with the Flame! Forward! Award. We would like to congratulate the collaborators who received the 2017 Flame! Forward! Award:

  • Ashley Thompson, Manager, Learner Advising and Life Resources
  • Jamila Lowe, Coordinator, Career Services
  • Chase Harmon, Assistant, Learner Support Services
  • Stacie McVay, Assistant Manager, Admissions
  • Chyleen Tucker, Assistant Professor
  • Earlene Cooper, Assistant Professor
  • Su-Ellen Johnson, Assistant Professor

Every year, one collaborator receives the induction into the College’s esteemed Founders Club. Founders Club members are a collection of the College’s collaborators who continuously exhibit the seven values and have significantly contributed to the College. We would like to congratulate Linda Flynn (Manager, Associate Degree Programs) for her outstanding dedication to the College and its collaborators. Linda was inducted into the Founders Club on April 17, 2017.

Check out some of our captured moments of Flame! Forward! Week below.

Nightingale College’s Give Back Day

Twice a year the College collaborators get together to serve the community, an effort we call Nightingale College Give Back Day. The semi-annual Give Back Day is an opportunity to step into the community to go beyond self. We challenge our learners every day to find the compassion for their patients and to understand the simple saying of “walk a mile in their shoes.” Just like we challenge our learners, our collaborators are challenged to dig deep to find opportunities to give back, whether it is a simple act of lending a hand or volunteering at a large-scale event.

On April 21, 2017, a sea of blue shirts with the same logo headed over to Catholic Community Services in downtown Ogden. The Catholic Community Services (CCS) serves individuals and families in need across the Wasatch Front. (Looking for an opportunity to serve the community? Visit Catholic Community Services for volunteer information. Click here.)

Nightingale College collaborators provided a service we do very well, staffed a health clinic available to the CCS community, thanks to our wonderful nurses. Meanwhile, those who do not carry the respectable two letters “RN” behind their name still made a difference and assisted in the food pantry and sorted out donations. Check out our photos below.

We’d like to thank the Catholic Community Services of Northern Utah for hosting us last Friday. What a humbling and fun Give Back Day.