1. AAP bright futures book: It's basically the PNP bible at this point. Here's the link to purchase. Keep it in your pocket to refer back to! It is best to get the spiral bound pocket book version because it is user friendly, lightweight, and less expensive.
2. Developmental cheat sheets: I made the perfect cheat sheets for you to use during Well Child visits. From birth to 21 years, there is a TON of information to memorize and you are typically on your own in the room with the child and parent soon after starting clinicals. I recommend keeping these on hand for quick reference when you're by yourself in the room with a family.
This PDF download includes 17 well child checks (birth to 21 years) highlighting some of the most important information for that age (nutrition, elimination, sleep, development, physical exam, vaccines and anticipatory guidance). It will help you stand out and make a good impression. Which is great because clinicals are one long interview process.
Bonus: Pick up a copy of my 'Most Common Pediatric Pathogens' cheat sheet for studying so you can rock those sick visits!
3. A distraction toy: Working with kids at so many different age levels, I have a secret to share with you... if you have a fun toy to distract a baby AND a nervous teen, you've already WON the visit.
The best distraction toy I found was this plastic lava lamp. It is perfect because it fits the following criteria:
- Small and light enough to fit in your white coat pocket
-Easily cleaned with alcohol wipe in between each visit
-Everyone from babies to teens can look at it, hold it, and be distracted by it (those teenagers are quite nervous for appointments)
-Can be used during your physical exam (eg. show a baby
Check out this Instagram Reel I did explaining how I use the lava lamp in primary care!
4. A good attitude: It's going to feel uncomfortable at first to be new again. ESPECIALLY if you are an experienced nurse who is used to being the expert on their current unit. In NP clinicals, you will grow the most if you LEAN INTO being uncomfortable, and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Trust me when I say, everyone feels like a fish out of water at first. You are learning. No one expects you to know everything. I definitely felt "dumb" at times. So the best thing you can do is have a good attitude. Try to think out loud while you are answering questions with your preceptor so they understand your thought process. If you don't know something, that is okay! Write it down, highlight it, and add it to your list to review so you remember next time a similar situation pops up.
This is your degree, your training and your future career. Go into it with a good attitude, with your learning hat on and TRUST the process. You will start to catch on. You will be a great NP. You can do this!
XO, Nurse Nat
Are you a PNP student studying for Primary Care Boards? Check out my ebook, "Road to Success: PNP-PC Step by Step Guide" to get in depth knowledge of how I studied and passed PNP-PC boards. With special unlimited access to my 180 page personal study guide!
Close to graduating NP school? Worried about how to find your first NP job as a new grad? Read my blog post "How To Get AN NP Job As A New Grad"