I just received a sad mail - I failed feb 2013 CRNE. I wanted to share about what I did for the prep:
1. I took the Toronto school of health. I thought it would be really helpful because I learned something that I did not know. but ...well....
2. mosby practice questions (study little bit from the blue-organe mosby book)
3. CNA prep guide + readiness test
4. some practice questions got from friends
results = I failed...
Thus, I would like to get some suggestions. should I take another course from another school? or self study? for self study, what books?
Mar 15, '13
I also wrote the Feb 6, 2013 CRNE exam. I found the majority of the questions were in some way related to emergency nursing. If I had to rewrite I think that's what I would focus on. I also found what helped me to pass was to read the ENTIRE textbook (Mosbys Comprehensive Review) page for page and make notes on all the diseases- manifestations, diagnosis etc and then review all the notes I had made as I went along (usually before bed, or once I woke up). I found the Mosbys book to be somewhat vague though, so I also had the NCLEX Comprehensive Review for RN by Maryann Hogan to refer to when I thought Mosby's wasn't explaining things well enough or being to vague. I also had a little note book that I would study medications in (I recorded all the drugs that I came into contact with by doing the practice questions, and their significant side effects) and tried to add 1-2 drugs per day into my study book. I did all the review questions in the textbook after each chapter. I also used the CNA prep guide, and answered the questions 2-3 times before the exam. I found they are not related at all in difficulty to the actual exam, but they do teach you what the CRNE is looking for (for example, I found themes of what/how they wanted you to answer the questions ex. How to handle conflict, how to find out the needs in the community by using focus groups etc). When I did all of the practice questions, including the CRNE prep guide, and I found I got a question wrong, I would write the correct answer on a Q-Card, with the rationale on the back, so I could continuously study all of the questions I got wrong until I memorized everything (by the time I was done studying I had literally 500 Q-cards lol). I studied everyday for about 5 weeks from around 10am to 3pm, and then reviewed the Q-cards at night. I also agree with fleetfoxRN that you should study the body systems. I found that I forgot alot of this stuff from first and second year, so when I was reviewing respiratory problems, I would review how the lungs worked, which helped me logically think of answers during the CRNE. Good luck though, and don't give up, you can do it!
Last edit by JustBeachyNurse on May 5, '13
: Reason: ToS
Thank you for sharing your strategies with you. I think I am going to use Mosby book to study. This time, I will be dependent on my self, not the course instructor. One of my failure was: I was too dependent on the course instructor, and did not study other resources.
Last edit by JustBeachyNurse on May 5, '13
: Reason: ToS
All i want to say is that don't give up. It feels like the end of the world when it happens but believe in yourself because you're going to pass.
I found that what was helpful for me was instead of reading those prep course textbook, I focused on med surg. I was struggling with med surg throughout nursing school; I never had the solid foundation so it was important for me to go back to my med surg textbook. I know it sounds intense but focus on the main ones, like heart failure, diabetes, acute/chronic renal failure, hip fracture, MI, COPD, Asthma etc AND fluid and electrolyte. I was struggling with changes in health, the rest I was fine with so I mainly focused on changes in health when I studied which means med surg/patho.
I was working 2 months before the exam so I spent 2-3 hours after work in the library. I stopped working 3 weeks before my exam so I spent 3 weeks straight at the public library EVERYDAY from 9-5 or 6 with breaks in between reading the med surg textbook to make sure I completely understood what acute renal failure was. I focused mostly on my med surg text because I didn't understand mosby or the prep course textbook. I even brought my lunch to the library so I wouldn't be distracted by getting food to eat/going out for lunch. I took Sunday off as my break so that was my only day to fully relax. I also didn't do work after studying from the library and I was ready for bed by 10:30 pm. I would do questions once in a while but I would make sure to go back to my med surg text BECAUSE if you are getting questions wrong on your practice tests, it means you need to study more! I did not work for 3 weeks before my exam and didn't go hang out with friends. I saw my bf who came to the library to visit but that was it, I didn't hang out much with him and i went out with my family for dinner once but ALL i did was study because I knew I did not want to write it again.
I personally would not recommend the toronto school of health or nursing courses to anyone. It's good if you already have a solid foundation of your med surg knowledge. Because the course goes through each system REALLY FAST and you wont have time to slowly digest the material. You also have a bunch of tests in class that are taken directly from the textbook. The only good thing about the course is that it guides your study - tells you what to focus on i.e i never learned anything about chest tubes in nursing school yet you would need to know it on the exam but again you could read through the competencies to find out what you need to focus on. I think its better to study in groups or self study. I didn't study with anyone.
MY BIGGEST ADVICE IS
if you have a good foundation of all the diseases/patho stuff, you should be fine unless you are struggling with nurse/client relationships or professional practice. Those areas, you would need to do more questions and go back to the CNO practice standards.
Thats what I did to pass.
Last edit by studentbecominganurs on Mar 15, '13
Sorry for the late reply. I was never good at patho or med surg. In nursing school, I almost failed the med surg course. What I did for the CRNE was, I read the med surg book over and over and over again until i started to remember things without intentionally memorizing it. I hate memorizing too and trust me, you can pass without memorizing everything. BUT OF COURSE the lab values you should know (Potassium, Sodium, USG). and dont worry, i did not read the whole book. I read pages on the diseases. It worked for me. I just kept reading the same few pages on Acute/Chronic Renal Failure, COPD, Asthma, Heart Failure, MI, Diabetes and I passed! I didn't really study/read Stroke but I would suggest understanding the basics about stroke. I would also suggest reading Cystic Fibrosis, Liver Cirrhosis and Fluid & Electrolyte Balance because there were questions. Know your ABGs! and study Maternity! If you don't have a good foundation, i would suggest going back to your maternity textbook because thats what i did.
What you want to do now is focus on reading the med surg and patho textbook until you understand the disease. Focus on one topic at a time for instance, start with diabetes, read 5 pages of diabetes in one day and then read a smaller topic like hip fracture and then the next day read diabetes again and Sodium (less pages) until you understand diabetes. Third Day, back to diabetes. Try to spend 3-5 days on one disease until you FULLY understand the disease, thats when you know to move on to the next disease. BUT don't forget to go back to diabetes (a brief review) so you don't forget what you studied! I would suggest reviewing it once a week to refresh your memory.
And try doing some questions to see if you understand the disease. Try to do questions on the weekends. But for now, start studying 3-5 hours a day and then add more hours. By May you should be spending 6-8 hours a day studying/reviewing. Don't forget to do practice questions. I remember seeing a few exam questions from the practice questions that i did somewhere. I don't remember where. When I had time, I did the Mosby Practice Questions from the Comprehensive Review and the Practice Book. I also used Lippincott but I did Lippincott in the beginning and stopped because I couldn't borrow it anymore from the library.
If you ever get sick of reading the med surg textbook, read Potter and Perry. Don't read the whole book. I picked and chose topics like ABGs, Braden Scale, Chest Tubes etc. When you get bored of reading, you can also youtube videos on heart disease to understand the patho. That helped me too but make sure you don't spend time youtubing other non relevant videos! I find watching youtube videos helped QUITE A LOT too and it's more enjoyable than sitting down for hours studying because it gave me the basic understanding so when I read the patho book, it made sense to me!
Last edit by studentbecominganurs on Mar 25, '13