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3 Ways Your Peers Can Support You While You’re in Nursing School

by South University
December 15, 2015

Going back to school for a nursing degree is a big commitment, especially for those who already have jobs or families or just a busy schedule in general—which applies to almost every adult today. The personal and professional rewards of earning your degree can be vast, but, in the meantime, earning that nursing degree will take time, energy and hard work. So, how do you stay focused on the big picture? One thing our students say often helps them is developing a support system that includes a fellow student—a student sidekick, a partner in your education.

1. To Be A Watchful Eye

Having a peer and classmate who you know will hold you accountable is incredibly valuable. Once you know each other's goals, whenever things get hard, you can remind each other of your ambitions, of why you’re in school and of what you’re trying to achieve. Your student sidekick will have expectations for you to succeed, and when you don’t attend or participate in class, turn in your work or study for an assessment, they can call you or check in on you to see what’s going on and how they can help. Of course, when one of you is doing well, you can celebrate your accomplishments together as well—it’s no fun to only point out the negatives!

2. To Offer a Sympathetic Ear

Every now and then, you’re going to feel overwhelmed, and you might just want to vent. That’s perfectly normal. Who better to listen to you and give you the emotional support you need than someone who is experiencing something very similar? Your student sidekick will understand how hard you’re working and what’s going on in your classes, because they’ll be there too! More importantly, they’ll know you can get through this and encourage you to do just that.

3. To Lend a Helping Hand

As you work through your courses, you are bound to have questions and need a little help now and then. Your instructors and university support staff are great resources, but it’s nice to have a peer to ask for help too. Sometimes, reaching out to a friend for a quick question can be less intimidating, and they might be able to walk you through a concept you don’t understand in a new way. Also, since you trust them, you can ask your student sidekick for advice on specific professors, classes, scheduling, study tips, time management—you name it!

Do you already have a student sidekick at South University? Email to tell us all about it and how you’ve helped each other so far!

You can also find tips on getting to know your peers in this blog post or get advice from our faculty on how to succeed in your nursing career or degree program in an article from earlier this year.

by South University
December 15, 2015
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Career Pathways for Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioners

by South University
December 8, 2015

Considering a career as an Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP)? If so, there are many places you could find yourself practicing--including your own private practice in certain states. You might work in a specialty clinic, a physician's private practice, a long-term care facility, or perhaps even in the homes of your patients. Let’s look at three of these options for AGPCNPs now.

Home Healthcare

Some Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioners own or work in a practice in which they treat patients who have difficulty leaving their homes. This work can allow for flexibility and variety in your schedule, as every day you’ll be travelling to different locations. Your patients may include elderly, as well as those with chronic conditions or who are recuperating from surgery or a serious illness.

This role will allow you to treat patients in an environment where they’re more relaxed, social, and receptive to receiving care. You may also meet your patient's family and other caregivers as well as gain a clearer picture of their daily life, including social interactions and living conditions. This can help you in developing a treatment plan and giving your patient relevant educational counseling and guidance.

Your day will include a set number of visits as well as occasional unscheduled urgent visits. Nurse practitioners in home health are usually compensated per patient visit plus mileage. If you run your own practice, in addition to examining, diagnosing, treating, educating, and following up with patients, you’ll be in charge of scheduling, billing, and other administrative duties, unless you hire someone to assist with such duties.

Walk-in and Community Healthcare Clinics

Depending on the size and type of clinic, your experience as an AGPCNP could vary greatly. In small community and nurse-managed clinics, you may have set hours and see repeat patients on a regular basis for healthcare planning and treatment.

At walk-in clinics, however, your hours may be longer or more varied. While you might see patients with more diversity in healthcare needs, the increase in patient load coupled with fewer repeat patients could make it challenging to give each patient the attention or education you wish to provide. However, clinics that are part of large chains may offer opportunities for advancement, better benefits and even allow for relocation if that becomes needed.

At many clinics, you’ll be working alongside other nurse practitioners and collaborating with healthcare providers outside the clinic as needed.

Long-term Care Facilities

As an AGPCNP, you may have the opportunity to work as a nurse practitioner in a long-term care facility, such as an assisted living community or a nursing home.

In this role, you’ll primarily work with the elderly or those with debilitating chronic conditions, providing treatment, preventive care and education. Overall, you’ll likely spend less time on diagnosing problems than on managing, prescribing and adjusting care and treatment, and many of your patients will have multiple conditions you’ll need to consider. While providing long-term care for patients in need can be very rewarding, you should be prepared to work with patients near the end of their lives as well as the families of these patients--something that can take an emotional toll over time.

In some cases, you may be associated with one particular facility and have a set schedule, while in other instances you may travel between various facilities to care for more patients.

Want to know more about becoming a nurse practitioner and your career options? Explore our nurse practitioner articles on the blog, or contact us to talk about our graduate degree programs that can prepare you for a career in this field.


Sources: Day in the Life of a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner | | A day in the life of a home care nurse practitioner | More nurse practitioners visit home care patients | 3 Reasons You Should Become a Home Health NP | Why walk-in health care is a fast-growing profit center for retail chains

Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Not all online programs are available to residents of all U.S. states. Administrative office: South University, 709 Mall Boulevard, Savannah, GA 31406-4805 © 2015 South University. All rights reserved. Our email address is

by South University
December 8, 2015
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