Advice for 1st semester in Nursing School?

  1. I've heard the 1st semester is a killer and is when the most people tend to dropout. Anyone care to share any advice with me. I start in January.

    Also, I've heard I will need a really good care plan book. Our textbook list doesn't require a specific one, but says any will do, but I figured I'd check with the experts before buying one.

    By the way I am starting the online program.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   ann945n
    I would agree that most drop out first quater but other quaters as well but not as much. I believe these people really shouldnt have been there in the first place or had other mishaps happen that prevented them from continuing. I would get a good care plan book with nursing diagnosis in it. Just shop around on amazon or ask other quaters what ones they like. You will make it if you want to make it so dont let drop outs get you nervous, you know what you are capable of.
  4. by   Natkat
    Just remember, don't memorize. Try to learn the nursing process and focus on the nursing part of whatever topic you cover. Don't try to remember lists - like all the steps in the inflammation process. Learn what you as a nurse would do for a patient who has inflammation. You will be given lots of explanations for things that are for your benefit to learn and study to understand why things are the way they are, but you won't be asked to regurgitate that information. Just do you best to understand the "why" of something more than the "what".
  5. by   lovingtheunloved
    Quote from Natkat
    Just remember, don't memorize. Try to learn the nursing process and focus on the nursing part of whatever topic you cover. Don't try to remember lists - like all the steps in the inflammation process. Learn what you as a nurse would do for a patient who has inflammation. You will be given lots of explanations for things that are for your benefit to learn and study to understand why things are the way they are, but you won't be asked to regurgitate that information. Just do you best to understand the "why" of something more than the "what".
    :yeahthat:
  6. by   Daytonite
    i have 5 care plan books that i use for reference in answering questions about care plans for students here on the allnurses forums. the one that i think is the best and has the most current nanda nursing diagnosis information in it is nursing diagnosis handbook: a guide to planning care, 7th edition, by betty j. ackley and gail b. ladwig. it's one very unique feature is that is has an index of symptoms and conditions that you can use to cross reference you to possible nursing diagnoses when you are stuck for ideas. it also has a companion website that can be accessed for free with some of the same, but not all, of the information that is in the book.

    i'm also going to go against some of the other advice you have already been given here. there is definitely a good reason to memorize lists of things. there is also a time to learn how to think critically and use those memorized lists in prioritizing and the nursing process. this is something that nursing instructors will be teaching you to do and you work your way through your nursing program.

    you should be hanging out and reading the posts on the nursing student forums regularly. here is a link to a listing of them: http://allnurses.com/forums/f196/. the two that you should look to for many common asked questions by students will be found on these two nursing student forums:
    here are some sites and older threads you should look at and read that pertain to studying in nursing school:

    http://go.dbcc.edu/hhps/nursing/study_skills.html - study skills for the nursing student from daytona beach community college nursing department with some good advice.
    http://go.dbcc.edu/hhps/nursing/test_taking_skills.html - test taking skills also from daytona beach community college nursing department. a couple of sample questions and how to choose the correct answer for these application type questions.

    http://www.efn.org/~nurses/ - this is a website maintained by the nursing students at lane community college in eugene, oregon. for study and learning tips specific to nursing students click on "tips for learning" at the left side of this home page.

    http://allnurses.com/forums/f50/nurs...er-187954.html

    http://allnurses.com/forums/f50/righ...dy-188919.html - right way to study?
  7. by   Epona
    Hi. You all have perked my interest. I am starting RN school in Jan.

    What is the difference between a MEDICAL diagnosis and a NURSING diagnosis??

    THANKS!! Epona

  8. by   lovingtheunloved
    Quote from Epona
    Hi. You all have perked my interest. I am starting RN school in Jan.

    What is the difference between a MEDICAL diagnosis and a NURSING diagnosis??

    THANKS!! Epona

    Nurses cannot treat a medical diagnosis, for instance, COPD. A nurse can, however, treat Ineffective Airway Clearance. I'm just a first semester student myself, but it seems to me that a nursing diagnosis is just a medical diagnosis rewritten to make it okay for a nurse to treat. It's still COPD.
  9. by   Lisa CCU RN
    A medical diagnosis is the medical problem, for example, a fractured femur.
    The nursing diagnosis is the reaction to that medical problem and any problems associated with it. A patient may not know how to use crutches yet, so the nursing diagnosis would be immobility. Also, the pt. may be depressed because they are in the hospital and cannot work or had to miss their kids recital or something, so their nursing diagnosis would be Depression.

    Basically, the nurse treats the human response to injury or illness.
  10. by   RNin'08
    This is a great thread. I also start first semester in January and I really appreciate all the responses to the OP's concerns. Thanks for all the links Daytonite!

    RNin'08
    ~my reality check bounced~
  11. by   Daytonite
    medical diagnosis is the determination of a patient's cause of illness, injury or discomfort. it involves the use of clinical skills and sometimes sophisticated investigation. medical diagnosing is done by licensed physicians or osteopaths. doctors will then develop medical plans of care and treatment for these illnesses, injuries and discomforts. nurses cannot make a medical diagnosis!

    nursing diagnosis is the identification of patient problems by a licensed nurse through the continual analysis of assessment data that is not considered to be normal. the licensed nurse then develops interventions to assist in caring for those problems. physicians cannot make a nursing diagnosis!

    what many potential nursing students do not know is that both lpn and rn schools teach you the "nursing process" which is how you arrive at determining patient problems and developing strategies to treat them. this is probably more of a focus in rn programs because of the decision-making and judgments required of rns, but lpns do learn it as well. this is a much more accurate description of what nurses are expected to do in their jobs than what many people think of traditionally as just taking temperatures or fluffing someone's pillow!

    http://home.cogeco.ca/~nursingprocess/index.htm - this is a beautiful site that defines and explains a bit of what the nursing process is. you can also click on the links at the left side of the webpage to go to various subjects included within the nursing process to find out more about them.
  12. by   jo272wv
    We lost about a quarter of our class the first two semesters, most sat out a year and took other classes needed (electives). Does not mean they are dumb or anything they just got overwhelmed and failed a class that prevent going on to the next. My advice to you is when you study always ask why this is done and that is done this way. Nursing is taking a mass of information and putting it together to understand the whole. If you always know the whys it makes answering questions both in school and on the boards easier. Plus it makes the upper semesters less stressful because you do not have to memorize the information over and over (cram and spill method) that never works.

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