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A Notre Dame College nursing faculty member is making a difference in the lives of current and future coworkers during National Nurses Month.

Jacqueline Robinson Ph.D., M.B.A., M.S.N., ACNS-BC, RN, CCRN, CHSE, is an associate professor of nursing and director of the Shaughnessy Center for Innovation and Education at Notre Dame. She is sharing expertise on self-care for working nurses, tips for new nurses taking the NCLEX exam and advise for students considering the nursing profession.

The American Nursing Association has designated May 2022 as National Nurses Month with the theme “You Make A Difference.” The celebration recognizes the contributions nurses make to individuals, communities, health care professions and policy throughout the year and the world.

In addition to her position at Notre Dame, Robinson works as an adjunct instructor at Case Western Reserve University and was one of the founding faculty in the Patient Advocacy Certificate program at Cleveland State University, both in Ohio.

Nursing Professionals

Robinson also works 24 hours each week as a nurse on the front lines of a medical stepdown unit at MetroHealth Medical Center that has been for COVID patients for the last two years.

“It has been hard, but the best advice I can give anyone as stress relief is to maintain your friendships. Do not isolate yourself,” Robinson said. “Allow yourself to have a good time and allow yourself time to rest.”

MetroHealth is home to Northeast Ohio’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center and Ohio’s only adult and pediatric trauma and burn center. Two-thirds of patients treated there are uninsured or covered only by Medicare or Medicaid.

Nursing Students

Robinson has been instrumental in creating the Notre Dame “Unstress” Center for nursing students at the College. The center offers solace to students with designated study spaces, comfortable furniture, games and other tension-relieving options.

To help nursing students deal with pressure, Robinson recommends they prepare in advance for their classes. Reading through assigned materials prior to arrival will allow them to engage in the class and grasp the material faster. Students do not need to cover the texts, online lectures or videos in great detail because the content may not make sense until the faculty member discusses it.

“Once class is over, you can go back and look at the material in greater depth and be able to sort through what is essential to know and what is ‘nice’ to know based on what was stressed in the classroom,” she said. “This greatly cuts down on the amount of material you are trying to commit to memory.”

Nursing Graduates

Robinson suggests nursing students practice NCLEX material throughout their college years to identify and focus on improving the areas in which they do not score as high. The NCLEX exam by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing tests the competency of nursing school graduates.

“I also think it is very important to either get an NCLEX book from a used bookstore, the library or subscribe to a service online right from the beginning and start taking quizzes in NCLEX style over your material,” Robinson said. “It will help you study and get used to the style of questioning you will see on your exams.”

She also cautions nursing students against studying too much, for the NCLEX and for their classes, especially when they are working clinicals. A break from the coursework will help prevent burnout and improve performance.

“Maintain friendships that are far outside of nursing as well and do things completely unrelated to medicine,” Robinson said.

Read the complete interview on Study.com.

About Notre Dame College

Notre Dame College is a private, Catholic, liberal arts college in South Euclid, Ohio, committed to teaching students how to make a good living and live a good life. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master’s degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. For more information, visit NotreDameCollege.edu.